Editorial: Election kindness: For yourself and for others


The ISD Editorial Board encourages all students to react to the results of the election with kindness and respect, both for themselves and for others.

Editorial Board

Elections are always stressful and cause a lot of tension, but the 2020 presidential election has been especially divisive.

The ISD Editorial Board encourages everyone to be respectful of each other’s differences while also standing up for what they believe in.

As the election approached, a lot of businesses boarded up to protect against possible riots or protests and counter-protests from those upset about the results. No one should feel their lives and/or belongings are in danger because of an election.

Violence should not be the first reaction if someone doesn’t get their way. Repeat that: violence should not be the first reaction if someone doesn’t get their way — and threats or suggestions of violence should not be the second.

Another common reaction: anger. While understandable, anger at a person, party or result does little to make you or the people around you feel better. 

There are better ways to react to election results and better ways to react when someone disagrees with you. It is completely possible to disagree with someone while still being kind. Conversations and debates would be more productive and effective if those involved kept their cool and spoke in a calm manner.

Interactions about politics should be civil. Stay true to yourself and be honest. If you are in a group of people who have beliefs opposite of yours, don’t back down just to avoid an argument (if appropriate). Arguments and debates are an opportunity to let your passion for your beliefs show.

The best way to get those with conflicting views of yours to understand your side is to explain why you think the way you do. Conversely, know when to stop talking and remove yourself from the situation. It’s easy to tell when someone is done listening and their mind can’t be changed. Stop the conversation and take a breather. While debates are often good, there are many times when it’s better for you and the other people involved to call it quits. Confide in those around you that understand and agree with your thoughts.

A topic that has been prevalent is the two-party system. CNN reported nearly 40 percent of Americans “think a third political party is needed to fix the political system.” Most of the time, Americans consider it pointless to vote third party.

“Rebelling” against the two-party system by voting a third-party candidate is sometimes considered wasting a vote. The two-party system is here to stay — at least for now — whether we like it or not. It’s alright to vote third party, but there’s no sense in fighting about the two-party system, especially now that a winner has been projected. Is it really worth your time right now? 

A piece of advice to stay sane through the election madness: limit your time on social media. If your preferred presidential candidate didn’t win, don’t “doom scroll” through your newsfeed where there’s likely a lot of jokes and unkind comments about them. 

Take care of yourself. A lot of people spent the weeks leading up to the election talking about election self care. That’s still relevant, even though a winner has been projected. It’s okay to feel stressed and exhausted. There is no shame in taking a break from the news and being upset about the results.

Take a nap, turn your phone off for an hour, read a book that has nothing to do with politics. Do what you need to do to relax for a bit and let your brain decompress from the past few weeks and prepare for the next few months. 

And keep self-care habits in mind for the upcoming months. The presidential election results may be in, but there will be a lot of drama until Jan. 20 (and beyond).