Friday, November 11, 2016

Decision '16

My disbelief was thick and my stomach sour in the wee hours of Wednesday, November 9th, 2016.  An event as unlikely as anything I could imagine - Donald J. Trump won the Presidency of the United States of America.  This vulgarian, not so long ago a mere punchline, was now just weeks away from assuming the most powerful seat in the world.  This incoherent, sexist, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, and every other pejorative adjective you could muster was now to become the 45th President.  His mug would join the faces of many great Commanders in Chief of the past.  Awesomely unworthy.  Even to sit with Millard Fillmore.

I had trouble falling asleep on Election Night/morning.  I was worried and yes, scared.  Doomsday scenarios, once musings, now seemed more likely.  Quite (I hope) irrational thoughts.  I came back to Earth, comforted in the knowledge of checks and balances.  That DJT would be surrounded with individuals who actually understand domestic and geopolitics.  Who would be able to be the proverbial duct tape over that crude, no filter maw of his.

But I recalled, and was reminded of via news clips, that Donald Trump wants to "make America great" by returning to policies in place as early as the 1950s, the so-called "good old days".  Good old days for white folk.  Hey, many of the votes for Trump came from rural areas, from individuals who felt left behind in the wake of social and technological progress.  Some you might rightly call, Luddites.  I can sympathize with them to a point, but mankind is not meant to be stagnant.  While some so-called advances merely bring more problems, many more lead us closer to solving centuries old maladies.  Many in the medical realm.

Yes, I understand that "playing God" is a concern.  Another time. And there is an entire essay to compose regarding technology, how working "smarter, not harder" has its drawbacks, but that's also for another time.

Social.  How were things for people of color and non-heterosexuals back in the day? I needn't tell you.  As a Christian it continues to baffle and sadden me how my brethren seek to deny them of basic rights.  Why are evangelicals so obsessed with homosexuality? Do they really believe they are some sort of threat? Threat to the nuclear family? A possibility that the species will no longer be propagated?  I've yet to read a compelling answer to these inquiries.  Most are a theological stew that will be especially meaningless to those who don't subscribe to the same G(g)od.

This nation is filled with many different belief systems - no one faith should dictate the law of the land, no matter how strongly we believe we are "right".  Separation of church and state - a good thing.  These views will put me at odds with many Bible believing/quoting Christians.

Then there's the continuing abortion debate.  The "pro-lfe" movement.  "Pro birth" is more accurate for many.  "Pro life" should include advocacy for adoption agencies, safe houses for pregnant women, on and on.  And as far as the "black robes matter" argument? Meaning that a Republican president would actually take steps to appoint conservative leaning Supreme Court Justices? I'll quote an old friend who is an attorney and a devout believer:

They are NOT likely to overturn Roe v. Wade. A conservative court had its chance in the 1990s, and it chose not to.  Look at how Roberts voted on the health care act.  He got into it with the conservatives on that one and he went the other direction. An appointment by a president of a particular background does not guarantee a voting record. Justices have proven that time and time again. Besides, the Court does not like to overturn itself. If it has not overturned it by now (with Scalia, Renquist, and Thomas on board in the 90s), it is not going to, plain and simple. The Court is not stupid. They know the social upheaval that would come from that. The conservatives will always posture opposition in the dissents, but they are not going to overturn it. Frankly, I am sick of the propaganda that is spewed about this to create single-issue voting in women because that's exactly what all this talk about the justices is.

Amen.  She states it better than I ever could.

Facebook exploded, quite predictably, the day after the election.  I have a very diverse group of friends and the juxtapositions of postings were more startling than usual.  There were hateful, gloating conservative rants and memes.  There were more level headed calls for peace and respect.  Then there was this from one of my militant left-wing, atheist friends:

Fuck all these unity sentiments of peace and love; it's time to fight fire with fire, play hardball!
An eye for a goddamned eye! Grow some balls, dig in your heels, obstruct the fuck out of this Clownface Von Fuckstick presidency, vote Rethuglicans out of office in the midterm elections, dig up the dirt on Trump's taxes, shady dealings with Russia, whatever it takes, and impeach the shit out of him!

I read that with some degree of pity, but also with sadness and my own anger.  It disturbed me that part of me was in agreement with this bileThe party of espoused tolerance and love cannot act like this.  I wonder how this individual would respond to the Bible verse about a time to love and a time to hate?

I understand the massive protests.  I understand the frustration.   Conservatives wonder why there were no such actions when Obama was elected.  Trump is quite extraordinary in his offensiveness, lack of experience, etc.  It's like the Devil himself assumed human form, in their eyes.  Protest, assemble (The Constitution gives you that right), but don't incite violence.  Don't block the roadways of those trying to go to work, or get home to their families. Please.

For now, I await cautiously.  I suspect Trump will be great for bankers and not exactly the white knight for those with little education and skills.  I hope I'm wrong.  I could lament the death of a possibility for a single payor health care system (that died when Bernie Sanders lost to Hillary Clinton).  I can and will pray for those non-white, non-straight, non-Christians among us.  I will call upon my Lord to change my "Fuck you!" to "God be with you" to our new President-elect.

And I will do that without chastising or excluding my brothers and sisters who do not share my spiritual beliefs. 
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