Editorial: Link arms and move forward


The bells in the University Center ring multiple times each hour. The song resounds across campus, although it is usually lost among chatter and bustle. On Thursday, however, the bells were the only thing that broke the silence on the UC Front Lawn.

Members of the campus community stood arm-in-arm in solidarity to show support for those who have felt marginalized during this election. Both supporters and candidates at various levels often spewed hateful rhetoric. This peaceful demonstration was just one way for those who felt marginalized during the election to convey their ideas in a nonviolent manner.

This display comforted many, but it received backlash from those who found it to be an anti-Trump demonstration.

This demonstration and similar ones across the country are organized in part as a way for people to convey their thoughts and beliefs, not because they are “sore losers” as the likes of Tomi Lahren have stated. Once these organized events die down, though, the task of mending divisions in turbulent times will commence. This can only happen if both sides show empathy and unity while condemning violence and inequality.

It will take time to process and comprehend the beliefs of others. We should not abandon our basic principles and beliefs, but we should try to understand the principles and beliefs of others.

Seeking common ground may not be possible just yet, but seeking to understand each other is the first step. This requires seeing people for more than their vote and not passing judgment based on that.

This election was not a singular-issue election, and humans are not one-dimensional in their views.

For those opposed to either candidate, it can be easy to bundle all of one candidate’s supporters under an umbrella with one descriptor based on their age, race, gender or socioeconomic status. Trying to understand the nuance behind the reasons individuals voted for one candidate is difficult at best, considering how polarizing both candidates were, but at least hearing each other out is the first step.

To move forward as a country, recognizing and understanding why people voted the way they did is necessary. This can be done through conversations and possibly reading those Facebook posts from friends who you almost unfriended halfway through the campaign. Yelling, or typing in all caps, won’t do any good. Neither will senseless violence or targeting specific individuals.

Candidates up and down the ticket addressed these issues in the best way they saw fit, choosing to focus on the issue or issues their voter base was most worried about.

For Hillary Clinton, that entailed a platform focused on equality and social issues. For Donald Trump, that entailed a platform focused on economic issues and the middle class. While both had passionate supporters, they also had passionate critics who abhorred their policies and rhetoric.

It was a trying campaign season filled with vulgarities from both sides, and the wounds caused by both sides are not expected to heal immediately. Instead of speaking out against peaceful protests, attempt to understand why some are protesting. Instead of condemning all who voted for Trump, attempt to understand why they voted for a candidate they believe will best represent their interests in government.

At this moment, it is no longer a candidate against a candidate. We should not be so divided along partisan lines that we refuse to attempt to understand other individuals, no matter how difficult.

That is not to say we have to agree with the opposing view, but we have to empathize to find common ground to move forward. Both sides have members whose feelings are rational, and bridging the gap requires being open to other ideas and working as a group.

Finding this moral high ground is easier said than done because the chasm that has been created is almost too large to climb. Sexism, racism and classism, among other things, have always plagued the country, but it is now impossible to deny their existence.

Now is the time to listen to the ringing of the bells and the ideas of others. There is baggage from this past election and the history of a country that has been divided along racial, social and economic lines. It’s time to link arms, pick up the baggage and move forward.

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