So a thing happened. I’m surprised, but honestly, not that surprised. I am, however, more than a little terrified of what will happen over the next 4 years.
But I think the important thing to remember is that not everyone that voted for Trump voted out of some malice, or sense of hatred for LGBT people, women, immigrants, or minorities. This is counterproductive, and just turns people against each other. What we need right now is understanding.
I would venture to say that the majority of people voting for him are simply people that are struggling to get by; that haven’t seen improvement or upward direction in their lives and careers, or seen the opposite as their jobs and way of life disappear; that feel like politics have abandoned them. They saw Trump as a way out, or at least figured he was at least some chance at change compared to Clinton.
Try to understand that. Try to empathize with that. I think a lot of us that are shaking our heads right now are fortunate in that we’ve done relatively well in life. Try to understand the lives and views of people that aren’t in that position and why that need for change could trump things that we find important.
And that goes the other way too. If you voted for Trump, try to empathize with the rest of us that right now are feeling abandoned and afraid. If you’re white, male, and/or straight, try to understand the things that people unlike you face and go through in life. Try to understand the fear, and work with us to make sure that people are not bullied, threatened, or killed because of their gender, race, or orientation.
I think the big thing right now is to hope. Hope that Trump surrounds himself with people that have actual policy experience, and listens to them for once. Hope that he, inexplicably, manages to “Make America Great Again”, in some sense, for everyone. Hope that we don’t regress too far backward in longer-term goals like controlling climate change and handling the Middle East. Hope that Trump manages to become more of the man we saw in his victory speech last night now that he no longer has to campaign, and does what he can to unify the country.
Edit: Some articles, presented without commentary:
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/cp/opinion/election-night-2016/it-is-possible-for-trump-to-bea-good-president (You may need to manually scroll down to the “It Is Possible for Trump To Be a Good President” section, because that page seems to be bad at directly linking one article.)
Edit edit: This is excellent too: http://waitbutwhy.com/2016/11/its-going-to-be-okay.html
Editx3: Also good: http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-reasons-trumps-rise-that-no-one-talks-about/