Our President-elect and Not Hating the Opposition

History is constantly being made just as consistently as time moves on. What will we leave for future generations to look back on, and in what circumstances will we leave them in?

So far, Trump has not been the harbinger of death for our country. He did do something that is quite remarkable, though: He’s appointed Scott Pruitt, a climate change denier, to head the EPA. 

Thanks. A proud product of Oklahoma.

Like many of you (hopefully) did, I cast my vote during the presidential election – I felt the same tension as many of you felt that Tuesday night as state after state revealed the true current nature of the United States. I went to bed that night before anything official was called and felt a pressure on my chest which is a sensation similar to that of an asthma attack.

The next morning came, and the world kept on turning. Just as it did, we should keep our motivation to make a difference: Vihart, one of my favorite mathematical vloggers, reminds us that making a difference requires more than just one vote; it requires a small and habitual effort which builds to relentless proportions.

Let’s keep in mind what our goals are and remember that it is going to take more than a vote to achieve the future that we want.

“We do not doubt the sincerity of the beliefs of our fellow attorneys general about climate change and the role human activity plays in it. But we call upon them to press those beliefs through debate, not through governmental intimidation of those who disagree with them.”

This is taken from an Op-Ed piece of Scott Pruitt’s in collaboration with Luther Strange, the attorney general of Alabama.

Long aside: Do not, for the love of all that is good, rope people into groups based on the limited knowledge that you know about them. This goes to you, dear reader, to me, my parents, my sister, your sister, your parents, your friends, my fourth grade teacher (love you Mrs. Shipley), EVERYONE. If there is one thing that I have feared more than anything in my life is that I will collapsed down into one aspect of my identity as many people are daily.

Here’s an example:

My mother and I were chatting about something casually the other day, and she dropped this on me.

“I thought that you’d have some opinion about this color scheme.”

This one instance doesn’t necessarily mean that she thinks I’m some flamer who goes bouncing around in a rainbow flag. However, I have been getting this more and more frequently and from people that I would have never expected.

This collapsing doesn’t apply solely to gender, sexual, racial, or generational identity. It applies to political affiliation especially. 

Believe it or not, but one of my close friends voted for Trump and I didn’t immediately drop them. I didn’t immediately consider them a bigot, either. Certainly it gave me a shock and I reevaluated what I thought that I knew about them to some extent, but they are still my good friend.

I feel like it isn’t that much to ask of someone to not immediately hate someone based on some aspect of their personality. As easy as it is for us to not dislike black people, can we say the same for older people? How about people from the countryside? How about rich people? How about religious people? So many of my friends are quick to judge, and I detest that. These people are exactly that. People. I feel as though I’m always playing defense and believing that good can exist in anyone from any walk of life.

Now that bit is over, Scott Pruitt can be said to be with 100% confidence that he is, in fact, a climate change denier. Have no doubt about that label. It sounds like an article from The Onion that a man such as him has been assigned to head the EPA.

I believe that it is our responsibility to encourage critical thinking in every situation. Don’t immediately agree with an opinion because that person is also a (insert party here). Don’t immediately disagree with an opinion because that person isn’t a (insert party here) like you. Question it. That includes my opinion that I just gave you.

Does this post hint at the fact that I don’t agree with everything my generation has thought of to be morally true? I hope it does.


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