I know it’s been some time since we last talked, but I really need you to come through for me this year. After some pondering. Soul searching. And thoughtful introspection. I’ve decided what I’d like this year is leadership from the nation’s top officeholder-elect. And ear muffs. Definitely ear muffs. It is the Midwest after all.
This November brought with it the Presidential Election. An election that a whole 58 percent of the country’s 232 million voters actually voted in. Fifty-eight percent. The lowest turnout in two decades. In comparison, 64 percent of the nation’s voters ventured to the polls in 2008.
November also ushered in “emergency protests” after Donald Trump captured the Oval Office despite pollsters’ predictions that Democrat Hillary Clinton would win the nation’s top seat. With the protests came both anger and fear. Trump and his supporters were villainized. Protesters were told simply to “grow up” or to “get over it.” Jokes were made about “safe spots.” Few people stopped to wonder why people were protesting. And that answer to me is simple, because of fear.
And not just the fear of change. As a country, we’ve weathered change. Our capital has been burned. We fought a civil war. Students now practice “active shooter” drills at school. Our towers were brought down in a catastrophic act of terrorism. But we’re resilient. We’re Americans.
Today’s fear isn’t that of change but fear that stop and frisk would again be commonplace. Or that acts that riddled our history would again be perpetrated by individuals emboldened by the rhetoric of a vocal minority.
Fear that that different religions won’t be able to worship freely. Or that they will be openly ridiculed and harassed for their religious choices.
Today’s fear is that of parents worried that their families will be split when they’re deported. Or that their children will be mocked and their culture ridiculed.
These are not the values of those who voted for Trump. Instead many voters were looking for an avenue of change. And to them, Trump offered that change.
The President-elect needs the leadership to bridge the divide and to lessen people’s fears. The leadership to transition the “He’s not my president” chants to something far less derisive. To something that brings the nation together. To something that bridges the gap created by the most heated political election to date. And much of that debate was heavily negative and broadcast nationwide through nearly six billion dollars spent on advertising.
In closing Santa, there isn’t a shadow of doubt in my mind that America can unite again but I ask your help to change the rhetoric. And if you have time, a pair of fluffy black ear muffs.
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