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I’m still having trouble processing the election. What is disturbing is that I cannot let it go. My inner world has turbulence. If this was just a political race where our differences maintained an opposition to polices that would have been much easier to resolve. Acceptance for diverse ideas, understanding fears with change, respecting opposing opinions are all par for the course with any election. But this political platform became an opposition to people’s dignity and worth. For those like myself muddling through the responses of how tolerance and love is required, I do not argue that. I just wonder however, where was that for others when a man used a high profile stage to mock, demean, and lambaste people? What policy issue could be more important than the issue of upholding the dignity of all men, mutual respect and tolerance for people of all genders, race, and religions in America? And why is there a call to be tolerant of a man who said that he would sleep with his own daughter if she wasn’t his daughter? Why is there a call for people to ignore the gross transgressions of one that will now be the highest leader of our nation?

It disturbs me. Yes, we are all sinners. We all falter. This isn’t time for anyone to be self righteous (including those who praise themselves for being so loving and tolerant of opposing views during this election). I would reserve that pat on the back for when it is just a political race that centers on policy and national issues.

The fact is, the high profile, political platform was used as an assault weapon. Assault, insult, result- a greater national divide than before. A call for peace, love and tolerance isn’t possible when the same people elect a leader who is none of those things. Now, why must I interject that here we should not become violent in response. What if we do? What if I call for violence because Trump won? What if I say, ‘Hey second amendment buddies, maybe we can do something about this!’ Would that really be so wrong? Without mincing words, that would be horrifying. And yet, this is exactly what the newly elect leader of the free world touted on the public platform. Why should you be horrified if I incited violence and yet totally ignore his incitements? This is exactly what is happening to others throughout the United States because of bigoted attitudes, racism and normalization of public contempt. To be fair, many Trump supporters are not bigoted, sexist or racist but have nevertheless justified someone who is into office. And that is the problem.

Moving on to heal as a nation requires honesty. We can’t just write pretty little posts about love, peace and healing while ignoring the public disfranchisement of minority groups. We cannot heal as a nation without public demand that the new president actually acknowledges and apologizes for his statements and sincerely work towards making amends to all he has publicly degraded for his campaign appeal. He must denounce the KKK and all hate groups. He must denounce violence against Muslims, blacks, women, etc. He must clearly state that his type of locker room talk is always unacceptable and impart some of the responsibility of sexual assault minimization by how our leaders act and speak about these issues. Until pigs fly right?

I have to admit, feeling this much disgust feels terrible. I don’t like the feeling. I don’t like feeling angry and such shock after the election. I love peace, dislikes conflict and really just wants everyone to get along. And I know I will work through it and that love, forgiveness, self evaluation, growth, and understanding are a continual work in progress for all of us. But this doesn’t mean I need ignore or stay quiet about the realities. We cannot be complacent about bigotry, racism, hate, sexual assault and expect to be united.

Those things may never be completely eradicated as all men have free will and choice. If only everyone had the freedom and choice not to be on the other end of it as well. And that is where we come in, each of us humbled by our own admission that we had, at least once in our life, turned that knob and closed the door on someone else. This is where, public accountability reinforces personal accountability and visa versa. If at this point of time we rush through all that has happened in the last two years to say- it’s over, done, get over it, move on, peace and love – we are bound to fail the opportunity of real change in ourselves and in our country. If that is, of course, what we truly want~