It has been an emotional election season. It culminated to a national tipping point with the presidential victory for Donald Trump and now, America’s future as a superpower and inclusive melting pot remains more uncertain than ever. In the wake of the ongoing aftermath of the election’s results, Trump supporters believe their voices were finally heard, while Clinton supporters fear the hate and discrimination have escalated with his coming presidency. Regardless of what side of the spectrum you’re on, there is no denying the political talk we are all in for this holiday season.
We need to stop making the topic of politics taboo and intentionally start conversations with family and friends we do not understand. Open conversations with attempts at understanding the other side (yes, we know it seems impossible sometimes) Politics (along with religion, money, and the like) falls into the off-limits category of topics not to discuss with, really, anyone. It is a sensitive topic in which one wrong word can turn an entire conversation sour. Though the subject is one of the fastest ways to ignite conflict, it is one we must have the courage to endure. The election brought to light major issues Americans need to address, such as the economy, immigration, discrimination, and so on. If we are mindful of how we discuss these issues with others, we can benefit from a possible pleasant and informative conversations. Mindfulness starts when we become open to the possibility of being wrong and being present without judgement (yes another near impossible task)
Being mindful in difficult conversations is easier said than done, especially when we are bombarded with news that either favors or dismisses one party or the other.. Social media sites are flooded with information on both Trump and Clinton that is either accurate or completely misleading. But as American citizens we need to do more than just share a Facebook post with a catchy headline or read news that only revolves around one party. Our country needs each of us to do our part and be open-minded to all the information being exposed to us. Our growth as a nation depends on it; however, if we continue to be only “Left” or only “Right” we will never advance. Progress happens when we take the time to understand the issues Americans face everyday. Donald Trump’s presidential campaign gave us this tremendous opportunity of exposing two very different sides of the American story. We have people on both sides who feel left behind due to issues the country has as a whole. Instead of focusing points of disagreement, we should be asking questions that allow us to get a better understanding of the other’s perspective.
Right now may not be the best of times for many Americans and a lot of us are disgruntled with the way that politicians have been running our nation. President-elect Donald Trump has shown up as the voice for the some of those marginalized people. We can and should scrutinize and examine his every move, but that will not change the fact that he is the official representative for the USA. For the next four years, we should fight for conversations with the other side as passionately as we hold on to our convictions.
We need to come together as a country and discuss our frustrations with the system and stop the rhetoric of hate and anger. One man won’t change all the problems in our nation. Change starts with us. Change starts with us talking with those who have opposite views. Change starts with us researching and listening to ALL the information being thrown at us and examining it from both sides. Change starts with us looking at America’s future and not dragging out the negativity of the present or the past.