Like everyone else, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about politics and about where I fit into our national discussion. In my last post, I outlined my early opposition to Donald Trump who, despite my opinion, I still must refer to as President because that is how our institution works. Simply giving him that title does not compel me to swear my allegiance to him or to the policies of this country.
Yesterday during my short breaks at work, I spent some time marveling at the massive crowds demonstrating around the country. I flipped through my Facebook feed observing that nearly all of my female friends and their partners and children were taking part in these demonstrations. Empowerment matters for a variety of reasons and it was clear that this movement, this resistance, has strength.
I’m posting a quote below that I found buried in one of the comments to a Facebook Post about these demonstrations. I think it’s important to understand history and context as we go forward. The ideals of our democracy are important and I am certainly not beyond making the next 4 years debilitating for those at the top. In a huge country among millions of people, it’s easy to lose one’s place. It’s easy to believe that your voice is irrelevant, that nobody else is listening, that you’ve been left behind in some existential movement. Tipping points do not occur without provocation and provocation cannot occur without intent. One of the great things about the type of democracy we live in is that collective groups of people can create change. We’ve been there before. Our history is rife with movements that forced positive change. We are not yet beholden to a dictator and we do not have to tolerate a speedy transition from our democracy to a plutocracy which then becomes only a short step to autocracy. It is through complacency and simple disbelief that we allow that sort of transition to happen right beneath our feet. Clearly, there are millions in our country right now who want to be sure we don’t go down that path and I include myself with them.
I listened as they called my President a Muslim.
I listened as they called him and his family a pack of monkeys.
I listened as they said he wasn’t born here.
I watched as they blocked every single path to progress that they could.
I saw the pictures of him as Hitler.
I watched them shut down the government and hurt the entire nation twice.
I watched them turn their backs on every opportunity to open worthwhile dialog.
I watched them say that they would not even listen to any choice for Supreme Court no matter who the nominee was.
I listened as they openly said that they will oppose him at every turn.
I watched as they did just that.
I paid attention.
Now, I’m being called on to be tolerant.
To move forward.
To denounce protesters.
To “Get over it.”
To accept this…
I will not.
I will do my part to make sure this great American mistake becomes the embarrassing footnote of our history that it deserves to be.
I will do this as quickly as possible every chance I get.
I will do my part to limit the damage that this man can do to my country.
I will watch his every move and point out every single mistake and misdeed in a loud and proud voice.
I will let you know in a loud voice every time this man backs away from a promise he made to them.
Them. The people who voted for him.
The ones who sold their souls and prayed for him to win.
I will do this so that they never forget.
And they will hear me.
They will see it in my eyes when I look at them.
They will hear it in my voice when I talk to them.
They will know that I know who they are.
They will know that I know what they are.
Do not call for my tolerance. I’ve tolerated all I can.
Now it’s their turn to tolerate ridicule.
Be aware, make no mistake about it, every single thing that goes wrong in our country from this day
forward is now Trump’s fault just as much as they thought it was Obama’s.
I find it unreasonable for them to expect from me what they were entirely unwilling to give.”