I rarely post anything political. I watch debates, read articles, engage in the issues, and I keep it to myself. I’ll share with close friends, or kindly with anyone asking, but politics tend to polarize people, and that’s not my vibe.
I don’t like beliefs to be a barrier for relationship; I believe in mutual respect and an adequate amount of space for one another’s history and context. In our home, we are comfortable not agreeing all the time and we do not believe unity means conformity. We’re not afraid of different schools of thought, and we value reading a breadth of authors, avoiding a “camp” mentality, and to the best of our ability, we seek to understand people before we judge them. We believe that we can disagree and remain close and in reciprocal community through laughing, eating, and spending time learning each other. Personally, when it comes to civic responsibility, I base my beliefs on my personal values and convictions. At the same time, it’s important for me to share that I do not hold the legal system to my personal or biblical standards. I do my best to vote based on the issue and the person, and not remain loyal to a party against better judgment.
While I will speak out on systemic issues like mass incarceration, women’s rights, gun control, and inequities in our communities, particularly education and economics, I do my best not to speak out against a person. I am convinced that we’re all so jacked up, that at the end of the day, it’s silly to spend our time shaming and criticizing each other. But this election has pressed me over my line in the sand to keep my political views to myself, because the thought of Trump becoming president makes me sick to my stomach.
I cannot believe that a man who talks about his genitalia during a national debate, who calls people names like he is a bully in school, who has people of color removed from his debates (a group of students standing in silence, a teenage girl who was not there to protest) is running for president of the United States. I knew reality tv would have devastating affects on our society, but I never imagined it would pave a way for people to allow entertainment to persuade their choices, over facts, reason and basic human welfare.
Trump is a shrewd business man (even owns a strip club or two) and his primary concern appears to be making money, particularly through entertainment. At his side, is his third wife, and due to all her modeling photos, I had to suspend my judgment long enough to discover that she is an immigrant herself (interesting, given Trump’s anti-immigrant soapbox, and her support of his position), is educated and well traveled. When The New York Times asked her what her role would be if Trump were to become president, Melania replied: “I would be very traditional. Like Betty Ford or Jackie Kennedy. I would support him.”
Certainly, that is her right; however, the day after International Women’s Day, can I offer that women have overcome too many significant obstacles for us to return to the trophy wife days. Perhaps that is not her intention. Regardless, how can we perpetuate the societal infrastructure that encourages men to value us for what we look like, that fosters a cultural expectation for our minds to be empty, our mouths to be silent and our bodies to be objects? Even in 2016, there are men who want us to “get back in our place”, just like they want immigrants and black presidents and anyone else who seems to disrupt their preferred order of race, status and gender. As an American, I am embarrassed to say that I believe this is part of the appeal of Trump’s campaign. He’s anti-muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-woman, anti-poor, anti-marginalized, and he speaks to those folks who are afraid of the America that is emerging, which is diverse in culture and ethnicity.
Since this election season began, the KKK has begun to meet openly in parks for their meetings. (Someone help me understand how a hate group like this can meet publicly?) Three people were stabbed at a rally here in Anaheim. With David Duke openly backing him, among others, we can see that he attracts people filled with hate, and especially white supremacists. His campaign is exposing the racism we knew already existed in our communities. Trump embarrasses me. He lies constantly, and while I don’t disagree that we need someone who is not owned by the government or the tiny minority that control it, Trump is absolutely not the one to take them on. He does not have the character, the tact or the reputation to represent us globally. He is a pawn and a puppet. While his campaign slogan is “Make America Great Again”, what capitalist has ever done that?
The marginalized, whether in the hood, the trailer park or in the dwindling middle class, will all have a difficult time under his watch. By the way, I never understood why poor, but racist white people feel they will fare better under a person like Trump. Maybe he won’t kill them in a purge, but economically, they will be no better off under his brand of capitalism.
I keep trying to picture the white house with Trump inside. Can you imagine him making fun of women in cabinet meetings, calling them ugly and stupid, because they disagree with him? Can you imagine how he will treat members of the White House staff? Or how he will behave in a televised global policy meeting? Can you understand the devastating impact on our country, of a person who is intolerant of other cultures? And since the GOP won’t trust Obama to appoint a supreme court justice (someone smarter than me, help understand, again), can you imagine Trump deciding who will serve, especially given the current state of our criminal justice system and the impact of mass incarceration?
I cannot in good conscience even consider voting for Trump nor do I believe that he could be trusted to lead our country. I am watching, wide-eyed, in disbelief, as our politicians work hard at entertaining people, rather than working hard at realistic strategies for serving and governing a nation filled with potential and a prominent voice in the free world.
Friend, I don’t know what in the Sam Hill is happening, but I am hopeful that we the people, can use our thinkers to think and our knowers to know, and that we learn to return to one another. We’re better than this America.
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” Mother Teresa