I sat by the water today and watched it flow and thought how insignificant we truly are in the grand scheme of things and how we intensely rage against that flow and try to prove otherwise.
I haven’t been doing much in the kitchen. It’s been a lot of eating out and my husband coming home and cooking with Blue Apron. What have I been doing? Trying not to have a nervous breakdown, nursing my knees, fighting low energy and blasting my Facebook page with rants about my emotional fallout over the election. Crying my “liberal tears.”
Yes; politics – it’s all over my Facebook feed. I even have a post apologizing for it and imploring friends to scroll along if it bothers them and not to mind my catharsis. To me social media is the modern-day agora, a speaker’s corner if you will. It is a place to stand up on a soap box and voice your opinions.
Not everyone agrees with me. I understand that many feel it should just be a place full of photos of your kids, your rosy romance, your workouts, the food you ate, puppies, kitties, rainbows and unicorns.
I feel this is a problem. Everyone knows etiquette dictates one shouldn’t talk politics or religion. And I question the value of this. Some friends have unfriended friends over Facebook posts. And this too is unfortunate.
We should be open to rational and reasonable debate from both sides. There needs to be open dialogue in this country. Drifting along in bubbles, ignoring the other side is how we got in this mess in the first place. I was invited to dinner a couple of months ago by some friends. They had invited other friends of whom I was not acquainted. As I was about to make a comment about Trump, my friend nudged me with her elbow and mouthed that her friends were Trump supporters. I shrugged and continued with my remark. I freely spoke my opinions not out of spite nor indifference; there was absence of malice in my remarks. I did so out of respect for open dialogue and debate.
If I say something someone disagrees with then I expect that person to speak freely and say so. In turn, I will let you know if I disagree with you. If only we could rise above petty dogma and embrace bipartisanship as our Founding Fathers did.
Yet, look who won, look at our President-elect. This is a man of privilege, a man of empty promises that will say what he needs to say to win whether it is true or not. A man who is used to getting his way because he is rich and owns the company. In his own words: he just takes without asking. He spits out adjectives like wrong, corrupt, nasty and fat pig when speaking of others, yet when speaking of himself chooses words such as: great, terrific, winning and the popular: bigly or big league. The debate on that one is still out. But someone needs to give that man a thesaurus.
His win is a slap in the face to my womanhood (if you have ever been grabbed by the pussy unawares then you know what I am feeling, yes, I know the feeling). It is an insult to justice. The bully won. If you voted for Trump, I still love you, I do not agree with you, but I hear you and feel you. While I feel you are misguided what is done is done. We can only move forward and hope that he will man up and get over his inflated ego and learn to be a leader of the people, by the people, and for the people – All people. I am trying to hope, to believe in the checks and balances that are in place, but then I follow his Twitter feed.
While I have been a keyboard warrior, others are protesting in the streets. Some of the protests have led to violence, I hear, if you can believe anything on Main Stream Media these days. It’s no secret that I dislike Trump, but like it or not, he is our elected President. We do not have to agree with him and we have the right to stand for our rights, but we should above all respect the democratic process. This is why I am conflicted about going to the march on Washington. Part of me feels I need to just shut up and take action, but a part of me feels this is not the right way. He has been elected and the inauguration is part of the smooth transition of a democracy. I feel a better way is to donate and volunteer for those causes I stand behind: the environment, women’s rights, gay rights, poverty, immigration…so many.
But then again I feel that not speaking out and demonstrating is complicit. It does not matter if Trump will be one of the greatest presidents we have ever had at this point. The fabric of our nation has already been torn and we have been left lying naked on the floor.
One cannot be complicit in allowing racist sentiments to go unchecked, mysogonist views to be normalized. One cannot be a bystander and let the bully get away. That is what I learned during professional development courses when I was a teacher; it is what we teach our children.
Why is it that we could rally behind S. Africa and Nelson Mandela singing “Free Nelson Mandela” and boycott against Apartheid, we send money to hurricane victims in Haiti, we have mock outrage over the fact that Clinton allegedly misappropriated fund money intended for Haitian children. Yet where is the outrage for the black lives in our own country? Funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina who never had to even endure that scale of devastation if only the levies had been supported and funded? Where is the outrage for the inequality in our public schools? The impoverished and jobless in this country of all race and creeds who are left ill-educated and hopeless? We can feel sorry and help other people in other countries and deny service to some in our own? Why? Because others are victims of their governments and here they are responsible for themselves, for pulling themselves up by their bootstraps? Tell me more about how sick you are of the government taking your money, as you drink a cold one by the pool. Tell me again how evil the Saudis are as you drive your big ass car and crank up the heat in your big ass house. Tell me how sick you are of this government being a Nanny state and welfare draining your paycheck as you beg for debt-forgiveness and whine about your mortgage and student loans. You signed the contract – now be responsible. Is the government now responsible for your welfare but not others? Are you that more deserving? Do you plan to reap the benefits and not pay your bills? Well, then yes, Trump is your man. The hypocrisy, deceit and smoke and mirrors infuriates me. USA with the exception of a few is a nation of toddlers.
EXCEPT: It’s NOT about ME!
Our country has always been polarized. Most Americans see in black and white: Democrat vs. Republican, good vs. evil, moral vs. immoral, us vs. them. I see an infinite number of possibilities refracted through a prism. Perhaps that’s why I spend so long on the fence and can never decide what best to do. Being so damn sensitive and seeing so many sides makes me wishy-washy.
I am conflicted. I am neither a leader nor a follower. I am an observer in the shadows who expresses herself better in print than vocally. I have been complicit in just letting certain remarks slide out of etiquette and keeping the peace. I mostly try to avoid conflict and controversy, but I realize I am now opening myself to both. Change is going to come. I truly believe there needs to be a balance in all things. Yin and Yang.
I see the world as a kaleidoscope. The dark accentuating the light, various colors coming together to form a pattern that melds in a continual flux. It’s so beautiful, take a peek.
Feel free to disagree with me, to offer insight, but I ask that you keep it respectful and reasonable. Thank you.