We are not the United States of America



It has now been almost a month since the elections. I started this blog post on November 14, but needed to sit with it awhile. I’m reading the news, tweets, comments and how each side spins it. Basically Trump can do nothing right for those who oppose him, and can do nothing wrong for his supporters. In fact he bragged about this during the primaries “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay? It’s like incredible.”

I read a comment the other day about the controversy over the Hamilton/Pence speech, “America stood up and spoke. There will always be those who don’t like what was said, scared of change, being held accountable or worse, not being able to force ones views onto the masses…” I couldn’t tell at first what side this person was choosing. It turns out they feel “America” chose this President, but right after the election we had almost half of eligible voters not even voting, and then around 25% each for Trump and Clinton, so believing that the majority who did not want Trump will now happily accept him, is just wishful thinking.

I spent the week after the election results feeling distraught. Not like a cry baby or sore loser, but sick to my stomach. I’ve lived through many elections that “didn’t go my way” in the last almost 30 years that I have been able to vote. I have felt annoyed, angered, frustrated, incredulous (especially Bush Jr- 2nd term), but this is the first time I have felt genuinely afraid. And I’m not even on the list of groups under attack.

Those who voted for Trump should be happy and not needing to also dig a further trench between us. Even if you think you were mocked. You “won”. But, it’s not a sports game, and we are all actually on the same side. This partisanship makes me sick. Calling each other deplorable, libtards, demorats, ignorant: all the insults lobbed back and forth. It didn’t help, and it shut us off from actually listening to each other. This article sums up the divisiveness that split the nation especially hard for this election:“Politics is the art of compromise, and in this age of red-hot emotions and customized news feeds — really, you don’t have to ever read anything that conflicts with your beliefs — compromise is too often scorned…”.

At first my biggest concern was for the climate because as it changes for the worse, everything worsens. Black Lives Matter, Women, LGBQT, animals, we all are going to suffer. We all would love to believe that the world will always be habitable for us, but unless you also don’t believe in dinosaurs, we need to do what we can to extend our window. I’m worried for my kids, my young niece, and all those who will face the consequences.

After seeing how this is all unfolding, I am starting to be more concerned immediately about our foreign relations. I would be happy to be proved wrong, believe me. I’m not seeing what his supporters are seeing, and it is truly hard to fathom how this will end well.

The idea of compromise has played a large part in how I try to interact with basically everyone since 2012. I researched what was happening with animal agriculture and welfare, and took a stance that is not shared by the majority of people. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to be persuasive and bring awareness and information about how serious this issue is without making others feel alienated. The meat and dairy industry absolutely do not want us to think about this impact, and they have all the money and political power. The animals and planet can’t speak. I watch as we destroy our earth and our fellow inhabitants and understand the frustration when people won’t listen. For years, I’ve been in the minority of people concerned about this link with animals/pollution/destroying the rain forest. I have heard that people don’t stop eating meat because they were yelled at, called names or shown facts. They need to feel like they are listened to and find common ground before they will accept a different view.

I would apply that same lesson to politics. No one will listen to you if you attack them. We need to find some common ground to unite. Hopefully on the issue that we should all be able to agree on: clean water and air.

Those of us who do have serious concerns about this new administration are not going to go away or be quiet, and mocking us won’t change that. We’ll be here, working on change. I can only hope we can reach out to others and work towards a better future.