Before you shout “THE HELL I HELPED, I DIDN’T VOTE FOR HIM”… hear, or in this case, read me out!
I grew up hearing many adages that while corny then make sense now. “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch”, “the devils in the details” and “assuming makes an ass out of you and me”. come to mind. As does the warning my mom shared to keep my humility in check “don’t get cocky!”. So how does any of this relate to the POTUS or why we’re all to blame for his bearing that title?
During the months leading up to the election, those on team HRC were sure she’d win. Heck, what could possibly go wrong? She had the support of women – and like it or not, women usually get their way! She had the support of many who saw their rights being held fast to and fought for by her, and so, her team got “cocky”. Buying pantsuits and posting little arrows stating “I’m with her” on social profiles, her supporters basked in the glory of her win before she won, thus “counting their chickens before they hatched”.
These people neglected to pay attention to the “devil in the details”. They turned a blind eye and chose to stop listening to the others who, also, are citizens with a right to vote! HRC supporters assumed the handful of ignorant, uneducated, hateful fools who supported Trump would eventually see the light or just not vote at all. Even though we chant “vote your conscience”, “do not ignore your right to be heard”, we forgot to tell those people, yeah you have the freedom of choice but choose our way. Again, everyone assumed they would and well there’s no need to rehash where assuming got us!
The people who pompously, self-righteously, sat on their laurels preparing to celebrate Clinton’s win only paid heed to their own voices. Only clustered in their own groups of like minds stating “defriend me if you’re NOT with her because if you’re not with her, you are a hateful, ignorant bigot!” Their loud disdain created silence among the others. Really, who will willingly set themselves up to be beaten down and bullied? Called an ignorant hater? Rather, those who were sick and tired of politics, as usual, saw something different in Trump that supported not hate (in many of their eyes) but life and changes that would help them. And so ignoring the noise, they silently headed to the polls with the agenda that matters to them top of mind.
I’m not a Trump supporter. Nor was I a Clinton supporter. I felt neither were the best choice for the job. However, I know supporters of both. None are ignorant, uneducated or hateful. Some, from both sides, are among my dearest friends and family. I did not defriend or berate anyone for their choices. Instead, because communication is so important to me – trust that I know first hand how destructive the lack of it is – I listened with an open mind and empathetic heart to all opinions. I discussed, listened, debated and formed my own personal conclusion. Perhaps stepping away gave me more insight than those who refused to acknowledge the other sides.
Once after saying we need to listen to and learn about the Trump supporters, I was called an “ignorant b*&ch” by someone who shut down, stating they have “no time to deal with or educate ignorant a-holes” Perhaps why, when the Election Day results were announced I was among the few who were not surprised. In fact, all along, I said: “I’ll wager he will win because HRC supporters stopped listening too soon”. They got “cocky” “counting their chickens”!
Now, thanks to us all look where we are! We face one of the most conflicted, divided, disquieted, scariest times in the recent history of our nation. Still, again, no one is really listening. People are protesting (as they should and have a right to). Angry, fearful people are going at each other privately and publicly like wild dogs fighting over a piece of meat, forgetting one of us falls down, we all fall down. We are all in this together. The people are perpetuating the hate, discourse, and alienation that we’re protesting against.
Like it or not, accept that we all are responsible for this mess and now we are all responsible for cleaning it up. Sure we can go on saying “Not my president”. Guess what folks, the fact is, if you live in the United States, right now President Donald Trump is your, mine and our president. Get out of denial, stop whining and take action, not reaction. We can all sit around wagging a finger shaming those who voted for him. We can sit behind our computers defriending people until the cows come home. We can hit share on every damn new story written, sans fact checking. We can create chaos and panic by comparing Trump to Hitler every freaking chance we get. I do not see the benefit in any of this beyond making our own personal feelings feel better.
We can, however, collectively get out of our own way, and unite in solidarity and figure out what can be done! Perhaps we need a moment of silence, metaphorically and earnestly to come together and choose the biggest battles that must be fought now and those worth fighting in the future. How POTUS wears his hair, the shade of his tan, his wife’s attire, and his ten-year-old child’s behavior are not, and should not be, anywhere on the list of battles. Jokes and memes and comedy shows should not be part of the good fight if we are to be taken seriously by him or anyone else.
I firmly believe everything happens for a reason. Maybe the reason here is actually to teach us a lesson – a severe lesson indeed. Next time let’s be smart enough to not count our chickens too soon. Let’s pay attention to the details and assume nothing. Let’s not be cocky.
Most of all, let’s hope and pray we can get out of this mess unscathed. Let’s prove what America is really made of.