I’ve been wondering for the past few days if I wanted to talk about the election and the ramifications. As you all know, I’ve tried to make this blog a positive place where I hope you’ll find inspiration and, when I actually sit down to write, tips you’ll find useful. This blog also serves as my diary, in part. I try to limit the scope to the writing sphere, and although it may not appear so, at least not in the beginning, I’ll get to that bit by the end.
So yes, I’ve decided to talk about it. At least a little.
I’ve been trying to find a way to remain positive and to find the right words to share here, with you. Even as a writer, this has been extremely difficult. I’ll be honest, I cried when the votes were tallied and discovered that a candidate whose entire platform was built upon some of the most deplorable things I’ve ever heard had the audacity to walk up to the podium to accept the presidency and say we needed to come together…the word “hypocrite” came crashing to mind.
I was, in a word, horrified.
I’ve never been politically inclined, or evidently overly patriotic. Since I was 19, I’ve been trying to find a way to move to England, and I had only become a US citizen two years before. Did I think about reinstating my Canadian citizenship? Yep. Will I? Well, in my desire to travel and live around the world, it is easier to do so as a Canadian, sooo maybe. (And no, I was not one of the many who crashed the Canadian immigration website.)
The night of and the following morning, my eyes were glued to social media as if I were witnessing the carnage of an accident. I couldn’t look away. But then the gloating started. The “stop whining” started, and from people I considered “friends”, well, at one point in my life, I mean we’re just Facebook friends now, but still.
Were they so oblivious to what this meant to so many? Were they just ignoring all the threats made? The insults? The blatant lies? Or were they under the impression that his whole persona was just for show? That underneath all the “isms” is an actual decent person? Do they really believe that someone who had aided in dividing the country so greatly is actually the one who will bring us together?
And this is an honest question – Is this what they believe?
Talk about delusion. There are a number of quotes about the actions of people vs their words, and in either case, the president-elect has shown us his true colors.
I have worked a long time in the food service industry. I have been assaulted by men at least a dozen times, both physically and verbally, because in their minds, their tip for me providing them with food and drink also included a grope, fondle, grab, or enduring a disgusting string of insults under the guise of a compliment. Only a couple of weeks before the election, these two older white men who have become regulars at one of the restaurants I work for had the nerve to say that all women would happily allow a man in a position of power to grope them, as if it were some sort of special commendation.
I looked at them aghast and said, “No, we wouldn’t!”
It is not a compliment. It is not welcomed. It is not acceptable. We are not asking for it. For many of us, we’ve had no avenue to defend ourselves against such behavior. And when we do speak up, we’re bitches and being difficult, and the assailant gets a slap on the wrist. And if you’re wondering why we’re feeling even less secure, it’s because the chosen leader of our country not only condones such behavior, but has also perpetrated it (and on minors, no less).
This is just one example of one of the “isms” you think we’re being cry babies about. There are a number of groups who have been trying to make strides in the direction of equality that now feel an even greater upward battle is just beginning.
Then the voices of rational people started to join together and grow louder.
No, we don’t think all his supporters are hateful people. No, we do not want him to fail. That was never even a thought. He will be our leader, and there is a great deal riding on his “broad shoulders” and his leadership. We’re all counting on him to be successful. We’re all hoping for that, even amidst the fear many of us are feeling.
The irony of it all, I suppose, is that for a man who wanted to break down the political system, he has shone a bright light upon it and made a lot more people want to get involved. Well, maybe not so much irony as a blessing. Perhaps this is that silver lining we’re looking for. I don’t overtly share my beliefs. I try to find quiet ways to do things for the causes I believe in, but that quiet side is done with sitting in the shadows. She is beyond incensed and ready to find an outlet. There’s just been too much.
And this is where we get to the writing.
As writers, we have our voices. There is a great deal we can do. Whether you write a non-fiction essay about the ramifications of this decision, or you write an allegorical fantasy that thinly veils these contemporary times, we have it within our means to say so much for so many. We don’t have to stay silent and wonder what we can do to make a difference.
We have our voices. Let’s use them!
And on a side note, I truly appreciate the safety pin movement created during Brexit, and offer my support to any who need it. I’ve added my email to my About page. Feel free to use it if you ever need a friendly ear or a word of encouragement.
Keep your chins up, my friends! Let’s do what we can to stay positive and to bridge the divide. Let’s be kind and open-minded. Let’s stand against all the “isms” and find a way to help one another. We’re all in this together!