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What I’ve Learned from the 2016 Elections

November 10, 2016.happynfull.0 Likes.7 Comments

What I’ve Learned from the 2016 Elections

Dear Travel Diary,

When I woke up to headlines reading, “Donald Trump is Elected President” I was in shock and in disbelief.

How is this possible? Is this an Onion article?

I went to bed at 2am in Portugal as ballots were being counted in Texas. I knew there was a lot of red on that map, but I was certain that as the counts started heading west, the blue would catch up.

When I woke up around 8am, I stared at the map. The blue didn’t appear until it hit the states touching the Pacific Ocean – the states with no more land beyond it.

Election Results - Lessons Learned

Election results from New York Times

Trying to make sense of the election results, I’ve spent a lot of time researching and analyzing.

What I’ve learned will now forever change my outlook on life.

I live in a bubble and didn’t even know it.

Apparently this bubble is called the ‘elitist bubble’. After college, I left Arizona to move to California. My values have never aligned with Arizona, as my values lean more towards progressive. I found myself much happier with California’s lifestyle, weather, food, and pockets of ethnic neighborhoods.

As I’ve developed new friendships and relationships over the years, I never gave much thought as to if they were Republican vs. Democrat. Their political party is not a requirement for friendship, and politics are rarely discussed in our conversations. It wasn’t until the primaries, that I realized how many people were vocally rooting for Bernie or Hillz. I didn’t hear much support for Trump. If I did hear about Trump, it was often used in questions like these: “OMG. Did you see the tape of him on the bus?” … “How did he even make it this far?” … “Do the Republicans really not have anyone better to nominate?”

We surround ourselves with friends who hold the same values, the same common interests, the same educational level as us. Doctors know doctors, lawyers know lawyers, priests know priests. If you’re not actively seeking new people outside your bubble, you’re going to hear a lot of the same opinions and tune in to the same news.

I need to read more unbiased news and do more independent research.

I admit that between traveling the world, blogging about traveling the world, running my career coaching business, and dealing with 8 hour time zone differences, I didn’t follow the election as closely as I should have. That’s why I appreciated The Skimm so much. A daily email written for millennials with short attention spans, on everything that you need to know. The problem with this is, The Skimm is evidently pro-Hillary, and there is no unbiased news coming through. Combat this with my liberal Californian friends popping up all over my Facebook news feed, I really never heard from the other side.

With biased news outlets, it is really difficult to find complete information to make informed decisions these days. If you want to convince yourself to vote Hillary, read New York Times. If you want to denounce Hillary, read Fox News. Every mainstream outlet where you would get your news is funded by one side of the political party, journalists are holding back real articles for the fear of being sued or killed. I’ve learned that WikiLeaks is your best and only source.

People are insensibly divided by politics.

OK. Maybe this isn’t a new lesson learned, but this is the first election I’ve seen that people have straight up defriend friends on Facebook after knowing them for decades. Does anyone else find this ridiculous?

Sharing your opinions and viewpoints should be welcomed and encouraged, but only when shared in a respectful and classy way. To attack someone and call them ignorant or dumb is a terrible thing to say just because you disagree with them. For everyone calling all supporters of Trump mysogynistic, sexist, racist, xenophobic, etc. etc., they could say the same about all supporters of Hillary being supporters of corruption, lying, deceiving, white collar criminals.

Let’s face it. Both candidates were flawed choices. We’ve heard it over and over, “choosing between the two is just picking a lesser of two evils.”

I am appalled by the comments that flood social media comment boxes. When you formulate your opinions into one-liners like, “Shut up you’re dumb you don’t know what you’re talking about” or generalizations like “All Trump supporters are racist”, you’re not really making a case nor representing your party any better. As a matter of fact, they would probably be better off without your support.

Speak your mind. But speak with poise and facts. Listen to the other side. Take time to understand them. As opposed you are in what they believe, they oppose your belief, too. Wouldn’t you want them to logically hear you out?

People need to vote on values, not on gender or race in the elections.

I’ve seen so many comments about women hating on other women because they didn’t support Hillary. This is ridiculous and I wish Donald were Ivanka so voters could put their blinders on. Women should be thrilled that Hillary was even the front-runner. She still made history.

Hillary didn’t lose because she’s a woman. She lost because she is Hillary. If someone like Michelle Obama were running in her place, I can imagine the poll results being a lot closer as Michelle doesn’t have a rap sheet of FBI investigations on her.

Don't underestimate the underdog and give the underdog the benefit of the doubt.

As I’m still trying to wrap my head around Donald Trump being our next president (and trying to say this sentence aloud without chuckling), I have to applaud him on his victory. If he can win the election with no previous experience, against opponents with 30+ years of political experience, can he be strategic in everything else as he holds his post?

For those that don’t take him seriously, just know that there are a lot of checks and balances to be had in government and the approval processes are painstakingly slow. Let us hope that Trump has a team of advisors and excellent speech writers so he can be the puppet with the toupee.

Love your neighbor, your city, your state, your country. 

To see protestors riot, vandalize cars, light cities on fire… tsk tsk. Violence never solves anything, it just creates greater problems. The decision has been made, there is no reversal, the only thing to do is move forward and learn to work together and be stronger over the next 4 years. There is a lot of speculation already on what Trump is going to do in office. I really don’t think things will move that fast, and if anything, I leave you with this image of how slow things really take.

Elections Results - Lessons Learned and Reflection

Trump googling his job

What do you think?

I hope I’m right about a lot of these statements. And if you’re a Democrat still confused on how Trump won, or a Republican wondering why so many Democrats are spazzing out, I’d love to hear your thoughts! But just remember, no emotion-based one-liners. Let’s keep it classy.



Categories: Travel Musings

Comments (7)

  • Noelle . November 10, 2016 . Reply

    Really great, poignant post.
    My view differs slightly – I wasn’t totally surprised that Trump won, as I felt that it was close all along. I just noticed that the (very few) people I know supporting Trump were hesitant/didn’t say anything about it, because people definitely would be aggressive in putting them down. I also mostly read BBC/Buzzfeed/CNN, which are liberal. But, I did look at Fox News a few times just to see.
    But I live in a bit of a bubble too – I run in a mostly ethnic/liberal/college-educated/upper middle class circle and where I grew up in Northern VA is the same.
    My hope is that a lot of terrible things Trump has said were just bait to get voters, and hopefully he makes positive change rather than messing us up. Also – I would totally vote for Michelle Obama if she ever ran!

    • (Author) happynfull . November 10, 2016 . Reply

      Thanks, Noelle, for sharing your viewpoints! I’m glad that you were informed and checking both sides. Knowledge is power.

      I think every candidate says things and often times they are just words. I’m curious to see how the next 4 years play out and also hope that some of the words he said was just to rile-up emotions to gain the vote. ‘Make America Great Again’ sure was a winning slogan strategy and I hope he does exactly this. Whatever that means.

      • Noelle . November 10, 2016 . Reply

        Haha, agreed. I already thought America was great. But alas, always room for improvement! To be honest even though I looked at Fox they were still sometimes critical of Trump as well. I’m not sure where I should have looked for only pro-Trump news!

        • (Author) happynfull . November 13, 2016 . Reply

          I didn’t tune into Fox enough to know but that is good to hear they aren’t as right as I thought they were. 🙂 oh well, now time to tune into Dave Chapelle on SNL! I’m sure he has some insights to share haha

  • Blake . November 10, 2016 . Reply

    I totally agree with a lot of your view points. Even those of us who travel a ton, end up living in a little bit of a bubble when it comes to understanding our entire nation.

    • (Author) happynfull . November 10, 2016 . Reply

      Thanks Blake! It’s so true. No two people are the same so we certainly won’t align on all issues. There will never be a system that will satisfy everyone. There will always be a side that feels they have lost a competition.

  • Brittney . November 13, 2016 . Reply

    This is such an insightful post! I totally agree with all of the points you hit! I also think it is so important to get a more unbiased or well-rounded look at the news and politics in general so we don’t create an echo chamber for our own beliefs and thoughts. But, as you said, it is so hard to find unbiased news sources… but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think we all have biases so I would rather read something by a journalist who is honestly biased, than one who claims to be unbiased. I think it’s just about reading plentifully and reading broadly. I read Buzzfeed and Al Jezeera, but I also read The Blaze and Breitbart. That’s my thoughts on that subject anyway 🙂 Again, really enjoyed reading this piece! Xx

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