|Love the sentiment, not the candidate.|
My candidate did not win Tuesday night. (Actually, my candidate was out of the running a while ago, but you know what I mean).
I know people who voted for Trump and who are happy about the result of the election. I believe most of these people do not actually think that women, gays, Muslims, people of color and other minorities are less than they are. I hope that is true, and I hope they also realize that others will use this election as an excuse to fear and hate those who are not like them.
One thing I heard on Tuesday night's endless coverage was that liberals took Donald Trump literally, but not seriously, and his supporters took him seriously, but not literally. So maybe he won't build a wall, ban Muslims or do any of the other things I fear on behalf of people I care about.
Living where I do, near the University of Pennsylvania, in a neighborhood which is so multi-colored, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural it's difficult to visually decide who is a minority, with three mosques within walking distance of my house, I know a lot of people who could be affected by the negative rhetoric which was thrown around during the campaign. Even if Trump walks back his remarks, or changes his tone, the genie of racism and misogyny and xenophobia has been let out of the bottle, and equal numbers of people are trying to stuff it back in while the rest are trying to break the bottle.
It's up to us. Obviously, voting isn't enough. If you care about something don't just tweet or post on Facebook or hash tag. Do something about the causes that matter to you. Because then even if the other candidate wins, you know that you are doing your best to be the change you want to see in the world. And sometimes that's the best you can hope for.
Also, if you know someone from the other side of the fence (and are still talking to them post-election), try to find at least one issue on which you share common ground. We wouldn't have ended up quite so divided if we still talked to each other, instead of letting politicians and cable news tell us what the other side thought, and scaring us all senseless in the process.
I voted for Hillary on Tuesday, but I really wanted President Bernie Sanders. I admit that I fear what could come from a Trump administration. But there are still good, kind, rational people out there, willing to make a difference, talk to their neighbors (and their difficult relatives). Sometimes a conversation can spur change. Sometimes a person just needs to know someone to get another perspective on an issue they thought they completely understood. It may not change their mind, but then again, it might.
I have a cousin that I love. He voted for Donald Trump. He is a good, kind man, who loves women and animals and America. He's intelligent, he's college-educated. He is pro-gun, but he grew up in a rural area, where they're a fact of life, not a criminal weapon (at least for the most part). He chose to move to Philadelphia, so he can't have many issues with people not like himself.
We're having dinner soon. I look forward to finding all the things we do have in common, and maybe even finding an issue we can work on together. It's the only way.