I hate talking or writing about politics because I know that there is no longer any room for debate. There’s the side I’m on, and the other side. There’s a whole lot of other stuff in between that both sides could agree upon, but vitriolic words metaphorically built that wall some politicians (and one incoming president) claim we should build — keeping Americans, not illegals, from moving forward.
I can’t ignore what is affecting my, and millions of other, lives today. So, let me get my political shit out there, and before my Republican friends decide to skip on out of here, know this post is not about bashing you (I actually believe in the less government part of your original ideology) — it is about being honest with what I feel is wrong with us today.
I believe Winston Churchill is credited with saying something along the lines of the most powerful weapon is words: they begin and end wars. Sorry I googled and couldn’t find the exact quote. Ancient Ashanti kings had spokespeople speak for them because their words were law, and it was better to have a filter to prevent irreparable oratory. Words are everything; language is what makes us gloriously and horrifically human, which is why — believe it or not— I carefully choose what I post publicly.
I would never, ever vote for a man like Trump because he so carelessly throws his words around not giving a damn to what damage they might cause. And before anyone begins with the ‘so, you think Hillary would do better’ replies; this isn’t about her. So bear with me. Maybe Mr. Trump’s word choice is deliberate and he has no plan of following through with any of what he’s claimed — maybe he wants to grow rainbows and cure the world with lots of peace and love. Maybe he’s smarter than all of us, and knows he has to tap into our hatred to bring out our peace. Yeah I know that’s probably all bullshit, but a girl can dream. I don’t know what President Trump has in store for us, and to be honest it isn’t his words that scare me the most; it’s our reaction to them, and then his reaction. And by our I mean my side too.
I was in the middle of teaching my sweet girls in a rural, Islamic, Middle Eastern town, when I heard the news. Like millions of others I was mortified, shocked, and profoundly embarrassed — I may have even felt true despair (something foreign to me). I thought and felt a lot of the same as everyone else on ‘my side’ of things. But, then I saw my side publicly grieve and lash out at the other side, and while I agreed with their anger, I was mortified to see what some of them were saying (to my Democrat friends, bear with me here).
I know this is hard for my side to believe, but believe it or not there are actually good people who voted for Trump. (don’t delete me yet I’m getting to the misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic, bigoted stuff) It hurts me to see us lash out at each other for letting this happen. I do not in any way, shape or form agree with a vote for Trump, but that’s my right. And, it’s my fellow American’s right to vote the way they like — regardless of how dangerously wrong or uninformed I might think they are. And, I certainly don’t want anyone lashing out at third-party voters either. While I also didn’t like any of their candidates, they are right to demand for other party options — something has gone very, very wrong with our two parties in control. The past few presidential elections third parties have been brought up, and the message is always you’re right, things are messed up, but don’t cast third-party votes during a presidential election. It’ll only hurt the cause; let’s work on this outside of a presidential campaign. And, then it all gets forgotten, so yeah people are pissed. So please, do not condemn Americans for thinking beyond the box.
We are never, ever going to move forward if we cannot stop blaming the other side for our problems, and we’re certainly never going to be able to discuss, debate, COLLABORATE on anything if we’re articulating only our anger and hatred.
That said, there is the sad reality of how many people do believe in some of Trump’s spoken and twittered nastiness. Yeah, yeah, yeah some folks voted for him because they thought he’d make good business sense and some believed Hillary would do more damage, but let us be totally honest here: too many of us really do hate ‘them’ (insert group of choice here) and blame ‘them’ for all that is wrong in our world.
So let’s go back to the hateful words that helped get Trump elected. Please do not demonize those who are currently protesting (I’m not including anarchists in this sentiment — those who destroy property and attempt to wound anyone in the process are there for the wrong reasons), and if you think there wouldn’t have been rioting if Trump lost you are sadly mistaken. Please do not tell those who didn’t vote for Trump to suck it up and quit being sore losers. This isn’t about that at all; it’s about wanting the world to know that America does not stand for ignorance and prejudice, even though it is obviously a very real problem in our society. If you believe prejudice isn’t as big a problem as ‘they’ say it is, you’re in denial. We need to figure out a way to quit blaming the other side (whichever one you’re on black/white; man/woman; immigrant/american born; christian/islamic, gay/straight; etc/etc. ) and find our common ground, which is so much bigger than the bits that divide us.
There is so much more that I want to write about what I believe and why, but we live in an Internet world where even I struggle to read anything that isn’t easy to scan (another issue that connects to our current issues).
We know deep down in our guts what the right things truly are to do, but it’s just so damned hard to do it right, so we do the easy thing — we fight, we blame, we do everything but pull together. Even when we claim we’re screaming and fighting for American values (speaking to all sides here, not just the other one).
And since just this once I’m sharing my political views I also really want to be totally honest about what I feel about those who berate me or think I’m weak because I want to have a more balanced society. It takes courage and hard work, really emotionally-draining hard work to implement solutions that benefit more than one side. I am so sick and tired of my views being turned into a joke or touted as unrealistic, sappy, tree-hugging, hippy, peace loving bullshit. As if wanting peace was a bad thing. There is nothing weak about who I am or what I believe in. Jesus, if you’re one of his followers, kind of spoke to this. So, to those of you who dismiss me as a do-gooder who doesn’t know what the real world is all about, I have just one thing to say: Fuck you! Just this once I’ll let it out. I’m human too.
But if you truly want to discuss our differences and see how your point of view and my point of view can join and make our country great again, I am so in. I might even buy you a beer, or hell I might even marry you (just ask my husband, a republican who also opted out of voting for Trump). And oh my God if our new president can manage to do that while making decisions that will help our country heal and grow and move forward, I can find it in myself to respect his work. I will never forget, forgive or like him for the things he has said, but I can support a presidency that works for all of my country’s people and doesn’t shred our constitution. And that’s just it we don’t have to like each other, but damn it people we do have to work together, or there won’t be much of an America to do anything with. I so hope and pray we find our way forward. I have never meant this more: May God Bless America — please.
Image taken from Wikipedia.org