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Oped: A message to Trump and Clinton supporters
The last few days, I have had time to reflect back on the election and the events that have since occurred. I've done my due diligence to try to understand why things happened the way that they have. The results are what they are and now we must live with that.
Almost half of my friends on Facebook voted for Trump. They aren't mean, vicious, racist people. They are caring, compassionate members of their communities. Some of them came from my own family. The other half that voted for Clinton are just as kind and compassionate. They work hard to take care of their families.
Some on social media have resorted to bashing and name calling, but most have remained respectful of the opinions of others or abstained from commenting at all. Some points I agree with, some I do not. But that's the beauty of living in the United States.
I can understand why people voted the ways that they did. People want change. That was clear by the amount of support Bernie Sanders garnered. The establishment politicians didn't listen. Our choices were a career politician with serious integrity issues versus a candidate who bucked the system and challenged the social norms. Is Trump the right person to bring about the change we need? Only time will tell.
I am deeply saddened by the destruction that is happening in our cities and the hate that is being spewed in our schools. This is not the lesson I want my children to learn. Peacefully protesting against something you feel strongly about is our right as citizens. Rioting in the streets like a bunch of hooligans makes you look foolish. Screaming racial slurs at people "because you can" makes you look hateful and uneducated.
Beating someone in the face because they voted differently than you makes you a criminal. It's disheartening to see people destroying our flag. A flag that has represented this nation for 240 years. Men and women have fought and died for that flag so that you have the freedom to voice your opinion. Our country is a melting pot. We must learn to live together and accept people's differences if this country is to survive another 240 years. Regardless of who the president is, we have a responsibility to teach our children the difference between right and wrong.
For those of you who are Trump supporters, be compassionate. Understand that your friends/neighbors/family who are part of the LGBTQ community are afraid that they will be stripped of their rights and that their families will be torn apart. Friends/neighbors/family who have immigrated to this country, a country founded by immigrants, are in fear that they will be separated from their loved ones.
Women are in fear that they will lose their voice and be forced to endure unwanted advances. People are afraid they will lose their health insurance and be unable to obtain insurance due to pre-existing conditions. Founded or not, fear is a powerful emotion. Had the election gone the other way, I'm sure many of you would be feeling the way many Clinton supporters are feeling now.
For those of you who are Clinton supporters, just because someone voted for Trump, doesn't mean they agree or approve of the message he sends. Most of the people I know who voted for Trump, voted for change, not the man. Had there been a better option, they would have chosen it. Remember your slogans, "Stronger Together" and "Love Trumps Hate.” Continue to stand up for those being discriminated against. Continue to fight for your rights. Get involved in your communities. Donate to those programs that support your ideology.
We the people elected the president and the Congress. They work for us. We control their tenure. For many of us, we are potentially facing some very dark and scary times. Only time will tell how Trump's presidency will go. But in the end, it will be the people who get to say, "You're Fired!"
— Jennifer Hisey is a Shrewsbury resident. She has started a Facebook page called Kindness is Contagious.