Thomas Jefferson once said, “I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as a cause for withdrawing from a friend”. One of the forefathers of the United States knew what so many refuse to realize today, it is our differences that make us human and it is the acceptance of these differences that make us American.
I have never been so ready for an election to be over with. Why? Because it seems this election has become a calling card for hate. Both major candidates have shown hate for each other and even stated things about those voting for the other candidate that will not be forgotten. This is supposed to be America, the land of the free not the land of the judged. Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump were ever heavily accused of being racist until this election, and in all honesty NEITHER probably are racist. Clinton has helped millions of people of all ethnicities with different political bills and Trump has not only hired and helped hundreds of people of different ethnicities but just three decades ago he was honored with the Ellis Island Medal in celebration of “patriotism, tolerance, brotherhood, and diversity”. At the end of the day both candidates have their faults but both have their positives as well and instead of demeaning each other as ignorant, racist, or stupid for voting for one of the candidates we as Americans should lift each other in comrodery and respect because we are blessed to all be able to vote no matter who it is for.
Hate is a very dangerous thing. Disdain and intolerance follow suit. A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel to Panama City Beach as a media correspondent and attend a Donald Trump Rally. I was extremely excited to get approved and to have the opportunity to not only listen to one of the major candidates for United States President speak but also to hear several remarkable and historical figures speak. After arriving to the event and posting about it to see if any local Graceville residents were there I had two people report a photo of me and my media pass as being offensive and needing to be taken down. I couldn’t help but think this is what is wrong with the world and especially this country today. We have become so intolerant to other people’s beliefs, opinions, views that we can no longer accept that everybody is not the same and sadly we as Americans have all started to show disdain for anything different.
Intolerance can be seen from both parties and some of their voters. Just last week past-president Bill Clinton was supposed to make a quick stop and speak in Marianna. Protestors for Trump came out with their signs as well as those who were Anti-Trump. After both groups began verbally criticizing each other and demeaning one another the Secret Service pulled the plug deciding it was not safe for Clinton to stop. That is incredibly sad in my opinion. People from both parties and some not even from a party caused hundreds of citizens the opportunity to hear a past-President speak. This moment would have been historical to some citizens and especially children, but the chance was taken away because of intolerance from both sides.
I can honestly say I have never been more ready for an election to be over with. I pray that once it ends, no matter the outcome, whoever is elected will bring our country back together and remind its citizens that no matter if you are Latin-American, African-American, Caucasian-American, Christian-American, Muslim-American, or however citizens of this country choose to describe themselves, the next President will always push that no matter what our differences we are ALL Americans, and that’s what makes us one and maybe then we can all realize that despite our difference we are all still the same in some many much more important ways.
Tuesday voters will decide if Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will take the leadership role in our country. Half of our nation will be upset by the results while the other half will ecstatic. It will be similar to the District Playoff game when the Tigers took the win from the unexpecting Cottondale Hornets. Both teams played their hearts out, both teams worked hard all season for the championship, but only one was victorious. The players didn’t bash one another though instead they shook hands and said good game and best of luck at state. I hope that our country can emulate the players at last Friday night’s game and not taunt the loser of the election or those that voted for him or her, but instead come together in knowing that each team or party tried their best and had the best of intentions and together move on making our country one again.