This year my blog has been primarily about happiness and positive psychology. I’ve remained happy throughout this election season despite all the negativity. Being neither Republican nor Democrat, I’ve always prided myself on being able to see all viewpoints. There are people who I love who range from far right to far left and I avoid voicing strong opinions myself, placing myself very firmly in the middle, and trusting in our elected leaders and our processes, recognizing that the diversity in viewpoints will help keep our country strong and balanced.
But Trump’s candidacy was not about policy. His campaign was so abusive and disrespectful that if he were working for any company, he surely would have been fired or sued for harassment and bigotry. One thing’s for sure. If he were a leader in a company I worked for, I’d quit in a minute. I will not follow someone who I don’t respect and there’s no one I respect less than Donald Trump.
Speaking out against Trump has not been about denouncing the Republican party for me. As we all know, even high powered Republicans spoke out against him. Trump has no redeeming qualities. He’s incompetent as a government leader, unlikable, and downright scary. His campaign was so full of school-boy bullying with no real intelligence behind his statements that it was comical! This all felt like some kind of very weird satire that was so unbelievable it was laughable. I’ve seen junior high school students who are better on the debate stage than he is! He is (using one of the very few words he seems to know) a DISASTER!
And so, because of his arrogant, hateful, ridiculous speeches and rhetoric, I felt sure that he could never win. I was only afraid of the violent protests that might come post-election from the supporters who have had the example of using intimidation and bullying tactics to get what they want.
I was on a European Cruise during the election, but still watched from our room’s TV. When it was apparent that Trump was going to win, I cried. It was the saddest I’d felt in a very long time.
It’s five days later now and this feeling of sadness hasn’t stopped. I keep reminding myself how lucky I am and I’m trying to use all the ‘happiness exercises’ I’ve learned about ‘choosing to be happy.’ People are saying that I should trust the ‘system’ and our democracy to work as it’s supposed to.
But that is the problem. I no longer trust that the system works, because if it did, we wouldn’t have this hateful person as our President. A person who is so outwardly bigoted should have been disqualified from even running for Presidency. He is surrounding himself with people who’ve supported him throughout his candidacy. These are people who were too weak to stand up and say, “This is wrong!” Our culture depends on strong leadership who demonstrate our values. What example are we showing our children? What are we showing the world? This is not the country I thought it was.
I'm not defending Hillary. Perhaps she should have been disqualified from running as well. Something is wrong with our system when the majority of a candidate's campaign is built on telling us how bad their opponent is.
I can’t just sit back and watch America deteriorate and I know there are millions of others like me who feel the same way. Let’s not stoop to the immature name-calling that Trump demonstrates, but do our part in demonstrating the positive leadership qualities and values that we believe in: Love, kindness, compassion, and inclusiveness. Even if we don’t trust in Trump’s character, let’s stand together in loving, peaceful protest when we see injustice or racism in our country and work towards helping those who are mistreated.