It seems the world is falling apart. With the election of Donald J. Trump into the White House, protests have broken out across America and family and friends aren’t speaking to one another.
I’m grappling with this myself, I am. A Democrat and supporter of liberal ideals, I woke up Wednesday morning, donned all black, plastered a homemade sign on the back of my power chair with the words “not my president” and headed out to Memorial Park to walk Frankie. I saw no one. It was a quiet, drizzly morning and it’s safe to say, true to the grief process, much of the left-leaning world was still in shock and denial. I was my own one-woman protest. And I had no followers except a dog and he was more leading anyway (and not even donning a cute shirt like ‘Mutts Against Mitt’).
Then I came home and tearfully listened to Hillary’s concession speech (unfortunately the best and most authentic speech I’ve heard her give). “Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power. We don’t just respect that, we cherish it.” Yes, I thought. And in the spirit of that speech, and not wanting to add to the divisiveness, threw away my sign.
Then the protests started, some of them chanting the very same words I had printed out on my computer, and I felt compelled to get back in the fray again. Cher and Madonna say I need to fight! The wonderful thing about living in a democracy is being allowed the freedom to disagree – loudly even.
But here’s the thing – it’s turning violent and ugly. They are also chanting F*** Trump. I would never be comfortable chanting that no matter how much I dislike the man.
So here’s what I’ve decided today. I’m going back to what Hillary said and what rings true to my own heart. I’m focusing on the peaceful transfer of power. What I’m having a little more trouble with is owing Trump an “open mind and the chance to lead.” Really? Do I really owe him that?
I don’t have all the answers. I’m watching it unfold just like all of you. I’m emotional, sleep-deprived and struggling with my civic responsibilities and friendships.
But I will also exercise my freedom of speech and cherish the fact that I live in a country in which I am free to object and stand up against any would be leaders. So, my presence on Facebook may be just a little more political. I have dear friends, Republicans or even Trump voters, who read my blog. I have tried (sort of) to remain publicly neutral for the sake of my writing. I guess I don’t feel I can anymore. If I lose readers, so be it. Not only is writing wonderfully cathartic, it is my peaceful protest.