My heartfelt gratitude to those of you that are currently serving or have served our country. I can’t begin to imagine the sacrifices you’ve made on behalf of our country. What I do know is that I appreciate each and every one of you and offer you my thanks.
As a mother, I can’t imagine the worry and the sorrow that you must go through when one of your children is away and in danger. To you and all of our veterans’ families, I want to say thank you as well. I know it’s not easy and I applaud your strength and support while your children are serving our country.
I feel like I need to say something about all that’s happened over the past few days. I’ve tried extremely hard to be fair in writing about politics, even though I have very strong feelings. However, this has now exceeded my level of patience.
This post, though, is not just about politics, nor just about bigotry, hatred, or prejudice. This post is about my personal take on humanity. I can’t just sit here and not say anything. I’ve felt the words building up in my chest for months, watched the state of our country deteriorate and our faith in our government’s ability to do the right things erode. I’m outraged, embarrassed, and disgusted by where we seem to be headed as a country. There have been many disappointing decisions made over the months, but there seems to be such an underlying negative pervasiveness and tolerance of it with this administration that I’m genuinely worried for us for the first time in my life. I’ve been trying to convince myself that it will all get straightened out and that I’m overreacting, but I cannot let go of this feeling of foreboding.
I am going to say up front that I did not vote for Mr. Trump. He frightened me and disgusted me with his violence, his disdain for principles, and his propensity for lying, even when the truth would have been easier. These things signaled to me that he would not be good for the individual people we are nor as a country as a whole. To me, a president is responsible for standing up for ALL of us, for each one of us, individually, as well as a country. This past weekend demonstrated, beyond all doubt, that he is incapable of representing us as we deserve. Not only did he fail to denounce the actions in Charlottesville as they were happening, nor afterwards, in the harsh words that we deserved, but dug his heels in on the matter. People surrounding the president, people in both parties, people all across the country condemned him for his weak response and he stubbornly refused to say what the people were begging to hear. I believe we deserve better than this, but that’s my opinion and something I address on an individual level.
What I want to say about this weekend is much more important than just one president that won’t represent all people. First of all, I want to apologize to ALL people who have ever felt slighted, denied, treated unfairly or hated based upon their color, race, religion, age, gender, sex, lifestyle, etc. (basically, all of us). Obviously some are far more serious than others, but few of us are unaffected. We can all say that we have a reason to feel like we have been stereotyped or treated differently just like we can all say that we, in turn, have made judgments against others based on various reasons. There are very few among us that can say, in all honesty, that they are without fault.
I think a lot of our inner beliefs come from various sources: history, family beliefs, environment, community, friends, opportunities, and individual experiences. However, how we behave, what we choose to learn, how we grow and expand our thinking and how we react to each other is completely within our own control. At what point do we accept personal responsibility for ourselves and not blame our behavior on something or someone else. At what point do we stop blaming other people for our own circumstances?
I’m going to qualify myself here so that you can understand my perspective. I’m a white woman, almost 60 years old. My experiences throughout life were both good and bad. Have I experienced things based on my gender, age, and/or race? Yep, although not nearly as significant as some others have. Sadly, most of us have and it is a part of our lives. There are varying levels of significance, but I’m writing from my experience and perspective. I will not let any of the things that I’ve experienced change who I am. Everybody has their own set of circumstances that make up who they are. It is my decision on how I react to incidents of bigotry, unfair treatment, or racism. Each of us has to react in the way that reflects the person that they want to be. Have I always said and done exactly the right thing myself? No, but I will say that I’ve grown, I’ve learned, and I always strive to be the best person that I can be. I’ve learned to be more vocal about the wrongs that I see, to stand up for what’s right. We all make mistakes; mistakes don’t define us. Our intent, our beliefs, our words and our actions make up who we are.
I can unequivocally say that I’m very sorry for all the horrible things that have happened throughout history. We all know the many people that were affected, from the beginning of time, by the hatred and violence of those that inflicted unforgivable acts. The current reality, however, is that we are not in a position to remedy any of these things. We cannot go back in time to set things right. We cannot make up for the injustices of so many acts that have been perpetrated throughout the decades, the centuries, to so many different groups of people. Our ancestors lived a different reality than we do. Our future generations are going to live a different reality than ours is. We cannot change the fact that these things happened, but we can make sure that it never happens again!
As bad as the circumstances surrounding this weekend were, there is hope in the swift and ferocious condemnation against these hate groups. It means that so many of us, across all races and religions, have grown, we’ve learned from the past and will not accept this type of hate. It’s up to ALL of us to continue this vigilance. THIS is our responsibility going forward. We cannot change the past but we can change the present and the future for ourselves, our children, and grandchildren. This is a defining moment and one that is important to every single one of us. We each need to take responsibility for our thoughts and actions every single moment of every single day.
I think it’s very unfortunate that we have a president and his administration that are incapable of leading us in this effort. I’m really sad that he is unable to soothe the American people, to reassure us that these types of things will not be tolerated or to condemn the specific people that were responsible for this. That can’t stop us, though. We cannot allow haters and bigots to win. We are a better people than that.
We, the individual people, are America. We are individually responsible for how our country will evolve. Not one of us can go back in time; we cannot change what’s happened before right this minute. We must, however, do a better job of being human beings. I’m so sad today that anybody in this world is forced to feel “less than” anybody else let alone to endure such hatred and violence as we’ve been witness to. I’m literally nauseous watching the new information coming through on a constant basis. My heart breaks for the people forced to endure hate or prejudice. It makes me ashamed as an American today, but it also makes me hopeful that maybe, just maybe, now will be the time of real change that we’re capable of. I’m hopeful that, even without the leadership that we deserve right now, we will be able to join together to defeat this threat.
Regardless of which political party you are, the fact that we are in such turmoil 24 hours/day, every single day, is a problem.
I sure wish our elected officials would ALL just do their job in the interest of the American people, not their party. We need to get honest answers, come to a consensus, and move on as a unified country, whether happy with the result or not. We can’t keep doing this.
Is it me or is everybody else in the United States over this election too?
When this first started, a long time ago and in what seems like a different universe, I was a little excited to see what the candidates would bring. Now, I just wish that somebody would call a do-over and we could all have a chance to start from the beginning … and do it right this time.
I guess I should start with my own perspective on this. I’m not happy with the current state of affairs and I’m not particularly unhappy either. I wish I made more money, I wish I paid less taxes, but I do manage to survive and I feel as safe as any of us can in this day and age. Of course there are things that I would change, things that I wish for. However, I’m not delusional enough to think that all of my problems will be solved with the election of either one of the presidential candidates or state representative, etc. My biggest hope is that we can proceed forward in the best interest of our country as a whole. I know that no matter what bill is passed, whatever law is changed, whatever decision is made, somebody is going to benefit and somebody is going to lose. There is nothing in this world that will be the best choice for each and every one of us. I think most of us adults understand this. Why, then, has this months-long process turned so ugly?
At this point in the election cycle, I’m so disturbed by every single candidate’s behavior, literature, and rhetoric that I would probably vote for anybody else that I haven’t seen or heard about yet. I was looking forward to hearing about the choices that we were presented with, what they represented, what they had to say. Sadly, I did hear it. I have voted in lots of elections and never before have I been so disheartened. I have heard some of the candidates’ views, but had to do a LOT of research to find out what I needed to know in order to make a solid decision. I heard a little more about the topics in the presidential race, but honestly I’m guessing 99% of what I heard from the state level candidates was about the OTHER person. All of them chose to criticize the other candidate over expressing their own views. I have heard so much negativity this year that it has reached a whole new low. I have honestly never heard such derogatory things being said by an adult, let alone a presidential candidate, with no repercussions and I can’t believe it has gotten to this point without somebody putting a stop to it. To hear adults, the potential leaders of our country, say the things that I’ve heard recently is horrible to me. I’m embarrassed for us as a country. I’m confused by what we, as the people, are supposed to have learned from them, and I’m finding that, as I try to stay involved and learn more, my mood is becoming more and more depressed about our future. I’m no longer optimistic about any of the choices or what the future holds for us. This isn’t how this is supposed to work! Our candidates are supposed to energize us, inspire us, and instill hope & promise for our future. What happened? How did we get to this point? What can we do about it?
I wish a third-party presidential candidate, one that wasn’t a bully, a liar, or a hypocrite, had popped out of the woodwork a few weeks ago. We could use one with no baggage or special interest; one that would run a positive campaign. We probably all would have elected them at this point. From the state level, I now understand why my state is one of the worst ones to live in anymore and why we’ve had so many politicians put in jail. I can’t even begin to express how disappointed I am in the amount of literature that I’ve received and how poisonous the tone was. It’s disturbing to me that we’ve come to accept this as part of political campaigns.
Is it naive to expect the leaders of our communities, our states, and our government offices to be respectful, decent human beings? Is it wrong to assume that they will behave like adults and the role models that we expect them to be? We are literally putting our life in their hands. I don’t think it’s too much to expect that they at least act like they take it seriously.