I haven’t been actively blogging of late. Mostly because I can’t seem to focus long enough on one theme to write something that I feel is worth your time as a reader and mine as the author.
But today is the Inauguration Day for the 45th President of the United States. And while a number of people are looking forward to it, many others have feelings of division, anger, hostility, disappointment, and confusion. I can accept the outcome of the election, and the fact that the person I voted for didn’t win. It wasn’t the first time that has happened, and I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last. But I admit, I fall into the confused, worried, and disappointed group.
I understand that a large number of people were feeling disenfranchised and forgotten. I get why they would want change. But understanding that a large portion of my neighbors felt abandoned by our government doesn’t mean that I am just going to suddenly agree with their choice and method of implementing change. Don’t expect me to “get over it”. I said I can accept it. But accepting something doesn’t mean one rolls over and becomes a doormat. Those of us that feel disappointed, and maybe even worried or scared, have valid feelings, even if you don’t share them. While many were feeling neglected under the previous administration, many others were not.
The very things that get me labeled as a “tree hugging hippie” , “liberal”, or “leftist” are often the very things that many of my Christian and/or right leaning acquaintances profess to be conservative ideals. Things like human rights, family values, and the dignity of life; education and crime prevention; conservation and protecting the environment. It’s how we, as individuals, express these views that somehow earn us right or left leaning labels. There are many examples, but I don’t want to turn this blog into something it isn’t intended to be.
Oddly, it’s this expression of our beliefs and opinions that has left such a huge divide between so many people who should, in theory, agree about certain issues. So, before you start berating me, or anyone else who didn’t vote for the new POTUS, or who speaks out against some proposed legislation or government policy you support, ask yourself if you really know why they don’t agree with you. Don’t assume it’s just because of point A, or even points A and B. If you don’t know, ask. Ask! Don’t start rattling off a bunch of sound bites trying to sway their opinion. When has that ever worked on you? Why do you think it will work on someone else?
Do I think things are going to change? Absolutely. Do I think the change(s) will be good? It’s to early to tell, but my gut instinct is no. The truth is, all change is stressful, and stressful situations can bring out the best and the worst in people. Recently, we’ve seen so much hatred that it’s difficult to believe that the coming changes will be beneficial to the majority of Americans. But if the changes are good, let’s remember that sometimes what’s considered good for group A is bad for group B and that even good things can create stress, uncertainty, and disruptions – think weddings or the first child. Do things go smoothly when they change? Not often. And that has me worried.
Bluntly put, we’ve elected a playground bully, and that’s why I’m disappointed. I’ve never liked bullies. It’s doubtful that I ever will. But I do love this country and all who call it home, including the urbanites, suburbanites, and the rural communities; the Democrats, Republicans and all those who are “others”; the heterosexuals and the LBGT; the citizens and the refugees and immigrants. So while I am proud to call this melting pot we call America my home, I’m not really proud to be an American right now. I hope that will change.