Donald Trump won the election. I, like many of my friends, were surprised by the election result.
I can’t help but feel confronted by the facts. The fact is that the American people have spoken – we choose Trump. The fact that I am surprised by the result is a reflection of how blind I am to reality – how much I have been living in my own bubble.
How many friends do I have who are Trump supporters? Pretty much NONE. When I look at my Facebook feed, all I see are “I’m with HER” posts. I have somehow, consciously and unconsciously, separated myself from a large population of Americans – the Americans who voted for Trump.
I am guilty of separating myself from “Other” - of creating the concept of us vs. them. I have not included Trump voters in my community. I did not engage with them and understand their reality. I did not include their reality into my reality.
Who are these Trump supporters whom I have excluded? They are overwhelmingly (1) the less educated, and (2) those who produce real, tangible things like food, fiber, energy, and manufactured goods.
(1)The less educated did not choose to be less educated. Our society has failed them, and the privileged, like myself, continued to turn away from them. They don't have the luxury to move to another country when things fall apart, and things have been falling apart for them for quite some time.
(2)Our society has not rewarded those who produce real, tangible things, as much as we reward those who produce less essential things. The top four richest people in America are Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg. The people who make our food are valued less than the people who help us glorify our lives on social media. The people who provide electricity are valued less than people who help us get a new sweater delivered to our door the next day.
This election is the story of the “Have’s” and the “Have Not’s”. The Have Not’s are making their voices heard, pushing back on the Have’s. In history, labor unions did the same to their employers; slaves did the same to their masters. Whenever the underprivileged revolts, the privileged is always surprised.
This is a reminder that those without economic privilege eventually make their voices heard. Perhaps now, we can finally make some changes that are badly needed.
What can I do to be inclusive? What can I do to listen to those who voted for Trump?
I can no longer block the suffering of Americans from my reality. We are one community, one country, one world, one planet and one consciousness.
Every choice I make impacts others; every choice others make impacts me – there is no other, there is only one.