Finding My Voice

 

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January 2017

For the last year and seven months, I have been documenting our journey and my reflections along the way. Now our traveling has come to a lull. We think in terms of months, rather than days or weeks. It has become difficult to keep blogging, because there is less new material, as I have mentioned before.

Now, it is time for my writing to take a different turn.

In November, while we were enjoying our stay on the Jersey shore in the town of Ventnor, DT was elected by a minority of voters to be the first Un-President of the United States. I deeply fear that this may be catastrophic for our country and its citizens. This turn of events has divided our people, and instilled fear in many. We have yet to see what will happen when this racist, misogynistic, and dangerous man takes office, but many of us understand that the potential damage is great. Others maintain that we are being “sore losers,” and that this is just another election. I actually wish this were true!

Over the past month and a half I have been quietly witnessing the emotional accusations being flung back and forth over this issue. I have never been a very “political” person. I have always harbored the strong belief that any attempt to change the minds of those whose views oppose one’s own is futile. I have never intended this platform to be a political one, but I have recently been struggling with this. Why?

Because there are too many similarities between DT and other grandiose, despotic, fascist, and ultimately destructive leaders of the past. I do not see this political climate as just another election which a republican won. Donald Trump is dangerous, because of his personality. He does not represent the best interests of our citizens, but of a very narrow subgroup. He is impulsive, vindictive, lacking empathy, entitled, and has no regard for the law or the truth.

My conclusion is that I cannot quietly watch this happen without speaking out. I am going to start with this forum. I know that I have readers who will disagree, perhaps be offended by my views. But this is a place where I can practice having a voice, which is what I need to do to feel better personally, and also what I feel I need to do for my country.

I see many of the values that DT promotes as evil. (The way he treats women, people different from himself, the weak or disenfranchised.) I recognize that he has power.

Simply put: Evil + Power = Dangerous.

There are better places to turn for astute political discourse. I will be writing as one citizen, from my heart, with my particular humanistic/psychological slant. If this offends you, I apologize. Of course you can choose to close the page and turn your back on my viewpoint. But I urge you to stay, and to consider my perspective. We all need to do this, on both sides. We need to understand.

I cannot help but think that some of the voters who cast their vote for DT must also see that his personality, which he brings with him to this esteemed position, is a serious handicap. Some must have voted out of their sense of disenfranchisement, and/or their disenchantment with the status quo, and chosen to overlook the more sinister aspects to his persona. I know that I need to understand their disillusionment, for our divisiveness is a second layer of danger. If we are fighting amongst ourselves, we are easier to conquer.

On Friday evening, I sat around a dinner table with five dear friends, and the discussion was, to me, concerning. This was the first time that the six of us were all together since the election. I knew we would talk about what one member referred to as “he who shall remain unnamed,” borrowing from literature. But I was unprepared for the level of lassitude that my friends displayed. None of them agreed with my belief that we must take an active stand against what is happening. I understand this. I am 60 years old. and when I woke up on the morning of November 9th, I felt as if I had aged 20 years overnight. That feeling hasn’t gone away.

But we have a lot to lose. Everything, really. Our rights, our freedoms, newly won or longstanding.

And so I am exercising my longstanding right to freedom of speech. Do you remember the McCarthy era?

I was reminded of McCarthy on Sunday evening when Meryl Streep made her passionate and eloquent statement as she accepted her Golden Globe award. Do you realize that this was an act of bravery? Senator McCarthy was in office from 1947 to 1957. And he was a senator where Trump is President. Don’t fool yourself into thinking this couldn’t happen again. Meryl Streep is brave.

I want to end with the quote that Streep ended with, a quote that resonated with me deeply. She quoted Carrie Fisher, who once said to her, “Take your broken heart, make it into art.”

My heart is broken, not only by the outcome of the election, but by they way our country is now divided, and even by the passivity I am witnessing among some of my peers. It was Carrie’s words that inspired me to get up this morning and write. They will become my mantra for 2017.©

 

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