I don’t typically write political pieces. I’m a humor blogger. I write for my own peace of mind and hopefully to give people a momentary laugh during a stressful day. For some reason, I’m being drawn to write something different – in the midst of a sleepless night after watching so much hate on the news, social media and just in normal conversations.
I am surveying the wreckage after our presidential election and I am frightened. I am not frightened of President Elect Trump, just as I would not have been frightened of President Elect Clinton, if that were the case. I am frightened by those that feel that they have no boundaries set on them in the name of the candidate that they voted for – and that is unfortunately, on both sides.
I am a 53 year old female Christian Republican that votes independent. In my 20’s, I was a single mother on welfare and a Democrat. Life experience changes us. I was on welfare for 5 years while I attended nursing school. My life had not panned out as expected. When my husband and I split, I had a job lined up until I discovered that I was pregnant with my last son. During those years, I saw rampant abuse of the welfare system. I watched people purposely not get jobs in order to receive a check. It happens. It is real. Some people use state aid as a hand up rather than a hand out. Some people do not. That experience changed my views.
I currently have a son in the Army. When I voted, I could not get past Benghazi. If my son is in harms way, I do not want a politically correct president. I want one that will give him the tools he needs to be safe. I will not apologize for that.
I know people are frightened by many possible outcomes of this presidential race. My faith dictates that I bend to a higher power. Your belief may lead you elsewhere. I don’t have issue with that. I have friends of many faiths. I have friends of different sexual orientation. When I had a recent issue on Facebook, I asked a Christian friend and a Buddhist friend what I should do. I received excellent and almost identical counsel from both. I have friends of many colors – and they have an equal right to be in our nation as I do. I do not find myself to be a bigot, racist homophobe. I do believe that we need to have immigration laws that prevent people that will hurt our citizens from coming into our country. If you are here legally, you are just as much a citizen as I am.
That leads me to the pin. I believe in everything that it stands for except for one thing. It prevents me from wearing it. In almost every post that I have seen the pin mentioned, there is an underlying anger and an underlying message that frightens me. It seems to say “I will protect you if you are LGBT, if you are Muslim, if you are female, if you are person of color….and anything that I can label, but if you voted for Trump, then I have the right to call you a bigot, racist homophobe in the name of my pin.” or “I will protect you as long as you share my political beliefs because if you do not, you are not worthy of my protection”.
I had a friend that was verbally attacked in the middle of the street this week. She was with her young daughter and someone began yelling obscenities. I don’t believe that she was on the only street in the US that only Republicans drive on. No one stopped. She had no time to look for someone with a pin. I don’t know if anyone was wearing one. I also don’t know who she voted for. I don’t care. I care that no one stood up to protect her.
I want to be a light in a dark place right now. So that means, if you are being attacked, verbally or physically, and I am there, I will step in, regardless of your beliefs, because you are a fellow human being. We don’t have to believe the same things. I don’t want you hurt. I don’t care if you voted for Trump or for Clinton. I think many of us went to the booth hating the choice that we were given. I believe that both parties failed us miserably. I also believe that we can get past this because regardless of what I’ve seen this week, I inherently believe that we were made with good in us. And evil. But I’m like a five-year-old – Good wins.
I believe that both candidates should be stepping up to the plate right now to bring our nation together. Trump should be standing up to say that anyone who terrorizes someone due to their culture, orientation, etc., is guilty of a hate crime and will be swiftly dealt with. Do not do this in my name. Clinton should be stepping up to say that it is your right to protest peacefully, but anyone found destroying property or making threats of assassination will be swiftly dealt with. Do not do this in my name. There is harm being done in name of both candidates while they are both safely away from the damage. Meanwhile, we are left with the aftermath.
So…you will not see me with a pin unless it is giving me an extension on my pants. You will find me if you need me though. I promise. I will stand up for you. It will not be because you voted the same way I did. It will not be because we believe in the same God. It will not be because we live the same lifestyle. It will be because you are a human being. I hope you will do the same for me.