Election reaction shows divisions

In the few days since Donald Trump’s stunning victory in the presidential election, the reactions across the country reveal our country’s divisions.

Thousands of people in major cities have spent the past week holding protests and demonstrations, with signs saying, “Not My President.” They object to Trump’s positions on immigration, on climate change, on minorities, and his perceived attitudes toward women. Trump’s positions are not their positions, and they want to let him know.

All the protests in the world, of course, will not undo the results of last Tuesday. Donald Trump will be the president of the United States, and his biggest task will be to try to unite the country, assuring them he is not the bogeyman the campaign painted him to be, an image for which he himself has to take at least some credit.

Trump can start by addressing another sign of the divisiveness in the country. Since the election there have been a few reports in schools and colleges of racial slurs and insults, and threats against Muslims and other “immigrant” types. In one case, a drunken lout reportedly threatened to set a Muslim woman on fire unless she removed her hijab, or head scarf.

Trump should repudiate any such activity by anyone. If his election has emboldened those with racist and xenophobic attitudes, Trump should make it clear that he does not condone it.

Hillary Clinton, too, can do much to urge protestors to accept the election results, and work within the system to fight for their political and social goals.

America’s divisions are not the problem so much as the animosity and lack of respect people have for the other side. We may disagree with each other, but we don’t have to hate each other.