We need each other, Democrats and Republicans. We need to put aside our differences and remember that we are one nation. I don't know about you, but I have never been convinced by anyone else's angry rhetoric, and my anger doesn't convince anyone else, either.
Trust me, I am outraged and terrified, and I know I am not the only one. It's hard for me to imagine how someone could support this administration, but I need to try. Our children still sit next to each other in class. We still work together and live in the same communities. We can no live with this animosity.
I think of my aunt that supported Trump, and I know she is a good person. She isn't racist or anti-Muslim. I may not agree with her politics, but I can't stomach the idea of someone speaking to her the way I see people insult each other online. Even though she does not agree with me politically, she wouldn't want me torn down that way, either.
I'm not all that altruistic--it's not peace at any price. Rather, it's an understanding that if our country crashes and burns, it is our neighbors that we will have to rebuild with. We can't afford to tear each other down any longer. If my house catches fire, I need all available firefighters, not just democratic ones, to come to my rescue.
We need activists and protesters, but we need peacemakers too. We need to respect our fellow Americans, and I think the first step is to stop useless internet fights with strangers, as this blog urges. We need each other, now more than ever. It's hard to be the one to hold out the olive branch, but we have to start looking for common ground.
I had this idea to visit a representative of congress next month, and I realized that there was little point in visiting a Democrat, because they already know how I think and what I feel strongly about. I needed to reach out to a Republican. I started to read up on Rob Portman, because I live in Ohio and he's one of my senators. Sure, there was a lot I disagreed with, but I found breaths of commonality.
It gave me more hope to read one tweet by a Republican than I could agree with than 100 tweets from my fellow liberals. We don’t have the numbers on our own—we need to work with the other side.
Beyond just our representatives in Congress, though, we need Republican voters who agree with Trump on 90% of the issues to be vocal about the 10% of time they disagree. We need to find those few places where our views overlap and strengthen those bonds, because we can't move forward without the other side. If we could, we would have won the election.
Instead, we need this person’s small dissent, and that one’s dissent in another area, all these little tiny pieces of overlapping unity. And the only way to find those places of commonality is to treat each other with some basic human decency, and be willing to try just a little harder to remember that we are all Americans.