Twitter post-election dumpster fire
Like most Americans, I spent the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 3 glued to the television watching the states report their votes hour after hour. I sat on the sofa discussing possible outcomes and what states each candidate would receive. Each person seemed to have their own theory and some states, like Nevada, were still counting ballots.
In the days that followed, I checked Twitter every day to see if a winner had been called and I noticed a disturbing trend of people becoming increasingly hostile and angry towards one another.
One Twitter user said “If you voted for Trump, we will never forget that you chose the side of hatred and greed. You will always be complicit in his ‘atrocities.’” Another tweet said, “If you voted for Trump ya moms a hoe.” And finally, “[I]f you voted for Trump, you’re racist and trash just like him.”
The amount of hatred and anger being directed towards others online from people behind their phones has been truly sad to see. I do know people who voted for Trump, many of whom are genuine and kind people. I have also been able to meet with Biden voters who are equally wonderful people.
If you truly believe that every single person who voted for Trump, all 71 million of them, are bigoted, horrible people then you have fallen into the trap of putting people into boxes. People are really complex and diverse. There are stories behind every ballot.
I have heard many people say that they voted for Biden because they were afraid of what would happen to some of their human rights if Trump was going to serve a second term. This is a statement I truly didn’t understand until I had a conversation with someone who voted democratic this election.
I thought that if our rights are protected by the Bill of Rights and if the Supreme Court is there to draw lines in the sand, why would people worry about their rights? Then I started talking with others. They started to bring issues to my attention that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise.
People began to tell me about their healthcare, and how they thought if Trump won again they would be without. I read about people fearful if Trump won again they would be evicted in a pandemic still unable to find another job.
These issues and these conversations helped me understand why so many groups were so concerned and fearful about this year’s outcome. That’s where these tweets go wrong. They close off avenues of communication and don’t allow others to see their perspective. People are more than their ballot and sometimes they need someone to help them see where they went wrong; someone to give them more information.
We can’t just say we won’t be friends with someone because of their vote. We should stop being friends with someone who hates people of color. We should stop being friends with someone who hates women. But we should not deny people the opportunity to enrich themselves and have a more formed opinion. It should be about bridging the gap between Republicans and Democrats to find solutions that benefit all people. Cutting off communication is not the way.