November 7 – we can all come out from the rocks we were hiding under or the campaign offices we were working in. We can stop bickering at work over the bumper stickers on our cars. We can turn on the radio or television without listening to “I’m such and such and I approve this message.” We can finally stop agonizing over the future of Big Bird. Personally, I tried to stay out of the realm of politics as much as possible, I chose to stay under a rock. I’m not saying I voted uninformed, but I tried my best to keep my rants to myself and off the Internet. Judging from the amount of hate and harassment on Twitter and Facebook, I decided there was enough negativity without adding my two cents.
I fell asleep reading last night and woke up around midnight to turn off the lights in my apartment. I briefly checked my phone (as I always do when I wake up in the middle of the night…seriously I feel like my phone is a security blanket or pacifier sometimes) and saw the results of the election. Well not really the results, I saw the hatred and gloating that were caused by the results of the election. In my hazy, mid-slumber state, the only word I could think of was “tolerance”. Has our country forgotten the meaning of this word? We have Democrats who criticize Republicans for not being tolerant of others, but they aren’t being very tolerant of Republican beliefs. We have Republicans who don’t listen to anyone. We have religious groups who shun people when the foundation of the religion is love. We have families torn apart because of a difference of opinion. It’s heartbreaking. It’s as if we are so focused on picking sides and picking a leader that we forget that the heart and soul of our nation was founded on breaking away from a leader and the oppression that came with him. The Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
With that guiding my thoughts and my actions, I pray that our nation can overcome hatred and learn how to be a united nation. If we are so busy arguing amongst ourselves and refusing to work together, we are setting ourselves up to fail, to be disbanded, and to be destroyed. I sincerely hope the American dream does not morph into “What can I get out of my country?”, but rather it continue to be “This country is the land of the free, what can I do to help it?”
I know I have lofty dreams and thoughts about politics. I’m sure the generations before us argued just as badly as we do now (there just wasn’t information overload and no-filter-say-what-you-want Twitter), but I believe in America. I believe that united we will stand, and divided we will fall.
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” – Evelyn Beatrice Hall
Amen, Ms. Hall. Amen. I’m going to do my part, what about you?