We all heard the campaign slogan, “Love Trumps Hate” last year as a response to the hateful vitriol that resonated from the campaign trail for over a year and a half. No matter who you voted for, everyone should have been disgusted by the comments about Senator McCain not being a hero because he was captured and held as a POW for eight years. When the disabled journalist was mocked, I was stunned since my youngest son was severely disabled and lived for 29 years at the developmental level of a two month old baby. And finally the disgusting recorded comments with Billy Bush about how to treat women that led to the infamous “pussy hats” worn during the Women’s March on January 21. Trump seemed unmoored from reality during his campaign, and continues to serve in that very capacity as the leader of our nation.
Even more shocking were the voters who weren’t repulsed by these comments and by some of the followers who echoed the same hate and intolerance of this future world leader. The world was stunned that our nation would elect someone whose campaign was built on ridicule and hate. I certainly didn’t support or vote for Hillary, but I would not vote for a candidate whose hateful comments and actions are now recorded in history for my young grandchildren to study about in school some day. I am heartbroken that they will question why this behavior was embraced by so many Americans. How will their parents teach them that making fun of people is hurtful and demeaning and just plain wrong, when our president won the election based on that very behavior?
I am taking a stained glass class with a small group of women who are friendly, chat a bit at the beginning of each class but primarily work hard, focused on the small projects we are learning how to do. We are required to successfully complete this workshop of 24 hours of training before we can be a member of the club.
A couple of years ago, an older couple from Israel moved to Sun City and took a tour of the stained glass lab one day, admiring the many lovely art pieces on display and for sale. The husband had served his country for years in the Israeli military and the couple was excited to learn all about what their new community had to offer. A male club member got right into the face of the visiting couple and told them to go back to Israel, that “their kind of people” weren’t welcome here. The husband joined the club immediately, took the same class I am currently taking and greets every visitor and new member warmly and graciously.
I was stunned, I had assumed that the new community that Will and I just moved to a month ago was full of aging, but energetic seniors who wanted to fully enjoy their retirement by attending free concerts, bowling, taking art classes, joining silversmith classes, playing cards and just having fun every single day. Our past month has been filled with having dinners with friends, taking fun new classes, golfing and swimming. I have enjoyed the escape from listening to the news about our newly elected President. I have not missed the daily barrage of everything he is going to roll back, reduce or eliminate for women, school kids, seniors and practically every American, while wasting money on a fence that will never be built.
So when I heard this story, it shook me to the very core and I just can’t stop thinking about it. What causes some people to be accepting of others and embrace their differences, while other people hate anyone that isn’t just like them. Is it how they were raised by their family, what they experienced as a young child, did something happen as they grew older or was it the people they hung around with? Is it a lack of education and exposure to a bigger world than their own backyard? Why do people hate others just because their skin color is different, or they speak another language or come from another country or choose to love someone of the same gender? Why do they hate?
I believe that most Americans are good decent people who love their neighbor. That love can conquer all. That good wins over evil. That love makes the world go round. That love will find a way. That love trumps hate. These are the lessons I want my grandkids to learn in life.