This has really been a year for me… not the same kind of year as 2014 was. Thank gods, or else I’d not be here now writing to annoy you. But still certainly a year I’ll never forget. I “lost” a dear friend back to our Source (there’s a post about this in the works and will be published here when the time feels right and the post complete) and I more recently feel like I’ve lost my country.
The election for United States President was recent and our new President-elect is Donald J. Trump. That night my husband and I stayed home and ate cheap pizza while we shared a bottle of wine. In weeks leading up to the election things were quite a roller coaster. One day things were up and another day things were down. Regardless of that kind of ebb and flow, which is natural to an election race, moments of being utterly baffled were a consistent thing for me.
Everyone everywhere knows politicians are liars who usually over-promise and under-deliver. Half of them are also cheaters and thieves and can be bought. That much should be a given, I feel. There’s never been a saint-politician and we shouldn’t expect there to be one anytime soon. With that accepted, I do think it’s a useful practice to pay close attention to a politician’s personal character – specifically how they see others and how they treat others. And that’s been the most baffling part of this election race for me. When contrasting Clinton and Trump the differences in character are like differences between salt and pepper, apples and oranges, night and day. Trump unapologetically alienates anyone who isn’t upper class, white, and male – and does so through the use of “locker room talk” and other more blatant behaviors exhibited through the likes of racism and misogyny and chauvinism (just to name a few). He has proven himself to be impulsive, petulant, immature, and disconnected from the reality of America today – both the why and what of our national reality. Never mind that he also has no idea how to successfully navigate the dance that makes up a political career in the USA because he has absolutely no experience doing that.
Early in, supporters were saying that he’s at least a good businessman and that this is what our country needs. Our country DOES need that, but Trump isn’t actually even a good businessman. He fails and files bankruptcy left and right and has been brought to court for refusing to pay people for their work. He’ll also be going to court again soon enough for charges brought against him regarding sexual assault – which he’s actually said he can get away with simply because he’s a man and a celebrity. There are plenty of reasons why someone on the Left or who isn’t a Republican might not vote for him – just from a political perspective. But all of that generally can be lumped up as just a difference of opinion. After all, everyone is trying to solve the same issues, just differently. Again, that much is expected. But where Trump really puts icing on the cake is everything he touches outside of politics – that’s the stuff I mentioned earlier – and since he has ZERO political background these things matter a bit more than they would with a career politician. But, at this point, I suppose it might well be argued pointing these things out is useless because the election has come and gone.
In Clinton’s concession speech, she said a lot of really heart-warming thing to say – all of which really just reiterated her whole campaign which is that we are stronger together. She said we owe Trump an open mind and a chance to leave – and that’s something I agree with strongly. However, as time distances us from that election night it’s become very apparent that there are those who don’t feel that way and now we’re having protests and practically having riots. I want to be very clear that burning effigies and flags and being violent are NOT ways to get what you want and neither are they ways to productively or effectively express how you feel. The initial perception this terrible behavior is that those engaging in this way are sore losers and angry.
And certainly to a small degree, that’s the case with some of the people. However, a statement which is truer and more reflective of reality is that those people are scared. The truth is that Trump is our president-elect and his party currently rules all the rest of our system of check-and-balances – which means nothing is going to be very checked or balanced. Given that, and the fact that he has vowed to do things that are bad news for everyone who isn’t a wealthy, white, hetero male, it’s no wonder people are freaking out and unsure of what to do with themselves.
After the election and prior to the major protests, I had about half a day of scrolling through Facebook to observe responses of those I associate with in social media. I wanted to wait as long as I felt necessary to get a sampling of responses before posting my own. Below, to finish this post, I’ll be attaching a number of images – screen shots from my Facebook feed. To the best of my ability I’ve blacked out images and names so as to minimize identification of those individuals shown. I think there’s one post that is my own which I didn’t black out and there’s one or two from Facebook pages which I understand not to be human individuals which I also didn’t black out. All of these were captured prior to the violent protests and you’ll notice the majority of initial reactions amount to various expressions and levels of shock and fear. It wasn’t until these feelings had built up a bit and needed more of an outlet that the protests started and this certainly isn’t what sore loser-ship looks like. This is the first face of what it looks like when people are afraid that their social welfare benefits will be slashed, that half their family might be deported and then blocked from returning by America’s version of the Great Wall of China, that their marriages will no longer receive crucial government recognition. That’s not being a sore loser. That’s being scared for your life.
Hopefully some greater good will come from this election and resultant presidency. Right now it’s awfully challenging to foresee any greater good whatsoever but perhaps, if nothing else, a tough lesson will be learned.
Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti