Tag Archives: election

Forward Steps

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It’s another wet, gray day here on Beaver Island. One more in a long week of them. The temperatures have risen, hovering just above freezing. That allows the snow to melt, giving us surfaces that are slippery slush, cold water over ice, mush ice or – rarely – clear, depending on where you are. The King’s Highway, being a wide, paved road, is mostly clear. The Fox Lake Road, my driveway and the paths and trails around it, are a raucous combination of the other choices. I’m drinking my third cup of coffee, debating whether walking conditions will improve if I wait.

Snow melt puts moisture in the air, which gives us gray skies, cloud cover, mist and fog. All of that has been accompanied by intermittent rain. The sun came out – just briefly – over the harbor three days ago, and people stopped in their tracks to stare, admire, and comment. It has been a gloomy week. My mood follows the weather.

Though heartened by yesterday’s activities world-wide, I’m still frightened and discouraged by the political weather. I have always had trust in the strength of our democratic process, and the underlying good in people, no matter what their politics. This election, I have to say, has caused that trust to waver. I’m tired of hearing that genuine concerns are simply a matter of poor sportsmanship  or of being a “sore loser.” I’m weary of being told to wait, that everything will work out. I think I’ve heard all the same rhetoric that the people giving that advice heard, and I don’t have any idea what good things I am supposed to be waiting for.

I have friends and relatives (whose kindness, humanity and intelligence I am certain of) who back our elected president. He also has, as supporters, some of the cruelest, most degenerate and despicable people around, who spout hatred, lies and racism freely, and who believe they have an ally in Donald Trump. His cabinet picks do not encourage me. His inaugural address did not give me hope or soothe my fears. His reelection campaign – already in progress – gives me a sick feeling. Regarding his “Keep America Great” slogan, in his own words:

“I never thought I’d be giving my expression for four years, but I am so confident that we are going to be, it is going to be so amazing. It’s the only reason I give it to you. If I was, like, ambiguous about it, if I wasn’t sure about what is going to happen — the country is going to be great… Honestly, you haven’t seen anything yet. Wait till you see what happens, starting next Monday. A lot of things are going to happen. Great things.”

Again, we are told to wait. I don’t like waiting, especially when the wait is for undefined – and thus frightening – steps to “great”ness. I don’t see greatness in the cabinet choices thus far. I don’t see greatness in the plans for “the first 100 days.”  I don’t see greatness in the rise of blatant and forceful bigotry. I don’t see greatness in the many disparaging comments and attacks caused by any show of dissent or disagreement. Even the arguments, which go right back to comparisons to other candidates or the last administration, lack substance. The election is over. Being “better than…” or “different than…” is no longer enough. Now, it’s time to hold our elected officials to a standard.

Yesterday, in news reports of peaceful protest worldwide, to express support for kindness and consideration of all people, I saw greatness. That, I don’t have to wait for. What I feel like I’m waiting for, on this gloomy Sunday, are all the unknowns. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Didn’t Know I Had the Power

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I didn’t know I had the power…until it was gone.

I never saw Clinton as a perfect choice. She has been in the public eye and under scrutiny for so many years, of course there were issues. I heard all the “lesser of two evils” talk, and understood.  I grew up in the age of Camelot; I want a hero.

Clinton didn’t quite fit that mold. Still, many of the flaws that were cited in her actions have been overlooked or down-played in male politicians for years. I felt she was held to a higher standard because of her gender, but she seemed up to that challenge.  I didn’t choose her because she was female, though I have long thought that women in high places would offer possibilities and solutions we haven’t even dreamed of.

Clinton was my candidate of choice, for many reasons. Some reached back to the Democratic household I grew up in. Others were firmly settled in this present day: issues of gun control, conservation of natural resources, respect for all people, no matter their religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender. This election was important to me, as a woman in this world, and to the planet I want to keep safe.

As the election drew closer, there was a subtle shift in thinking. It became a point of pride that Clinton was not only the best candidate and my choice, but that she was female. I got almost giddy at the prospect. I felt stronger, as a woman, than I have since the 1970s: those heady, early years of the modern feminist movement. I was proud to vote for a woman, as my choice for President of the United States.

And then it was gone.

I am devastated.

Clearly, many voters saw and heard things from the other candidate that escaped me completely. I will, as we all should, jump on the bandwagon of unity, and support for the candidate of choice. The system has, crazily, worked.

I am not afraid…well I am a little afraid…for our country. Thank God for experts in every field to advise those in authority, and for our system of checks and balances. The United States will survive.

I am heartbroken to see that in the 21st century, in a place where women can vote, this country has chosen a misogynist buffoon over a woman. That not only strips me of the heady power I was feeling at the thought of a woman in our highest office, it makes me realize women as a whole are not doing as well in this world as I thought. And that scares the hell out of me.