Open Letter: Let Civility Make America Great Again
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Have you ever written posts like “If you supported this candidate, unfriend me from Facebook”? Or “How can someone even vote for this candidate? It’s completely unfathomable!”?
If you haven’t, then I applaud your ability to avoid the disgusting pit hole of polarization that politics has become. But if you have, let me just say this: you are part of a major problem this country is facing. Too many of us are too stuck in our own views to listen to each other.
No, I did not vote for Trump. But despite this, I recognize that Trump supporters had valid reasons for voting the way they did. Trump supporters wanted change, a change that they recognized and projected onto Trump. In a country where wages have been stagnant and automation has cut jobs, many people are frustrated with their situations. Many Americans live paycheck to paycheck with no relief in sight. Trump was their answer to the ever-mounting discontentment of the American working class, and he promised to deliver what they needed, complete with the blinding gold lining of the Trump name.
However, I do believe that we cannot bring change to this country if we refuse to compromise and listen to one another. In a country that has become increasingly polarized, now more than ever, we need to stop shutting each other out. We can unfriend all of the people on Facebook we want, but those people and their opinions aren’t going away. The matter of the fact is that about half of your fellow Americans voted for who they believed would best serve this country. That other half of the country is not magically going to change its opinion just because Trump is now president, or just because you don’t want to hear it.
We need to stop blaming and scapegoating others for problems that exist in this country, and instead come up with solutions to these problems. As hard as it may be, we must promote tolerance, understanding and compromise. We must recognize that Americans come from different backgrounds and cultures, that we must have open dialogues and civil conversations about issues we all feel strongly about and recognize that we are all people with opinions instead of generalizing each other by who we voted for. If we continue to be divided upon party lines, then this country will stagnate.
As Abraham Lincoln once said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”