Eleditor’s note: Elephant is a diverse community of sixteen million readers and hundreds of writers (you can write too!). We are reader-created. Many blogs here are experience, opinion, and not fact or The One Right Point of View. We welcome all points of view, especially when offered with more sources and less invective, more frankness and less PR. Dislike this Op-Ed or opinion? Share your own take here.
No matter what, everything is going to be okay.
You may not believe me. There’s a lot of scary stuff on the internet lately, and scrolling through your current newsfeed is enough to trigger an alphabet soup’s worth of underlying anxiety disorders. I know, because I have literally experienced flare ups of my PTSD related anxiety and OCD simply by reading articles about politics.
Terrifying things could potentially happen because of this election—except they aren’t going to.
I am confident about making a prediction this general and sweeping, because above all else, I believe that human beings are ultimately good. I believe in the power of love and compassion. I believe that while we still have a ways to go, that the world as a whole is a lot better off, a lot kinder, caring and more aware of the suffering and needs of others than it has ever been before in the entire history of time.
We have evolved. We have learned from past mistakes and injustices. We are not going to go backwards. Don’t be afraid. We will never let another holocaust happen. There won’t be another Civil War. We will never go back to the days of segregation or Jim Crow. No one’s hard earned rights will be taken away.
Trust me on this.
The good, informed, wise, compassionate people far outnumber the ignorant and angry, and these people are brave and strong and will never let hate win. Trust these people. Be one of them.
We’re not going to allow anything bad to happen—so have faith, because there are way more heroes than villains.
Many of us are scared because we’ve seen a lot of angry, hateful, aggressive, intolerant behavior exposed during this election. It feels like our country has gone downhill and we wonder how people can act this way?
It’s nothing new, though. There isn’t more of it. There’s actually less. That there is more hate and violence is an illusion. With technology, we simply have more outlets for seeing it, plus a media that thrives on sensationalism and click-bait shock value. Just because you are seeing more of something doesn’t mean there is actually more of it.
Besides that, we are less sensitized to racism, sexism, corruption, and violence than we were in past generations. This is such a good thing. We decry what our grandparents and great-grandparents never even noticed because these horrors were part of their normal everyday life, and thus not unusual. Now it’s not the norm, so we freak out, as we should, when we spot injustices. Good for us!
We don’t need to fear the election results because, in spite of what paranoid naysayers might believe, we have a good system in place and the U.S. has a strong Constitution. Our founding fathers actually knew a lot more than us about what it’s like to live under tyrannical lunatics and they carefully designed a form of government that wouldn’t allow a madman, or a criminal, or someone totally unqualified to govern, to dismantle everything they’d fought for in the American Revolution. So take a deep breath. Our way of life is not going to unravel into anarchy no matter who comes into power. We know how to prevent that.
Believe it or not, there are decent men and women running our government. We may not agree with them on every issue, and that’s okay. I watched carefully this election cycle to see which politicians were courageous enough to go against the grain of their parties and stand up for their values and truths, no matter the consequences. There were a lot of them, and regardless of their party affiliations, these are the people we can trust and look to for guidance if our country is in a crisis. They aren’t traitors to their parties—they’re truth tellers who defend their convictions. That’s a sign of good character.
I know that we have this idea in our heads where Democracy looks like sunshine and unicorns and rainbows, but the truth is that sometimes, a lot of times, Democracy gets messy. This just happens to be one of those times.
You know what’s not messy? Totalitarian dictatorships where everyone goose steps in line and is petrified to misbehave even a little for fear of the firing squad. I’ll gladly take our loud, chaotic, occasionally dysfunctional mess over that any day. So think of the current situation as a normal part of a Democracy’s growth and evolution. We have a lot of different people with diverging ideas trying to make things work, and that’s always a positive thing, even though the path might be a bit rough.
Above all else though? I’m not freaking out about the results of this election because I already know that America is great.
The United States is a country of diversity, abundance, freedom, passion. It is filled with innovators and pioneers, artists, creators, and ardent defenders of just ideals. The vast majority of us are dedicated to doing good and improving life for everyone, not just in the U.S., but globally too.
We’ve got this, everyone. No matter who wins, we’re all going to be just fine.
Author: Victoria Fedden
Image: Jon Tyson/Unsplash
Editor: Caitlin Oriel