Protest Is Admirable! Keep Going!

“Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

That last bit there; “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances” along with that freedom of speech bit is the right to protest. The 1st amendment acknowledges this right.

The people protesting now are NOT “sore losers” or “children.” They’re not wrong for protesting, nor should they be belittled for it. They’re participating in the political system, just as is supposed to happen. They’re protesting for many reasons, chief among them I imagine the policies they believe Donald Trump will enact based on the campaign he ran. They have the right to do this!

I haven’t personally joined protests in the wake of the election because I personally believe it is more effective to protest policy itself rather than election results when policy has yet to manifest. But that’s me. Though I hope to be proven wrong, based on the campaign he ran I believe there will be plenty of policy worth protesting.

In the meantime though, to those who are protesting, since you clearly believe this is worth protesting now, keep doing what you’re doing, and don’t let others dissuade you just because they disagree. We all need to be more engaged in politics, and the way to do that is by peacefully expressing your beliefs through whatever avenues are open to you.

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Where We Go From Here: Understanding

Alright, this happened. Donald Trump will be president. And that’s incredibly disappointing to me, for many reasons that have probably been articulated by other people way better at writing this stuff than I am. Below will be lots of rambling, a lot of it is me sorting my thoughts.

So, there’s a couple other things I want to focus on. First, it’s worth remembering that the vast majority of people who vote are voting in good faith for the person they believe can do the best job governing us. Regardless of who they voted for. Everyone has a different way of looking at the world, and different priorities, and those lead to different perceptions of who will do the best job as a leader.

Now, before continuing, one thing you need to know about me is I’m very liberal politically. No surprise to most of my friends.

And as a liberal, it’s hard to see that, much like some of us like to talk about the conservative bubble where they see things the way they want to, we have a liberal bubble where we do the same thing.

We all need to learn to get out of these bubbles. Seek out opposing viewpoints. Find out why people politically opposed to us believe what they do, and why they’re voting the way they are. Something I’ll guarantee is that most Trump voters are not themselves bigots, racists, or misogynists, even if the candidate they voted for is. They most likely voted for him despite those traits in him, not because of them. They saw other qualities in him they deemed positive, and they either didn’t notice or didn’t care about the other negative qualities, because in their estimation, the good outweighed the bad. Or perhaps, in their estimation, he was the lesser of two evils.

And, after learning each others views of things, we should talk, discuss, and debate. All the time. And we should accept that any person involved in such a debate may not change their views, and that’s ok. It’s about understanding and learning first. People may change their views, and we may change ours as we learn something new or recognize a good point made by someone who disagrees with us. And we also may not. The hope, of course, is that with enough constructive discourse the best views will become accepted by the largest number of people possible.

Also, we need a narrative. Not just the facts. A narrative frames the debate on a personal level, makes it understandable and relatable. It provides a framework so someone with an opposing viewpoint or understanding of the world can be invited in to see your view of the world, whether they agree or not. But once they’re able to see your view, then the facts supporting that narrative become easier to accept and digest, because there’s something there to relate them to.

So yeah, I guess what I’m getting at is, we can all do a lot better when it comes to understanding others. And for us to progress forward, it’s vital that as many of us as possible do as much as we can to get there.

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