Tuesday, December 6th, 2016
I started this post the Thursday after Donald Trump was elected and I am finally finishing it now. I don’t want to debate or have any lively discussions or hear why I’m wrong… I just want to share why I needed a social media break and why I feel the way I do. I don’t want to know why you voted the way you did… honestly it doesn’t matter anymore. I respect your choice, I respect you as a person. I do not think you are any of the labels that have been used. I can separate the politics from the people. I hope that makes sense.
I will probably dip my toes back into Facebook around Christmas but it’s been lovely to have a break from that constant stream of MUCH. I may not ever go back in the deep end again.
To put things in perspective, today is my daughter’s 25th birthday. Jenny has always been my little angel on earth and I can’t believe I’ve gotten to be her mother for 25 years. I will never forget smelling her little head for the first time. She made my heart grow exponentially by coming into my life. So that’s why my heart hurts so much when things feel wrong in the world. Celebrate love. Happy Birthday, Jenny. <3
Thursday, November 10th, 2016
My heart hurts.
I removed the Facebook app from my phone on Wednesday. I don’t know when or if I will return to Facebook… finally finding some peace in my soul feels good. I have anguished over what to say this week. As most of my faithful readers know, I process difficult emotions by writing, and this week has been a difficult one for our entire country… for both sides of the political spectrum. I write this for myself, I don’t care if no one ever reads it, I don’t care if the entire world reads it, and I don’t care what reaction it evokes… I need to write this for ME. (As an aside, I wasn’t even sure I would hit “Publish” and kept it to myself for nearly a month…)
This is not about politics. Please hear this. THIS IS NOT ABOUT POLITICS.
The majority of my friends and family are Republican. Admittedly, I am not as educated about politics as my sister-in-law (who holds a double Master’s Degree in history) or my aunt (who has her Ph.D. in political science). I have not educated myself in-depth about specific issues facing our modern world. My complicated children and my loving husband take the majority of my energy and time.
I have been a Democrat my entire adult life. I don’t vote a straight Democratic ticket, but I do research each candidate, especially at the state level and above, and choose the one that most closely fits with my beliefs. If I don’t know enough about a position (railroad commissioner, that is a position about which I really know very little), I simply don’t vote for that position. But for the president of our country, I do get educated. Like the majority of Americans, I didn’t love Hillary Clinton and I couldn’t stand Donald Trump. Early in the process I took an online political quiz, I Side With, which is nonpartisan. You answer a series of questions, and you can get more complex on issues that are important to you, then the survey matches the candidates to you in order of most closely matched to least. You know what was MOST surprising about that survey? It wasn’t who most closely aligned with me… it was how close ALL of the candidates were. In most cases, candidates were just a few percentage points apart from each other on most issues. We have gotten SO divisive and vitriolic in this country, especially with social media fueling the divisions, that we simply cannot step back to see that we all pretty much believe in the same things.
One political thing before I talk about why my heart hurts… I heard the phrase “the silent majority has spoken” in reference to Trump winning the election. I knew of the electoral college and that it superseded the popular vote, but the actual mechanics of how it works (who are the voters? how do they get chosen? why do most states give all votes to one candidate? why did the electoral college get created?) were a mystery to me. So if nothing else, I am a much more educated voter than I was prior to November 8th, 2016. Regarding majority, Clinton won the popular vote by over 2.4 million votes. So really, which method reflects the country’s majority? It’s been an interesting process to study.
So why does my heart hurt?
Is it because Donald Trump is a theatrical reality TV celebrity? A shady businessman? A racist? A misogynst? Accused of sexual assault? A person that mocks those with disabilities or makes fun of women that aren’t attractive? Because he has no impulse control on Twitter? Because he doesn’t have any political experience? Because my friends in other countries are gobsmacked?
Not exactly. My heart hurts because we elected a slimy human being. This is about basic humanity, not politics. Some would argue that Clinton falls into the same realm… in their opinion. I get that, but I would argue. Maybe some of her politics are slimy, but as a human being on this planet, no. Not nearly to the extent as our President-elect. Once a very long time ago, after Anna was born and Jenny was dating, a family member made an off-color gesture mimicking a person with cerebral palsy along with a guttural noise. I’ve had other family members use the r-word. Each and every time, I speak up… for Anna. I speak up and say, “You know what? That isn’t okay with me and here is why.” I don’t feel that I can do that about about Donald Trump.
Why my heart hurts is because I had to explain to my 12-year old son that a man that has this long slimy-human-rap-sheet deserves our respect and that after January 20th, you will never ever hear me say a negative word about our President. Because that’s the right thing to do. I had to explain to my son that even though a man has power and privilege and says he can grab pussy and kiss whoever he wants without repercussion just because of his power and privilege… that that man deserves respect. Donald Trump has not earned our respect but he deserves it. And I will give it to him… as will my son. But somehow I’m supposed to teach my impressionable boy that this behavior shouldn’t be accepted, cannot be tolerated, and must be punished… yet it is not only accepted… it is downplayed, brushed off, and dismissed. Not only is it accepted… it is rewarded.
I’m having a very VERY hard time reconciling that we, as a country, elected this man, who most agree isn’t their candidate of choice, but “what else were we supposed to do?” I do NOT believe that my friends and family believe it’s okay to grab women, make fun of people with disabilities, not pay taxes, not pay contractors, and be openly racist towards Mexican-Americans or Muslims. But somehow I have to explain to my son that a man can say and do the things that Trump has said and done, and not only can he be elected president, he deserves our respect. Ick. My soul just isn’t okay with that dichotomy. And I still don’t know how to reconcile that.
I hope this helps explain why my heart hurts. Like I said, I wrote this for ME. And maybe some day in the future, Dominic can read it again and be proud of his mother.
November 10th, 2016~December 6, 1016