Last night on campus at UC Davis, minutes after Associated Press declared Trump the projected winner of the 2016 Presidential election, students took to the streets of campus and Downtown protesting Trump’s victory and I joined them. Calls of anger and calls for justice resounded in the air as the crowd grew: “FUCK TRUMP!”, “No Justice, No Peace!”, “Sí se puede!”. I was delirious with rage to the point where I felt sick and bordering on insane; at the same time a deep, deep, consuming sadness for my country, for the American people, and for minority communities bloomed slow and steady in my stomach. But no tears made an appearance last night, just anger– anger at Trump, anger at his supporters and how they condone his bigotry and misogynistic remarks, anger at the silent majority that turned the tables so terribly in this election, anger at the ignorant posts arising all over social media from friends and acquaintances identifying with different ends of the political spectrum.
Like my fellow students in the march, I hate Trump. His successful election has the most utterly disgusting implications– the “sleeping giant” that everyone thought would be the Latino vote turned out to be the votes of a silent uprising comprised of closeted racists and bigots. Absolutely shameful– that’s a fact that everyone in the march agreed on.
I wore what I call my bipartisan socks to the march (not on purpose, I wore them for election day). Pretty much I wear a blue Democrat donkey sock on my left foot and a red elephant Republican sock on my right foot. I do this because I’ve never been able to completely, absolutely, 100% place myself in either side of the spectrum (though I lean more right than left), and also because I strongly believe that the citizens of this nation need to bridge the party polarization gap that’s been growing steadily throughout the years not necessarily in terms of ideology, but most definitely in terms of respect and understanding. During the march I heard someone talking smack about my Republican sock, saying to their friend “why is she even here?”. I didn’t have the emotional energy to explain myself last night but now I do:
I’ve always felt there’s a gap between my political beliefs and values and those of my politically active peers; majority of them are liberal. I’m a female Asian American millennial with moderate conservative views and I’m GLAD that the Republicans took Congress, and guess what? I voted against the legalization of marijuana because I believe that money would be better allocated elsewhere and the potential economic impact of the proposition isn’t worth it. I’m heavily and emotionally invested in my pro-life views and cannot debate the topic with someone with pro-choice views without tearing up or getting irrationally angry at some point (I’m working on it though). I was never behind Bernie Sanders and his platform and believe that people wasted their time rallying behind him during the primary season when they could’ve gotten behind someone who actually had a chance in the general election, namely Marco Rubio. Although I don’t identify with the Republican platform 100% , I tend toward traditional values and agree with some of their economic standpoints. At the same time I also believe their attitude toward undocumented immigrants and some aspects of social welfare should be a little less pragmatic and more compassionate, that their sense of social justice needs to be awakened, and that SOMETHING BIG NEEDS TO HAPPEN REGARDING IMPLEMENTATION OF GUN CONTROL…but there’s no such thing as a perfect platform, is there?
The point is, I’m tired of my liberal peers doing this hypocritical thing where they judge the conservative principles you believe, or the fact that you’ll back a Republican candidate just because they don’t especially because I respect their liberal views (as long as they’re informationally backed and not bandwagoned) even if they don’t coincide with my beliefs. I hate how somewhere along the line conservatism became associated with being prude, intolerant, and stone-hearted, although I also understand how that kind of thinking occurred in the first place.
We don’t all have to be on the same page ideologically, but we should all be on the same page empathetically. Ask me why I believe what I believe before you judge– or don’t! I don’t care, but don’t you dare judge or condescendingly speak about my opinions when I don’t do the same to you. It’s extremely infuriating when people generalize ethnic groups based on stereotypes, and it’s also infuriating when people generalize the type of person I am based on my conservative identifications. I don’t believe in equality any less, disapprove of Trump any less, condone police violence any less, hate white supremacy any less, or feel any less passion about certain social justice issues just because I tend toward the moderate right.
America is evolving and changing indefinitely. That’s undeniable especially after last night. However, change is never going to take the right path if we never learn to relinquish our single-mindedness in favor of striving for empathy, compassion, understanding, and respect for those around us who have no ill will for the world.
This piece of writing is such a mess, I just really had to write this because I cannot focus on my homework without vomiting all these thoughts into writing and I’ve REALLY been needing to do my homework since last night.