Out. Of. Breath.
It was really easy for me to be vocal in the beginning of this political season because ... I felt really confident in my candidate. I believed Bernie Sanders to be inclusive, relatable, and honest. His history showcased the same ideals he was still standing up and fighting for. He was (is) progressive and kind, and I fell hook, line, and sinker. I was feeling that Bern! In addition to knowing exactly who I saw as my dream candidate, I was able to clearly pinpoint my worst case scenario ... A man who I found to be arrogant, self serving, and fraudulent ...
My confidence waned with the primary results - my new options didn't bring me the same hope that Bernie had provided. Voting for Hillary, while something I still stand behind, well ... it felt like I settled. Plus, her candidacy was flogged with such an intense vitriol that a dark shadow hovered over my voting experience. Ultimately I resigned that she wasn't my dream, but she wasn't my nightmare.
Things didn't pan out at all like I imagined, and that worst case scenario guy happened to "grab" the spot.
I was devastated by the election results. Enough so that I cried. Not postpartum, hormonal tears. Not drama-rama-omg-we-lost tears. Actual pain in my heart, tears. I was hurt that my country wanted this kind of change ... Dumbfounded. Shocked. Appalled.
The reason I am liberal has little to do with politics. I vote the way of my heart. I'm an empath. I care about people. I don't discriminate who my care is distributed to ... I care for the welfare of all. I dream of a future with inclusivity and equality - where being different is celebrated as a part of our diversity; not stomped out as a threat, danger, or sin.
Immediately after the results were in, the riots started as did the hate crimes. And both sides of the political spectrum had their fingers pointed at one another. We had all hoped the divisiveness would end after the election, but instead the ugliness grew while the courtesy diminished. (Again. And more.)
I knew where I stood at the beginning of this process. I remained confident (though less vocal) toward the end, but what happened after the election has and continues to plague me. I'm confused and torn and in a constant state of internal conflict ...
I don't at all like the #notmypresident movement. I did not vote for this man; he is not who I wanted and everything I feared - but I can't spit on democracy. Our country has spoken, and while I despise the results, I also feel compelled to respect them. I feel that I should offer this President-Elect the same respect I would have wanted if the tides had gone the other way.
But. At the same time.
Is my silence, consent? Because I see scary things happening, all in the name of Trump. Horrible, heinous, hatred - and it's happening at an alarming rate. If I smile and nod, and "accept" the presidency, am I participating in this cruel climate that is brewing? If (and I pray they don't) things go even more south, are my hands bloodied for not taking a stand?
How do I fight against hate, promote tolerance and support our new president who seems to fight against tolerance and promote hate?
I'm at a loss. My silence is not consent. My silence is a like a shoreline - waves of "take a stand" fighting against an undertow of compliance. And for now - I'm just feeling battered, tired, and out of breath.