Wednesday, November 9, 2016

I don't know.

I haven't posted on this blog in ages. It's practically defunct now. Probably less than one person will even see this post. Whatever. I'm having a difficult time coping with the outcome of this election. I have never been a person who harbors anger or resentment. It has always been very easy for me to see the other side of an argument, to see where someone else is coming from, to let things go. If someone honks at me in traffic and then speeds around me and cuts me off, I always think, "Maybe they're on their way to the hospital. Maybe they're having the worst day imaginable." That's where my brain goes. I do not like to engage in chaos and historically have refused to give it my time and energy. I do not like to perpetuate negativity. But I'm dealing with a lot of negativity, a lot of anger over this. I don't understand the other side of this argument. I can't see where the conservatives are coming from. I find it outrageous that any reasonable person could accept this man for the highest office in our country. I'm dumbfounded and flabbergasted and befuddled and flummoxed and a hundred other colorful words that brighten up this sentence in a hopelessly grey post. There have been so many deal-breakers here. Many times over he should have cancelled himself out. But people said, "Nah. That's no problem for me." Or maybe didn't even give it that much consideration--maybe there are people out there that have yet to be confronted with these arguments. Maybe that's where the real issue lies--maybe people just haven't been informed. I don't know how anyone with any sort of online presence could have missed all this craziness but I suppose it's possible. Either way, it hurts. I'm sad and scared for minority groups who must now face oppression and hatefulness on a whole new, much deeper level. I'm angry at people's apathy about this. I'm angry at the hate, the violence, the anti-intellectualism, and the gaslighting. I'm angry that they could turn a blind eye or try to play the equivalence game and make out like the two candidates were essentially identical. They weren't. One is a decent human being. The other is a sleezeball is not a decent human being.

Every time I read or studied about radical, turbulent times in our history, whether in elementary school or college, I always thought, "Well, at least we've gotten past all of that. At least we don't have to fight those battles anymore." I thought we were more evolved than this. I truly thought we had progressed past this point. Now, I admit freely that my understanding is colored by my own privileged experience. The only discrimination I have received in my life has been for my feminine gender, my blonde hair, my very pale skin, and my weight. I have not grown up with black or brown skin, or a religion that is seen as Other; I have not grown up LGBTQ+ so of course it was much easier for me to blindly think, "Thank goodness we don't behave that way anymore." But I still thought there was an element of, "We find this unacceptable and we won't let it get that bad again." But here we are. Swastikas being painted on buildings, nooses being painted on vans, slurs being spoken, punches being thrown. And regardless of a person's reasons for voting for him, they have to see that he spoke to these hateful groups--that these hateful groups found something they liked in his rhetoric. How do people justify that? How can they qualify it or compartmentalize it? How do they ever stop thinking about those who are genuinely affected by this? Because I don't. I can't.

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