This election has been unprecedented in terms of divisiveness. Part of that reality is due to the fact that we are not as politically segregated today as we have been for much of American history. No longer are Republicans and Democrats separated by state lines, but rather by six-foot privacy fences. This year, it wasn’t North versus South or city versus country– it was neighbor versus neighbor.
That’s a tough world to live in. On the internet you can create a bubble, and only interact with people who echo your own beliefs, but in the real world it’s not so easy. You cannot avoid interacting with your neighbors, the girl at the gas station, your waiter, or your classmates. Differing opinions surround us, and that’s what makes us stronger together.
Presidential Candidate Donald Trump took these divides and built a wall between them. He took the angriest, nastiest underbellies of American ideology and pitted us against each other.
By alienating the “liberal elite” and distorting a very real and very justified Middle America anger, Presidential Candidate Donald Trump divided a nation.
Two days ago, Presidential Candidate Donald Trump became Presidential Elect Donald Trump.
In two short months, Presidential Elect Donald Trump will graduate to President Donald Trump– and that man will inherit a divided nation of his own making.
Middle America is still angry. The poor, white, struggling class of Americans are still poor and struggling. The difference now is that the other side of the spectrum is angry too.
Racial and religious minorities, women and college students are angry too. The idea that their neighbors–people that they know and love– would vote for antiquated ideals that don’t take their existence into account has fueled the same anger felt by Middle America.
The question now, is how will President Donald Trump handle the mess he created?
The first objective of the Republic is to preserve the Republic– and ideal left far behind when Trump decided to run a campaign based on ignorance and bias.
If President Donald Trump is the same man as Presidential Candidate Donald Trump, is preservation of the Republic on the table at all?
If President Donald Trump is not the same man as Presidential Candidate Donald Trump, where will this existing anger be channeled? Will he follow through on his promises to the Angry Middle?
The best we can do is be tolerant of each other. President Donald Trump, regardless of who he ends up being, can only do so much. We the people cannot be hateful, ignorant, or intolerant of each other. At the end of the day, we are still all neighbors.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to live in fear of my neighbors.