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viewpoint

I am not

| Monday, November 14, 2016

I am not a racist.

I am not a sexist.

I am not a xenophobe.

I am not a homophobe.

I’m an American who tries to be a good person. I’m an American who does his best to treat all those around him with the respect they deserve. I’m an American who believes that while our system of governance is not perfect, it is our system and it works. And I trust that it will continue to work as it has for the last 200 years. I’m an American who voted for Donald Trump.

I’m an American who believes in law and order. I’m an American who believes that history cannot be forgotten or rejected. I’m an American who does not fear a Donald Trump presidency; I’m an American who did not fear a Hillary Clinton presidency. I’m an American who recognizes the limits of the presidency.

I’m an American who believes that America is great; that America was great; that America always will be great. I’m an American that also believes that America has not recently been great in the way that Donald Trump wants it to be great. I’m an American who did not believe that America was not great in the way that Barack Obama wanted to fundamentally change America to make it great. But I’m an American who could not be prouder to be an American.

I’m an American who believes that America is tired of the same-old, same-old. Hillary Clinton is the same-old, same-old. Whether or not President Trump will be a success or not is unknown, but he is anything but the same-old, same-old. I’m an American who is excited and nervous for the next four years. But I am an American who is not afraid. I’m an American who knows that President Trump will surround himself with experienced advisors and cabinet members. I’m an American who knows that President Trump will be unable to act unilaterally in most situations. I’m an American who believes that President Trump will not overstep his executive powers, that he will act within his constitutional bounds and work with Congress in achieving his goals for the country. I’m no more afraid of President Trump having both houses of Congress within his party than I was of Barack Obama having that same setup in his first two years. I’m an American who trusts the American system of government.

I’m an American who believes in federalism. I’m an American who does not think the Electoral College should be abolished. I’m an American who knows that this is not the first time the College’s vote and the popular vote did not align. I’m an American who believes that was the result of Hillary Clinton’s limited popularity and not because of an ineffective system. I’m an American who believes the Electoral College maintains state powers and sovereignty. I’m an American who believes that President Trump won rightfully.

I am not a racist.

I am not a sexist.

I am not a xenophobe.

I am not a homophobe.

I am an American.

An American who has been appalled by the way he has been treated by people who claim their motto is to “go high.” By people who claim to desire peace and understanding and open-mindedness. By people who claim love trumps hate. I’m an American, though, who is not entirely surprised by this treatment. Understanding and open-mindedness are too often reserved only for those who think the same way as they do. Only for those whom they believe are on the “right” side of things. I’m an American who believes we all have rights to our opinions, to our beliefs, to what we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts.

I don’t know what Donald Trump holds nearest and dearest to his heart; I cannot know the man’s soul. But I know my own heart, I know my own beliefs and I have made them known before and will not be silent about them simply to pacify those around me. For months I have listened to others chant the praises of Hillary Clinton, but I have not personally attacked anyone for their beliefs. I’ve been told that I’m a sexist and a bigot and a hateful person for not supporting her — or for supporting President Trump. I voted for Marco Rubio in the primary; Donald Trump was not my first choice. But I’m an American with viewpoints that far more aligned with his than they ever would with Hillary Clinton’s. What was most important to me would be best-accomplished by Trump. I’m an American who had every right to that belief; it could never be taken from me. I’m an American who did not deserve to fear expressing that belief.

On Tuesday night, I was viciously attacked for posting a tame status on Facebook that pointed out that America had spoken and chosen a president. I’m an American who knows that we will all never agree on so many things. I’m an American who believes political discourse is good and proper. I’m an American who believes vitriol and hatred and protests are unproductive and far more dangerous and disgusting than anything Trump has done or proposed to do. I’m an American who knows that violence of any sort against others for their religion, their race, their sexual orientation is wrong; I’m an American who knows that violence against a person for simply supporting President Trump is also wrong.

I’m an American who thought friendships and family bonds would always be stronger than political disagreement. I’m an American who is saddened to learn he was wrong.

Donald Trump is my president.

Donald Trump is your president.

Donald Trump is our president.

Donald Trump is America’s president.

I’m proud to be an American, yesterday, today and always.

God bless this great country.

God bless us all. May He bring us peace and understanding.

 

Matthew Linnabary 

second year law student

Nov. 11

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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