A House Divided Will Not Stand

By Leo Garcia

Last week, I awoke in Trump’s America. I stepped out of Union Station to a sight that seemed so foreign to me. Flags were waving, banners were flying, and all with one name: Trump. It was in that moment that my eyes were abruptly torn open to reality; Donald Trump was truly becoming the President of the United States of America.

Growing up in Houston, Texas has been an interesting experience. Located in arguably one of the most conservative states in America, Houston is a liberal hub that has fostered the growth of very accepting individuals. I was raised knowing  many Republicans and tons of Democrats and consequently, we have learned to grow together. The plane ride to Washington D.C. was one marked by both red baseball caps and pink beanies. Coexistence is something that is reinforced when living in such a diverse environment. However, upon arrival to D.C., this coexistence of ideas disappeared and transformed into competition.

Washington D.C. became the playing field for two opposing teams over the Inaugural weekend. Hoards of people from both conservative and liberal bubbles joined together trying to overpower one another, both bubbles trying not to be the one to pop. As someone who attended both the Inauguration and the Women’s March, the great divide that exists in America became painfully clear to me.

At the Inauguration, the crowd was one I had never seen in my entire lifetime. Those around me were reading articles from Brietbart, while others argued about CNN and its lack of credibility. When Hillary Clinton stepped out the crowd became an ensemble all yelling to “LOCK HER UP!”. While the First Family stepped out they cheered and gloated on how attractive Melania, Ivanka and the others are. This ceremony, which marks the peaceful transfer of power between administrations, became more of a victory lap for President Trump’s supporters. With all the attempts made by the Inaugural Committee to unite the country, from my perspective, it seemed to widen the gap even further.

At the Women’s March the following day, thousands flocked to the streets. A plethora of signs covered the streets, some pushing for policy, others attacking President Trump. They crowd yelled in excitement as Ashley Judd read a poem embracing the title of Nasty Woman while juxtaposing it to the Trump administration. Thousands booed loudly at mentions of President Trump, Betsy DeVos and other opponents of the Democratic party. The majority of the speeches made were focused on respect while still pushing for their ideals. For example, Van Jones critiqued both Republicans and Democrats on many points. However, as we marched down and chants were made proclaiming “DONALD TRUMP HAS GOT TO GO”, I was reminded once more about the split that is tearing this country into two.

While I do admit that I consider myself a democrat and proudly supported Secretary Hillary Clinton, I can understand the logic of the opposition. Both sides want to see the United States grow. Both sides want financial stability, national security, and success for everybody. I may not agree with much of President Trump’s agenda, however he is my president. This, however, doesn’t mean that I must give up my viewpoint. Moving forward it is in the best interest of America to have a convergence of minds. It is essential that politics are discussed with those who oppose one’s stance, for this is how compromise is accomplished. It is essential that President Trump attempts to listen to the approximately 63 million citizens who voted against him. It is essential to have respect for all, regardless of political stance, gender, race, education level or any other factor. If I learned anything at all during my four days in Washington D.C., it is that the contrast that exists in America is detrimental for progress and coexistence is necessary for survival. Let us all be grow towards compromise through the peaceful exchange of beliefs to ensure a bright future for all of America.

Here's how author Leo Garcia suggests you can get involved: American Civil Liberties Union

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