Let me start with this: I didn’t vote for Donald Trump. In fact, the man has the rare ability to crawl under my skin like lice and turn my blood to lava.
Despite these feelings, I have chosen to resist and fight back with the strongest action of all … love.
On the day of President Trump’s inauguration, I posted a single quote to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in response to the eruption in our country:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
This is perhaps my favorite quote by Martin Luther King, Jr., and no other words more adequately described how I felt on Jan. 20, 2017. Since then, I’ve watched hate grip this nation from all ends of the political spectrum, and while I’m not going to deny my anger, I’ve grasped for these words with greater fervor now.
A close friend of mine from childhood who is Christian said she has chosen to make love her battle cry. As a Jew who is more secular than religious, I decided to join her. My friend said love is not always an easy choice, and she’s right—which is why choosing to love, rather than giving into hate, is so effective.
President Trump goes against every core value I’ve been raised to believe.
- My father paid my way through college working as a music teacher and I grew up on the stage, yet President Trump wants to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts.
- I have a profound respect for nature, yet President Trump wants to gut the Environmental Protection Agency.
- I believe health care is a right, not a privilege, yet President Trump is pushing Congress to disband the Affordable Care Act.
- I’m a former journalist—launching my career with the First Amendment in my pen—yet President Trump calls citizens like me the “enemy of the American people.”
His lack of empathy for those who are different than him, or believe differently than him, or oppose him politically, appalls me. Yet rather than label other Americans who have labeled me, I stand here on this page, and I am declaring to you, President Trump: I CHOOSE LOVE.
I will not lose friendships over this election and I will strive to speak from a place of reason, rather than anger. I will funnel my dissent into saving animals, helping my family and giving to those in my life who need it. I will stand up for minorities or refugees and call my representatives in Congress to keep you in line. I will celebrate life alongside my Muslim friends, my Christian friends, my Catholic friends, my Jewish friends, and my Atheist friends. I will aim to understand those who are different than me. I will use my writing to provide a voice for the voiceless.
I will love, President Trump, and I will look for the light inside every American, whether they voted for you or not. In the words of another MLK quote that I admire, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
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