As I write this, the US election is over. It’s been called but not conceded. However things drop, just know we’ll always have Four Seasons Total Landscaping.
We have hope, too, at least in this house. Hope that empathy and critical thinking are not extinct in the electorate.
Half my birth family and some friends don’t draw the straight line between their politics and my child’s pain. My own family lives the LGBTQ spectrum and we have some disabilities we manage. I work for a public school district and support the lives of kids and families in diverse economic and special needs situations. For these reasons, I rarely discuss my life and politics. There is no point because our values are too far apart. They live in a well and think their sliver of sky is the world.
But in this house, we love democracy. It is one of our primary values. At one time, Republicans believed in democracy, but the current party leadership does not. And I’m not talking about just the White House.
At all levels, the Republican party is working to make voting harder for Americans*. Why? Probably because they know they are a minority in this country. Voter suppression is the most unAmerican activity out there. If you want your candidates and policies to prevail, you don’t try to prevent citizens from voting, you try to win them over with your arguments. THAT is the American way. Using state power to strip voters of their fundamental rights is fascism.
For my part, I support candidates and parties that:
- help the poor
- protect the marginalized
- tax and regulate corporations
- promote small business
- Trust science (and recognize that fetuses are not humans by any secular or scientific measure or even Biblical measure, which actually wouldn’t matter anyway)
- and finally, and most importantly, believe America should always be trying to get MORE citizens to vote not LESS
It would also be nice to have leadership I can admire for their character and who represent the diversity of America. We’ve got most of that in the White House. Um…assuming we get the transition Americans voted for.
In 2016, I was devastated by the outcome, of course. Yet, it wasn’t about losing, just as this election isn’t about winning. It was about safety concerns for myself, my family, my children…as well as losing the repudiation that bigotry should always have.
To all the Americans who voted to give the most powerful position in the world to a man who made fun of the disabled, ridiculed veterans, ignored the risk to Black lives, and disrespected women in both word and deed, I say your values need examining. I’ve had Republicans say they are supporting the party not the candidate, but that’s rationalizing an immoral choice: ends do not justify the means.
Also in 2016, I was attacked by my family for “identity politics” — my white cishet mostly male family saying it doesn’t matter what a candidate looks like. Hey, representation matters. Embrace that. Understand that it matters. Oh but they will. My white cishet family now look at our leaders and see less of themselves. It will continue to go that way.
On the other hand, I’m excited to see all the representation in race, religion, gender identity & expression, sexual orientation, and more in this new administration. Diversity is so important. And it is so American.
*The Republican Congress and administrations both national and state gutted the Voting Rights Act. They sabotaged the Postal Service. They closed polling places, purged voter rolls, attacked mail voting, tried to throw out ballots.