To love and be loved

Every fiber of my being wishes that I were not writing this right now. I was planning on publishing a quasi-satirical piece in my column this week about why some people should not vote. Instead, I am now sitting in an Old City coffee shop wondering what the fuck happened and where the fuck to go from here.  
There are so many things I want to say: I want to complain about how the Electoral College is stupid and how the entire political system requires reform; I want to say, “I told you so,” to everyone who voted for Clinton during the primaries when I warned all those around me that her alienation from white working-class folks will prevent her from winning the presidency; I want to tell everyone who voted for our new president-elect to fuck off.
None of that matters now, nor will it help us for the next four years to come. The rhetoric I present in the last paragraph is part of what brought us here in the first place. Whether it be the notion of “purity” that isolates liberals from one another, or our collective refusal to understand the strife of millions of Americans that we have left behind, we have failed to recognize and value the differences between us as Americans.
Back in September, I decided to name my column “The New Blue Pill as a shout out to the blue pill presented to Neo in “The Matrix,” which would have allowed Neo to embrace the blissful ignorance of a makeshift world. I did this to remind myself of the liberal sounding board that I live in and of the fact that I truly do not understand millions of Americans.
Yesterday proved that the silent majority is real—and I doubt it will remain silent under a Trump presidency. I used to worry about the silent majority surfacing into mainstream culture, but now, I realize that we must welcome such a change, as it was their silencing that contributed to our mutual alienation.
As disenfranchised white America re-embeds itself into mainstream discourse, I hope we greet one another with empathy and respect. Yes, Trump and his supporters have said things that are simply unforgivable. I ask you to take care of yourself and your loved ones first, for we must condemn any rhetoric that threatens an individual’s existence based on their identity. Yet we cannot possibly ask others to understand us if we do not attempt to understand them. In order to be loved, we must love first.
There is a lot of work ahead of us in this country, and even though we may not be able to Kumbaya our way out of this this time, we all know that hate and anger will burn out eventually and leave you burned. This election has taken much out of me, but I know our commitments to one another is all that we have. So, just as I did on April 26 and on Nov. 8, I have made my choice: I choose to love.

One thought on “To love and be loved

  • November 11, 2016 at 10:20 pm
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    Hi, Alex, thank you thank you thank you for writing this. Part of me still can’t believe it took me this long to realise my ignorance of the needs and opinions of the less privileged half of the American population. The past three days must have been extremely difficult for you, so please take care. I don’t know much about you but I love you.

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