A letter from the editor on the election

It’s no secret that this presidential election has torn the country apart, but it has torn many families apart too, including my own.

I come from a conservative family in Texas, and I was raised in a suburb with little diversity and almost zero economic struggle. No one needed social services, so everyone voted against them. With an excess of money and a bundle of investments, the people I grew up with couldn’t even imagine losing it all, so an increase in taxes was just a burden.

Then I moved to California for college. I wouldn’t call the University of San Diego diverse, but it was as big step toward it for me. Even though the students here don’t make a microcosm of the general population, they are incredibly accepting of differences. For the first time I recognized my own ignorance that came as a result of a childhood ruled by Fox News.  For the first time I had my own views on politics.

When I attended the Democratic National Convention in July as a part of a USD class, the Facebook comments I received were vicious. Longtime family friends couldn’t distance themselves from politics for a minute to be happy for my once-in-a-lifetime experience.  I had never unfriended someone for a political difference before because I’ve always found opposing viewpoints on my feed to be interesting, but that week I said goodbye to four of them.

I know that it’s just cognitive dissonance, but that doesn’t make things any easier.

As the FBI conducted investigations into Hillary Clinton’s email scandals, I had to justify my support for a candidate who could have jeopardized national security with her carelessness. When the Trump tapes broke, the men in my family had to defend it as ‘locker-room talk’ to preserve their increasingly fragile social identities as lifelong Republicans. Everything in this election has been less than ideal. I’d go so far to say that the election has been un-American.

Whoever gets elected on Nov. 8 has a daunting task in front of them: helping America move past it. The United States has been so deeply divided by this presidential race and particularly the hate speech that has surrounded it. I don’t think our country could withstand four more years of it. We need a break from all of the nasty before the 2020 election.

We need four years to heal from this campaign. We need four years to mend relationships that have been broken and put families back together. We need four years for America to reunify.

This election isn’t the end for America, but it could be the start of a downward spiral. The scandals of both candidates are reminiscent of one of the most corrupt moments in American history: Watergate. What happened after Watergate is what is important though. Gerald Ford made the controversial decision to pardon former President Nixon, not because he thought it was right but because he knew that America couldn’t handle four more years of heavy investigation into its most sacred office.

It will take an effort from both sides, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. There is a way for America to dig its way out of the hole and rebuild its core.

Moving forward is what will redeem our international reputation that has been compromised by this election. Showing the world that we can overcome a horrific election will make us a more respectable nation, and, hopefully with a little optimism from the outside, we can begin to feel better about our own internal state.

I’m fortunate to have such a unique perspective on the election and to love people who are voting on both sides of the aisle. While it has certainly challenged some relationships, it has kept me grounded in the election  and in my own views. I’m able to see that we all generally value the same issues, we just prioritize them diffferently, and that’s okay. Not everyone has the opportunity to leave their roots and be exposed to new political thoughts. Not everyone wants to leave their roots either. It’s just important to repair any views that stem from hatred. What is important is that we restore our sense of humanity after this election.

You have to make a personal decision to accept the results of the election. Whether it swings in your favor or not, looking forward is important. Your disgruntlement won’t change the results so take a minute to reflect on where you can personally recover. Make an effort to respect the views of others and understand that everyone has different priorities. We all come from different circumstances, but we are all a part of one amazing country.

By Brooklyn Dippo, Editor in Chief