Let's get the obligatory crap out of the way. Unless you've been living under a rock, you're aware of at least a couple of things: 1) Donald Trump won the US presidential election and 2) the online world is going absolutely bugshit about it.
There's tons of analysis on how this happened. I won't link to any of it. It's easy enough to find. Go on, do a search through Google News, I'll wait. On the extreme end you'll find some claiming that any vote for Trump is a vote for racism, homophobia, misogyny, and making sure walking out of your house without first kissing a crucifix is a crime. Personally, the analysis I favor is that, Trump's 12th century sensibilities aside, he represented economic change to a silent but large swath of the country. That they were so desperate for a shake up of the system they felt had forgotten about them that they were willing to embrace anyone who offered the potential of change, no matter how objectionable his personal standards might be.
I prefer to believe this because I still have hope in my fellow humanity. I simply can't believe that a good half of this country are just waiting for an excuse to cut up their white sheets and start burning crosses. I don't want to live in a world where I even contemplate that being a reality.
Sadly, there is, without a doubt, at least a vocal minority who does believe this and they latched onto Trump like the last life boat off of the Titanic. In a way, they have become his unofficial poster children, eclipsing those who feel forgotten by Washington and painting the entirety of his following as mouth-breathing neanderthals.
Unfortunately, in the past day alone, I've read stories of how this small minority of fetid trash has become emboldened. There are tales of assault - physical, verbal, and sexual - being tried to the mantra that these things are now allowed because Trump was victorious. Their team won, now they get to pretend the laws don't apply to them while they tip over cars and set buildings on fire.
If you're reading this, I probably don't need to say it, but bullshit.
We're at a crossroads today, a chance for real change in DC, the potential for the ingrained (and inbred) establishment to be shaken to its core. But there's a dark side, a slippery slope, and it resides in the hands of those who would use this shakeup to further their agendas of hate. Make no mistake, they will try.
But therein also lies opportunity. I personally hope that silent majority gets the economic change they were hoping for, but we must draw a line when it comes to the desires of the lowest common denominator. We must stand up with our neighbors, our friends, our family, and those in need, to show that we will not let this country slip into a second coming of the Dark Ages. We will accept change, but we will not tolerate hate, abuse, or inequality - not from those who push this agenda, nor from anyone.
To enact that change, that better future, however, requires action. Sitting idly by and hoping things will improve does nothing but embolden the asshole demographic. That simply won't do. The truth of the matter is, it doesn't take a lot of effort if we all try to make a difference. A little here or there will germinate and grow.
Things you can do:
- Donate to a good cause.
- Volunteer at a place that could use the help.
- Talk to your kids. Educate them to understand that this world belongs to all of us, not just a select few.
And, perhaps above all else, DO NOT STAY SILENT. If you see someone being victimized for being different, whether it's the color of their skin, their religion, their sexual preference, whatever, do something. Stand up and say something, call the police, call security, whatever it takes.
It's a time of change, and that brings with it many challenges, but together we can all be the beacon of light that sends the cockroaches scurrying back to the shadows.
Addendum: Just to clarify a bit of the above, I don't advocate bad behavior no matter who you voted for. The above "things you can do", peaceful protests, petitions, etc, are all cool in my book. But everything I said above goes just as much for those whose candidates lost the election as much as those who won. If you've decided that the rules no longer apply to you, then you're as much a part of the problem as the other side you're supposedly protesting.