I rarely find myself speechless. If you know me you know I have alot to say and I’m not shy about sharing my thoughts or feelings on any matter. I have always been quite outspoken about my beliefs and opinions on most things and thoroughly enjoy a thoughtful, educated conversation about pretty much any topic. But in recent weeks I have been, I’m sure, noticeably quiet. The truth is that I am overwhelmed. The current state of our nation, our reputation in the world, the sheer embarrassment of the actions/words of our elected “leader”…it has all left me in a place of near apathy. I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m embarrassed. I’m speechless.
As things have worsened in recent weeks I have been compiling a list of “I told you so’s” in my head. All those things I said would happen if Trump was elected…all of the things Trump supporters wrote off, dismissed, and said were exaggerations by the left… they’ve happened or they’re trying like hell to make them happen. And all vocal Trump voters are noticeably quiet also. Because you know. You see what is happening. You see what dismissing this rhetoric, recklessness, and lack of moral compass has done for our country. YOU SEE! If I had a dollar for every time a conservative said to me “oh don’t worry…he won’t mess with _______, he’s just pandering to the base.” Uh huh. Do I need to rattle off that list of marginalized groups he’s targeting?
So back to my list of “I told you so’s.” What’s the point? I know it. You know it. The whole world knows it. Pointing it out won’t change a damn thing. Blasting on Facebook won’t change a damn thing. I don’t know what to do. I am literally at a loss. I don’t turn on the TV. I barely watch the news. In nearly 8 months of this presidency I have developed Trump fatigue. I can’t keep up with the tweets, scandals, embarrassing press conferences, lies, firings, conflicts of interest, etc. etc. etc. I just can’t.
And I KNOW that I’m doing what I did not want to do. I’m not staying woke y’all. I’m literally burying my head and trying to wait out the next 3+ years and pray that the USA doesn’t piss someone off so bad that they bomb us off the surface of the earth. My prayers are like “lord just let us get through this without getting bombed.” People are going to lose health care. Our service members are being compromised. Our nation looks like a joke. But… as long as we are still here there’s hope right? Let’s just pray for no nukes. Like…that’s how fatigued I am.
Then Charlottesville happens. The literal incarnation of evil. Physical spewing of hate. And I’m enraged. It just brings everything that I’ve been trying to ignore to the surface. All the way back to the KKK leaflets scattered across my beloved city the morning after the election. I said…we all said…this rhetoric would ignite and empower this type of ideology. And it has. NO doubt about it. He is their hero. And why wouldn’t he be? HE CAN’T EVEN PUBLICLY CONDEM THEIR EFFING BEHAVIOR. Because he wants them. He is nothing without them. THEY GOT HIM HERE! Make no mistake folks. They propelled this. And you all fell in line. “He’s not that bad.” “He doesn’t mean half of what he says.” “He’s just running his mouth, he’ll be presidential when the time comes.” How you feeling about all of that now? Still optimistic?
So here I am. Ashamed that I’ve buried my head for several months. But literally mentally exhausted by it all. Between two jobs, running a household, having a 4 year old to raise into a decent human being…. I literally don’t have time to keep up with the lunacy that is our president. I donate money where I can to reputable organizations that are fighting the good fight. But what else can I do? I’d literally quit my job and protest and march and write elected officials all day long if I could. But I can’t. And, right now, it literally feels like being part of the resistance is a full time job. So I’m doing the only thing I know how to do. I’m writing and spewing and venting into the public domain because I just don’t know what else there is to do. I’m using my voice.
The demonstration in Charlottesville was an act of domestic terrorism. I literally can not believe that white supremacy is a thing in 2017 and THAT IT IS EXPERIENCING A FUCKING REVIVAL. I literally have no words. I am legit compelled to give a moral argument as to why this is such a bid deal and then I’m asking myself what planet I’m on? Like on what plane of existence do I ever need to make this argument? But I do. Right? Because if we ALL saw bigotry and hatred and sexism and racism and homophobia for what it was and we ALL condemned it accordingly, we wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place right?
This is not an isolated thing. From day one of Trump these sickos have been claiming victory in his name and he’s done everything but write them a Thank You note. There is no longer a place for diplomacy, integrity, or dignity in the highest office in our land. And you know what’s baffling? Not one Trump supporter, that I know of, has uttered a word on social media regarding these incidents. Not even an acknowledgment of the events themselves taking place. Not even a “my thoughts and prayers are with the people in Charlottesville.” Nothing.
Where does this leave us? Are we so desensitized to this crap now?
I don’t really know what my point is. I recognize that I’m just sad and angry and talking in circles. And I recognize that I sound judgy. So be it at this point. I think he’s a lunatic. He’s got a severe personality disorder. I think he’s careless and reckless and self absorbed. And I have a WHOLE BUNCH OF FUCKING EVIDENCE TO BACK THAT UP. What we haven’t seen is diplomacy, compassion, a sense of moral fortitude. But for some reason a whole lot of people decided to go against what we have evidence for and believed in some sort of political unicorn …that Jan 20th would roll around and everything would magically “turn out okay.” So yeah…I’m a bit judgy about that. It wasn’t a very smart decision and I kinda think electing a president should require you to pay attention and do some research and maybe kinda listen to your gut about right and wrong. But that’s just my opinion. And I say that because I knoooooow so many folks who went against their gut on this one…hoping it would all be okay. And it’s not. And it’s getting worse.
I talk to my 4 year old about pretty much everything. He has alot of questions and I’m a firm believer in trying to answer them and give explanations where I can. We haven’t shied away from talking to him about all sorts of difficult topics. Normally our political system and the presidency would be something I would be so excited to talk with him about. I just can’t. I literally CRINGE at the thought that he’ll be entering kindergarten next year and as he progresses through elementary school he will be taught about the presidency… and his first memories of that sacred office will be of Donald Trump. I am literally disgusted.
I am afraid to turn on the news with him in the room. I recognize I can’t stay in a bubble…and I don’t shelter him from most things…but how sad is it that I just want to avoid any and all talk about our president until he’s no longer our president? Literally sick to my stomach about potentially discussing this with my kid.
I’m ranting I know. But I’m kinda done trying to convince anyone that Trump is bad for our country. I’m not interested in debating anything. It’s pointless now. What’s done is done. He won. Now all I can do is dig in where I can and do whatever work I can do to protect our democracy. Especially the free press (that’s a big issue for me).
But I thought back today to some things I wrote the day of the election. It was really visceral. But alot of what I said that day came to fruition in Charlottesville. Last night I went back to my notes in my phone and read it (yes I kept it y’all! Just because I deleted it from FB doesn’t mean I’m letting it go). And it just made me sad – I hate being right about shit like this. Then I kept scrolling through my notes and I found something I jotted down on my flight to DC on Inauguration Day. It was going to be a post to Ritter (I maintain a blog where I write to him about all sorts of things – planning to turn it over to him once he’s 18). But the flight was so turbulent that I couldn’t even focus on typing and I just put on some music and prayed. Then I got home and things were crazy and it never materialized into an actual post to Ritter. I had completely forgotten I had written it until I found it last night.
Anyway, I was a ball of nerves on that flight. Not surprising given the enormity of what I was going to do (crazy looking back that it turned out to be even bigger than I thought). But there was some fear going in. Especially given the fact that Trump supporters were heading out of town as literally hundreds of thousands of us were coming in. I was nervous. But, ironically, it turned out to be the largest single day peaceful protest in US history. But on that flight I had no idea what I was heading into and what might happen. With that many people in one place you never know. So I jotted down some things. And this is what I wrote…
As I sit on a violently turbulent flight through a thunderstorm – flying away from you – I’m asking myself why I’m doing this. You will never know, Ritter Allen, how precious you are to me. Everything I do in my life is in an effort to provide the safe, stable, strong home that you need. I work so hard at setting the right examples and modeling healthy behaviors for you. I know, without a doubt, that you learn everything from watching us. So I know that I have to do this. I have to stand for what I believe in. And I have to fight for what is right. This moment, this movement, wouldn’t be possible if so many women like me sat on the sidelines. I know you won’t understand for a very long time what has happened in our country and what is at stake…just know that I’ve sat on the sidelines for too long. It’s beyond time to take action.
I pray Ritter that you carry forward my passion for doing the right thing, standing up for what matters (even when it’s not popular), and speaking truth and light into this world. I have said a million prayers about this weekend. That God will bring me home safely to you and daddy. Our family means everything to me.
I am profoundly sad about the results of this election. Sad for our country. Sad about how this man conducts himself. Sad that your earliest memories of our president will be of this. Just plain sad. But I am moved and filled with hope by what I see with this movement. This resistance. We have to remember that the smallest, subtlest voice can have a very profound effect. The tiniest pebble, a huge ripple in the water. It feels as if we are on the precipice of something big. A sleeping giant has been awakened. I want you to ALWAYS know that you are good and special and that your voice matters. No matter how impossible your goal might seem, your efforts matter. And you will chip away, and strengthen, and learn and grow. No matter what, you just must keep moving forward.
I want you to know that you will feel really alone at times. You will feel everyone is against you. We all go through that. It’s normal to feel that way sometimes but it’s not true. And you will often come out of whatever struggle it is and realize you are stronger because of it…and that you have people. Know your people and keep them close. Nothing else matters.
For you Ritter. For your friends who are the children of immigrants. For your friends that have two mommies or two daddies. For your black and brown friends. For your friends that are disabled. For your friends who have been born with a chronic health issue. For your education. For your health and safety. For your future. I march.
I love you with all that I am.
So after reading that…I guess I’m reminded…that no matter what, we have to keep moving forward. We have to keep speaking out. Even the tiniest pebble….