Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you know there is a lot of tension regarding Donald Trump and his now confirmed seat as the President of the United States. Even here in Canada, everyone has a strong opinion on the subject and that’s ok. Truthfully, we should all have opinions on matters that will impact our country and day-to-day lives. Despite living in Canada, the President of the United States has a big impact on my life. As our largest trade partner and a huge contributor to the Canadian economy, changes in U.S-Canada relations can have a massive impact on my country.
In the US, this mentality is only further echoed on a much large and stronger scale and that’s ok.
It’s alright to be passionate about your Country. It’s alright to have opinions on your government. It’s alright to challenge your government and ask questions. But don’t let it divide you!
Now more than ever in my generation’s time, do people need to stand together. You may think that Donald Trump will be the best president ever or the worst. You may agree with his thoughts and policies, or think they are insane. What matters most now, is uniting the people of your country and working together to continue to build a better future.
Allowing yourself to dislike or dismiss someone, based simply on if they voted Democrat or Republican is not only limiting, but also dangerous to your country.
At the very core of Democracy is the idea of compromise and without compromise, democracy can never flourish.
Regardless of which party you voted for, you should challenge your government. Make them work for you, the people, in order to earn your vote. Never be complacent. If they fail to deliver, take your vote elsewhere. That is how people retain power in a democratic system. Don’t vote blindly for a party because they won your vote in the past.
The second part of this is on your government. Political parties need to work together in order to best serve the people. It does no good if neither party is willing to compromise with one another and work toward solutions. They need to work together in order to build a better country based on the blueprints that voters have created.
So next time you meet someone that voted differently from you, try to listen to them. Understand their viewpoints and why they see things differently than you. Use the lens of their mindset to understand why they think, “I am right and you are wrong“.
Don’t hate. Don’t dismiss or marginalize. Don’t lash out and don’t give up. An election isn’t the end, it’s the beginning of a new four-year journey. Your ship may have a new course, but the more each and every one of you challenges the parties that you vote for – the more control you have over that ship.
To finish, I want to leave a quote from a Canadian politician named Jack Layton. Some loved him, some hated him. Regardless of his political views and actions, his parting words to the world were that of love and unity.
Love is better than anger.
Hope is better than fear.
Optimism is better than despair.
So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.
And we’ll change the world.