The dust is settled, the votes are in. There’s no Hanging Chads, no recounts to be demanded. There’s no more commercials on TV making opposing candidates out to look like the spawn of Satan himself, and Mr. Donald Trump has officially won the Presidential Election of 2016.
I can’t say I’m not surprised. Shocked, is probably the better word to describe my thoughts. Personally, I didn’t think the guy had a snowball’s chance in a Florida summer at winning this thing. Color me impressed.
With that said, that leaves our nation in quite a place. Social media and the news show a few recurring themes: Fear. Unrest. Anger. Of the many… many… posts and memes going around places like Facebook and Twitter, I saw one that stood out to me. It said, “America’s darkest day was 9/11. Its second darkest is 11/9”.
Wow. What a statement. Let’s take a look at that.
Now, realizing that this is an internet meme that makes its name off exaggerating something and going to the furthest extreme, you can still find some similarities. I don’t think there’s any question that 9/11 truly was this nation’s darkest day. I’ll never forget where I was when I first saw the news, and there are many that share that memory. For some it’s even harder, as they lost family and friends. A dark cloud hovered over our nation that day as we witnessed that evil with our own eyes.
With that in mind, there are many who woke up this morning and felt the same way. That anxiousness, fear, hopelessness. For some, maybe even you, this was the WORST possible scenario. What do we do? How do we come back from this?
That takes me back to 9/11. Why? Well, it might seem odd considering the place our nation is in today, but America was more unified after 9/11 than I have ever seen it in my 24 years. The amounts of American flags on display blew our Canadian neighbors out of the water (and, by the way, if you’ve never been there, Canada is the foremost authority on national unity. You can’t walk 10 feet without tripping over a Canadian flag.), and “God Bless America” was plastered everywhere you looked.
I was reminded of this on May 1st, 2011. I was at the Phillies and Mets game with a friend when bursts of “USA” were chanted around the stadium. Osama Bin Laden had just been killed, and word was traveling around the stadium. That game was so surreal. That night, it didn’t matter who was in the building. None of us were Mets fans or Phillies fans, Democrats or Republicans, or any other separation. We were Americans, cheering together for our nation as one. Nothing else. Everyone in every section was talking together, whipping out phones to get different news updates. I gave a high five to a Mets fan in our row. People were hugging, cheering, and just happy. Together.
One of my greatest hesitations about Trump as president had nothing to do with policies or news reports. My hesitation was the fact that Trump simply seemed to cause division. Sure, elections are always messy business, but none were like this one. This election saw two people engage in all out warfare against the character of the other. It was brutal. The results are like nothing we’ve seen before, as the trickle down effect surely will touch on supporters of both sides and leave a lasting impression, at least in the beginning.
The thing is, while Trump or Hillary can speak on division and promote unity, the decision comes down to you and I. Therein lies the answer to the question of “what now?”. Well, what we do now is come together. Our America doesn’t have to be this way. Promote the change you want to see by being a leader for it. Make the first move. Every day we have opportunities to promote unity and be an advocate for it, so don’t be the person that sits back and waits for someone else to take the leap. The ball is in your court.
The sun can’t come up until the night is at its darkest. So maybe to you this is as bad as it can get, the worst possible scenario. Maybe it’s meant to be. What if this is the wake up call our nation needed to come back together as one? What I know is that the God that spoke this universe into existence knew the result of this election before the world even began. He’s not up there going “Oh, shoot, those Americans really fooled me. I didn’t expect this outcome!”. This is all part of a plan, and we know EVERYTHING happens for a reason. If there’s anyone I’m putting my hope in, it’s certainly not going to be Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or anyone else that could’ve ended up in the White House. I’m putting my hope in the God that has this entire thing under control, and that leaves me with an undeniable peace, not a state of fear.
So put the fear aside. Take the “Crying Jordan” face off of your family picture and let’s move forward, together. I’ll leave you with some song lyrics from Memphis May Fire and their vocalist, Matty Mullins, AKA “The Man”:
“Well, I don’t know what the future holds,
but I know who holds it and it’s beautiful.
Every time that I fall short I’m so thankful I’m not in control.
I’m reaching out.
I see you now and I won’t fear the fall ’cause I know that you’ll be there.”
Man. Places like WordPress are really helpful. I would’ve hated if this had gotten lost in an email server or something.
I know, I know. Too soon. I couldn’t contain myself.
- Alex DiFazio