Understanding America

Rachel Genthe, Assistant A&E Editor

Finally, this horror of an election is over. But the horror of politics is not.

I have never been interested in politics, until recently, because it made me uncomfortable. I’m not pursuing an education to validate my own opinion, I’m just a student still learning and wanting to better understand the opinions of myself and others. I felt uncomfortable because my personal mindset doesn’t mean I do not care about others. I understand America as a place where we are allowed to make our own choices and have them respected.

With that being said, I want to offer insight as a member of the so-called silent majority.

I know this is not a simple issue, I know this election could change and, in many cases has changed, everyone’s lives. There are so many obstacles we, as Americans, have overcome and there are still many ahead of us. But how do we move forward when there is no room for possibility?

So here I am, emotional like many people in America. My emotions, on the surface, are for the same reasons: I am emotional because I understand that Americans are distraught and angry about what the future brings. I am emotional because I thought I would be able to have my own opinion, yet it doesn’t seem that way.

I have not once been able to have a civil political conversation with someone of the opposite mindset. That is discouraging. As a student I feel obligated to understand both sides. How can that happen when it’s not open on both sides?

Recently I took a political science class at Santa Rosa Junior College where, for the first time in my life, politics were discussed in a nonthreatening environment. Both political sides were discussed with the intent of increasing the students’ knowledge and understanding of American politics. That was refreshing. Each student walked away from class with a different point of view because of course that is what America offers. And yet to some, one opinion is the only opinion.

This election has divided us as a nation. It has been taken to a personal level where respect for one another, as human beings, has been disregard. Now I ask you- and myself- what happen to the openness we all desire?