11.10.2016

Written with love

Dear friends and family who voted for President-Elect Donald Trump (or didn’t vote or voted for a 3rd party candidate): 

I feel a million miles away from you right now, and it hurts. It hurts in a way that has left me crying in public spaces over the last few days. In a chiropractic waiting room. In a spin class at the gym. In the grocery store. Not because I'm a cry baby or melodramatic. But because I'm disoriented. 

I think it's election-induced emotional vertigo.  

I want to feel closer to you than I do at this moment. Can we talk? Can I have a difficult conversation with you? 

I value your personhood. I value your human experience. I value you and I love you. 

You’re on the other end of this computer screen. Maybe down the road in Stewartville. Or just up Highway 63 in Rochester. Or a few hours south in Dunkerton. Or way down in southern Illinois.

From what I can gather, you’re feeling confused. Defensive. Upset. You don’t understand what all the fuss is about. Why people are protesting in the streets. Why your newsfeed is full of deeply emotional posts and blog links and infographics. You perhaps feel that some Americans are being sore losers and immature. 

You perhaps feel like it shouldn’t be such a big deal. One candidate won and the other lost. That’s that. Maybe you’re thinking something along those lines. 

Here’s what I know about you from being your friend: You have a strong moral compass. You love your town and your church and your family. Some of you work inside your home and some of you work outside your home. You have hobbies and read books. You are smart and clever. You love to laugh.  

You likely exercised your right to vote on Tuesday and then you went home. Or you skipped voting altogether because it seemed like a waste of time. Maybe you didn’t like any of the candidates and politics doesn’t interest you. Whatever the case, you were likely surprised by the results, too. “Wow,” you thought. “I can’t believe he won.” 

Maybe you were excited on Wednesday morning. Or maybe it was more neutral. Maybe you were a little disappointed. 

Can I talk to you about how I felt on Wednesday morning? Can I tell you how I’m feeling right now? Will you trust me enough to carve out this small digital space for some sacred, honest sharing? I don’t expect or want you to feel the same as me. I just want you to understand where I’m coming from. 

I speak for no one other than myself.  And my perception is based on my privileged reality as a straight, white, middle-class woman in Minnesota. 

I want you to know that when I woke up on Wednesday morning…groggy from only a few hours of sleep, I wept. I crawled onto my hands and knees and wept. I pulled myself up onto the side of the bed to pray, and I had no words for a prayer. I just cried. 

Can I have some time to tell you about those tears? You don’t owe me anything; you don’t owe me your time. But I hope that our shared connection will be enough of a reason for you to stick around here. To read these words. To take a step toward me as I take this step toward you. 

Donald Trump makes me feel scared and uncomfortable. Based on his own words, behaviors, actions and interviews, I am afraid.

I watched all the primary and presidential debates. I was initially able to laugh off what I perceived to be Trump’s short temper and defensiveness…the way he spoke when he disagreed with someone. When I watched him on stage, he seemed to bully and belittle regularly and interrupt in a dangerous, abusive way. In a way that would never be allowed in a classroom. 

But my real, deep fears began to mount when I heard the audio with Billy Bush. When President-Elect Trump said that he can do whatever he wants because he’s powerful. When he said that he can grab women by the pussy. When he laughed about it. 

I know you have your own thoughts about that recording. Maybe you made your peace with it. Maybe you talk like that sometimes and the recording makes you feel defensive and misunderstood. Or maybe it really bothered you, too, and so you decided not to vote at all. 

But to me, a woman who survived an abusive relationship, that wasn’t locker room talk. And I can't just forget about it. That was a man honestly describing how he perceives his own power. That was a man candidly describing how he sexually assaults women. And that was deeply triggering for me. 

Then I read the transcripts of some of his interviews with Howard Stern over the years. More of his thoughts about women. I began to read Trump’s own words, and my fear increased. I watched him debate Clinton, and I began to have literal nightmares.

“You should be ashamed of yourself,” he said to Clinton.

“Such a nasty woman,” he described. 

He publicly called women fat and ugly. He denied all the many sexual assault allegations that came forward. And about one of them, he inferred that she was too ugly for him to sexually assault. 

Every time he said or did those things and the public looked the other way, it hurt me. I know that might not make sense to you. But try to hear me. 

To me, Trump’s rise to power uplifts a worldview where it’s okay to view women as objects and property and vaginas. To me, Trump seems to encourage a world where a woman’s worth comes from her ability to be agreeable and beautiful and a man can do whatever he wants. I don’t want to live in that world. That world almost killed me. 

In my worldview, the system is very broken when a candidate can behave in those ways and still rise to such prominent power. 

Please stick with me. Hear me. Donald Trump makes me feel unsafe because I believe he encourages a world in which white men are permitted/encouraged to disempower everyone else for their own personal gain. 

Hear me when I say: I don’t believe you want that kind of world. I don’t believe that’s what you voted for. I think you had other reasons that you voted for Donald Trump (or reasons that you didn’t vote or voted for someone else). I don’t think you hate women. I don’t think you want a world where men sexually assault women and laugh about it. 

Instead, I believe (I really do) that you want a safe world. A world built on love and kindness. A world of equity. A world that is economically stable. 

I just need you to understand that FOR ME, Donald Trump represents oppression. And it really hurts. 

Thank you for listening to me share that. For loving me enough to hear me even if you disagree with me. That was probably frustrating and uncomfortable for you, and anger and defensiveness might be boiling up. But you have kept reading anyway. Thank you. Please stay with me a little longer. Hold this space with me. 

My tears on Wednesday morning weren’t just about what I perceive to be Trump’s treatment of women, they were also about his views on immigration, people who are Muslim, and people of color. Also, I cried because I despise his running mate’s frightening beliefs on the rights and realities of the LGBTQ community. And I cried for the planet. Our future president doesn’t believe in climate change or the Environmental Protection Agency, and that makes me sad. 

There are a lot of people who are really legitimately afraid. And while I cannot fully understand their experience because I do not live in their same reality, I will stand in solidarity with them because I love them and I love their contributions to this country. I value their personhood. I respect and value their right to be mad and hurt. 

You might be afraid, too, of all this brokenness. Of a national landscape that's changing. Of the protests and sadness and confusion. Of an unknown future. Of not having enough money. Of having extremely high health care costs. Of being judged and misunderstood. 

And if you feel that way, I hear what you're saying. It's really awful feeling afraid. And it's really awful feeling judged and misunderstood. 

Maybe you’re also excited and feel your happiness is being sabotaged by all the sad people. You feel like President-Elect Trump is the man for the job. You feel like he will protect you and your rights. And create jobs. And get rid of things you don’t like about our country. You feel like he says it like it is and maybe he’ll bring good change. 

You have a right to feel how you feel. 

But as you feel those feelings, I hope you’ll make space in your heart, mind, and prayers for people who feel differently than you feel. It’s okay if you don’t understand. For now, just make some space. Open your beautiful heart and make space in there for people who feel differently than you. 

And trust me when I say: I will make space in my heart, mind, and prayers for you, too.

Love,
Emily  

44 comments:

  1. Love you, Em. It makes me sad that half the country has to be devastated while the other half rejoices. As a conservative I tried hard to persuade myself to vote for the man, but I couldn't and went third party. His character is too morally repugnant. I just hope and pray it all works out for the best. May the Lord bless you with comfort and strength.

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    1. Hello dear cousin! Thank you for your loving, grace-filled words. I am grateful for the beacon of mutual encouragement that you are shining! Love you!

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  2. Your love letter is so important and I think it is beautiful. Like you, it is gracious and honest and aimed to explore more than explain or convince. Or to convict. It is so important to try to make sense for people who disagree that the fear and anxiety is not whining. It is based in seeing and hearing things in these months that threaten the value and the futures of neighbors and family that we should each hold dear, and above politics.

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    1. Hi sweetheart! Thank you for this thoughtful response. The last few days have taught me that I need to listen more and express sincere emotion and empathy. Thank you for being an encourager, Justin. I am grateful for your wisdom and support.

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  3. Bravo. I think you spoke the words that a lot of women are feeling. God bless you and all of us in what lies ahead.

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    1. Good morning, Kelly. Thank you for your willingness to reach out! And thank you for your encouraging words.

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  4. Saw this on FB,I don't know you. I can hear that you are very concerned about the election. Emotions are like personal weather -- yours are valid and a part of your reality to be honored. Expressing them is good -- like weather, they too shall pass.

    I'm 60 years old -- I remember voting for Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter. I was CERTAIN about Carter, but I was wrong. I was concerned about Reagan because it was my first vote outside of the cocoon of my family, education, college teachings and media reports. MANY people were CERTAIN that Reagan would cause a nuclear war -- the idea that gas prices could drop and the USSR would ever go away was considered as "looney" by the elites the idea that climate change may be natural and limited, and that having a Constitutional Republic rather than a "democracy" is still possible in the post-modern world. I found Reagan more hopeful for a better future than Carter -- Just as I found Trump more hopeful than Hillary.

    I emotionally grieve for the loss of over 60 million babies torn from their mother's wombs. For the millions of inner city blacks living hopeless lives as wards of the state with 4-6 thousand of them killing each other each year. I also grieve for the millions dead from alcohol, heroin and suicide in "fly over America" -- an epidemic much greater than AIDs ever was, but of no concern to our elites.

    I agree that dialogue is extremely important, and I would be very happy to talk with you. It is harder to think ill of people that we meet face to face. I'm a Christian father, grandfather and husband of 31 years to "my first wife" (I get kicked when she is around and I say that). We both have university degrees, and many would consider me to be an "intellectual" ... self taught in theology, philosophy, physics, history -- and especially Churchill. The whole world was as certain that Winston was wrong about Hitler as they were that Reagan was wrong about the USSR. She voted for Trump as well.

    When I feel some of the same feelings you seem to, I remember that "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom." It isn't really about me, and my "wisdom" is insignificant.

    In terms of "goodness", I'm no better or worse relative to God than you, Hitler, Obama, Trump or Hillary. God has used womanizers (David), idolaters (pretty much all of us), liars (again, all of us), and certainly the THE PROUD, absolutely every last single one of us ALL the time.

    If we are honest, many of our inner prayers go something like "Dear God, please let all those foolish, sinful, selfish, arrogant, racist, crude, etc other folks learn to see things as I do so I feel more justified".

    Or if we are REALLY honest, "PLEASE punish those bad other people quickly and hopefully painfully so they turn to follow MY vision of the world!"

    Pretty close to half the country felt as you do now 8 years ago. The markets dropped 400 points the day after Obama was elected. Here is a post from my blog that I put out as a retrospective of that.

    http://www.moosetracksblog.com/2016/11/the-wayback-to-day-after-bo-elected.html



    While in my world the country has suffered horrible injury in the past 8 years, we are still here in a way (although I'd argue not the Constitutional Republic that was America). I maintain that the biggest danger of "progressivism" is that it causes an extreme loss of perspective. EVERYTHING seems to be about "today and the future". I strongly recommend reading St Augustine, City of God -- it was written about 400 AD, and he talks of how "modern" people thought they were.

    Life went on even after the fall of Rome ... greater and lesser things have certainly happened. God's Blessings, and I hope you cheer up.

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    1. Hello Bill! It was so gracious of you to take the time to share your opinions and convictions. Thank you also for your sincere expression of empathy at the beginning of your post. Thank you. That means a lot to me. It is clear that you have strong spiritual beliefs, and that those beliefs are giving you a sense of direction, purpose, and hope. I give thanks that you are feeling that hope and perspective. You have a lot of powerful life experiences, and I am grateful you are able to draw from those. I wish you all the best under this new administration, Bill. Thank you for your commitment to building a world where people feeling valued and supported. Thank you for having the courage to read perspectives different from your own. Thank you for being kind and compassionate to me even though you don't know me and perhaps disagree with some of my feelings. I appreciate the time you shared in reading the post and composing a response. Grace and peace to you.

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    2. Why did you feel it necessary to highjack this lovely post with your drivel? You have your candidate...let us have a moment to catch our breath and process the changes that are about to come.
      Your last line was condescending and really summed up your true nature. With a digital pat on the head, to told that woman to cheer up....she poured her heart out and spoke for so many of us and you tell her to 'cheer up.' How about you keep your disengenuous comments to yourself. Your comments were exactly what she's talking about.
      Let us grieve for the loss of decency.

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    3. Hello Liz, Thank you for being a sincere advocate. For reading my words. For encouraging me and valuing me - in a world which currently feels unsafe. I hope you are doing okay in the midst of all this - and finding people who encourage you and value you and regard you with total respect. I repeat Hillary's words from her concession speech hourly: "You are valuable and powerful and deserving." I hope you are holding tight to those words, too.

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    4. thank you, Bill. I feel so bad for Emily's deep concern and know that she will in time embrace the good that God can bring out of anything. We do not understand, and do not need to understand how He (God) will concur, but our faith tells us in Timothy vs 7: that we were not given a spirit of fear, but of love, power and self discipline. Emily, I do not know you but I love how open and honest you are. Thank you for that!!

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    5. Hello Suzi, thank you for your willingness to read my letter - even if it was hard to read and my feelings are hard to understand. It sounds like your faith is giving you hope, and I am grateful for that hope that is propelling you forward. Thank you for being a loving person who encourages honest, open emotional expression. I am grateful that you have honored this digital space.

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    6. Thank you, Mr. Berg,for your perspective. I truly appreciate it. I hold many of the same thoughts you do gained from age, experience, and a Christian viewpoint. Feelings and emotions are just as you described and I have learned that I have to decide if my feelings are based on truth or lies, realities or fallacies in order to be absolutely be sure they are valid. The mainstream media is no longer telling us the truth but is fabricated based on the whim of big money. We no longer have reporting or true journalism but we do have a lot of opinion and commentary. We do not yet know what atrocities we were saved from with a truly corrupt government as shown in Wikileaks of Hillary Clinton's and Podesta's emails and we may never know the whole truth of what was going on underneath. We do know the reality of 60 million aborted babies. We do know the reality of murdered policeman. We do know the reality of race wars beginning again. We do know the reality of terrorism in our own United States. We do know the reality of refugees and immigrants turning on us. We do know the reality of our sons and daughters stllcoming home in body bags or with terrible physical or emotional injuries. We do know the reality of huge National debt. We do know the reality of Obamacare and how it limits Healthcare especially to the elderly when services are denied after a certain age. We do know that we do not get to keep our doctors and we have seen the huge rise in cost of insurance and deductibles. These are just a few of the Myriad of realities that I see as having a huge negative impact on our nation and its people. I experienced the same reality of fear as Emily did and in much the same way when Mr. Obama became President but my fears have been confirmed can I have to say that I am still in mourning for what could have been and because the realities I have faced. After going to bed Tuesday night with renewed hope in my heart for a new start,I awakened to a raging, rioting,and rampaging populous in ten cities, Facebook, and a nation divided even further. My nation has been fundamentally changed all right and not in the way I had hoped. I am hoping and praying that with a new President who is not part of the establishment Elite,one who may be carnal but not actually evil, one who has accomplishments to his credit and not just offices, an actual 100 day plan, with Christian backup and a promise to clean up the swamp that we might come Together As Americans in unity and support for one another and respect for the office. Again I say, we do not know yet what we were rescued from but we can have an effect on the future if we just hold together and work toward unity and love. Fear is evil and it paralyzes.Fear is overcome by love in action. There is some truth to the statement that we have nothing to fear but fear itself if we hold on to that emotion. I am hoping that we will see reconciliation, restoration, and building if we just hold on to the love Emily is trying to express in her writing.

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    7. B.J. November 11, 2016November 11, 2016 at 4:26 PM

      I too found Bill's "cheer up" remark facIle and in complete disregard of the pain you described and concern for others you expressed. After a page of pseudo-Christian cant, he obliterated any sincerity by stating that you can be ok by *cheering up". I admire your grace and willingness to respect other' viewpoints. I also hope we will all survive together a so-called leader who has said he likes war, would not protect the Earth, would denigrate, sideline and deny races, religions and genders not his own, so clearly devalues women, and loves self above all...all counter to the teachings of Christ. May you and we all fin strength, smarts & mercy in the days ahead. Thanks!

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    8. Dear Anonymous from 4:14pm on 11.11,

      It sounds like you have some very strong convictions. Convictions different from my own. Thank you for your willingness to read my letter and my feeling's even though we have different opinions. That means a lot to me.

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    9. Dear BJ,
      Thank you for being so compassionate. For encouraging me. For hearing me fully. I am grateful for the kind heartedness. I hope that you, too, have places where you feel safe and valued. Thank you for being kind to me.

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  5. Thank you for sharing this, Emily. I echo so many of these feelings.

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    1. Hello friend. Thank you, Becky. For taking the time to read the post and taking the time to share some thoughts. Peace to you - and a heart full of encouragement, love, and empowerment.

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  6. Thank you for voicing what so many of us are feeling right now. Bless you!

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    1. Hello Cheryl, thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. Peace, grace, and abundant love and empowerment to you. You matter and your voice matters.

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  7. I feel your pain, tho I'm told I cannot because I am a white male in America, I am privileged! I will not compare bad behavior with bad behavior. I disagree with some of the crude remarks he has made, but they are only words! Since when did words become so damaging? Sticks and stones may break my bones? Remember the rest? That's what we were taught growing up. Now we live in a World where words hurt, feelings are so fragile the slightest "bump" in the road sends us to our safe space. Everyone does NOT deserve a participation award for everything they do! (9th place ribbon for jump roping?) I see President elect Donald Trump as a man that will get things done. Jobs is the biggest! If you want something, work for it! Boarders, enforce the laws that we as a country have on the books. We know there can never be a mass deportation of 11 million people. We all know Roe V Wade will never be over turned. I personally could argue both sides of that coin. However, I sure wish I didn't have to pay for women who have an abortion, with MY tax dollar. Women do have the right to make decisions about their bodies. I wish that decision would be made BEFORE conception! KEEP your pants on. Rape is of course the exception. But if abortion is HER choice, I think her partner should have as much say in the matter. Our Country has been broken for a long time and I do not think any politician could fix it, so I voted for the only one on the ballot that was not. I did like Carly Fiorina, it would have been nice to see her break that glass ceiling. Political correctness has also gone too far. I hope in years to come I can say, "Merry Christmas" and not be frowned at.

    Hugs and prayers to you, Jim

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    1. Hello Jim,
      Thank you for taking the time to respond. And thank you for taking the time to read my letter and my feelings - even if you find them difficult to understand or frustrating. I can imagine that you have felt pain and frustration many times in your life, too. And I am sorry for the pain, frustration, and wounds of your own life. It sounds like you have developed some strong opinions during your life. You have a right to those opinions. Thank you for making space in your heart to hear my feelings. It's okay that we don't agree. We still get to share this country. And that is good. Thank you for your expression of prayers and hugs.

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  8. Thank you Emily for writing this,I feel you are the voice for so many people! It made me cry,but all of it was so true,and needed to be said! Bless you!

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    1. Dear Anonymous, it takes courage to leave a comment. Thank you for doing so. For trusting me with your words. May you feel peace and healing - and may you know that you matter, you are powerful and strong. You are loved.

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  9. Thank you for this, Emily. I have been feeling many of the same things but have not really found a good way to put it into words other than to share what others have said. Would it be ok for me to share this as well?

    As a sexual assault survivor and an abusive relationship survivor, I share your sadness, anger and fear about having a president who has committed (and attempted to normalize) these horrendous acts. Sending the message that this is not a big deal and you can still be president despite this mindset makes me feel a rage I've never known. I'm still trying to figure out what to do with that.

    It makes me sad, too, to think about how many people voted against a candidate largely because of her gender, which is the same as mine. And the same as my smart, ambitious, impressionable niece. And my friend's sweet, inquisitive daughter who was so excited to go with her mom to vote for a "girl president." And my other friend's son who voted for her in a mock election at school without giving thought to her gender. I cry every time I think about a parent or teacher having to explain to a child how this happened.

    I am also fearful for our LGBT, non-white, non-rich and non-Christian friends (although I don't think the idea of Christian in this context means the same thing to everyone). I understand that one person in one powerful position cannot easily erase the few protections these communities have to begin with, but he can do serious damage.

    In addition to my deep concern for those uncertain of what this will mean for their health care needs, I am concerned for my career in health care. My organization's mission is to help everyone who needs us, but there is already growing pressure to turn certain people away and/or cut jobs due to financial strain... and I can't imagine it is about to improve.

    I guess your words prompted me to find mine... so I thank you again. I hold on to the hope that there will always be opportunities to create change and to try again. I also hope that our friends and family who voted or feel a different way consider this perspective more deeply. "It will be fine" is not comforting or helpful right now.

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    1. Dear Whitney,
      Thank you so much for reaching out and sharing your thoughts and feelings. You are more than welcome to share any or all of the post! Thank you for asking. Reading your thoughtful response was a gift to me; thank you for it.

      Thank you for courageously sharing about your own experiences of assault and abuse. You are a courageous, strong, deserving, powerful person, Whitney. It is so very hard to know what to do with this rage we are experiencing. I hope that you are able to continue to nurture those safe relationships in your life that give you space to truly feel what you feel. That rage is powerful. And it is not wrong or bad. It is a healthy response to oppression.

      It is such a deep wound right now. With so many, many layers. Thank you for being such an advocate for others - and for caring so deeply about how other people are experiencing this new reality.

      I hope we will someday get a chance to drink a cup of coffee together.

      In the meantime, know that I am standing with you, and Hillary's words are my mantra: "You are valuable and powerful and deserving."

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    2. I look forward to coffee or dinner or whatever it may be. You & Justin be sure to let Joe & I know when you're nearby again. Thank you for your words and your kind heart. Together, we keep going.

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  10. Hello. I wish to express my concern for why you addressed third party voters in your article? Are you assuming their vote is useless and gave Trump the election? I really hope you don't. It's quite the opposite. I voted for Stein because she fit MY views on policy and was a respectable candidate. I didn't even bother with Trump because of his comments or views. I didn't even bother with Hillary for her corrupt, scummy tactics and viewing Latinos as animals to be observed so she can get votes.

    What REALLY concerns me about this election is that those protesting and voicing their dislike of Trump don't see that he is a SIDE-EFFECT and not the real problem. Our two party system is the one at fault. It got us the two worst possible candidates in the history of US elections. Why aren't protestors crying over the corruption, manipulation and horrible things BOTH parties do? Why did people vote for Hillary out of spite when it only continue to feed this destructive system. THAT'S something to cry about because people are so blind they can't see that their own party is fucked up. THAT'S the problem with this election.

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    1. Dear Anonymous,
      It takes courage to leave a comment. To share. To express your fears, frustrations and even rage. Thank you for reading my letter even though it brought up some frustrated feelings for you. I am sorry if I triggered those feelings.

      I in no way believe your vote was useless. I think your vote and your right to vote as you did is central to our democracy. You matter and your opinions matter. I wish I knew your name so I could say this clearly: Dear (insert name), I believe you matter and that your opinions matter.

      I believe you made a well-informed decision and you had every right to vote exactly as you did. People who voted for Trump had every right to do so. People who wrote in a candidate had every right to do so. People who didn't vote had every right to abstain from voting. I wrote the letter to all groups just as a way of explaining where I'm at emotionally. And in the letter, I attempted to express that we all have a right to our feelings. Yourself included. I'm sorry I was able to express that in a clearly way.

      I can sense that you are very, very frustrated with our country's two-party system. Thank you for trusting me with those feelings. And for taking the time to write them here. I hope you'll come back to read this comment. You must feel very, very angry.

      You matter and your opinion matters. You are clearly a well-informed individual who would like to see a change in the system. I hope that you are able to direct your energies in ways that bring you peace and healing - and help our country. Thank you again for your honesty.

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    2. We need to slow down and take a look deep within and should not attack and criticize others. Everyone is different and that is what make our life here on earth interesting and downright AWESOME! The harmony that comes from sharing ideas and views help to develop each one of us as we grow, as brothers and sisters in Christ! When we become closed minded and treat people in a manor of that is hurtful and disrespectful we fall into satan's trap. We should live our life in a manor that touches the lives those who we meet and those that surround us in an uplifting way. True success in life is measured by the eulogy that is written on our behalf when we are delivered to Christ. Its not too late brothers and sisters. We are the author of our eulogy with how we touch the lives of those that we meet and those surround us daily. My prayers to all, that our eulogy will honor Christ!

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    3. Hello, His Light! Thank you for taking the time to share your comment. I love your wise, compassionate opening line. Thank you for that wisdom! Beautiful. May you continue to be a beacon of compassionate understanding. It is so very important!

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    4. I have two daughters, two sisters and a mother...my heart cries out for your healing.

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  11. As someone who did somewhat reluctantly vote for him let me reassure you that there is plenty of room for you in my heart, mind and prayers, (and many, many of my friends and closest family members who openly oppose my selection). I believe that millions more of his voters would 2nd that statement.

    Is Mr. Trump's personality abrasive at times? Yes. Could the Republicans have picked a better nominee who I would have felt better about voting for? Yes. Believe it or not, I voted for Obama twice. There are a number of factors as to why I changed my political views over the past few years. Let me reassure you that hate, racism, and prejudice towards groups of people had nothing to do with it. While I'd never stand by and let someone talk to 2 my daughters (who you baptized) the way Mr. Trump has spoken to women in the past, I believe that this country is facing more critical decisions which could have more of an impact on their lives in the future. I know that there isn't much proof to support this, but I believe that Donald Trump will be more moderate than many fear and will do a better job as president than you might think.

    Next time I see you around town or run into you at the grocery store I'd be willing to try to give you my side of the story.

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    1. Thank you for being so open, honest, and compassionate. This means a lot to me. And you taking the time to read all my words and then respond - that was a gracious act on your part. Thank you. It was brave of you to share your own take on the presidential election and some of the factors that led you to your decision. Thank you for hearing my words and respecting me.

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  12. Thank you for writing this. I have a feeling I will bookmark it and read it several times.

    I am still so, so sad and scared about what happened on Tuesday. And I admit that I am still angry at those that voted for Trump. I know that they (at least most of them) voted for very sincere reasons and that I have more in common with them than I don't. But I have a hard time understanding why they would vote for him. How they could listen to him, read his positions, learn about his character and still think that he should lead this country. How they could demonize Hillary Clinton (who obviously has her fair share of faults) and then forgive him for everything----don't get me started on evangelicals who came out and supported him. I'm angry that there are people who voted for him hoping that he wouldn't do what he said he was going to do. Or that think he will stand up to the other Republicans. Everything he has done in his life, makes it pretty obvious to me that he won't. won't. I'm sad and scared the more I read about his cabinet and the fact that he was apparently shocked he won (I have a feeling he wanted to win, but doesn't want to govern). This would be a good thing (I read yesterday he doesn't really want to live at the White House and will spend considerable amount of time in New York), but then we are back to the people that will be president by proxy for him.

    So I am still angry. I don't post anything on my public social media accounts so I'm left expressing my feelings where no one knows me. Maybe that's not the best way to deal with things, but that's where I'm at....posting comments on blogs of people I don't know :)

    The closest I have come to grace so far (and I'm working on it) is this: I found great personal peace that Barack Obama has been our president for 8 years. I found it comforting that a smart, thoughtful, and caring person was in charge. Even if I didn't agree with a decision he made, I never doubted that it was sincere and that he was making the best possible decision in his mind. It was a blessing for me. So it stands to reason that there are people that have that same peace now. I am happy for them. But I'm still sad for me.

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    1. Hello! Thanks so very much for your comment. I stand with you and hear you and understand. I think you have every right to feel those feelings...the anger and sadness and confusion. I hope that you know I am always here for you as a safe person. Reach out anytime. You matter and your voice matters.

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  13. Hey Emily, even though you probably won't reply to this, I just wanted to let you know that Nancy and I feel exactly the same way as you do. You're letter is so sincere and it shows how much love you have for people.This letter is so honest and from the heart. Here's my take, Emily. Here are some things that I got out of watching Trump. He said that he could unite this nation, But that won't happen. What he taught our young children was how to bully other kids and people.He taught them how to hate. He taught them how to be a racist. He also taught our children to defy blacks, Muslims, Mexicans, or any other races. A who attacked a gold star family and their son who was killed in the war. Here is a person who cheated many workers out of the money they earned. A man that had no guts about enlisting in the military. I could go on and on, but there is something else I want to add. What happened to the Christians in this election? I don't feel you can be a Christian and elect a man that has no respect for women and minorities. He still down grades women by saying they shouldn't serve in the military. To all you people who voted for Trump, welcome to THE UNITED STATES OF RUSSIA. You are going to have to live with it. As regard to the media, who got most of the free television time and press time? Finally, I'm glad you have a president, because I don't have one. Thanks Emily for letting me get this off my chest. Love you as always and I'll always have your back.

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  14. I forgot to add that Trump also taught our children hoe to name call people. He didn't tell the people, that while building a wall, to keep people out, he will also be keeping us in. WOW!

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    1. Hi Bill,

      Thank you for being brave and sharing from your own experience. Your feelings are important and valid. I am so grateful to know that you and Nancy are people reaching out with a message of grace and love to all people. These are complicated times. I am praying for guidance and I know you are, too. Thank you for reading my letter, Bill, and for always being so encouraging.

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  15. Emily,

    I love you. I love the way in which you demonstrate time and time and time again what it means to BE love. This couldn't have been written more beautifully, more poignantly, or more respectfully. I really needed this. Thank you.

    I am scared. I am heartbroken. I have cried endless tears since Tuesday. But I was reminded today at church and then through your post that we will get through this. Together. We will speak up and demand respect and accountability. Together. It won't be easy at times, but if we can all adopt an attitude of resilient love like you do, I think we'll do just fine.

    Love you, Em.

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    1. Love you, friend. Thank you for this comment, and your thoughtful, compassionate words. We will get through this - together. We will support one another. We will value one another. And we will listen. Thank you for always being an advocate for peace and respect and kindness. I am grateful for you and your friendship, and although we don't get to see each other in person very much, I think of you often. Thinking of you and your compassionate heart.

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  16. Emily, thank you for such a wonderfully written piece. It echoes many of my thoughts.

    I think something to remember is, while we can accept our president-elect and hope he puts the country in a good place, the reality is that half the country didn't vote, and and only half-of-the-half voted for Trump/Pence. And, that Clinton/Kaine overwhelmingly won our generation. I feel like those datapoints help.

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    1. Dear Stephanie; thanks so much for the comment. Such a good point about voting. It really broke down to about 1/4 Trump, 1/4 Clinton, and 2/4 didn't vote. Thank you for that reminder today. I'm looking for signs of hope and I appreciate you reminding me of this one. Peace and hope to your heart.

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