Earlier today I read a post, “Let the Record Show” by John Pavlovitz, that pretty much exactly sums up how I feel about the upcoming four years. Not everything, but about 90%, which is pretty darn close.
This part, in particular, resonated:
“History has been littered with horrible people who did terrible things with power, because too many good people remained silent.”
I don’t want to remain silent and I won’t. However, I strongly suspect that once this post is published, this blog will be finished. I have small children to think about, their safety has to come first, and I believe we are entering a period of dangerous political ideologies. I’ll keep writing, of course, and talking to people I care about, both in person and online, but publicly posting my thoughts and opinions as myself doesn’t seem to be a great idea any longer.
I have a dear local friend who is elderly and was harassed horribly and stalked online because she dared to share her political opinion, similar to mine, in a local paper. She’s the sweetest person you’d ever want to meet, but how dare she share her opinion and expect to ever feel safe in her town or even home again! I have several other friends who have experienced violence, either verbal or physical, simply for existing around people who felt emboldened by the new atmosphere.
That seems to be the accepted mindset now. Violence, or the threat thereof, against any words of dissent or disagreement. Then subsequent denial of that violence because it’s “only fake news” or “people are just making it up.”
“Get over it” are the words of today on Facebook. I’m sure that I’ll have them directed at me too despite the fact that I’ve never told anyone else to “get over” someone who was elected. I cannot even fathom doing so. I’ve also never voted for a winning president in my life, but prior to now there were only political differences involved.
I firmly believe that the previous presidents, whom I didn’t vote for and vehemently disagreed with politically, were all good people who truly wanted to be president so that they could do a good job. I do not believe that this time. I see a self-serving man who wants money, power, and popularity. A man who will say anything to get a crowd to cheer for him. Who doesn’t seem to really understand how complex most of these issues he speaks about actually are. I’m not saying that he’s unintelligent – clearly he is very intelligent – but that’s not exactly a comfort in this situation.
I see the dissent that has already been sown in my friends and neighbors.
I see the violence on both major sides.
I see clearly the utter lack of caring, primarily from the Republican side, about anyone who dares feel even the slightest bit uncomfortable with this situation – let alone those who are genuinely worried about their basic needs and survival.
Most importantly, I see the most vulnerable people in our society fearing for their lives and the lives of their children – the poor, the ill, the elderly, the disabled. The “expendables” to many, it seems.
Interestingly enough, most of those I’ve seen saying “get over it” are not actually people who have exhibited a lack of empathy about other topics in the past. Not to my knowledge, at least. What makes this so different?
Why is this a situation where other people’s feelings are so easily and cavalierly dismissed and invalidated?
Let my record show, in addition to most of the things John Pavlovitz already said:
My values are incongruent with those of the incoming administration. They are mutually exclusive. I am not represented by them at all.
I highly value the various vulnerable populations in our country and will do everything in my power to speak up on their behalf whenever possible. All the way from nationally to locally.
If any of my friends, especially those who belong to any oppressed or minority group, find themselves in a bad situation, I will be there for you in whatever way I can be. Please let me know and I will help to the best of my ability. We always have food here and we have a house with extra space. Please don’t struggle in silence.
I will be the first to admit to being wrong about this situation, if I am.
Finally, my hopes:
That the next four years will be relatively uneventful and that things will be easier and better for everyone who is currently struggling or fears struggling more under the proposed plans.
That healthcare will somehow be improved.
That the public school system will be accessible for all children.
That tempers will be held.
That no nuclear weapons will be used.
That taxpayer money is spent wisely to help those who need it and to rebuild our infrastructure.
That nobody (else) dies as a direct result of the dissent and hatred that has been stirred up.
That I am dramatically, unequivocally, and indisputably wrong in my concern about the next 4-8 years.