The Real Reason This Election Embarrasses Me

I’m a Republican. And I’m usually proud of it.

I woke up this morning planning not to post anything about the election publicly. But my silence would mean Trump truly won, right? Not only in the literal, unavoidable sense that he is our next president, but in the philosophical sense that my silence equals passive acquiescence to everything that he stands for. He did not win my acquiescence in any sense, passive or otherwise. So now, I choose to actively engage.

When I decided to dive head first into the deep end and share my thoughts, I thought about making certain political and personal disclaimers in an attempt to stave off the backlash I’m sure to receive. But that would sound like admitting that there is something I am guilty of, and that’s not the case.

The case is this: though I’ve lived in New York City for the past three years, I grew up in the Midwest. Does the region where I spent the first 21 years of my life embarrass me? Sometimes. This election provides a case in point. But am I ashamed of it? No. And I am honestly offended by the many sweeping generalizations* I’ve seen made about the Midwest in general, and the people in it in particular.

I am a Republican. I grew up in the Midwest. And I voted for Hillary Clinton.

You can grow up in an overwhelmingly Red region and still be an educated human being. You can claim allegiance to a political party and still disagree with its choices. In the words of Ana Navarro, a Republican strategist and commentator, I voted against Donald Trump because I am a Republican. I accept that Trump duly won the Republican nomination. But I do not accept that he represents Republican values — not the ones I grew-up respecting.” Navarro was raised better than racism, sexism, and utter lack of humility. So was I.

Alongside Hillary’s many faithful supporters—people I know, people I respect—there were also many of us, like me, that only spouted #imwithher because there was no movement labeled #imagainsthim. Clearly, the many of us that cast our vote for Hillary because we were choosing to vote against Trump did not outnumber the Americans who actually believe in him and his ideals. And we’re all grappling with that.

But to everyone who is now denouncing, demeaning, and demonizing the region I grew up in, I’m embarrassed for you. Embarrassed that you claim to be so pro-American, believing this intolerant man and his reprehensible activities will bring us down, that you’re willing to discredit, disparage, and reject a (big) part of the very country you profess to support. If you despise intolerance and love America as much as you claim, maybe you should stop that reprehensible activity.

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*So I don’t insult some of my narrow-minded Democrat friends any further, I’ll share examples from people with public profiles whom I do not know. On Facebook: here, here, here. And Twitter: here, here, here. Among many, many others.

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