I am blessed with the privilege of having grown up in a world where everything was conservative and Christian. The other view was entirely wrong. Lately, I have been secluding myself into a world of liberalism and frustration with religion. My old ways of thinking are entirely wrong. Today, in this post-election era, tensions are rising, the election was a scary and angry time of the worst attitudes rising to the surface everywhere. I cut off all the people I knew who thought differently. I wouldn’t hear them, and they wouldn’t hear me either. We were at a stalemate. Neither of us could believe that the other would accept a candidate with the information we knew. The issue though was that we were all getting different information. Some friends were following conspiracy theories, others things that were fact checked. I was following opinions of others, Late Night Comedy Shows that made me laugh as they laughed at Donald Trump and exposed some of the scary perspectives of his supporters.
I should’ve thought about it and realized that genuine people were sure to be in both camps. Trump should not be going up in the polls on the anti-immigrant, anti-woman, anti-media platform we were hearing about. He had to be talking some sense, something that kindhearted people could also believe in. When we retaliated in the “left”, calling Trump and his supporters racist, misogynistic, and hateful didn’t help anything. That just made them scared to come out and say anything, explain themselves. They were able to use their private vote to fight for changes they wanted to see in the world. Changes that are not by default anti-progressive. We have to realize that we all want to live in a world that helps us feel safe. We all want to see a government that works for us not against us, we make decisions based on that desire.
In fact, one of my favorite things I learned in ministry school was from my internship director. He said two things that really resounded with me. He told me “You are never wrong for feeling.” and, another time,”we know in part and we prophesy in part.” The latter being from the Bible. People on both sides of the election whether elated or dismayed think they made the right choice and are behaving in the way they believe in given the circumstances. Whether there is for instance, a governmental conspiracy to collude with the media to destroy Donald Trump’s reputation as some of my friends and family believe or the media was reacting to things they felt were genuinely problematic in the character of Donald Trump and his apparent supporters, absolutely none of us know everything. Even fact checking can be biased, it just depends on the sources. In this information age, where everything is written by anyone for everyone to see, we have no idea who is really writing anything.
I have a picture of myself for this blog, but you can’t absolutely know that I wrote this, even if you know me, unless you watched me write it at a computer in front of your face. I could be anybody. I could be commissioned by the government to spread more fervor for the media that they installed to force their agenda. I could be a Donald Trump supporter who is writing things about the problems with Donald Trump. Despite the fact that writing can come from the heart, people can go against their gut. You never know where people on the internet really stand.
With these retaliations, given the elected President, you cannot know that protesters voted against Trump or that terrorizers voted for him. It is a personal decision that generally nobody is around to watch you make. You can talk for the entire election about how amazing Hillary is, or Trump or Bernie or whoever and then get to the voting booth and mark someone completely different, nobody would know. People are calling those who are beating up others “Trump supporter.” I could wear his entire getup and vote for Hillary, attack people, telling them that Trump’s America is here. I might be doing such a thing for the greater good, thinking that causing racism might expose that racism is a problem with a Trump presidency, just like I thought, perhaps if I go around hurting people, people will see the obvious problem and impeach the man who supported this behavior with his rhetoric. It would be only a matter of time before racism started happening organically.
This happened in the Target bathroom situation where Target changed its policy to allow people to go into the bathroom based on their gender identity to avoid bullying. Some thought it might cause perverted men to think that they could dress up as a woman and enter the women’s restroom to molest children. Because they so believed this, some who were upset about this policy sent men into Target women’s restrooms dressed as women. They did not molest children, but they went to prove a point, a point that they felt strongly was an issue, even though they were the ones causing the problems.
If people believe there is a clear and present danger lurking, they might try to expedite the affect of that danger, rather than see it happen organically as they so strongly fear it will.
Bias surrounds us. Media is made up of people with ideas and thoughts and feelings. If the media were controlling us, those reacting to this election are not upset because they are lemmings, mindlessly following everything the mainstream media tells them to think. They are reacting to a very scary outcome based on the information they have been given. It is not possible to hold all truth. Again, we know in part, we prophesy in part. So I know nothing, but I see both sides, and I have hope for the future because I am trying to see what is going on in the minds of others who don’t think like I do, and it is not as horrifying as I thought.