I voted for Jill Stein.
I walked into and out of my polling center knowing that my candidate would not win the election. And I was okay with that. I walked out of there knowing that Clinton or Trump would be my next president. And I would be okay with that.
I was okay with that in spite of some Clinton supporters, sneering at me, speaking to me with derision and in condescending tones as if I were an idiot.
I was okay with that in spite of some Clinton supporters proclaiming that I was betraying my gender if I didn’t vote for her.
I was okay with that in spite of some Trump supporters pleading that we had to stop Clinton at all costs, even if it meant Trump would be president.
I was okay with my decision because I voted for the most trustworthy candidate that spoke closest to my concerns, as a person AND as a citizen of this great country.
For the first time in my voting life, I refused to play to my ego-fears by voting for “the lesser of two evils.” I refused to play into the societal droning of “3rd party vote is a wasted vote.” I refused to be anything other than true to me.
And you know what? It felt damned good.
Before the election was even over, the comments from Clinton supporters were rough. Many pointed the finger directly at 3rd party voters like me. It was MY fault that their candidate was losing (the irony: before the election, Trump voters indicated it would be my fault if Clinton won).
You know what? Not a single Trump supported has thanked me for helping their candidate win. ;-)
So when Trump won, I began looking for ways to wrap my mind around how. Seriously, I thought Clinton would win. While I was looking, my Clinton supporting friends began screaming and crying about how we live in such a racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic country. They started calling people I know and love by such names, but do you know what they didn’t do? They didn’t find a Trump supporter that they personally know and ask them why. I did. I was enlightened. Some of the things I read also enlightened me.
So I shared some of these various views. I even had the audacity to post something that indicated I would like to see Trump be a good president. I was further attacked by Clinton supporters. How dare I hope he is a good president? Do I not remember when others wished ill-will on Obama when he was elected? How dare I stand up and call people out who claim they’re feminists but then bash Melania for posing nude? Do I not remember how many people trash-talked Michelle? How dare I pray that Trump actually fulfills his 4 year term because I prefer the devil I don’t know (he’s never held political office before) over the one I do (I’ve seen Pence’s record in Indiana and strongly feel he would be horrifying for the people of the U.S.)?
And then I post something that I find funny about sending PP donations in Pence’s name. Would it be rude to do that? Yeah, actually, it would because he’s SO anti-PP. One of my friends pointed out that they wouldn’t want to give Pence the tax write-off. Touche.
I was then accused of posting “we’re better than the haters who voted for Trump” stuff. Not a SINGLE thing I have posted throughout this ENTIRE election season has indicated that I feel that way. But for a brief time, that made me feel like a hypocrite.
I am not a hypocrite. I have never sat in judgment of my friends and loved ones, thinking that I am any better than they are.
I am not a hypocrite. I have never called a Trump supporter or a Hillary supporter a name. I shake my head with sadness every time I see someone post about Trump or Hillary with nasty nicknames for them.
But I am me.
I believe the only way to maintain the greatness of America is for us to listen to each other. Listen to hear. Don’t listen to respond. I will fully admit that I have a difficult time listening to anyone that uses name-calling of any sort in their dialogue. Name-calling indicates a mind made up. I can’t have a discussion with you that enlightens both of us if you’re stuck on name-calling or generalizations. Are some of the people who voted for Trump racist, sexist, homophobic or xenophobic? Yes, I think that is obvious. Are they all? No, absolutely not. And when you cut off all contact with someone that you love because they voted for someone you dislike (Trump or Clinton) without talking to them, you’re saying that you think you’re better than them and their opinion doesn’t matter. Their thoughts don’t matter.
This country was not built on “my way or the highway” ideology. It’s called a melting pot for a reason. We all have different thoughts and different ideas. Shouldn’t we respect each other enough to listen to each other?
On that note, all the Clinton supporters who are justifying the protests that have turned into riots by using the “well, they did it when Obama was elected” excuse, I ask: are we in grade school? Do you really feel justified using the “they started it” excuse? If you want a better world, is that how you go about it? And how often did that work for you in grade school?
Further, there have been a lot of racist, sexist, xenophobic and homophobic hate crimes that are coming to light. Some of the perpetrators are doing those things in Trump’s name. But keep in mind, those people were racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic before Trump ran for President. Do they feel emboldened now? Yes, they do. They are committing hate crimes, though. Do you realize what that means? Get them on video. Get pictures of them. File police reports. Be a witness willing to testify in court. Get involved. These are hate crimes, punishable by the law. They’re not hiding in closets right now. So let’s do something about them. It seriously fucking sucks that these things are occurring, but damn, wouldn’t we rather know the enemy because they’re facing us instead of hiding in their closets? Truthfully, being able to face them, knowing who they are and praying to catch them on video (so it’s prosecutable) is the only light I see there. Those of us who aren’t racist, sexist, xenophobic or homophobic: it’s our job to help catch those things on video. It’s our job to support and protect the victims when we witness it and after we witness it.
America is flawed, but America is great. Any damn one of us who thinks we’re better than someone else because we think differently, well, those are the people who make me shake my head.
I hold hope. I hold love. This is me. I will not give in to the fear mongering. I will not call any one names because they voted differently than I did. I will not sit by while a woman is being trash-talked by hypocrites. I will not sit by while my loved ones are attacked. I will look for the light. I will look for the good. I will continue to send love and light to everyone that asks. I will love. I will be me.
I hope that you will hold love, too.
A final note for my fellow Bernie supporters who maintained the line and didn’t vote for Hillary just because she was the DNC nominee: maybe he wasn’t the nominee so that we would vote against the establishment. Food for thought.
Love and Light.