Some days I wonder what I will post about on here and as is evidenced by the sporadic nature of posts, some days I just don’t have much to say. Today is not one of those days. It has taken me several hours to figure out what all I am thinking and what I want to say in response to the 2016 Presidential Election. And I have a myriad of thoughts about it. On an emotional level, I am saddened, hurt, furious, on the verge of tears, cautious, hopeful, and a whole lot of other emotions that I’m not sure how to even put into words. And being the mother of a 2 year old African American boy, I have lots of other thoughts and emotions. But surpassing the emotional level, I have to reflect on the things I know to be true, and the things I have read, and the things I have learned over the course of my life to help me through this.
A bully has been elected to the office of President of the United States despite his long history of bullying behavior. Yet, across our nation in our schools, we strive to teach our students to not engage in bullying behavior, to report when they do see it or are victims of it, and to stand up against it. How can we continue to teach this to our children, when the bullies see that their behavior can be rewarded in this way? Trust me, I am 100% positive that we, in the schools, and many many parents across this country will continue to teach anti-bullying behavior and to respond to it when we encounter it and that gives me hope for humanity. But, I’m sure that it will become more difficult to combat it when the bullies see another bully in the highest office of the land.
A man that has little to no respect for women and admits to sexual assault of numerous women, and thinks it is funny, has no place in my worldview. Having never experienced sexual assault (Thank God!), it makes me furious and sad that other women (and men) have had to experience that. I’m well aware of the fact that other presidents have had inappropriate sexual relationships (affairs, whatever you want to call them) with women that have not been their wives. HOWEVER, I’m pretty sure that NONE of those ever bragged about it. Lied? Sure. Tried to cover it up? Sure. And those things are wrong!!! But to outright brag about committing sexual assault is why so many women don’t report the assault they have experienced. Because, as is evidenced by recent stories (Stanford swimmer, etc.), to be a white male that commits sexual assault is to be slapped on the hand and allowed to continue their lives while their victims experience emotional and physical trauma, PTSD, injuries that they have to deal with the remainder of their lives, depression, trust issues, and the list goes on.
What does his “Make America Great Again” slogan mean? When was it great? I mean, you are reading the words of someone that is incredibly grateful to live in this country where I have not had to experience things that people in other parts of the world have experienced. Where I can practice my own religion without fear of being arrested or killed. Where I can live essentially where I want to (as a white woman). Where I can make decisions about my own profession (choose what I want). Where I can choose where to send my son to school…public schools, private, homeschool, etc. Where I benefit from the men and women that have served in the Armed Forces to protect the United States and other parts of the world. Where I can choose the candidates that I want to vote for and exercise my privilege to vote for that person. Where I will fight for your right to exercise the same privilege, even if I disagree with you. But, I don’t understand his slogan. What does it mean? When does he want to go back to? And what are the policies that he’s going to put in place to make that happen? How are they going to affect my friends and family that don’t fit into the white population?
In response to his election to the office of President, I am sad and all those other emotions listed above. But I also want to put this out there. We, those of us that opposed him or did not vote for him or whatever…we MUST NOT stoop to his level of name calling, making fun of people, and the list goes on. WE MUST rise above that. WE MUST show the world that despite this person being elected president, that WE as Americans, can still continue to make this nation great for ALL people. We MUST fight for those that we see that are victimized. We MUST show LOVE, HOPE, and PEACE to others.
For those of us that are Christians, we MUST follow the teachings of God and Christ. Here’s a few I can think of that might help us to respond.
“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:2-12)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37)
I also know that God commands me to pray for leaders in the government, regardless of my own personal agreement or not with them. I have not 100% agreed with ANY political candidate or President that has served since I’ve been old enough to vote. I have voted in every single election I have been able to. And I will pray for the leaders that have been elected in this 2016 election, including Trump. I will also act when I see things that are not in accordance with the laws of this land. We must not allow this election to show the worst in us, but the best in us. We must respond by holding our friends and family close, but supporting those around us, by working towards an equitable society.