Let Us Not Grow Weary
Today is Wednesday, and for me that usually means #weddingwednesday on social media, along with a new post to the wedding blog. But I cannot bring myself to write about stationary or floral arrangements today. I just can't.
There are a slew of people saying we need to be happy and joyful and hopeful today no matter the outcome. I may be in a better mood tomorrow, and I am generally an optimistic and hopeful person. But today...today I am allowing myself to be sad and to be angry.
If it is truly a democracy, then we have the right to speak. We have the right to disagree. We have a right to be upset today. I find it extremely ironic that some Trump supporters are using that very idea to try and silence the other party - to say essentially, yes you can disagree with me, but I don't want to hear about it. Personally I will do it with kindness, but I will speak my mind. I have yet to call names or insult anyone personally, though I will not be silent.
One of many things being repeated today, by some Trumps supporters, is that we should drop it and move on. That feels eerily familiar from someone who has experienced abuse first hand, in the same way the reaction to his "locker-room talk" felt. It's minimizing the negative, so the person can somehow be justified...so the people who refuse to stand up against the wrongdoer can absolve themselves from sharing in the guilt of such bad behavior. It is not just Hillary voters but so many people around the world who are saddened and afraid. That in itself speaks volumes.
The biggest division is coming from liberals claiming that a vote for Trump goes against Christian values (which it does, despite Trump being against abortion), while republicans are taking great offense to that and retaliating with continued attacks against Hillary and against democrats.
It astounds me, and frightens me, that social media and biased news sources hold so much weight that a lot of people justified their final decision based on the recent email scandals that turned out to be completely false. But an alleged scandal, unfortunately, gets so much more coverage than the boring truth. And her so-called controversial emails, though sent via a server she wasn't supposed to use, were mundane emails comprised of evidence that A. She is in fact a decent human being who cares about the good will of others. B. She needs a lot of help with her printer and needs things printed in large text. C. She's a fan of shows like Parks & Rec and The Good Wife. Wow, yeah...what a "killer" and "liar." And I just saw someone on Facebook call her Satan-possessed. You know, liberals don't have to resort to calling Trump possessed or evil. They can simply say he is a racist, a sexist, and come on...isn't he?
While leaders very diplomatically welcomed Trump in their official responses, which is a good sign that they are committed to at least trying to work with America; German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said, "Trump is a warning to us as well. He is the harbinger of a new authoritarian and chauvinistic international movement."
I would say that the biggest division going on, however, is the cognitive dissonance that Republicans are experiencing and the fact that despite our democracy and despite our votes, more than half the county who voted for Hillary now have to deal with the consequences of Trump as President. The cognitive dissonance, for example, being Christians defending their votes by saying things like "I voted for Trump because despite how bad he is, I am against abortion." So just own it then. If you voted for Trump for that reason alone, then you did so simply because that one issue is more important to you than the other issues and because you really don't care enough that he has said and done some very bad things. That is not a lie or bias...or even name-calling in the way that he has called other people names...names like "stupid", "fat", etc. That is a fair assessment based on the very things he has said. If a Trump supporter is against that sort of behavior, yet still voted for him, then those morals are compromised, period. I admit mine are compromised in that I am not for abortion, but so many other factors were more important to me. So yes, someone vehemently opposed to pro-choice may say that they are such, and you know what? I won't take offense to that as a Democrat. I simply take offense if they personally attack me or my family. Otherwise, I simply acknowledge that they have a different opinion on the matter. And if any friends support him, I can accept that and move forward as long as they can too.
Actions speak much louder than words, and Trump supporters chose someone who is incredibly immoral in numerous ways. I even saw one woman comment that she "wasn't looking for him to be her husband but the nation's leader" and another say that just because he is bad, it doesn't mean she is bad for voting for him, because he will do some good things for the country. That really justifies it?
I'm sorry, but that's a bit like inviting a racist, pervert uncle over for Thanksgiving dinner; because while you know he's likely to spew a few racial slurs at the table, give you an unsolicited and awkward kiss on the mouth, insult your gay son, and grab your daughter's ass when no one is looking, you'd still rather invite him because he makes a delicious green bean casserole and brought an expensive bottle of wine.
So, yeah, we're pretty pissed that some people invited the creepy uncle to our holiday meal. Don't get all pissed at us for being upset about it. We do need to tone it down and refrain from saying things that are offensive. And yes, if we are going to stay (rather than moving to Canada), we should work to get along and we should move forward. But today, especially today, we are going to express our feelings, and it is going to make some people very uncomfortable.
But again, if you didn't vote for Hillary, then I assume you think ill of my decision to do so. You may think some very bad things about my character in fact. But if I thought you were a good person before the election, I will still think that after regardless. I will not agree with or respect that decision, just as I can only assume a Trump supporter may not respect my vote, but we don't HAVE to. We simply have to accept those differences of opinions and move on.
Still, it is frightening to see where he will take the country, so yes, I think a vote for him was a mistake. I've heard some people say things like, "God will use him." Or don't they believe in free will? I know it's tempting to tell yourself that God is ultimately in control by means of finding comfort and peace, but he is not in fact in complete control of every thing that happens. Or if you believe that, you must also believe that he is responsible for bad things, because we all know that bad things do happen, and sometimes bad things happen to good people (and vice versa). He is there for guidance and comfort, but He will not control every single thing Trump does.
Luckily we do have checks and balances and hopefully he will be impeached before long. But in the meantime, our Commander in Chief is someone who wants to "bomb the shit" out of ISIS, and he is someone who claims to know more about ISIS than anyone else. Does that sound like someone who is going to receive the council of others?
But that is of course exactly what a large portion of his supporters are counting on. They see someone who isn't the typical politician. They see someone who is angry and aggressive and will take action. They want change. Well, that is one thing that is true. He will bring about change, unfortunately.
Trump supporters can continue to call democrats "corrupt fear mongers," but we are not fear mongers. We are simply afraid. And if you've been on Facebook, it doesn't take long to see that the rest of the world is also afraid. In fact, the only comment I've seen from someone outside of the U.S. that was in support of Trump was someone who called women stupid and called Hillary a bitch. Those are the kind of people who think Trump will make a good leader. And no, Trump didn't officially accept the KKK endorsement, but you are the company you keep. And the fact that the leader of the KKK was enthusiastically praising God when it became clear that Trump was going to win, and the fact that at a rally in New York thousands of Trump supporters chanted this...
....that should be alarming, not to mention unacceptable, to the American people. And it disheartens me, and disheartens a lot of people, to be reminded that racism and sexism in America is still going strong.
I seldom quote scripture since my days in bible school many years ago, but during her concession speech, Hillary quoted one of the handful of verses that has made a permanent impact on me.
"Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap, if we do not lose heart."
This saying has carried me through some tough times during which I knew I was making the right decision but had to face many challenges and judgements along the way. So let us not grow weary in doing what is right. I will be stressed today. My fiance is equally stressed, and we are both saddened and disappointed, not just in the outcome itself but in the fact that a distressing number of Americans, some friends included, thought it best to vote for someone like him. We will feel a little better tomorrow, and better the day after that and so on.
But I feel I should now add to this post that I have already chosen to not take it personal regarding any of my friends, and I hope they won't towards me. They can post anything from "put Hillary in prison" to "Democrats are baby killers", not that any of my personal friends have, but some acquaintances have, and just like any other time they've posted things that I don't agree with or could potentially take offense to (honestly as someone who has faced abuse, I could choose to take offense to friends voting for a man like Trump), I choose to simply keep scrolling and I choose to know we are different, and I accept that. And I would much rather just not talk about those issues with them and just move forward and keep being friends. Because just as I know that they wouldn't mean those comments personally against me, I would hope that they know any comments I've made about conservatives or Christians aren't meant towards them. There is a reason I always try to say "some," because I don't want to lump any of them in, because I would never want to lose friends over this. But if that is the consequence of how my expressed opinions make anyone feel, so be it. I am saddened by it, but it is what it is unfortunately.
When my 3rd grader gets pushed down and called a baby killer and told that Hillary is stupid and that she is stupid for liking her, and that makes me angry with extreme Christians, the kinds that I have experienced here in the Midwest more so than any other place I've lived in the country; I trust that my real friends immediately know that I am not referring to them. In fact, my biggest support and sympathies on my Facebook post about it came from other Christians, some of the Christians I went to Bible school with in fact. So to me, this is not a war on Christianity, it really is a difference of opinions, and you can choose to not take it personal. You can choose to trust that your friends are the same people they have always been. You can choose to move forward without demanding an apology or trying to make someone believe the way that you do. Just like love, forgiveness, etc...those things are NOT dependent on feelings. In fact, they tend to depend on making a choice despite feelings.
And as far as politics go, if you are a fellow Hillary supporter, there is in fact much to hope for. My fiance showed me this tweet by Jon Cozart, which includes stats that show that the bulk of Trump supporters are uneducated white men. But what is encouraging about the voting stats is that first, she did win the popular vote, and secondly that had millenials been the only voters, she would have won nearly every state. That offers much hope for the future of this country.
"You will have successes and setbacks too. This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what's right is worth it." ~ Hillary Clinton