Last year, if I asked anyone who they thought would win the election, hardly anyone would have said Trump. Even after the events of the week before the actual election, it simply was not on many people’s minds.

Honestly, a year after 2016’s election, I still cannot bring myself to particularly care about the majority of news surrounding Trump. I do not care about what the president puts out on his Twitter any more than I do what anyone else puts on their social media. However, Trump’s win has seemingly set something on fire, and that is much more interesting to me. After all, the way he talks on social media is no different than the dozens of Facebook friends I have. The only difference is his name and status.

I have written in Perspectives before about my views on American politics, but it saddens me to see nothing has changed in the past year. In fact, it has gotten worse. You cannot just “disagree” about politics anymore. You either agree with the majority opinion of a given social group, or you are the enemy of human existence. This happens on both  ends of the political spectrum, and as a moderate, I get slammed from both sides on a daily basis. This needs to stop. We are better than this.

I will always remember Trump’s inauguration. I was watching it in the The All State’s office, but I remember the actual event less than I do what was occurring on the other screen, where a protest against Trump had turned into a riot. Those were not white supremacists setting cars on fire. People who voted for Clinton let their anger get the better of them, and in that moment, I will admit, I gave up. I gave up trying to convince people there was a better way. Now I just sit at the table, biting my tongue off so as to not risk a misunderstanding, costing me friends.

It saddens me to see I was right. Trump is a product of our country’s issues; he is not a source. All he has served to do in the past year is remind us of a brutal reality: we are responsible for our own actions and reactions. When we perceive an injustice in our country, do we respond with strong morals, sound mind and kind actions, or do we respond with injustice, determined to demonize and destroy the enemy into submission? All too often in the past year, Trump’s actions have shown me people will choose the latter far more often than the first, no matter what moral high ground they claim. Trump is not responsible for your hate towards others. You are.