I Am Not a Hater by Dr. Heidi PEtak

It’s the day after the election. Emotions are running high. Communication is super-charged with labels and insults, as articles and posts on social media are calling Trump-supporters uneducated, haters, bigots, and racists.

But wise communication and the future of our great nation calls us as American citizens to believe the best about each other and to lace our speech with kindness and grace, no matter who sits in the Oval Office.

To give you a window into the mind of one Republican, I voted for Trump, not because I’m uneducated and not because I wanted to reinforce the glass ceiling for women. As a woman with a Ph.D., I believe women have the right to occupy the highest seats in the land. Someday I hope to vote a woman into office who stands on a platform that loves the things I love.

And I voted for Trump not because I’m a hater, a bigot, or a racist.

In fact, I’m a lover. A lover of my Muslim friends, my African American friends, my Hispanic friends, my LGTB friends, and my friends who don’t share my faith. I’m a lover of my friends and relatives who cast their vote for a different candidate. I respect you and your right to be different than me. And I believe we can have civil conversations and listen and learn from each other.

I voted for Trump because I’m a lover. Not a lover of Trump and his arrogant, disrespectful, immoral ways, but a lover of the values of the Republican platform:

I’m a lover of our Constitution, written by our founding fathers as an enduring covenant.

I’m a lover of the distinction between right and wrong, friend and foe, and I long for our country to stand against evil in all its forms.

I’m a lover of future generations and want to decrease the national debt for the sake of my children and my children’s children.

I’m a lover of life. I believe, along with our constitution, that no one, no matter how small, should ever “be deprived of life” in the United States of America. As such, I believe in the inalienable rights of unborn children of all abilities who grow strong and hopeful today in their mother’s wombs.

I’m a lover of the rights of women for unplanned pregnancies. I believe in funding for ultrasounds and adoption and I believe financial responsibility should fall on both the mother and the father.

I’m a lover of wise trade agreements that put America first and wise economic plans that support innovation and keep power in the hands of the citizenry.

I’m a lover of marriage and my freedom to define marriage as a covenant between one man and one woman.

I’m a lover of transparency and believe that all institutions should be subject to accountability, including the Federal Reserve, the IRS, and the person in the Oval Office.

I’m a lover of necessary reforms that put taxpayers first- in healthcare, agriculture, and government.

I’m a lover of the freedom of religion and believe in the safeguarding of that freedom from government control.

Finally, I’m a lover of Jesus, and believe that with evangelical Mike Pence in the second seat, there’s a much better chance that my values will be upheld.

My vote went Red not because I’m a hater, but because I’m a lover.