Home > Reflections, Safety, Social Justice, Social media > I will shield you

I will shield you

My blog’s most popular post to date is the letter I wrote to my deceased mom.

Entitled simply “Dear Mom,” the post is what poured from my fingertips when I wrote to her as if she was still alive. While I wrote, I felt her presence with me, so that I would’ve written for days if I only the constraints of my life permitted it.

Yesterday, my curiosity was piqued when I saw a LinkedIn editor’s pick called “Dear Dad, Please don’t vote for Donald Trump.” Its author’s dad is still alive, but he’d chosen the medium to enable him to present his thoughts in a fluid way that supported linking content. I felt in his words tendrils of the same force that nudged me along as I wrote to my own mom.

I debated whether or not to read the post’s comments. I decided it should be safe; with LinkedIn being a place for professionals to network, I was curious what considered points commenters would raise in response.

“Buffoonery,” read one of the kinder, more thoughtful comments.

By the time I finished reading, I did something I seldom do outside WordPress. I commented.

I found this a thoughtful, articulate piece, and I’ll consider it as I contemplate which way I’ll vote.

I also have to note I’m astonished by the commentary on this post. LinkedIn is supposed to be a place for professionals to network, but many of the comments below are aggressive, inarticulate, and without any clear purpose apart from to deride you. Their very commentary supports the concern you carefully articulate for your dad.

I suppose the good news in this commentary is that these commenters’ lack of contribution to meaningful dialogue is itself illuminating to someone who, as of this moment, may not be With Her … but is even more definitively not With Them.

I wasn’t surprised to find pointed comments lobbed at me when I checked LinkedIn later. One commenter chided me for being willing to “take an article written in LinkedIn, especially written by someone completely bias” when considering how to vote. “ARN’T YOU SPECIAL,” wrote another.

I debated whether or not to reply before shooting off:

There’s a little wisdom to be found in most places; emphasis on “most.” To be clear, it’s commenters like you and [other commenter], attacking without substantive comment, who make the profoundest case against Trump. Have a great and blessed day!

To this, [other commenter] from above wrote the following:

get a life Debbie and know about informed facts and stop being lead by the nose as are so many leftists , baby killing and baby parts selling ungodly people in the democrap (not a typo) party. You hide behind your fancy pretty words and pretend to be a person making an educated choice which is your God given right until the leftists take that away.

I laughed when I read her comment. She’d once again emphasized my point for me.

I saw neither benefit in replying nor need to reply.

My thoughts returned to the exchange as I pushed my two-year-old son, Littler J, through the grocery store soon afterward.

I thought of a conversation with my colleague, C, a week or so ago. I told him then, “I don’t believe most people set out to act deeply unreasonably. I just have to remember to look for their reasons!”

Earlier this week, I wrote a post inspired by C. He and I rest in different regions of the United States political spectrum, but that’s irrelevant to anything. He’s absolutely, unequivocally one of the two or three safest people I have known in my often extremely unsafe life.

safe:
not only
the absence of harm,
but the presence of
encouragement,
kindness,
hearing,
candor,
respect

As I pushed Littler J through the store, I thought of C and what safe feels like. I thought about how I am most vocal and inconsolable when I’m afraid. By shouting louder, I strive to mask my fear.

By the time I stood in the checkout line, I felt certain that fear has inspired most of the rage and outrage I’ve experienced in recent months. My own included.

I decided I want to be more like C, who texted me about political disagreement yesterday. “It’s not a matter of if I agree or not. It really is about me understanding and respecting your point of view which I do!!”

I looked around me and saw dozens of people of all sizes, shapes, and colors. Like me, each was there because they needed food and supplies to keep themselves and their families going. I felt kinship with each and every one as I embraced the sense that we are connected and alike in ways far deeper than our political affiliations.

I decided it’s time for me to step away from the feeling unsafety of my youth and into being safety for those around me, whether or not they ever agree with me.

I’m early into writing a long post about why I am no longer a Democrat. I’ve touched on this briefly in prior posts, but it will take me thousands of words to express the history and nuance.

The shortest form of it all is that Bernie Sanders was a revelation to me: I didn’t have to align myself with the Democratic party because it was somewhat more closely aligned with my interests! I could align myself with someone whom I felt genuinely represented those interests.

“Those interests” might be different than you’d expect. I’m a middle class white woman today, but I grew up the poor, battered offspring of generations of abuse on both sides. I grew up surrounded by affluent white liberals spitting on my mom, my siblings, and me while priding themselves on helping “the poors” out of the goodness of their wealthy white hearts. They saw their donations and volunteer hours as signs of their bleeding-heart goodness; they acted in self congratulatory affirmation of their goodness, not because “the poors” were good people who deserved to stand on equal footing due to their own innate goodness.

Those supposed bleeding-heart liberals weren’t a safety net for me or mine as I hid in my closet and prayed I’d live long enough to find a better life.

When Hillary Clinton spoke to Black Lives Matter protesters in August 2015, she told them it was up to them to provide her a tidy, tidily presented solution with which she could do something. If they couldn’t? Well, it wasn’t her fault if nothing changed.

I saw that video and knew she was the affluent liberal classmates who teased me for my McDonald’s uniform: “Say, ‘Do you want fries with that?!’ C’mon, say it!”

Meeting the parents was to understand their kids.

Clinton means well, I’m sure. She wants to help “the poors” because that’s what good people do. She just has no idea what it actually feels like to pray you’ll have food and shelter tomorrow, or to have to be appropriately thankful every time someone shares some little scrap with you in hopes they’ll feel compelled to provide scraps in the future. She has no idea how her affluence was earned, in part, through “the poors'” lack of it, or that people cannot offer neat solutions when they fear for their shelter, their lack of food, or their life. It’s all they can do to just survive and hope that folks in power will give a damn without regard to political contributions.

I do not want to vote for Clinton. I want to vote for her even less when fellow liberals shout, “But Trump!” or “But Supreme Court justices!” or especially, “I guess I’m just more pragmatic!”

“Not as terrible as Trump!” is no kind of platform. And peer pressure? It’s even less attractive at fifty than five years old.

Affluent white liberals like those who marred my youth do not represent me. They do not represent the children of poor people whom I passionately believe should have actually equal opportunities to achieve success despite their parents’ poverty. They do not represent my hope for the future. They are not my people.

Sanders is my people, striving for a better future for all children because they deserve it, whether or not they or their parents are equipped to lobby for it. Today, I stand willing to write him in even as Democrats who fail to understand me tell me doing so would be “wasting my vote.” Even as Sanders himself urges his supporters to vote for Clinton.

I don’t want to vote for incrementalism, which I see not as progress but shouting out, “You’re cut! Let’s keep mopping up the blood ’cause it just takes too much time to apply stitches.”

I don’t believe in incrementalism, which didn’t help my mom
in her mental illness or as she died of cancer,
and does little to help others around me;
others not inferior, but simply less lucky.

As I stood waiting to pay for my groceries today, I understood I’d been a jerk on LinkedIn. I’d used “fancy pretty words” compared to those who’d inspired my comments, but I was attacking people for what they were saying and how they were saying it all the same.

I was no better than the people who’d listened to my mom’s impassioned entreaties decades ago and then responded only to correct her grammar, because they could.

I thought again about what it means to contribute to

safe:
not only

the absence of harm,
but the presence of
encouragement,
kindness,
hearing,
candor,
respect

My LinkedIn comments contained none of these things.

I thought about how exhausting it is to be against. I want to stand for.

What “for” will look like to me in November, I can only imagine. For now, I know only that for is not in shouting at people who yearn to carve out safety for them and theirs in turbulent times. It’s definitely not in my excoriating Trump, Clinton, either’s supporters, or anyone else.

I know what I am for. I don’t think if I’ll find much of it in this presidential election. But if I am so lucky, I will have another ten presidential elections–and all the spaces between–to find better ways to stand for, and to support all those around me, showing each that I hear and understand, whether or not I agree. I want more love and more lovingkindness in this world we all share. I want a better life for all.

The best way I can demonstrate that now is by listening–and speaking–with care. By remembering that healing does not come from being harder, or louder, or angrier. So, whether or not I ever agree with you:

I will hold you in love,
and compassion,
and shield you

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  1. July 16, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Moving and inspirational. Thank you.
    I really, really want the day to come when more of us feel able to acknowledge our many similarities. And realise that there are more of them than there are points of difference.
    Against is almost always a knee-jerk reaction. For is more considered, and requires more thought and more work. And, like the difference between an existence and a life, it costs more and is worth more.

    • July 16, 2016 at 8:07 pm

      I took Li’l D to see The Secret Life of Pets last weekend. I ended up feeling so moved to be surrounded by people all laughing and focused together on the same (joyful) thing that I got misty-eyed a few times. I had that same sense at the grocery store today, but it was more pronounced by far than last week because of the newer experiences/exchanges.

      There’s so much to be for in all that. It’ll take some time and practice to get into the swing of it, but now that I know what it feels like to receive that understanding and safe, I’d really like to be (more often?) a purveyor of it, too.

      Like you say, it costs more, but it really is worth more, too.

  2. July 16, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    Oh how I love this post.

  3. Paul
    July 16, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    I’m pretty big guy to be holding onto … O_o

    Great post Deborah. Thank you – a lot of thought went into this.

    • July 16, 2016 at 8:21 pm

      You’re good at making me smile. 🙂

      Also good? The heart can (with practice) hold much, much more than one small set of arms.

  4. July 16, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Deb, I so love the way you approach the whirlwind topic of politics.
    I have never been able to align myself with any given political party. Life is to complicated to simply pick one side-the grey compels me to look longer, listen more. I idolized Pres. Reagan as a child, and the vision of his face as he talked to the people as I watched in awe still effects me. He spoke to each person and never the mass in front of him. He saw me, and I him. Strange how such a moment can stay with me always. I memorized every speech he made and kept the magazine which was dedicated to his passing. I wept. He knew what it meant to connect with those he led and I long for than now. Not because of the laws he passed or the walls he helped to break down but because he cared-about me.

    • July 16, 2016 at 9:25 pm

      But because he cared, he loved.

    • July 17, 2016 at 6:39 am

      In a predecessor of the lengthy post I’m working on very, very slowly, I wrote that “I could no longer see the benefit of aligning myself with an archaic party from an archaic two-party system.” A few sentences later, I asked, “Does having two parties really enable me to have a meaningful voice in my government? Or does it benefit entrenched powers, virtually forcing me to select candidates who don’t speak for me because one comes a little closer than the others?” My answer, as you can see, is in the question.

      (While there are other parties, of course, the two primary ones have access to certain resounding benefits the others do not.)

      I’ve joined a group seeking to open primaries to all. That’s somewhere I’ll be putting some time over the next few years, though my attention will be focused far and away and creating truly equal educational opportunities for all.

      I love reading your words about Reagan. There’s such tenderness and understanding in them, I can’t help but wish you were running for office.

  5. July 16, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    Dear Deb,
    What a wonderful post!
    I have the feeling many people don’t feel repeated all over the world.

    • July 17, 2016 at 6:40 am

      Thanks, Solveig! I think there are many, many people who don’t know what it’s like to be heard. I would not like to (continue to!) be part of the problem.

  6. July 17, 2016 at 5:10 am

    I’ve had experiences eerily similar to the one you describe having on LinkedIn. They were enlightening to the degree they helped me realize my own limitations.

    It was, in fact, one such experience that resulted (ultimately) in the name I chose for my poetry blog. Others may comment with complete certainty on incredibly complex matters, but me – I have no talent for that. I had to recognize that the comfortable certainties I could offer others were few (although I do believe in some, but they are personal).

    At some point, it struck me: professional politics is all about stirring people up to such a degree that they forget they’re all in the same pot, and typically has all the psychological complexity of opposing fans yelling at each other across a stadium: “We’re good – you’re bad – end of.”

    I’ve also observed (sadly) that no form of assassination is as common or uniformly successful as character assassination.

    • July 17, 2016 at 7:07 am

      I was flabbergasted at first. “But this is LinkedIn–don’t folks know their managers and companies can see what they’re writing?! That they could face serious repercussions for calling people names and doing stuff they would never do in the office?” I’ve gotten used to it on other social media sites, but really was surprised to see it there.

      Of course, stepping away from the computer just an hour later, my incredulity seemed pretty silly. People are people, no matter where they congregate in person or on computer!

      Your statement about professional politics is spot on. It’s amazing how succinctly you can express something so complicated.

      I’m not sure which way to take your final paragraph. From one perspective, it could be a continuation of what you’re addressing above. From another, it sounds like it could be a gentle rebuke for my address of Clinton.

      In case it’s the latter, here’s a little more context outside the enormous post I’m slowly drafting. I’m not attacking Clinton personally; I don’t think characterizations of her as being untrustworthy or crooked are meritorious. She’s been pretty clear in most matters I’ve tracked, so that my concerns are actually rooted in the ways in which she’s been especially clear.

      One of those ways is in her narrative of personal accountability, which rejects or obfuscates serious, destructive, systemic factors working against the underprivileged. When she says “you’re responsible for the solutions” to those who are suffering and who could greatly benefit by her exercising the significant power she’s amassed over past decades, she’s speaking to one of her–and her compatriots’–core values: that suffering is, in some part, virtually across the board, a reflection of people’s failure to take responsibility for their own successful path in life.

      This all sounds well and good to people who have lived comfortable lives. They don’t see the privilege in the facts they always had food on the table, always had an unthreatened roof over their head, went to good schools with well trained teachers and ample access to technology. They don’t see these things as privileges because they assume, with varying degrees of excusable ignorance, that these are things that everyone has. That we truly all begin our lives with equal opportunity.

      PolitiFact ranked as “mostly true” a Sanders assertion that Clinton-backed “Welfare reform more than doubled ‘extreme poverty.’” But this isn’t exactly news: in 1997, Peter Edelman resigned as assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the Department of Health and Human Services in protest of the bill, accurately forecasting this end result in his 1997 piece “The Worst Thing Bill Clinton Has Done.” I highly recommend reading the piece, which is an insightful, incisive response to the idea that poverty is deserved because of laziness, failure of accountability, or otherwise … as well as to the specific failures of the bill.

      Taken together with Michelle Alexander’s meticulously researched and presented The New Jim Crow, it is impossible for me to not shudder now when I hear narratives of personal accountability from those who have for the duration of their lives known benefits they didn’t know enough to acknowledge were benefits. This failure to see makes them poorly equipped to truly address the plights of those like my mother who could only have escaped from poverty with adequate social support, and without even supposed bleeding-heart liberals scoffing at her poverty while demanding her subservience to obtain the smallest, slightest measures to counter it. Again, this is addressed eloquently in Edelman’s piece linked above, demonstrating–to me, given my history and sensitivity to displays of power–fundamental failings by perpetually privileged liberals toward those who most need their support to counter systemic suppression and oppression. This help should be offered not out of the goodness of affluent liberals’ hearts, but out of the acknowledgment none should have to fight for food, shelter, or respect. For me to speak of Clinton’s inability to actually see and thus adequately work to address is not to impugn her character, but to address flaws in her vision that will keep her from even seeing, let alone working to resolve, systemic failures in which she has played a profound and terrible role.

      But, again, more on that later. What I’m writing will take weeks or maybe months to articulate, though I feel I must as one of those dirt poor few who now has enough privilege combined with crystal clear memory to say: Enough! You do not get to narrate this–our–story anymore!

      (The funny thing is, there’s a good likelihood this post will ultimately lead to my endorsing Clinton in the very particular circumstances of this year’s election. If my goal is for more people to have better lives, then I am working counter to my goal to cast a vote that increases the likelihood of someone holding the presidency who will work far greater cruelties for many. I’m not there yet, but if I get there, it will be because I have reached that conclusion, not because others have shouted I must.)

    • July 17, 2016 at 7:15 am

      (For the record, Anthony said, “I didn’t see any rebuke in that!” :))

      • July 17, 2016 at 7:44 am

        It wasn’t any kind of rebuke.

        I was adding to my list of things online political dialogue devolves into – really, reasons I avoid it – and I sort of stopped mid-thought. I’ve had my own character attacked in discussions and it is, um — rather off putting.

        As to the substance of your reply, I look forward to reading more as you work through these thoughts. Are the barriers of understanding you speak of crossable? If so, how do we get there?

        • July 17, 2016 at 7:56 am

          I surely hope they are, and that we can find the practicable ways!

          I have a bunch of books on the way that address these questions as well as, they say, potential solutions. I’ll have a lot to mull over as I contemplate those books/words in addition to dialogue online and off.

          I think a huge part of it is in listening. I think we as a species can be very, very slow to acknowledge and understand change. In the past, a small number of people could do research and speak on behalf of researched populations. Today, those researched populations have the means to speak for themselves. I think it’s uncomfortable for people once used to the role of (mis)speaking on behalf of others to cede that role, but I also think it’s necessary. The more people learn how to listen to other people narrate their experiences and to make the space to do so, the closer we will be to seeing our common humanity and all being compelled to hold each other up. I know that’s super idealistic, but it’s hope that keeps me going. 🙂

          For my part, I have to say thank you for the time, care, and thought you put into what you see, how you see, what you say, all of it. Probably about once a day, Anthony says he’d really like to meet you someday, and I feel the same … even as I feel, in some ways, that you are the most uniquely meetable-online person I’ve yet not-met. I’m more glad by the day for how you listen, that our paths crossed, and that I still have so, so very much to learn from you.

          Even if I occasionally ask questions, underneath them is an unshakable faith in your love of and desire to build up people. It’s beautiful.

  7. July 17, 2016 at 11:28 am

    I love this idea of being for and not against, and love how you’ve been discussing it on your blog. Through your posts about it, I’ve come to understand more and more why I feel so scared lately about the state of the world. I always thought the things I was for were rooted in caring for my fellow human beings’ quality of life as I do my own. I thought thinking globally was a good thing so one group doesn’t only consider their interests when aspects of those interests would hurt other groups.

    But more and more I listen as people say no to that. People use their votes to say no to that and I wonder what will happen if the things I’m for are not represented among the political candidates who have the most chance of getting close to power. I hover between behaving strategically (which reminds me of war, doesn’t always work, and makes me want to stay in bed with the covers over my head) or behaving according to the openness and goodness of my heart, which so many of my planetmates not only believe is wrong-headed, but have demonstrated that they are against.

    The part of me that thinks scientifically is afraid that the current state of our evolution has dictated the ways we behave as a species.

    I want to hold to the philosophy of your last paragraph. Thank you for dicussing it and putting that thought out into the din.

    • July 17, 2016 at 12:39 pm

      I hover between behaving strategically (which reminds me of war, doesn’t always work, and makes me want to stay in bed with the covers over my head) or behaving according to the openness and goodness of my heart

      Oh, how I hear you on this!

      I’ve been thinking a lot about the weird way I came into my current job. Who’d have thought all these very particular circumstances aligning would have led me not only to a rockin’ job, but to be situated to understand safety? (It’s not to say that I’ve never had safeness around me, but I wasn’t really able to understand it, always busily locked up in some kind of fight or flight. I needed a resounding example of it to really get it down to my bones.)

      Knowing that feeling makes me want to contribute to it. It makes me stop and think where some of the greatest safety I’ve known has come from, with a great portion of that being from folks much more conservative than me. That’s something that’s been helping keep my heart aloft a lot the last few days, knowing that the fact we have different perspectives on many things doesn’t mean we don’t have so many in common. It’s good for me to have these examples of loving safety as I contemplate what I do and don’t want to be. Both run much deeper than could be captured in one nation’s politics, I think.

      I know I’ll still have fight or flight engaged. It’s part of being a human who’s endured repeated trauma. But I also know that I want to be pointed toward love and openness, and that that these things are worth reorienting myself for.

      I have so many more questions than answers right now. For now, that feels right.

      Much, much love from afar; I hear you, and wish you safety and joy. ♥

  8. July 17, 2016 at 11:35 am

    You wrote a really astounding post not long ago on the issue of what “safety” meant and felt like to you, and what harm looked like, and connected them there as well to the questions of this election and the rhetoric surrounding it. I didn’t comment on that post — an unfortunate fallout this cycle is how I can understand (and respect deeply) the thinking of people like you and other friends, whether or not we reach the same conclusions, yet the language available to me to express that often feels so tainted by association/proximity with vitriol that I struggle to word responses that will not resemble such vitriol in turn.

    The point is: I have returned often to thinking about that post. About how cogently you laid out what it is to respond to feeling cared for or bullied, safe or scolded. In such moving language, too. I want to thank you for that post now, and for this post as well. And for your beautiful heart, that you keep showing and showing — and showing again — to the world. It is courage moving to witness.

    • July 17, 2016 at 1:09 pm

      Oh, man. I so hear you on the first paragraph. I’ve been in the same place so many times. Others, I’ve started comments painstakingly considered only to find myself devolving into exactly where I didn’t want to go. It’s so much easier to just stay quiet and understand silence applied well has lots of merits.

      Thank you, too, for your second paragraph. It recalls a conversation I had last Monday. One of my coworkers said that he knows everything about me because he reads my blog, so that it didn’t feel fair I knew so little about him. We talked about his work and his kids. He said that he could never be as open as I am and asked (with curiosity, not accusation, unlike the guy whose comment began “Weave them into silver“) how I came to be that way.

      I explained that there was a lot behind that. One of the biggest things was being a fifteen- and sixteen-year-old blogger who wrote things off the cuff and was astonished when people started expressing thanks for making the world feel smaller and more human. I’d go through periods of expansion and contraction, sharing tons and then going, “No, now that’s too much!” I argued with my mom’s family how they shouldn’t read my public journal, and was so miffed at their continued reading that I stopped for a while.

      Later, I realized I missed it. I loved the connection from it. I kept expanding and contracting, expanding and contracting, until I started this blog and really sat with what I wanted. I thought about what I want to keep close to my heart and what I want others to be able to take heart in. I thought about how my dad, then/previously a P.I., was the person I least wanted to know about my thoughts and life, so that my share test became: What am I OK with my dad knowing? The more I wrote for myself and for those who said “thank you for saying what I might never be able to,” the more I found I could make purpose from the hard times I experienced. The more I strove toward for instead of simply running away. The more I was okay with my dad knowing my heart, and hoping he would in (potentially) knowing that that old, long-gone version of him and him-now are forgiven and loved, if forever from a distance. Now I try to be careful when I talk about the past it is to give context for my now, not to vilify or make it seem my dad must now be the child of abuse I once knew some small piece of.

      (It took me a long time to mention that my mom abused my siblings and me, because I knew from experience that it’s difficult for many to simultaneously understand “she exemplified love” and “she abused us.” When I finally did share that here, I was so grateful that so many could and did understand.)

      My heart caught when someone commented here, “You are a safe place.” Those were/are the most inspiring words I have ever read; reading them helped me knew that is what to be when I grow up, even if it takes me a life to figure out how to do it better. Even if I didn’t then quite know how. They are the words that make being courageous a worthwhile endeavor, even understanding courage can lead to consequences. In this case, the consequences are better than holding in what I know and thus helping perpetuate a world in which injustice against a person is a reflection of their own weakness and somehow their fault. It’s not, so I speak openly and hope that others see in my openness there is no shame in having survived nor in grappling with its enduring aftermath. None whatsoever. Indeed, I believe survival is something to hold proudly. “The crime speaks ill of its doer, if anyone; not of me. I, I have survived and stand now facing a future that will know and be better for my strength.”

      My past is my past. My present is a work in progress. I don’t have many answers, though I seek them. I do have lots of questions, and lots of love, and an okayness for putting things out there and knowing that someone, somewhere might feel it is to get out of bed in the morning. Knowing that they’re okay and loved and there’s hope for something better no matter what un-okay they have known before. That’s the basis for my courage, and I hope it just keeps growing along with my ability to create safe even when I don’t feel it.

      You are an inspiration to me. That’s so no matter where–or how often–we disagree or agree. A la C, I listen in hopes of hearing. I understand and respect your point of view.

    • July 18, 2016 at 5:51 am

      Anthony and I had a long talk last night. The post I was writing is officially scrapped. It’s not important why I’m no longer a Democrat. What’s important is why I’m so angry, and even more so, the hope at the core of that anger. I’ll need some “against” to demonstrate the basis of my “for,” but last night was me articulating through sobs what “for” compels me now. So that’s what I’m going to write about, though it will hurt like hell to do. (If last night was any indication, it’ll also be a load off.)

  9. July 17, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    Discussing politics has become so futile. Both sides accuse the other of being lead blindly by their party. Truth is whatever the party feeds us.

    I was once caught up in a particular political mindset to the point where walked around with a constant background rage in my head. I read only that which would provide me with a good rebuttal in a future argument. I never read an opposing view with any intent to give it consideration.

    I finally realized I needed to step back and take a break. It opened my eyes to how parties operated. . . . how similar both sides are in how they get and keep voters.

    Good ideas don’t get votes. Fear and anger gets votes. Then you mix in a little arrogance because you see the truth that the opposing viewpoint is blinded to, and you end up with a very dedicated group of followers.

    Anyhow, enough rant. I liked your post. You seem like one of the .0001% that I could actually have a political discussion with.

    • July 19, 2016 at 4:15 pm

      Up until recently, I only vaguely followed political stuff. Now I’m following, having read both sides, and I have a much stronger position than I ever did before … and yet, and yet the best people I have yet known come from “the other side,” so that I cannot in good conscience refute them or their humanity. I need to listen. More than that, I want to. (I said as much today in a reply to the original LI post.)

  10. July 18, 2016 at 5:37 am

    I think you’ve summarized exactly (maybe switch some names around, depending on the reader) how so many – maybe all – of us feel. I am so sad and discouraged. I fear November, no matter which outcome. And no, I refuse to project which way I would fear “most.”

    • July 19, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      I really, truly believe from my childhood that choices made/based in love are the right ones. Those made from fear and panic are made with–at best–half capacity, something of which I’m trying to remind myself right now as I debate posting a short post telling a huge population they can just go ahead and suck it already. Not helpful, but … man, I want people to know how !#^%#^ hard it was to endure my childhood, and to know that their actions–and inaction–shape that for kids RIGHT NOW. Torn between ideals for what is right and what my heart believes is right RIGHT NOW.

  1. July 24, 2016 at 9:28 am
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