Election Reflection – A Political Eruption

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​I originally wrote this eight months ago for a memoir workshop prompt, which was ironic because we were told, both for the fall before and this spring to avoid politics. I am easily the most liberal person in our writing group and the most conservative is a couple who I actually know from my church. Everyone else falls somewhere between us, and with the 2016 election and the Inauguration still very fresh on our minds any talk of politics was like pulling the band-aid off a cut. For some of us it was like, well, just to avoid a graphic example let’s leave it at pulling off a band-aid.

This prompt was interesting because it was a writing exercise from Bill Roorbach’s book, Writing Life Stories. It is the Chinese Food Menu Exercise – choose one from column A and one from column B and write for ten minutes.

I think if I was starting this project today instead of editing it for you, I would use a rhyming scheme just so I could write about the eruption of corruption in the Trump Administration.

What rhymes with incompetence?

Ignorant?

Intolerable?

Suffice it to say, we’ve come a long way in the past eight months, down a darkening path that frightened me, and continues to frighten me.

Late night comedians and twenty-four hour internet opinionators called this a dumpster fire around February. If February was a dumpster fire, then what in G-d’s name is this?

I’m in a mirror universe where up is down, truth are lies, news is fake, Russia is good and Congress is indifferent.

Originally, this was written with hopelessness. I still feel it, but I’m also opening myself up to hope and to take action. I’m also going to link to Peter MacDonald’s speech at the White House. He is a Navajo Code Talker, and if he can have hope, I can also.

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The prompt for this was choose one from column A and one from column B. My two words were politics and eruptions.
Politics is calling out to me, I think since my inner (and outer) (political) junkie has reawakened. A little wiser, a little calmer, a little more cackling at the chaos and fearful of the mongering.

For several years politics is more than policy; it is life. Corporate lay-offs equal will my husband have a job? Health care increases and higher deductibles equal medical care or lunch? Decisions no one should have to make.

But last year…last year was beyond the pale. This can’t be what anyone wanted, but here it is. And last year also brought politics to a boiling point, a volcanic spewing, a series of eruptions. As the silent majority rose in the 80s, a new majority erupted from the ashes right below the glass ceiling, tiny pieces of glass tinkling on the floor, balloons popping and children crying as well as their stunned parents.

The slow boil began, the lava beginning its ascent higher and hotter until it could be contained no longer.

Boom!

Not crybabies.

Not sore losers.

Tired, tired people.

Tired of hypocrisy and broken promises.

Tired of silence and complacency.

I drew political art. i attended my first protest. 

The political eruption like the Hawaiian volcano will continue to echo and build and staggered ground shaking spew. Once it erupts, it can not be re-contained.

Not the silent majority.

There are more of us and we will not be silent.

We are the majority.

7/8 – Year of Mercy: Reconcilation

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​On this, the second to last weekend of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, I had scheduled my topic as reconciliation. I wasn’t sure quite what I was going to write about, but there the word said in my planner:

Nov. 13 – 7/8 Reconciliation

It kept getting pushed back and I wondered why. It seems G-d had other plans for this post, which is good because the act of reconciliation, of confession, is still not an easy one for me. I just don’t know how to do it or what counts. Do I ask forgiveness for cursing when I will continue to curse? I don’t know. Perhaps one day it will come to me. My priest is a very patient man.

Today, however isn’t about the Catholic rite of reconciliation, but of reconciling two sides, two passions, two opposites that must come together now or risk tearing it apart forever. Finding mercy for ourselves and for others.

Almost one week ago, on Tuesday, I went from thrilled to happy and excited to numb. When I went to bed at 2:30am nothing was decided, but I knew. The outcome was clear.

What I didn’t know was if I could face the morning of Wednesday. How would I explain this new world to my daughter? Even my son was worried before bed and I reassured him not to worry; that Donald Trump would not become our president. Our country was too strong for that.

As I said earlier today, this isn’t about my candidate losing. It’s about what we allowed to happen over the last fifteen months. Journalists can never give a pass again.

But right now, in the aftermath of an election where in reality apathy won, it is time to stop and breathe and reconcile.

Regardless of where we stand on any one issue, we still must work together. We still must move forward. Together. We don’t have to like our president – Republicans proved that for the last eight years, but we do need to work with him and I can promise you that we will work more cooperatively with him than his party worked with the last president. Cooperation and not obstruction. Maybe we can teach them a thing or two about humanity and grace and dignity. We will stand up for what’s right.

We will reconcile our feelings, our emotions and make sure that we are all on the side of ALL Americans no matter their party or race or religion or gender or any of the other things that make us individuals.

We are all in this together and we can be the example that we talk about setting for our children and our neighbors and our friends.

I have faith in us.

Grief and Anger: Where Do We Go From Here?

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​This is my first time sitting at the keyboard since the results of the election were made clear. I’m still in the anger stage of grief. Well, actually, I’m alternating between anger and depression.

Anger at the Republican party/Trump’s lies. Anger that people fell for it. Anger at having a vice president so out of touch with today’s America that he gives fetuses more rights than women in his home state of Indiana. Not to mention conversion therapy. Going from VP Joe Biden, who authored the VAWA to these misogynists makes me weep; sick. Anger at James Comey and anger at the Clinton haters who did not have any other reason for voting against her other than she sucks. How’re you feeling now?

This is not the first time that my candidate did not win the Presidency, but I have never felt this way about an election in my entire life. I trusted George Bush (and the other two candidates in recent years) to do the right thing. They wanted what was best for America even if I didn’t agree with them. I’m worried about Donald Trump.

I’m worried for Donald Trump.

Regardless of my feelings, on January 20th, Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. He will represent all of us and we must stay watchful. We must look at the reaction to the Obama Presidency and not replicate that, lest we be hypocrites. And Republicans need to acknowledge that protests are okay; at least, we didn’t grab our muskets as threatened by an actual Congressional Representative [Joe Walsh] and supported and encouraged by the Trump campaign (publicly even). 

I will pray for and wish him success. His success is ours as well. I will not shout out for his impeachment unless he does something impeachable. To be honest, I’m more worried about the Senate and Pence.

For the names I’ve seen floated for various Cabinet positions, I’m terrified. It’s not that I disagree with their policies but they are superiorly unqualified (not even under qualified) for the job:

Sarah Palin as Sec’y of the Interior.

Dr. Ben Carson as Sec’y of Education. Call me crazy but the Sec’y of Education should be an educator and someone who, you know, believes in science and evolution. By the bare minimum standards, I’m more qualified. I at least have a teaching degree.

Ted Cruz as Supreme Court Justice. Wow. There are no words.

Rudy Giuliani as Attorney General. While technically qualified, the fact that he continued to go after Hillary Clinton’s email issue as a legal issue should disqualify him simply on incompetence.

A climate change denier for EPA.

I have never wanted to be more wrong in my life. Attacks on minorities have already begun. There was a Confederate flag in a Veteran’s Day parade in California, a state not of the Deep South. Swastikas.

Where do we go from here?

For me, I’ll be speaking out. I’ll be keeping track and keeping informed. I’ll be sending my financial and emotional support to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood for a start. John Oliver had a pretty good list of suggestions, which I will share later in the week.

Acceptance is still a little bit away. It could be weeks; it could be months.

In the coming days, I will get back to writing and posting. I still have thirteen pieces to post before my birthday in almost three weeks. Nineteen days.

Today will be two more posts. The first was supposed to be on what the safety pins aThis is my first time sitting at the keyboard since the results of the election were made clear. I’m still in the anger stage of grief. Well, actually, I’m alternating between anger and depression.

Anger at the Republican party/Trump’s lies. Anger that people fell for it. Anger at having a vice president so out of touch with today’s America that he gives fetuses more rights than women in his home state of Indiana. Not to mention conversion therapy. Going from VP Joe Biden, who authored the VAWA to these misogynists makes me weep; sick. Anger at James Comey and anger at the Clinton haters who did not have any other reason for voting against her other than she sucks. How’re you feeling now?

This is not the first time that my candidate did not win the Presidency, but I have never felt this way about an election in my entire life. I trusted George Bush (and the other two candidates in recent years) to do the right thing. They wanted what was best for America even if I didn’t agree with them. I’m worried about Donald Trump.

I’m worried for Donald Trump.

Regardless of my feelings, on January 20th, Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. He will represent all of us and we must stay watchful. We must look at the reaction to the Obama Presidency and not replicate that, lest we be hypocrites. And Republicans need to acknowledge that protests are okay; at least, we didn’t grab our muskets as threatened by an actual Congressional Representative [Joe Walsh] and supported and encouraged by the Trump campaign (publicly even). 

I will pray for and wish him success. His success is ours as well. I will not shout out for his impeachment unless he does something impeachable. To be honest, I’m more worried about the Senate and Pence.

For the names I’ve seen floated for various Cabinet positions, I’m terrified. It’s not that I disagree with their policies but they are superiorly unqualified (not even under qualified) for the job:

Sarah Palin as Sec’y of the Interior.

Dr. Ben Carson as Sec’y of Education. Call me crazy but the Sec’y of Education should be an educator and someone who, you know, believes in science and evolution. By the bare minimum standards, I’m more qualified. I at least have a teaching degree.

Ted Cruz as Supreme Court Justice. Wow. There are no words.

Rudy Giuliani as Attorney General. While technically qualified, the fact that he continued to go after Hillary Clinton’s email issue as a legal issue should disqualify him simply on incompetence.

A climate change denier for EPA.

I have never wanted to be more wrong in my life. Attacks on minorities have already begun. There was a Confederate flag in a Veteran’s Day parade in California, a state not of the Deep South. Swastikas.

Where do we go from here?

For me, I’ll be speaking out. I’ll be keeping track and keeping informed. I’ll be sending my financial and emotional support to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood for a start. John Oliver had a pretty good list of suggestions, which I will share later in the week.

Acceptance is still a little bit away. It could be weeks; it could be months.

In the coming days, I will get back to writing and posting. I still have thirteen pieces to post before my birthday in almost three weeks. Nineteen days.

Today will be two more posts. The first was supposed to be on what the safety pins mean, but they’ve already been co-opted by the alt-right as white supremacists are encouraging their members to wear them to fool marginalized groups thinking they’re safe. Disgusting.

Instead I will post a 50 reflection on Chinese food that spans childhood through adulthood.

The second, my penultimate Year of Mercy reflection, appropriately on the act of reconciliation.

I spent last night curled up in a chair with macaroni and cheese, half a chocolate eclair and an extra long episode of The Walking Dead. I woke up this morning to sunshine and blue sky.

Tomorrow is a new day. The sun will rise and we will rise with it. All of us.

We have work to do.

Politics, Man…What’re Ya Gonna Do?

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Well, I’m going to write and do art.
Today will have a multitude of posts and topics. I have another 50 Reflection, a political post, perhaps two, but I’m not sure I’m that ambitious, and the Year of Mercy post that was postponed from yesterday.

In the meantime, enjoy my two pieces of word art:

This was inspired by a friend, and I have to be honest, it really was cathartic and motivational to get me more politically involved to be ready for the midterm elections in two years. (c)2016

A stained glass window with the Scripture paraphrased by Hillary Clinton in her speech Wednesday morning. It is based on Galatians 6:9. (c)2016

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