It’s Time To Be Better Than We’ve Been


By Jillian Stacia

The hardest thing about this election, for me at least, has been the people. It’s never (really) been about Trump. It’s about the growing crowd behind him.

There will always be evil people. But evil can never flourish unless we buy into it. And yet, on election night, we learned just how many people had.

One of the biggest things I’m grappling with right now: how do I make peace with the people I love that voted for Trump? Because these people are everywhere. They’re in our lives, in our families, maybe even in our homes. And I love them and respect them and cherish them, but it has been an honest to God struggle for me to forgive them and understand them.

I’ve never been that into politics. But this year? It’s different. Because here’s the thing, this isn’t politics as usual. Donald Trump’s campaign rejected everything this country was built on: love and tolerance and acceptance. It was absolutely horrifying to watch, and even more traumatizing to accept now that it’s over.

That’s why Hillary supporters are so devastated. It’s not about politics. It’s not about winning and losing. It’s about who they are at their very core feeling threatened, what they stand for, what kind of world they want to live in. It’s about a dream, a belief, a goodness, being snuffed out. Being taken away.

To so many people, this vote wasn’t about politics. It was about morals. It was about standing up to a bully. It was about honoring what felt right and true in their hearts. It was a nod to immigrants, to the LGBTQ community, to minorities, and women. It was a way to say I’m with you, I hear you, I see you, I will fight for you.

Regardless of what Trump supporters may believe, your political views and actions directly reflect your morals. Politics put morals in to action. They prioritize our country’s values, which should, ideally, reflect our individual values. Things like love and kindness and acceptance and respect.

If you voted for Trump for purely political reasons and disagree with him on his ethics, then you have prioritized your political beliefs and agenda over your moral compass. You’ve said this thing matters more than that thing. You made a choice, and I’m not saying you made the wrong one. Maybe that was the best choice for you to make. Maybe you thought that was your only option. I don’t know. I don’t want to judge. But I do know that that decision has negative consequences for many, many people. That decision makes many people feel unsafe and unwanted. That’s why so many are upset. They feel personally abandoned. They will feel this way for a long time. Please be compassionate about that. Please give people the time they need to grieve.

Remember, morals and values aren’t just things we have, they’re things we do. They’re the way we strive to live our life. You can’t just be loving and have loving thoughts- you have to do loving things. Your love needs to have legs. You have to show it through your words and your actions. Through your political involvement. Through your LIFE.

Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe we’ve taken things like morals, values, and common decency out of everyday life, politics included. Maybe we’ve lost touch with what really matters- not just to society, but to ourselves.

Right now, we need to own our morals, individually and collectively. Let the politics of it go, at least for now. Concentrate on the healing. All of us, no matter who you voted for, need to be living our values right here and now, in the aftermath. We need to challenge ourselves to be good, even when- especially when– it is difficult. We need to ask ourselves- what is the loving thing to do? What is the kind thing?

It’s actually pretty easy when you think about it. It’s not advocating that we shoot the President-Elect. It’s not chanting “Lock Her Up” at press conferences. It’s not moving to Canada, it’s not getting into fights on Facebook.

If you were a Hillary supporter, maybe it means working through your grief and choosing forgiveness. Maybe it means letting the anger go (which, by the way, is not the same as giving up). Maybe it means continuing the fight in a way in which you’re proud of. In a way that reflects your morals.

And if you were a Trump supporter, maybe it means being gracious in victory. Maybe it means understanding that there are people around you that are aching because the man you voted for won the most important office in our country. Maybe it means standing up to your President when and if he decides to threaten Muslims or ban gay marriage or take away women’s rights to control their own bodies or stop immigration.

Because at the end of the day, we are not Democrats and Republicans. We are people, governed by morals, and we get to choose how we behave. Do the right thing. Do the good thing. Do the kind thing.

Be good, America. Be better than you’ve been.

Jillian is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty On Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click here.

{featured image via pexels

One thought on “It’s Time To Be Better Than We’ve Been

  1. passionfortruths says:

    I believe certain people voted for Trump because they think he is bold enough to make changes. They feel Clinton carries baggage. In other words, they’re trying to vote for the lesser of 2 evil. In any case, Earth is a planet of free choice and it’s been said, we’re going through a recalibration period. May higher consciousness prevail. 🙂

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