The Burden

It’s been almost ten years since I graduated from college. I remember my last year. It was a really uncertain time. I remember feeling nervous, scared even about what was coming next. Up until that point my life had kind of been planned out for me from year to year. After grade school I would go to Junior High, after that I would go to Highschool, and then College, and then……I didn’t know. As scary as each of those transitions were for me at the time, at least I knew where I was going and what to expect and prepare for. Coming to the end of my academic life was terrifying because I really had no idea what would come next, or what to prepare for. So much was in flux, I found myself worrying about my future. Am I going to make it? Am I going to have to move back in with my parents? 

It’s around that time that I found running, or maybe running found me. Running offered me some consistency. It gave me confidence and i saw progress that was easily measured. It calmed my fears and gave me a positive optimistic outlook on life. Around that same time I started writing and blogging. I found it to be therapeutic.  

I woke up today feeling much like I did 10 years ago; uncertain, nervous, and scared. So here I am, once again writing and running. As far as the running is concerned, I am giving it one last go. Over the years I have had a number of injuries that have plagued me and compounded over the years. Recently I’ve sought out some new treatment and it has given me a renewed sense of hope in my potential. I’m banking on running once again coming to my rescue. 

So now, where do we go from here? I did not think this was possible. I do understand that people are sick and tired of the same old same old when it comes to our political system. I get that dramatic change is desired….but electing Trump as the person to bring it about? I know a lot of people are devastated, and worried. I think that holds particularly true for blacks, hispanics, muslims, and our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.  I’ve never felt like this before. I’ve disagreed with past candidates, I’ve had concerns about legislation they were trying to pass but I’ve never genuinely worried about being driven off of a cliff. 

So now, where do we go from here? We need help, and I think the only people in a position to offer that help is everyone who supported and voted from Trump. It’s to them that I address right now:

Congratulations. Your work of getting Trump elected is over, your work of bringing people together under one banner now begins. If we can agree on one thing is that we all want prosperity and peace and the freedom to live our lives as we so desire. We have different ideas of how to achieve that. The burden is now on you to show us a better way. Yes, you. This doesn’t fall to Trump alone. You have just as much a responsibility as he does. There are a lot of people who are genuinely and, given what has been said, done and proposed, understandably frightened. Show us why we shouldn’t be. Quell our fears. You have the presidency and both houses. You will have the Supreme Court. You have an enormous opportunity here. Show us a better way. Take some time to revel in your victory but then put aside the vitriol of the past 2 years and get to work. Show us a better way. I stand ready and open to your ideas for the country to the extent that they do not infringe on basic human rights, and equality or drag us into international quagmire conflict. Do not abuse this power. We live in a democracy, you still need a coalition to get things done. Do not simply brush aside those who did not support your candidate and push forward with your agendas. You won the electoral college decisively, but he mindful that you do not have the popular vote. It’s about 50/50 with Clinton having a slight lead and millions more having supported a third party candidate or no one at all. This is not a mandate. 

We are as divided as we have ever been. No president in the past couple of decades has been able to bridge the divide. With the election over we owe you and the new President Elect the opportunity to show us how you plan to be different. 

But first some of our most severe fears need to be quelled first for our minds to be even open to that possibility. They are, in no particular order:

  • That gender equality is going to be undermined
  • Gary rights and gay marriage laws reversed
  • Trade wars that will eventually lead to military wars 
  • The fall of NATO and our eastern and western allies relationships destroyed
  • A full on war in the Middle East with American men and women on the ground
  • The potential for a shoot first and negotiate later approach in our international affairs
  • Any progress we’ve made with racial equality being undone with things like stop and frisk being reimplemented 
  • The fact that though not every Trump supporter embraces hateful, racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic ideology, there is a large portion that does and with his election, it validates those feelings and says it’s ok. It is not. 

So if those concerns are put to rest and Trump is serious about trade deals, and economic policies, perhaps there is room.  

Honestly this just hurts. To see people gloat and revel, waving rebel flags celebrating…..I don’t really have words for it. I can only hope that Trump really means what he said in his acceptance speech and that all of that horrible rhetoric was only used to garnish support amongst people he cleverly knew he needed in order to win, and maybe he will walk back on the wall, banning muslims, climate change being a hoax……god that’s a lot of walking. The burden is on you. Show us a better way. 

For now, all I can do is hope, and run. 

~ by glennikin on November 10, 2016.

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