Wake up and smell the rest of the country
During this past election cycle, I cringed as it alternated between comic and tragic. As the campaigns wore on I kept hearing about love and hate. The folks who claimed the concept of love as their own to everyone’s great surprise, lost the election.
The rotating seat of condescension and alienation goes to Donald Trump this time. I sure didn't see that coming.
In the aftermath of that unexpected turn of events it became clear that the while the circumstances of the past eight years had treated some, including myself, well enough – others had grown even more disenfranchised.
CNN said that those of us “living in our coastal citadels had grown aloof to the plight of those in middle America.” Those without real property or weighty 401(k)s were struggling. The recovery from the great recession had been more fair to some than it had been to others.
Just like the abused daughter marries the first asshole that offers to rescue her from her plight, many in this country were looking for someone, anyone, that would do something different.
Donald Trump is the buffoon the media reports him to be. He was, however, an alternative to the status quo candidate. For those desperate for something different he was the first to come along and only guy remaining that offered something different.
I am not going to speculate on the validity of that change or the likelihood that his recipe for change will, or will not, help those who voted for him. When you’re freezing, and waiting for a bus, you get on the first warm bus even if it is being driven by a zombie.
My hope was that after all the talk of love that there might be an awakening to the plight of those so disaffected that they thought this clown was their best hope. I hoped we might apply that mantra of love and compassion to those who needed it most.
Instead I see an avalanche of people effectively saying “Let them eat cake.” I want more of what worked for me! Screw you! As if holding these beliefs in our heads wasn’t enough we take to the streets and even carry signs. We want everyone to see us effectively telling those for whom the dream wasn’t working, “Don’t really care about you, I want it the way it was because that worked for ME!”
I had hoped for some solidarity with those struggling financially but instead of showing love, we see the same people who claimed love as their tenet mocking and stereotyping those who voted differently as redneck, ignorant, racist, etc. Instead of unifying our country we are increasing our divisions.
We speak of love and diversity yet we laugh and dismiss those who differ from us. We claim to want tolerance and believe everyone should accept people like ourselves, yet we alienate those who don’t share our every belief.
I point to the studies where they told people of a political policy concept and people accepted or rejected the concept solely based on the party of the person they were told originated the idea. It seems we don’t like or dislike something until we are told what to think. We have abandoned our ability to think for ourselves and have instead handed it over to our political party of choice.
I can think of nothing more dangerous or divisive to us as individuals or as a nation.