I sat in Wills & Trusts on the night of Nov. 8, half paying attention to the professor and half paying attention to the three internet tabs I had open to Fox, CNN, and Yahoo.
I watched in disbelief as Trump’s electoral number rose. My professor had started the class by saying he wanted to get through the material quickly because the world was changing while we sat in our bubble learning the law.
When class finished 15 minutes early, my professor immediately asked what the count was. Three people, including myself, chimed in saying that Trump was leading the polls. He asked the status of several states, Florida, Ohio, the Carolinas, Michigan, all of which were headed towards Trump but had not been called.
The look on his face was that of shock, but there was wisdom in his eyes. He came over to where we sat and looked at our computer screens while telling us, “I knew this would happen.” But his tone was not that of a Trump supporter who knew Trump would win. He spoke as a once Bernie-turned-Hillary supporter who knew the DNC had done wrong in picking her.
We all sat and watched the popular votes climb for both candidates. My professor bid us goodnight and I raced home to continue watching this historic night.
We all know what happened next. Trump won.
If you are reading this with the thought that I will reveal who I voted for, you are mistaken. While I have my very strong opinions, I do not plan on adding to the fire of the Trump and Clinton supporters. This platform will not be used to gloat, it will not be used to mourn.
What prompts this post is not who won, but rather how the world is handling the news.
I love politics. I come from a family who was involved in politics and who loves to research and talk about it. My grandfather was an Assemblyman for California, and my dad was heavily involved in our community. My brother, the genius of the family, loves to research candidates and read about past presidents. He may not talk a lot, but when he does, I listen.
My family is also historically conservative and Republican. However, the rising generation (i.e. my cousins and siblings) have not all followed this rhetoric. This hasn’t created a divide in our family. At dinner, my dad can still sit in peace with my siblings without getting into a heated argument over candidates.
However, my family does not vote a red ticket. My dad once asked my grandfather (the Assemblyman) if he only voted for the Republican. To my dad’s disbelief, my grandfather responded that he votes for the candidate best suited for the position. Since then, my dad has done the same, and has taught me to do the same.
As I said before, I love politics. But by that, I mean I love our country and our history. I love learning about presidents and what they accomplished during their term. I like knowing what is going on in the world, with our foreign relations, and, in general, the political history of some of the greatest nations in the world.
I do not enjoy how politics changes people.
During the summer between my second and third year of college, I interned for a Congressman and State Senator. During my time with the Congressman, there was a protest; one of the protesters happened to be my fourth grade teacher. While hugging me, she asked me why I was working for him and how I should be ashamed.
I do not understand how people can preach tolerance, when they themselves are not tolerant.
I attend one of the most diverse law schools in the country. I love my school and am very happy I chose to go here. While here, I have come to know so many people from all different backgrounds and cultures. I have learned things that I could never read in a book.
However, this election has changed that. I was afraid to go to school on Wednesday after the election. Not because of who won, but because of how people had been handling it.
As I watched Trump’s victory speech and my Facebook feed, I became nervous.
My Facebook friends were outraged. People who don’t normally post political posts, were coming out and exclaiming their anger. Friends, my friends, were saying such hurtful things, things I didn’t think they were capable of.
Before the election, there were a select few outspoken Clinton supporters. One, in particular, posted memes about Christians, because clearly all Republicans are the same. While the memes bothered me, and I could have corrected him several times, I chose not to get involved.
But I sat in bed staring at my computer while Bret slept and thought, “I don’t want to go to school tomorrow.”
There was one open Trump supporter at my school. She was ridiculed to filth. So if that’s how my friends treated someone different before the election, how would they treat some one after the election?
I arrived at my 11:15 am class and there was a select number of people talking about the election. One of those was the person I previously mentioned (the Christian meme guy). This group of people said they hoped they didn’t see the Trump supporter today, because if they did, there is no telling what they’d do or say to her.
I sat at my desk and looked down at my phone. I wasn’t even looking at anything. I wanted to cry. Not because I’m a Trump or Clinton supporter, but because people were so hateful.
I don’t understand, and may never understand, why this election has turned to hate. I understand the view that Trump “started it” because of things he has said and done, but that does not give anyone else the right to act similarly.
I’m mostly confused because the people who are preaching tolerance and love are projecting hate and fear.
So in this time of need, I do what I always do. I turn to Jesus.
On Election Day, I found myself praying constantly. I prayed for the winner, I prayed for the loser. I prayed for my friends and family. I prayed for people I didn’t even know. I prayed for the health and safety of our nation.
But after the election, I find myself praying for Jesus to find himself in the hearts of those who do not know him.
As I watch these riots on Facebook and Snapchat, I shake my head and a little piece of my heart gets chipped away. This is Satan’s work. Satan is driving a wedge between Trump supporters and the rest of the nation. He is causing a fraction so deep that the amount of good and love that would be needed to fix it is insurmountable.
After Trump won, people said “How am I going to wake my child up in the morning and tell them he won?” or “How am I supposed to raise my child in a country he runs?”
I don’t have a child, but I have a niece. She is my best friend and is basically the little sister I never had. She’s the one I think about in situations when parents think about their children.
However, my thoughts are not those that are shared by my fellow Americans. I do not fear the idea of my niece being raised in a country Trump runs.
No, my first thought is, “How do we (my family) raise a child in a country so full of hate and intolerance?”
My niece is a beautiful, creative individual. She is different from all her friends because of her kind heart, modern 80’s clothing choices, and love of cats. Her heart is so pure. I cry knowing she has to witness this much hate in the world.
In elementary school, she was bullied by other students and girls she thought were her friends were constantly mean to her. She would come to me and ask why. Why the hate? Back then, it was hard for me to witness her go through that. But now?
All that comes to mind is: hurt people hurt people.
People who have been hurt continue the cycle by hurting others. As someone who has been bullied and sexually assaulted, I try to break the cycle every day of my life.
I was raised as a Christian, but didn’t truly find God until two years ago when I sat on my bed covered in my blood. I found Jesus by climbing out of the deep, dark pit Satan had thrown me into. My world was full of hate and fear, not for others, but for myself.
I have overcome so much to be where I am today, and I don’t want the reactions and riots of this election to reverse that progress. It truly breaks my heart to see my friends being ridiculed for their presidential choice by my other friends who oppose their views.
I love this country and I love its people. But I love Jesus more.
As we all watch the country get overrun by turmoil and hate by our fellow Americans, I pray Jesus finds his way into their hearts. I pray they realize what is more important in life. I pray their hearts change to become more inclusive and tolerant of opposing opinions. I pray we can come together and move forward during this time, because it’s hard on everyone, not just one group of people.
I may not know you or your story or your views, but I love you. I have never hated anyone (you can ask my mom). There has always been love in my heart for all. So if you feel like you have no one because the president-elect is going to change everything, you have me. You have Jesus. Trump may be president, come January. But always remember who is King.