47.5% Of You Aren’t Going To Like This

Stealing from Jon Bon Jovi today–

I came of age in the ’80s, and Jon Bon Jovi had been an early and long-standing celebrity crush.  As his fame and influence grew, the excess of the ’80s ebbed,*sigh* and the songs he wrote began to embrace a more socially conscious bent than earlier recordings.  SiriusXM unveiled a limited run Bon Jovi station last Friday, and I’ve been all in.  Regretfully, my FABULOUS ’80s hair (and y’all, it was AMAZING, yes again with the all caps) will remain in the ’80s, but I’ve enjoyed reviving my musical youth this last week.

I was driving today between schools, and We Weren’t Born To Follow came up during my commute.  It felt like a direct message from the satellite to my brain.

This one goes out to the man who mines for miracles
This one goes out to the ones in need
This one goes out to the sinner and the cynical
This ain’t about no apology
This road was paved by the hopeless and the hungry
This road was paved by the winds of change
Walking beside the guilty and the innocent
How will you raise your hand when they call your name?
Yeah, yeah, yeah

We weren’t born to follow
Come on and get up off your knees
When life is a bitter pill to swallow
You gotta hold on to what you believe
Believe that the sun will shine tomorrow
And that your saints and sinners bleed
We weren’t born to follow
You gotta stand up for what you believe
Let me hear you say yeah, yeah, yeah, oh yeah

This one’s about anyone who does it differently
This one’s about the one who cusses and spits
This ain’t about our livin’ in a fantasy
This ain’t about givin’ up or givin’ in
Yeah, yeah, yeah

We weren’t born to follow
Come on and get up off your knees
When life is a bitter pill to swallow
You gotta hold on to what you believe
Believe that the sun will shine tomorrow
And that your saints and sinners bleed
We weren’t born to follow
You gotta stand up for what you believe
Let me hear you say yeah, yeah, yeah, oh yeah

I’ve avoided social media since the election.  Until I can read Facebook and not cry or not question how 59,821,874 voters thought this was a good idea, I feel it’s best to avoid setting myself up for failure.  I know I’m smarter than that, not to allow myself to be sucked in and goaded into asserting a rebuttal, but I just don’t have the strength in me yet.  If you’ve read one note here, you likely have gleaned my political leanings.  I don’t have to harp on it for you to understand my despondency at our president-elect, and I’m not going to apologize if you don’t like this or me for that matter.  I am one of those people who says and truly means, “We can agree to disagree.”  I don’t enjoy confrontation, but I’m not going to BS you either to avoid it.

My son, you know, the one who’s got a progressive neuromuscular disease?  The one who looks a little different, and is going to lose his ability to walk?  The one who’s now anxious that his country whose president-elect mocks disabled people?  Yeah.  59,821,874 voters were cool with that.

My relative, you  know, the one who’s been sexually assaulted? (I know, no, you don’t)  The one who’s endured being violated against her will?  The one who’s crushed to live under a president-elect who bragged that you can just grab women by the pussy?  Yeah.  59,821,874 voters didn’t flinch at that.  They stood in tacit accord that it’s OK.

My students, you know, the ones from Mexico and the ones who are Muslim?  The children terrified their families are going to be sent back?  Yeah.  They’re holing up at home, and some parents are advising their daughters not to wear their hijabs to school for fear of assault.  59,821,874 voters must be ecstatic.

I didn’t love the Democratic candidate, but her behavior and rhetoric didn’t inspire abject terror and nausea like his did.  See, right now?   Right now it feels to me like voting for him means that you’re supporting these extremist ideals.  Some of you are, and I hear you’re having quite a party on Facebook.  Build a wall.  Banish entire peoples.  Kiss women without asking.  Grope them.  I don’t understand how mothers of daughters could possibly have voted his way, but I don’t expect to change the minds of any mother or father.  We can agree to disagree, but I can’t agree to understand.

But I’m teaching my children that members of their family voted for him, and that they will have to decide for themselves with whom and with whose beliefs they will align.  “You know how I feel, what I believe and stand for, and you will have to decide for yourself how you feel.  I can’t tell you what to think or feel nor should anyone else; only you can determine that.” I told my firstborn words to that effect last night.  You know what I am grateful for in this election?  It forced me to have really hard conversations with my kid.

There’s much more to politics and policy than campaign behavior, and I’m stuck there right now–I fully admit that.

MY SON.  MY FIRSTBORN.  He’s concerned that he’s a them.  I walked into work yesterday morning and wept.  Thank stars for Jill, who hugged me and cried along with me.  I’m not done grieving yet, so don’t tell me that maybe it won’t be that bad.  I have to believe it won’t be, but I am not there, not forty-six hours post.  I’m a fool for my optimism sometimes, but I do believe the sun will shine tomorrow.  Politics has kicked me around the last six years or so, but I’m an adult–no one to blame but myself for my continued optimism.

Logically I comprehend it’s unlikely that all these terrible things are preordained simply because president-elect has blasted them on the campaign trail.  I had a civics class, and recall something of a system of checks and balances, however slanted that is these days.  People are reacting, clearly I AM writing emotionally and from a stance of fear; isn’t fear what the campaign was about?  While all those frightening campaign trail assertions are unlikely to reach fruition, the fear is real.  Grab it.  Touch it.  Go ahead.

I am sure that 47.5% of you reading this are my Bizarro World mirror image.  I can’t wait to read your comments telling me just how wrong I am.  Please, educate me.  Go ahead, tell me how ridiculous and ill-informed and naïve I am–comments are open and operators are standing by.  “You lost.  Get over it.”  I will.

Today I’m not quite set to get up off my knees, but it is the time like no other for me to hold on to what I believe.  Sing it to me, Jon.

 

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12 thoughts on “47.5% Of You Aren’t Going To Like This

  1. I hear you Wendy! I am one of them. Seriously thinking of getting some of the Stuttering Foundations cards for people who stutter. It states I stutter and facts. In case I get stopped by the police.

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  2. I was waiting for your blog on this unbelievable outcome. I knew you would eloquently put into words my shared feelings. Hang in there! Good news is that the millenials overwhelming voted for Clinton so there is hope for our future!

    Liked by 2 people

    • So many people have written and commented much more eloquently than I ever could, but I thank you for the compliment, Beth. Hope for the future is all we have right now. I feel better now than I did even a few days ago–which is to say the tears have stopped flowing anyway–but I’ve not embraced hope fully quite yet.

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  3. Honey I hear you and understand. Alexis is too young to understand but I had to look Kaitlyn in the eye Wed and try not to cry. I did it, I woke her up and told her it was time to get ready for school then went in my room and cried. She came in my room and caught me so I had to tell her what happened through tears though that’s not how I wanted it to go. She went to get ready for school and she started crying too. It broke my heart. We almost stayed home but we pushed on. We live in a place where Trump easily prevailed. Many I know voted out of a hatred of all things Clinton and a disdain for politics as they are but I still wasn’t in the mood to hear them cheer. To my surprise there was no cheer, there was no talk, there was nothing. I was left feeling they got who they voted for but they weren’t happy about it which gave me hope they didn’t agree with his hate and that helped. I still have to look my crushed child in the eye and try to explain to her why people voted for him and that we have to hope the majority of them didn’t do it cause he is a good person. She is too young to understand the economic despair many have felt. I have encouraged her to not just make opinions based on mine, to research for herself, and that she tells me she has and still thinks he is a gross human who says bad things tells me she is a smart girl. The fact that she isn’t saying ugly things about people who voted for him tells me she is a smart girl. Be better than the hate you see. We are starting to see reports of the worst of humanity acting out in the name of Trump. I hope they are the extreme minority. I hope the president elect speaks out against them. Hope is all we have at this point.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have said it so much better than I did. It was rough explaining this to my boys, but I cannot imagine having a like conversation with daughters. The worst of humanity has found its voice and is acting terrifying accordingly in the days since last Tuesday. Let us hope that good wins. It has to! xoxo

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  4. “My son now feels like he’s a them” – yes! I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but that’s how I felt too. All of those memories of being teased growing up came flooding back in that couple minute video of him mocking the reporter. Not only am I disabled, I’m female so what does the future look like for me and for us now? It’s scary. Much of my family voted for him (thank god not my parents) even despite my emotional plea not to because of what it could mean for me. I agree with Beth though. I see hope in our future because of the millennials (my generation which I feel too old to be a part of sometimes lol).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “What have we (U.S. voters) done”? I asked this question upon awakening Wednesday morning– and I immediately felt a little bit nauseous. I logged onto my computer seeking anything that would explain this insanity. I simply did not understand how anyone could support someone who spewed hate. After all, it should be obvious to everyone that we can accomplish so much more if we all work together, right? Over the course of the day I read a lot and I learned a lot. I learned that I have absolutely no idea what it feels like to fear that your loved ones may be deported from this country. Not that I don’t empathize, but simply that I will likely never truly know how it feels. I learned that my disappointment with the outcome of this election is not more important than the joy or hope that other people may feel because there will be new leadership. I learned (confirmed) that there are many people who support the president-elect because of the ridiculous (ignorant) things he said throughout his campaign. I also learned that a whole lot of people voted for him because he brings them hope for a brighter future. If you’re an unemployed auto worker who has watched your insurance premiums rise to exorbitant levels I guess you’re willing to overlook the rhetoric for a chance at putting food on your table and a roof over your head. All of that being said, you should not have to have these tough conversations with your young teen. No one should have to live in a world where they feel disrespected and marginalized by their president. If anything good came out of this, I learned that a lot of people are pissed off that someone like this could get elected. Going forward I hope that we can channel all of our disgust and anger into action. Call me Pollyanna, but I believe that at the end of the day this election cycle will force us to have the difficult conversations and it may just make us better, kinder and more aware of what it’s like in someone else’s shoes as a result. Sending you hugs!
    P.S. Your 80’s hair was AMAZING! So glad JBJ has helped you process things this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wendy, I totally get where you’re coming from: Not only am I avoiding social media whenever possible, I haven’t really checked/watched the news since Wednesday morning. I’m just not ready to start taking it all in yet, and I’m giving myself the time I need with impunity.
    I know how lousy I’m feeling in the wake of this election, and I have the fortune of being an able-bodied white male: I do not fall into any of the ethnic or gender or disability groups that have been mocked and/or explicitly threatened by the prospect of the next presidency, and I can only imagine the uncertainty, the anxiety, those folks are feeling right now. Now more than ever, though, it is the responsibility of those who voted for decency to double down on it.
    Sean

    Liked by 1 person

    • I live in WI, so I gave up watching local news about the time of our governor’s inauguration. I am not as well-informed as I would like to be, but at least I can choose what I read in the newspapers vs. the local television news outlets. The sun has continued to shine since Wednesday morning, and though many miscreants feel emboldened in recent days, I have to hope good will surpass evil. I can’t stand the thought of my students feeling scared for their personal safety; can’t stand the thought of my kid and kids like him feeling that horrible people have a license to perpetrate abuse and meanness simply because. It’s a horrible thing to “wait and see” over, so you’re right about doubling down. I’ve already begun.

      Liked by 1 person

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