I know I started this blog to talk about my spiritual journey, but I can’t help but feel that part of that is my view on the world and how we, as fellow members of the human race, should be getting along. And that leads to politics and this “huge” debacle that went down this Tuesday.
As soon as Pennsylvania flipped red, I knew it was over, and that the people chose this loud, uncouth thing to be the next president. From all over the world people were asking, “WTF America? Really?”
I was shocked. Saddened. Worried for my friends and family who are of the LGBTQ community. I didn’t stay up for his acceptance speech, as it was already after 2am on the east coast, but for at least another 30-45 minutes I laid in bed unable to sleep. I was never affected by election results like this before, even by President Obama when I was a hardcore Republican.
Wednesday I saw the highlights of the speech, and the first thing that struck me was him calling for unity. After he spent the last year and a half doing his damnedest to alienate and insult over half of the population, he wants everyone to forget his verbal barrage and play nice. The other thing that hit me was the music choice when the speech was over and he started shaking hands and moving off stage….to the tune of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones.
That just seemed to be in incredibly poor taste to me. A not-so-subtle thumbing of his nose to everyone that didn’t vote for him (or for that matter, for those that didn’t vote because they couldn’t stomach either candidate). The very ones that he was just trying to ask to come together as Americans.
Given where I live (Pennsyltucky) and that I work in a Republican-saturated job field, my new views are not something that I can bring up, any more than I can tell my Mormon parents that I’m reading Hitchens and listen to Cognitive Dissonance religiously (pun slightly intended). And that has got me at a loss.
When I visited the Inciting Incident Podcast last week, (episode 66, if you’re interested) I mentioned on the show that I had a coworker say to me that he couldn’t see how anyone that doesn’t believe in some sort of higher power has any way to have a moral compass because here’s this guy who drowned his infant after having an argument with the mother.
I bit my tongue.
Tonight, this same coworker said that there wasn’t a thing that Trump said during his campaign that he disagreed with.
I tried to bite my tongue.
I didn’t say much, but mentioned how I didn’t see the functionality of a full on government hiring freeze so that spending would decrease as jobs vanish through attrition. (“Reagan did it.”) I don’t believe his sincerity when he says he doesn’t want pay. (Can we give that money to the many contractors that he stiffed through the years? You know, the ones who had to close their businesses because he didn’t make good on their agreement?) And I said I doubt that he’ll make the large corporations or the ultra-rich pay more in taxes, because that wouldn’t benefit him.
Though these may be concerns voiced by anyone, even someone who voted for him, I have an honest fear of my coworkers knowing how much I loathe the man that they are singing the praises of. Being outed as liberal-leaning isn’t a healthy thing in my workplace.
I know for a fact that there are people on my Facebook that would (and have) told those who don’t agree with the President Elect to “get over it” etc, with their bobble-headed followers agreeing and saying that “Trump followers wouldn’t be protesting in the streets if Hillary had won.”
…No, they wouldn’t, because they wanted more than that. They were threatening full-on revolution. They were threatening an assassination before Hillary could even take the Oath of Office. They were ready to burn the country down.
Even with their candidate slotted to go in office, they’re still burning the place down. They’re harassing Muslim women by pulling off their hajib, with a frequency that there have been women questioning if they have to stop wearing it for their physical safety. There was a gay man who was assaulted, badly, and his bloody picture has circulated like wildfire. There’s racist vandalism in bathrooms and on walls, all in the name of Trump.
Election night, my husband read an article that speculated that Trump would be impeached within the year, and given his vulgar and offensive manor, I wouldn’t doubt it. That worries me in a whole different way, as I don’t want his running mate to ever hold the presidential reins. Pence’s history while in Indiana is enough to concern, if not anger, anyone who believes in civil rights and the separation of church and state.
This has made me want to do more. Be more active in the political landscape. But given my place of employment, I’m not sure if I can make any sort of political statements or join in any protests without my job being at stake, even though I would be participating as a private citizen and not as a representative of my organization.
So without doing that, there are things I can do. I can keep writing. It may be the quietest whisper, but it’s still a voice struggling to be heard. I can speak with my money by donating to charities and organizations that can do what I can’t. And maybe I will be able, in the future, to come out when I don’t fear for my employment or work environment should my views be known.