I wanted to write this letter post-election not to necessarily express my discontent, but to express my hope. Don’t get me wrong, I’m truly disappointed by the results of yesterday’s election. It has been no secret that I was pulling for the former secretary of state. Although my enthusiasm for her dipped substantially over the course of the election, I always knew in my heart of hearts that she was the better candidate between her and Trump. Heck, I thought, and continue to think, that Trump embodies the dangers of white privilege and money, and is a champion of xenophobia, racism, and sexism. But regardless of my feelings of the now president-elect, he will be taking the oval office in just a few months.
As I’ve said, I’m not really writing this to express my discontent, so let’s get to why I’m hopeful. If you recall, at the start of the century, George W. Bush was elected to the highest office in the land. You can argue until you’re blue in the face about the legitimacy of that election process, but it won’t change history. People thought his election was the worst thing that’s happened to this country. That was until he was reelected in 2004. Eight years of bad foreign policy, economic plans, and overall decision making, left this country in a pretty low place. However, it also left this country and it’s voters in a position to receive change. Big change.
Had we not had eight years of President Bush, we wouldn’t have had the road paved for President Obama to take office. That’s a fact! It’s like this, Americans were served eight years of lemons, and together we embraced our first Black president to make the best damn glass of lemonade. (Was going to make a Beyoncé joke here, but I figured you all would think of her album anyway LOL!)
Bringing this back full circle, in order to attempt to accept the election results, I have to be hopeful that four years of Trump will yield an amazing glass of lemonade by the end of his first term. That the bitterness of his presidency will historically prove necessary for the sweet victory of the first Latino or Latina president. Or the first Black woman president. Or maybe the sweet victory will come in the form of people actually voting in local elections to change over mayors, judges, district attorneys, and sheriffs. (You want to feel local changes, vote in local elections.)
Look, I’m not saying people should shut up and just swallow Trump’s election with ease. What I am saying, is take the situation we’ve been dealt and be hopeful some good will one day come out of it. And let this be a lesson to everyone that it’s important to vote in every election you can. The fundamental right to vote is taken for granted by too many people, and it shouldn’t be.
Oh and on one last note, I have a hunch race relations are going to be front and center in this country over the course of a Trump presidency. While the spotlight on the issue is going to be uncomfortable for most, I think it’s necessary. America has become a society of tolerance. In actuality though, teaching tolerance is a mistake. You tolerate that coworker who talks too much. You tolerate the bad traffic you drive in every day to get to and from work. You tolerate your friend’s boyfriend who is a royal pain in the ass. It’s not enough to simply tolerate one another’s differences. Hopefully, real discussions about race will happen that pushes whites and minorities to unite in a way unprecedented in American history. Just a thought.
But anyway, I sincerely wish everyone a blessed and productive day.