I sit in front of a blank page, racking my brain for what I could possibly say following this election.
Some people are shocked, others are terrified and there are some that are satisfied with the outcome. And right now I don’t quite know what to say.
It wasn’t what I was expecting or hoping for, but here we are. And I keep going back to this idea of showing up.
In convocation on Wednesday, I had the opportunity to share how I will respond to this outcome. I focused on how we as a nation need to have an honest dialogue about all of the pain we feel. I made it clear that I was not happy with the country’s decision to elect Donald Trump, but at the end of the day, he won the race.
While the majority voice on the panel was disappointed in the election of Trump (mine included), there were a number of students in the audience who had voted for Trump.
I want to acknowledge those students. I want to thank them for showing up anyway.
I understand that there is a tendency of the majority voice to be the loudest on campus (it usually is anywhere you go), and sometimes the more conservative views aren’t heard. I know I tend to be in the majority, but I have recognized times when the liberal majority is intolerant of those that disagree with them.
This might not be new.
But my point is this: those conservative students who may have voted for Trump were in the pews for that convocation on reconciliation, healing and hope alongside their liberal classmates.
They showed up.
They knew convocation was going to be about the outcome of the election. They knew that what feels like the majority on campus does not approve of Donald Trump, and they came to convocation anyway. They showed up anyway.
In these divisive times, we have to keep showing up for one another. Even when it’s hard, even when we don’t agree, we have to come through and show up. We have to offer a hand in the darkness.
I don’t agree with the decision to elect Donald Trump. There is real fear as a result of this.
As a journalist, I’m scared of what a Trump presidency will do to freedom of speech.
As a woman, I’m terrified that a Trump presidency will normalize sexual assault and embolden men to treat women like objects without fear of consequence.
As a human being, I’m afraid that a Trump presidency will teach young children that bullying and name calling is the way to get through life.
I am very much afraid.
But there are people who are more afraid than I am: immigrants, the LGBTQ community and other minority groups.
And we have to show up for them. It doesn’t matter who you voted for; you have to show up for the people around you.
So to those conservatives who showed up to convocation assuming that their view would not be acknowledged, I see you, and I thank you. I don’t agree with your view, but I appreciate you showing up.
The only way we can make it through this is if we go through together. So show up. Even when you disagree, even when it hurts, even when it’s hard. Show another soul that you care enough to be there despite all of the pain.
We need to remember, now more than ever, we belong to each other. We can’t make it through this darkness alone. So “courage, dear heart,” as C.S. Lewis would say. Show up for each other.