I am feeling super American today! Where else would so much of what happened recently be possible? Just think about what we’ve witnessed!
We have held a presidential election and, although it made history for its divisive nature, the American people and our democratic process prevailed. Some people are happy and truly believe that our new president and his vision will make America a better place to live for all of us. Others are afraid of what’s to come. Not everybody agrees with the result, not everybody is happy, but this is our process and we elected a new president. Continue reading “Being American”
Interestingly enough, there are protests being held both in the United States and in South Korea regarding the behavior of the president (or president-elect).
In South Korea, there are more than 500,000 people peacefully protesting in Seoul to demand the president’s resignation. Their president has apologized twice for the scandal involving a long-time friend that was getting advance policy information with which to advise the president on a number of state affairs. The friend had no experience or official position and has been accused of an abuse of power and fraud. It is believed by some that the president is simply a mouthpiece of several others making decisions behind the scenes. According to a demonstrator: “It’s an explosion of their feelings,” demonstrator Jinwon Kim says of the crowds. “People are very angry.”
Back here in the United States, we are also experiencing protests in various cities throughout the country about our recent presidential election. Thousands of people are marching in the streets carrying the message of “Not My President”. These protests appear to be unprecedented in American history. The protesters are acting on their displeasure with the president-elect’s behavior, words, and decisions. This election has been singular in the negative, angry, threatening and divisive remarks being made throughout the campaign. I think most of our country has agreed on that. The fact that our new president-elect has made so many Americans feel unwelcome, angry, frightened, and unsafe is turning into a big problem for him and the people are letting him know how they feel. This is key-we have to acknowledge people’s feelings, whether we agree with them or not and whether we believe they are justified or not. It doesn’t matter how each of us feels; we need to respect everybody’s right to express their opinion. THIS is the American way.
We hoped that whoever won the election would move forward in a much more positive manner, one that we could all get behind and believe in. The fact that our votes were almost 50-50 obviously leaves half of us unhappy with the current president-elect. What’s more American than protesting your dissatisfaction? We are given the right to do this…peacefully. There are positives for protesting. We are letting Mr. Trump know that we are watching him, watching his choices, his actions, and his words (both tweeted and spoken). We are going to hold him and his staff accountable for the promises he made, for pulling the country together and moving forward on a positive path. It appears that, to date, he is not following the standard protocol in his actions…not about staffing choices, business matters, publicity and transparency, nor his communications. I believe this is why people are now protesting. I think most of us would like to believe that he will, very soon, become the person that we all want to have as president. He has this one moment in history to make the right choices. We’re all hoping that he does the right things.
This accountability is important and something that should be an ongoing process, not just when we’re unhappy about something. We should all be watching the people that make decisions that directly affect us. If you disagree with something, voice your opinion, become active in the cause, write a letter, make a phone call, and effect change. Contact your member of Congress! There is always work to be done at the local government level, which is what affects our daily lives in so many ways. Getting involved is so important because it not only allows you some control in how your life is affected, but keeps you informed about the issues as well. If we are all more involved in this process, we won’t need to rely on hearsay, Facebook, internet and television news stories that may or not be factual. We will be educated participants in the process and be able to make informed choices on issues.
In most recent history, the Black Lives Matter movement was more prominent. Do we all know what that was about? Certainly…because it was out there, it was talked about, it was acted on, even if not always apparent. This is how we, as Americans and South Koreans alike, can express our opinion, hold people accountable, and make change when necessary. It indicates exactly how we feel about something and it needs to be acknowledged. This is obviously a world-wide form of communication and one that is effective. Protests, in whatever form they take, should always be acknowledged and taken seriously.
Is it me or is everybody else in the United States over this election too?
When this first started, a long time ago and in what seems like a different universe, I was a little excited to see what the candidates would bring. Now, I just wish that somebody would call a do-over and we could all have a chance to start from the beginning … and do it right this time.
I guess I should start with my own perspective on this. I’m not happy with the current state of affairs and I’m not particularly unhappy either. I wish I made more money, I wish I paid less taxes, but I do manage to survive and I feel as safe as any of us can in this day and age. Of course there are things that I would change, things that I wish for. However, I’m not delusional enough to think that all of my problems will be solved with the election of either one of the presidential candidates or state representative, etc. My biggest hope is that we can proceed forward in the best interest of our country as a whole. I know that no matter what bill is passed, whatever law is changed, whatever decision is made, somebody is going to benefit and somebody is going to lose. There is nothing in this world that will be the best choice for each and every one of us. I think most of us adults understand this. Why, then, has this months-long process turned so ugly?
At this point in the election cycle, I’m so disturbed by every single candidate’s behavior, literature, and rhetoric that I would probably vote for anybody else that I haven’t seen or heard about yet. I was looking forward to hearing about the choices that we were presented with, what they represented, what they had to say. Sadly, I did hear it. I have voted in lots of elections and never before have I been so disheartened. I have heard some of the candidates’ views, but had to do a LOT of research to find out what I needed to know in order to make a solid decision. I heard a little more about the topics in the presidential race, but honestly I’m guessing 99% of what I heard from the state level candidates was about the OTHER person. All of them chose to criticize the other candidate over expressing their own views. I have heard so much negativity this year that it has reached a whole new low. I have honestly never heard such derogatory things being said by an adult, let alone a presidential candidate, with no repercussions and I can’t believe it has gotten to this point without somebody putting a stop to it. To hear adults, the potential leaders of our country, say the things that I’ve heard recently is horrible to me. I’m embarrassed for us as a country. I’m confused by what we, as the people, are supposed to have learned from them, and I’m finding that, as I try to stay involved and learn more, my mood is becoming more and more depressed about our future. I’m no longer optimistic about any of the choices or what the future holds for us. This isn’t how this is supposed to work! Our candidates are supposed to energize us, inspire us, and instill hope & promise for our future. What happened? How did we get to this point? What can we do about it?
I wish a third-party presidential candidate, one that wasn’t a bully, a liar, or a hypocrite, had popped out of the woodwork a few weeks ago. We could use one with no baggage or special interest; one that would run a positive campaign. We probably all would have elected them at this point. From the state level, I now understand why my state is one of the worst ones to live in anymore and why we’ve had so many politicians put in jail. I can’t even begin to express how disappointed I am in the amount of literature that I’ve received and how poisonous the tone was. It’s disturbing to me that we’ve come to accept this as part of political campaigns.
Is it naive to expect the leaders of our communities, our states, and our government offices to be respectful, decent human beings? Is it wrong to assume that they will behave like adults and the role models that we expect them to be? We are literally putting our life in their hands. I don’t think it’s too much to expect that they at least act like they take it seriously.