Let me start by saying that I didn’t vote for Donald Trump and yesterday was as shocking to me as it was to most of us (I’d also like it noted that I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton, either.) I live in the deep south, in a state (Kentucky) where Trump won by over 60% of the vote. Many of my friends were devastated by the results. Others were jubilant. Although there is a lot to say on this subject, I want to take a moment and challenge each and every one of us to be careful about the things we assume. Some of the people I love and respect most in the world are deeply, deeply hurt by the results of this election and I’m afraid that in many cases they’ve wrongly accused those who voted for Trump of being racist, sexist and homophobic.
Please allow me to start by saying that I understand how you feel, and I understand how afraid and hurt you must be. Without question, this election DID bring out the worst in some of our friends and neighbors and some of them DO harbor prejudice and hatred toward minorities and members of the LGBT community. But accusing everyone who voted for Donald Trump of being racist and prejudiced goes against the very unity and acceptance and love many of you have been working for so tirelessly over the years. The people I know and love who voted for Trump in this year’s election didn’t vote for him because they hated women or hated blacks or hated members of the LGBT community. They did it for a myriad of complex reasons that have nothing to do with race or sexuality but everything to do with their personal convictions regarding abortion, beliefs concerning the role of government, and opinions about the national debt, education, gun control, healthcare and much, much more.
Please understand that I’m not saying that voting Trump was the right thing to do. But I’m trying to help my friends understand that many, many people supported Trump this year not because they’re homophobic or sexist or racist but because they (rightly or wrongly) simply felt they didn’t have any other choice. I urge all of you who are hurt by the results of this election to please not point the sword of prejudice against yet another group – those who couldn’t, in good conscience, support Hillary Clinton. There are GOOD people on both sides of this issue and the whole of a person’s life and morality can’t be summed up by a vote.
Glennon Doyle Melton likes to say that “we belong to each other.” Can we do that? Can we belong to each other, no matter who we supported in this year’s election? Can we do our best not to make a hugely complex issue the foundation upon which we judge? Can we figure out a way to see the good in those around us, even when we may not understand?
Donald Trump can’t make this country great. But we can. Let’s keep loving each other.