I am not a bad person just because I voted for Trump
I am tired of being judged solely based on whose name I bubbled in on the ballot
Social media has been booming with posts from Hillary and Trump supporters alike in response to the recent election results. I believe that everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion and making his or her voice heard. If social media is your outlet, good for you — but as I was scrolling through my feed, I came across this post and similar ones like it:
Now, coming from New York, I am used to being opposed. I am used to being the minority in my political views among my very liberal friends–but this crosses the line for me.
I do not hate certain races, ethnicities, and genders of people just because I voted for Trump. I am not a people hater. In fact, I have many friends who identify in the LGBTQ+ community, all of whom I love and support with all of my heart. I have a majority of female friends who are my best friends and I am also a female. I have sat in classrooms with Muslim, black, and Latino/a students as my peers and we have gotten along just fine. Just because I am a conservative and I voted for Trump does NOT mean that these people “do not matter to me.”
I believe in showing one another respect, empathy, and kindness and not prejudging anyone based on their gender, ethnicity, race, identity, or beliefs. That does not change just because I cast my vote for Trump. I am still the same person I was before the election took place – Trump has not caused some sort of personal transformation within me — so why am I being looked at and judged differently?
I voted for Trump because I believe that he was better fit to run this country than Hillary Clinton. I felt I couldn’t trust Clinton. Even if you delete the emails, it doesn’t mean they never existed, and Benghazi may be in the past, but we still lost 4 Americans whose families will never be the same because of it. She trashed Obama during the 2008 election while he was her opponent, but suddenly regarded Obama with the utmost respect and friendliness when she needed his support. Clinton was initially against gay marriage (she actually grew up a Republican) until she realized that supporting it could lead her to success in the future. I wanted a president in office that I could trust, who followed the rules and the laws and who I was confident would tell the truth. In my eyes, Trump fit this criteria and also aligned with some of my conservative beliefs. This is why I voted for him.
But no matter what you believe, whether you agree with me or not, I had the right to express my voice and cast my vote in this election just like any other American citizen ages 18 and up. Just because I exercised this right and went against beliefs that you may have does not mean I am a bad person. I was excited to elect the President of the United States for the first time, yet I am afraid of sharing this excitement publicly because of the backlash Trump’s supporters have received. In any situation that is highly debated, backlash is expected, but to have people look at me with disgust as I walk across the Oval with Trump pins on my backpack or curse at me through the streets of Columbus as I walk with a Trump sign in hand is just not fair. You should not judge me solely based on my political beliefs or on the political beliefs of someone I support. I am not a hateful person. I am not racist, homophobic, etc. but I am tired of being pushed into generalizations that just aren’t true to who I am.
No matter what I believe in or who I voted for, I am a person, just like you. I have family and friends whom I love, respect, and admire, just like you. I try to find the right balance between work and play, just like you. I smile, I cry, I get angry, I stress out, I laugh, I love, and I breathe, just like you.
We are all human and we are all deserving of respect, regardless of who we voted for.