Totally, utterly exhausted. And, respectfully, I’m going to ask you to give it a rest.
I am oh so tired of the senseless, juvenile bickering over the recent election, and its results. I’ve begun to shut down when people start to discuss it. And when I say shut down … I’m walking out of rooms, be they virtual or real. Why?
You don’t know who I voted for. I did vote for President – and have the sticker to prove it – but I have not told one soul who I voted for. Not the elder Mrs M (she hates it when I call her that). Not the passionate MrsMowry. Not my politically active co-workers. No one knows. Oh, some people may think they know … and some will be right. After all, there are only 2 choices (hint: I didn’t vote for a third party candidate).
I was born in a red state, and loved my nearly 22 years there. I then moved to a blue state, and have loved my 38+ years here. Neither location should be taken as an indicator of who I voted for. In America, you see, we have this thing called a secret ballot. My ballot was, and is, a secret. The California Mowrys certainly discussed the election over our family dinners, and I’m pretty sure I frustrated several people with my opinions of both candidates.
So it has always been with me. In Presidential politics, I’m a contrarian.
The year was 1984. I voted in both the primary and general election … voting for Jesse Jackson, and then Ronald Reagan. If you can explain that, congratulations. It still doesn’t give you a clue on who I voted for this year.
In 2008, I announced that Hillary Clinton was un-electable. I was right. In 2015, I announced that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were un-electable. I was wrong.
In the run-up to this election, passions ran higher than in any election in my memory. My family even got caught up in it, with snarky comments and insults hurled across Facebook more often than anyone was actually talking to one another. That comfortable anonymity is the problem when social media meets politics, in my humble opinion, and I very much regret that people get caught up in the moment and type before they think. On all sides.
The inflamed rhetoric practiced by both political extremes right now is simply unsustainable. People should have their beliefs. That’s fine. And, I should have the power to walk away from any conversation I feel uncomfortable participating in. These days, that’s just about anything that includes an insult, name calling, or fatalistic rhetoric not backed up with facts.
The rhetoric’s the thing: I believe Hillary made 2 horrible statements that were very important reasons that her candidacy ended in failure:
- She chortled about how she was going to put the coal miners of West Virginia out of work, and close down the coal companies. She was positively gleeful about putting citizens out of work. I do understand the environmental benefits that she was prioritizing, but her presentation was positively tone deaf. And blue collar workers did notice that she was not on their side.
- The whole “basket of deplorables” episode was similarly unbelievable. She told a significant percentage of voters that they were horrible people. In what reality is that a good political move?
The President-elect made a boatload of horrible statements, of course. Here’s the point that many missed: that was his goal. He ran his campaign without buying a significant amount of media time because he was getting it for free. He was creating an incredible show – just like PT Barnum, as Newt Gingrich said.
I do not care what the other side did this year, last year, or 10 years ago. I do not care what partisan pundits say. If you start a conversation with “Hillary’s a criminal” or “Donald’s unqualified,” then I’m out. We have an outgoing President, who I have supported, and we have a President-elect, who I will support. It’s not my President, right or wrong … but it is my President that deserves and receives my respect. When political issues arise, they get dealt with. When legal issues (God forbid) arise, then they will be dealt with as well. We are a nation of laws, and those are based on our constitution. I trust that system to get it right, in the end, even if it takes some time to work out.
For the record, President-elect Trump is qualified. Here’s why:
- He is a natural born US citizen,
- He is over 35 years of age,
- He has resided in the US for more than 14 years, and
- He won the electoral college (according to the AP, who tracked each state’s balloting on December 19), as dictated by our constitution. This result will be confirmed on January 6, as dictated by our constitution.
Don’t like how our republic elects our President? Fine, change the constitution.
Just don’t expect me to sign your petition. I support the electoral college, you see … but that’s a debate for another day. Today, I’m exhausted.
And Still More