“Bloodless Revolution” is a term I first heard and learned about back in middle school, in my Social Studies class. It is another way to describe the peaceful exchange of power that is meant to take place with each new president.
A revolution is exactly what took place on November 8, 2016. The same as one took place on November 8, 2008 when Barack Obama was elected. These “Bloodless Revolutions” are built into our system of government. Presidential Elections are by design supposed to shake up our country and everyone’s individual world within this country. The point of an election is Revolution, not Complacency. But it is meant to be a peaceful uprising, accomplished with ‘ballots not bullets.’
This past election, Donald Trump was elected president, and the system worked. Both revolution and peace have been accomplished and maintained. We should be proud. Pride in our democracy, however, does not mean that you cannot also be disappointed, depending on which side of the battle you were on. Not everyone is supposed to be happy with the outcome of an election. Revolution, not complacency.
Elections don’t just result in choosing new leaders. They also shed light on the kaleidoscope of ideas, opinions and beliefs that compose the rainbow or “melting pot” that is the American People. To deny the fact that others do not agree with you or me does not stop it from being a fact. To deny it simply makes you blind to it, which in turn makes you vulnerable to it. Not being able to see the car in the next lane because it’s in our blind spot doesn’t stop the crash that comes when we attempt to shift lanes and continue on our journey; it causes the crash.
The motto of Philippa Schuyler Middle School, which I attended and where I learned about our government was “To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Required.” The people of this country have been endowed with a wonderful gift- by History, by Revolutionaries, by Intrepid Ancestors, by God - the freedom to choose their leaders. And with that is a responsibility to accept the outcome even if you don’t agree with it. To accept that there is no single point of view in a country that spans over three thousand miles from coast to coast and is populated by over three hundred million people from diverse cultures, backgrounds, ethnicities, and needs. And that’s okay. It’s not a cause for despair, it’s confirmation that we are doing something right because we have so many differences, and yet are still - politically speaking- at peace. It is this simultaneous allowance for revolution and stability that has helped build this country’s prosperity and influence, as well as its abiding talent and capacity for change, for remaking itself. As disappointed as some may be with this presidential election, let us all hope that our democratic tradition is not disrupted.
And if you are unhappy with the selection of our voters, then that is your cue to prepare and work towards victory in the next bloodless revolution.