They Voted for Trump, Now What?

Fighting for love across the ideological divide

Immediately following the election, I was mad at Trump for threatening those who are different from him, and I was mad at half of the American voters for telling him that his actions were okay. And then I realized something: A divided country hurts everyone, and conversations that focus on who is “right” only push us further apart. Attacking someone for their beliefs only triggers a defensive reaction. On the other hand, ignoring those on the other side of the political spectrum is what created the divide in the first place. We must have more productive discussions by finding a happy medium between sharing our beliefs and listening to the views of others.

A divided country hurts everyone, and conversations that focus on who is “right” only push us further apart

Talking with people on the other side of the political spectrum is not easy. In the wake of an election littered with racist, homophobic, xenophobic and sexist rhetoric, some people will not feel safe talking to someone who supported Trump. For every conversation with someone ideologically different that ends in a change of perspective, there will be conversations that end in violence. Coming together as a country will not be easy, but it never has been.

The good news is that we still have a lot in common. Even as hate crimes in Trump’s name continue to make national news, most Americans aren’t hateful in their hearts. There is a lot to unite around, we just need to take the time to find our commonalities and lift them up together.

The best we can do now is lead with love. We must be extra kind to everyone we meet and open our hearts to understand that our suffering is not more important than the suffering of another. We must recognize that everyone sees the world differently, and if we don’t reach out and listen in return, we will just continue to be a bunch of separate bubbles passing each other in America’s filthy sink.