Today we give thanks and celebrate all the men and women who have fought to protect our freedoms and our values–and it has been a very tough week for that.
If you don’t mind, I’m going to do something I rarely do publicly and share my thoughts. If you do mind, you should stop reading now because I can guarantee you that you’re probably not going to like what I have to say. If you’re not sure, read on–I can assure you that while you may not agree with me, I’ve done my best to keep my thoughts respectful and if you’re going to weigh in, I ask you to do the same.
For the last year, I have watched people that I know and love spout some truly hateful things on social media and I let them because while the 2nd Amendment of our Constitution tends to get a lot of air time, it is the FIRST Amendment, which allows us freedom of speech. We get to debate and argue and disagree openly. We get to love, we get to hate and it is all okay because we are extremely lucky enough to be born in a place were we are allowed that privilege.
Yesterday someone I love said the following words: you lost, get over it. And it made me so angry because he did not get it. He did not understand why people are upset and protesting–and even more frustrating is that he did not make any attempt to understand. All I wanted to do was reach through the phone and smack the shit out of him. But I refrained, mostly because I couldn’t actually reach through the phone…
I didn’t lose. I voted. My voice was heard. I can’t say that I’m shocked that the Republican Party won: political history usually shows that when a President serves for 8 years the next election usually goes to the other party. It is what keeps our country moving forward. It is how the other voices are heard and that is a good thing. I truly believe that.
The Republicans pulled off a political upset that will be talked about for as long as America is a country, and maybe even longer than that. What I am upset about is that it came at a very high price. It came with whom they chose to be their leader, to be our next President. I am not upset that the conservatives won, I am upset because they chose someone who openly makes fun of people who are different and promises to ban them from this country and/or punish them for being different.
I absolutely get that they did not want to vote for Hillary. I absolutely get that they are extremely dissatisfied and distrustful with politicians and all the political bullshit that comes out of Washington. I get that it would have been so hard to vote against their party, which they supported and believed in the majority of their lives.
I share these sentiments with them and I will happily discuss, debate, and brainstorm ideas to overcome the distrust and disenchantment with our current political system.
But I truly do not understand how anyone could support someone so hateful, so racist, and so misogynistic. There were other options, but it was the person with the most amount of hate who won. I do not understand that and I don’t know that I ever will. I have always chosen to see the good in people and what this week has shown me is that a lot people in this country are not capable of doing the same.
You are entitled to your beliefs and your vote, as I am to mine. But like you, I am also allowed to speak my mind and in the spirit of fairness, if you want me to listen to your side, you will listen to mine. I am allowed to be upset; I am allowed to be angry; I am allowed to be worried for the direction where our country may be heading.
You cannot tell me that if your daughter, sister, mother, aunt, cousin, best friend came to you and said that a man grabbed her inappropriately (pussy is the word President-Elect Trump used), you would just let it go. And yet whether you meant for it to do so, if you voted for Trump that is what your vote has said.
America is a nation of immigrants. If you are not 100% Native American or Native Hawaiian, then you are from a family of immigrants. And ever since the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, these shores have welcomed people seeking freedom from persecution, usually religious persecution because again our FIRST Amendment allows us the freedom to practice the religion that we want. But if you voted for Trump, whether you meant for it to do so or not, your vote said that this no longer matters.
The second paragraph of The Declaration of Independence begins with:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
We have spent the last 200 hundred years moving in the direction that all men and women could and would be treated equally, regardless of whom they believe their Creator to be.
People are angry and protesting because as a country, we elected a new President who has openly stated that “all men” equals white, rich, straight, Christian men. Not even white, rich, straight, Christian women get to be equal because our new President has said that it is okay to treat women like they are property and he will punish any woman who wants to control what happens to her body.
On Election Night–or rather at 1am the following morning–I was on the phone with my BFF and she asked in earnest “What are we going to do?” I couldn’t give her a good answer because I was too saddened by the history that I was watching and the backsliding of our country 50, perhaps 60, years.
We have seen a lot of hate and we have seen a lot of violence and never once has it solved anything. So, BFF and anyone else wondering, what we’re going to do is this:
We are going to continue to fight to protect our freedoms and our values that so many have fought and died protecting.
We are going to continue to standup for those being persecuted for their beliefs, their religion, whom they love, how they look, or any other reason that makes them a target.
We are going to respect the office of the Presidency and our new President, BUT we are also going to push Congress and remind the Supreme Court of their duties to moderate the Office of the President.
We are not going to abandon hope.
We are going to hold our new President accountable for the promises of unity that he made in his victory speech by consistently reminding him that we are a nation of immigrants and every last man, woman, and child matter–despite the color of their skin, whom they love, where they were born, and what their beliefs are.
That is how we all win. That is how we all move forward. That is how we all can truly make America great again.