Those of you who read my blog know that I don’t post often. Not because I don’t have things to say, but I don’t prioritize the time to write as much as I probably should. Today I feel compelled to write this short post because of the results of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. Sure, if you know me at all, you will know that I did not support the Republican nominee. Although my support for Mrs. Clinton was not as … overwhelming … as it could have been, I saw her as the better of the two candidates. Water under the bridge now.
We hear talk about how divisive this race was, and that it was the worst election campaign in U.S. history. I don’t doubt it. The rhetoric used by the Republican candidate and his surrogates was, at times, unbelievable. In broad strokes, if you aren’t a heterosexual, white male of a certain age, it was easy to say he wasn’t representing your views. We learned with the election results, or perhaps we affirmed, that racism, sexism, homophobia, misogyny, and general hatred is alive and well in America. Some of my friends have expressed concern about the status of their marriage and what will happen to them now (I have the same fear); others are concerned about who will be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court (as am I); still others worry about what the state of healthcare will be once the ACA (Obamacare) is overturned as has been promised. These are very real concerns, and only some of the concerns being expressed by many. As a black man in America, I am also concerned about the “law and order” the now president-elect promises to bring as we “Make America Great Again.” I am already fearful walking, driving, riding, down the street, and now I am at a loss as to what to do just to remain safe – to remain alive!
The newly elected president-elect spoke about coming together or working together (so say the news outlets; I did not listen to his speech). I am choosing to be optimistic that he will, in fact, work with everyone – on both sides of the aisle, as they say – in order to bring benefit to everyone. I suspect that if he is capable and shows a more human side, he runs the risk of losing the confidence and support of the more than 50,000,000 people who voted for him and the ideals he espoused (in which I assume they believe and with which they are in agreement).
Some people are protesting the results; others speak about leaving the country; some have chosen to cut ties with those who voted for the successful candidate. I have flirted with the idea of leaving the country, but that’s not entirely practical, and I have never been one to shy away from potential difficulties. So I will wait and see what the president-elect does. He has already outlined his proposed first 100 days actions plan. By waiting, I do not intend to be a passive observer. I will continue to proudly wear my “troublemaker” label to, despite – or perhaps because of – my fears and concerns, speak up about, and act on, those things I believe are right. I encourage each of you to do the same.