Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Post-Election Ramblings

a little self-care....

 It's been a week since I woke up in a hotel room in Alabama and Peyton told me of Trump's conclusive victory and my eyes bugged out a little. We were traveling for a funeral and had both stayed up late watching the results come in but he made it longer than I did. I didn't cry like a lot of my friends have. The day was foggy and weird, though. And I did do a bit of "How are you" reaching out to friends I knew were potentially really hurting. [Look, I think colleges cancelling classes and organizing play-dough and coloring may be a bit much, but I do think self-care is important and friend-care is maybe even more so.] I hope I've been able to extend love to the those on the side of the victor as well as those who feel overwhelmed, marginalized, and frightened. Our pastor at church this week embodied this. It was really interesting to go to church- knowing that people at Northside fall on all sides of many spectrums but also knowing that some in our community would be deeply disheartened by a Trump victory. I will say- it was one of Stan's shining moments. And that's saying a lot because he perpetually shines for Christ in the way he stands for the poor and the oppressed.

I've been trying to check myself. I knew my candidate was not going to win. I voted for him because I would have loved to see the Libertarians make it to five percent and have a little more visibility on the national stage. I also voted the way I did because frankly I'd love to see the demise of the two-party system in my lifetime. But mostly I cast my ballot for Johnson because I did not feel I could do otherwise and honor my convictions.

That said, if I'm honest with myself, I'm not sure I would have had quite the sick feeling in my stomach had I woken up to a Clinton presidency. I think part of it was just the shock after weeks of watching the polls. But part of it is that she doesn't make me uncomfortable in the same way Trump does.

I'm no Hillary fan- she's shown herself a dishonest woman with a plethora of faults and Peyton basically said that by the end of it, he was no longer sure she was the lesser of evils, just maybe the better packaged one.

I've heard a couple of people say they'd be afraid of a Clinton administration the way her supporters are afraid of a Trump administration. But I think it's different. The way they feel she might threaten their Christian liberties are vastly different from the things Trump has proposed himself about requiring Muslims to register.

And then there's the abortion issue. Of course, I don't agree at all with HRC in regards to her stance on abortion. I have, for years, talked about how I am in favor of a consistent pro-life ethic which means much more than just being against abortion. But aside from that, I've become more and more convicted that legislation isn't the answer to this problem, or at least not the most important one. I'm unconvinced Trump will do anything to help move this forward in a positive way. Also, ethically speaking, Hillary painted a very gruesome picture of things when she condoned late-term abortions but honestly I think it pulls emotional strings more than anything. I recently looked at an old ultrasound picture of Sallie when I was barely out of the first trimester. Her little legs were long as they are now and her profile even seemed recognizable. But again, that's just a heart tug. A consistent ethic of life tells me I should be equally mortified by destroying something that looks fundamentally like a butter bean as a baby at thirty eight weeks gestation. Finally, I think it's not outside the realm of possibilities that abortions would have gone down under a Clinton presidency because there are so many more factors involved.

On the other hand, it seems very likely, if not certain, that Trump has emboldened racism, sexism, xenophobia, among other things. I've heard personal anecdotes already from friends with nuanced, balanced thinking whose voices I trust and they are afraid for their Muslim friends, their friends of color, and their LBGTQ friends. Some of these friends are somewhat conservative. And now we're hearing that potential Trump appointments could be downright terrifying (ironic since appointments were one of the big reasons so many held their noses and voted for him). It's horrifying, really. Maybe in the years to come I would have been horrified by some of the things Clinton did (as I said, things she did previously did upset me greatly) and maybe in the years to come I will be pleased with certain things Trump does. I'd love that, truly.

I said this on Facebook last week but I think it still holds true. I'm as ready to get back to funny memes and cute baby pictures as the next person (a couple of weeks ago I felt it necessary self-care to focus on the frivolous absurdities of my children's wardrobes??). But, I say this gently, please let people have their grief. Let them be honest about their fears. It's SO easy to unfollow on Facebook- I know people who find that necessary self-care and I know I've been on the receiving end even from friends I care about for a season. It doesn't have to be personal and you can just do it for a little while. And that way you don't have to invalidate anyone's feelings by making requests they are just not equipped to meet for you right now. Consider that whether you understand it right now or not, people- your friends- feel unsafe and unwelcome. Those felt needs deserve care and if you can't give it, one way to work towards the unity you desire for this country is to just hide them for a bit.

And if you're a Netflix subscriber, join me in streaming a little of The West Wing. Bartlett's America is good for the soul. 

1 comment:

Mallory Pickering said...

This is one of my favorite things you've written. Very brave. And gentle and wise.