Friday, November 11, 2016

Election, anger, politics, people

Shock. Grief. Anger. Resignation. Detachment. Feeling all of the feels. Too much feeling.   

I'm overwhelmed by the anger of others. Overwhelmed by the proliferation of "throw down the gauntlet" posts on Facebook from both sides of the aisle. Overwhelmed by increasing reports of hate speech and actions. This election has unleashed, laid bare, our very separate yet collective national anger. And that bare anger, sharp-toothed, sharp-worded, deeply frightens me.  

Maybe I'm frightened of/by my own anger. As I write, it is flaring, flaming, searing. Words matter. So I'm going to try to write with care--care that I mean exactly what I am saying. 

Donald Trump's words during the election season continue to matter, even if his rhetoric tones down, becomes more "presidential" in the coming weeks. Hate-filled words demonstrating misogyny, racism, and hate matter deeply, and can't be wished or explained away. 

Those words matter because they reveal who Donald Trump is. At the very least, they reveal what Trump is willing to stand for to be elected. I believe that standing for hate is evil. That misogyny, racism, and hate are evil. And I cannot accept this evil in the leader of our nation. 

Yes, evil. I know that some will argue with my choice of word there. Say that choosing the word "evil" is not choosing carefully. That there are other words that could be used. I deliberately chose to use the word "evil" as I can regard misogyny, racism, and hate as nothing less than evil. 

Trump's words matter because they reveal who Donald Trump voters are, as well. I do not see how you can separate the hate-filled words from a vote for Donald Trump. Truly, I don't. 

Those words, that misogyny/racism/hate, are key to Trump's election victory. Those who voted for Trump may want to disassociate themselves from those words. "I'm not a bigot. I voted for Trump because I support his economic plans. His approach to NAFTA. His views on immigration." 

I'm not able to accept that explanation, the concept that clearly expressed hatred can be overlooked in a leader of the free world. And so I struggle to understand how I remain in community with those voters, some of whom may be my friends. 

I struggle to understand how we move forward as a nation, how we accomplish anything, in such a deeply divided place. I know some of the answers: we reach across divides and talk with one another, looking for common ground, practicing empathy, while continuing to work for a nation that upholds and values love, not hate. 

But I don't know if there are hands across that divide, willing to reach across, to hold in this conversation. I just don't know. 

Sorry. No good, tie-it-all-up ending here. Just like the election and its aftermath. 


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