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There’s been a lot of talk about echo chambers this past week, so please forgive me as I add my voice. I’m trying to process so many feelings right now and I hope writing them out will help get me some clarity and direction.

The past 18 months have been filled with vitriol, hate, and fear. Although I mostly saw it from the Trump campaign and supporters, I certainly saw it from the Clinton campaign and supporters as well.

From my perspective, the Trump campaign seemed to be mostly about Hillary being a crook, undoing everything Obama has accomplished, and belittling minorities and women. As far as policy is concerned, it seemed to primarily include building a wall (and making Mexico pay for it) and banning Muslim immigration. Also something about taxes. My understanding is fairly limited, due to the previously mentioned echo chamber, as well as the fact that policy played little to no role in his campaign. I dialogue_circleread this very insightful article that helped me understand most Trump supporters, but I don’t think it really fits the people I know that supported Trump. My friends that supported Trump either haven’t showed up on my newsfeed or haven’t really posted about him. They abhore the way he speaks about women. They excuse it for the greater good of the Republican Party. The nominee of the Republican Party was going to get their vote pretty much regardless of who it was because they support Republican values and not Democratic values. Trump may not have been representative of all of their values, but he came closer than Mrs. Clinton. It’s hard for me to understand how they could separate those values and accept him enough to vote for someone who is Rape Culture Personified, but ultimately I need to respect their choice. They made their right choice and I could never hold it against them in the same way that I wouldn’t want them to hold my vote for Mrs. Clinton against me.
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I hear a lot of people criticising Liberals for being upset that Mr. Trump is going to be the next President of the United States. It’s ironic because it’s our fault. Had more Democrats turned up to vote in those crucial states the outcome would undoubtedly have been different. America is a democracy. The people spoke, and although the majority of voters chose Hillary, when you look at where the votes all came from it becomes pretty clear that the Electoral College is representing the will of the people. (This seems like a good place to add that I condemn flag burning. Seriously. Don’t be a sore loser against democracy. Next time get your friends to go vote).

It’s comforting to believe that the people who elected Donald Trump to the most powerful office in the world are not all, in fact, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, misogynistic deplorables. Some, I assume, are good people. (You see what I did there?) I’d like to believe they are simply Republicans who stood by their party or people who are disenfranchised with the system and wanted an upheaval. But please don’t think we are being whiny crybabies for being sad and disheartened by the fact that our next president thinks that powerful men can grab women by the p*ssy.

President Elect Trump has said some hurtful and divisive things. And now he’s going to be hillary-story-647_111016115835president because enough people allowed him to say them. It seems like he even said some of those horrible things just to get elected. That hurts. We aren’t bitter because our candidate lost, we are heartbroken that people allow Trump to perpetuate his violence, fears, and intolerance. We need to accept and listen to the voice of our fellow Americans who support Mr. Trump. We need to understand where they are coming from and fix the problems that made Trump so appealing to them despite how awful he appears to be as a human being.

Finally,  and this part is of utmost importance, stop making fun of us for being afraid. A bully that has spent a year and a half making fun of us and inciting violence against us has been given executive privilege. To him it may have all been a funny joke that he didn’t really mean, but we don’t actually know that for a fact yet, and his more vocal supporters aren’t clear on that issue. So allow us (women, members of the LGBTQ community, Muslims, immigrants, and basically everyone who isn’t a cisgendered White Christian male) our fear that our rights may very well disappear over the next four years. It’s a very real fear and we’d frankly be idiots if we didn’t try to do something about it.

Mindy Meyer, a nice Jewish girl, is running for New York State Senate. Upon seeing her picture, I joked that she reminded me of “Legally Blonde“, but it turns out she actually was inspired by that story. Meyer is 22-years-old and has been interested in politics since she was eleven and a half. Her hot-pink website blares LMFAO “Sexy and I know it”, and says in leopard-print letters “Diva of the District”. Her sparkling slogan is “I’m senator and I know it”. Everything about her screams “I’m young and inexperienced!” Meyer wears her inexperience as a badge of pride. “I can tell you one thing,” she said. “I have no experience in corruption.” (I’m not sure if she is trying to imply that experienced senators are all corrupt, or just innocently stating that she is not.) She knows her audience is the youth vote, which is why she doesn’t mind having a website that looks juvenile and unprofessional. Mindy Meyer seems to have clear goals, and a desire to get things done. She wants to “crack down on crime”, specifically domestic violence, create youth employment programs, and ensure the right to choose where to send one’s children to school, but prevent women’s right to choose to birth an unwanted child. (It’s possible that I do not share her views on this last issue, but I’m trying to keep politics out of this…)

While I applaud Meyer’s initiative, creativity, and activism, I do not quite understand why she is running for senate at such a young age. Why does she not finish her law degree first? Why not get some experience in politics before going ahead and running for office? In the several interviews that I watched her give, she was able to clearly express her points, but was not as well spoken as she could be with a bit of experience under her belt. Perhaps running now is a way to get some publicity as well as experience, even in the event of a loss. Once she has more years behind her and has worked towards accomplishing some of her goals outside of the Senate, people will remember her as the spunky kid who tried to run for State Senate and, inspired by her passion to improve her district, will happily vote for her.

What do you think?

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