This post is about the election. And I might swear a little.
You don’t have to read it. But I needed to write it. Because it’s been a week and I needed to talk about it. So I’m writing it instead.
People have been
saying singing 2016 sucks. And some will say this is the cherry on top. The icing on the cake.
Donald Trump is going to be our president. –Hillary Clinton
Honestly, I never paid much attention to politics.
I was too young for it to matter to me.
I was too young to vote.
I lived in a self-constructed collegiate bubble.
Now I’m out of college and I know I should be paying attention. This is my future and it’s happening now. But this campaign. This mud-slinging. The shit they threw at each other might have come from different directions but it all looked the same. Shoulda listened to Washington ya’ll. That two-party system.
Call me uninformed. Call me ignorant. Call me irresponsible.
No man’s ignorance will ever be his virtue. –Sara Bareilles, Seriously
I just wanted the anger, the hate, and the bitterness to be over.
Tuesday, I woke up and voted. I didn’t get a sticke and I’m sad about that, TBH. I went into a two-hour interview and emerged with a migraine. I somehow made it home, ate dinner, and was asleep by 7pm.
Wednesday, I woke up at 4am to go to work. Before I crawled out from beneath my toasty warm bed, I checked my phone to see what the future of my country would be for the next four years. I went to work. Tried to toe the line between the democrats and republicans. Came home. Napped. Ate some pumpkin pie. But boy, oh boy. I should not have gotten onto the internet. How my heart broke.
I wanted the anger, hate, and bitterness to end.
Oh my naïveté.
The polls break down the votes like they are tossing blame on demographics. This article sheds a lot of light on that Rural/Trump confusion: How Half of America Lost its F**king Mind, if you’re curious/angry.
The hatred on Facebook. The shame people are throwing on their peers. This belief that anyone who supported a candidate that differed with your own, is a miniature version of that candidate… how did that get started? A mom on my newsfeed reported that her second grader came home from school upset the day after the election. Other students were telling her that Hillary was a “baby killer” after she voted for her in their classroom elections. Second graders. This poison has spread so far.
Yes, our government could use some help. Yes, our country has some problems.
“So how did our politics get so poisonous? I think it’s because we overdosed, especially this year. We drank too much of the poison.
“We take a little bit of it so you can hate the other side. And it tastes kind of good, and you like how it feels, and there’s a gentle high to the condemnation. And you know you’re right, right? You know you’re right” –Stephen Colbert
You know, at times, I’ve despised living in what feels like the middle of nowhere. It makes the job hunt rough. It means that weekend activities are virtually nonexistent. But with the anger that is sweeping our country, the protests, the violence, it’s looking pretty nice. If you don’t hear from me, I’ve moved down the road and joined the Amish. Besides, they seem to be getting along with other people quite nicely. Can someone start a kickstarter for me so I can buy a horse?
It’s a dangerous word. It spooks the herd. And we all bleed in the stampede. – Sara Bareilles, Seriously
People are afraid.
People are afraid, acknowledge that and don’t brush it aside because you might not be. When someone says their worried about their safety because of their government, that’s a big-ass deal. And if you don’t understand why and someone tells you it’s because you’re privileged, don’t get upset. The word “privilege” gets tossed around a lot and it makes a lot of people angry because they think it reflects poorly on them. But it’s not an insult, it just is. It can be a hard thing to understand without all of negativity attached. I recommend reading Of Dogs and Lizards: A Parable of Privilege. Seriously, stop right now and read it. Now. I’ll wait.
So people are afraid and I’m afraid too. I’m afraid of the opposition between brothers, friends, and countrymen. (Hellooooo, holiday season.) I’m frightened for the future of our nation. I also put my pepper spray back in my purse today. I’ve been in a crowd where a gun was drawn, where thankfully, there were cops nearby. And yeah, there are those who speak on moving… but the grass is always seems greener on the other side. Justin Trudeau might look fine, but you can’t tell me it’s all roses in Canada (the politeness, Tim Hortons, and amazing Hersey Kisses aside). My fear may not be the same as your fear. But that doesn’t diminish the reality of either.
Science Mike of the Liturgist podcast posted this last week:
“…Based on the campaign rhetoric, huge swaths of America are scared of our President. They fear for their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
And how can you, … be an agent of peace? Especially those of you who follow Christ–how are you going to “do unto the least of these” in the age of Trump.
I will reflect alongside you.
An agent of peace. Doing unto the least of these. A new podcast I just discovered told this story in their first episode:
“So there a town in France that for hundreds of years has been practicing an ideal called “radical hospitality”. Their commitment is very simple: if someone knocks, they open their doors. So WWII comes around and after a lot of running around French Jews come knocking and this town just did what they always did; they didn’t take a political stance one way or another, they didn’t think about it: someone knocked on their doors and they let Jews in.” –Vanessa Zoltan, Harry Potter and the Sacred Text
Spread love. Do unto others. Do unto the least of these. The holidays are coming, not that you need a reason, but spread the love. Bake some cookies. Visit your grandma. Call your mom and tell her you love her. Bring your best friend some Starbucks. Rake an neighbor’s yard. Send a letter to someone you love. Share some good in the world. And Penny + Sparrow just released their first Christmas album. There is still some good in the world.
So I’m putting my faith and trust in God. And checks and balances still apply, no matter who is in office. And if you don’t live in America, please, please, keep us in your prayers.
My Dear Wormwood,
Be sure that the patient remains completely fixated on politics. Arguments, political gossip, and obsessing on the faults of people they have never met serves as an excellent distraction from advancing in personal virtue, character, and the things the patient can control. Make sure to keep the patient in a constant state of angst, frustration and general disdain towards the rest of the human race in order to avoid any kind of charity or inner peace from further developing. Ensure that the patient continues to believe that the problem is “out there” in the “broken system” rather than recognizing there is a problem with himself.
Keep up the good work,
–CS Lewis, Screwtape Letters