A few days ago, in an anger ball of frustrations, I shared a video of Trump talking about how he wanted to hit people from the DNC after they had talked badly about him. In particular, “a little guy”. It was the last straw for me.
I asked people in my friend list to defriend me if they were planning on voting for Trump this fall. I was so tired. I was tired of the words coming out of Trump’s mouth. The hatred. The bigotry. I had watched the RNC. I had listened to the speakers. I had listened to their fear tactics. I had listened to their discrimination. And it hurt. It hurt because people thought it was ok. It hurt and it terrified me. It still does.
Do I regret making that request? Honestly? No. Am I sad that I lost some friends by making that request? Yes. That does make me sad.
It’s not a situation of Republican vs. Democrat (or any other third or fourth party). The very first time I was registered and voted, I voted as a Republican. Through the years, my belief system has moved more progressively, and that is where I found a place in which I can speak my voice amongst people that think and feel similarly to me. And I believe in good discourse and conversation and I appreciate when others challenge me to thinking differently. It stretches my boundaries, pushes me to learn, and makes me more clear in how I feel and think about issues facing me on a daily basis. I know we are not all the same and that is the beauty of the world that we live in. However, I struggle when people take our differences and create fear, anxiety, and hatred. Deep down I know that’s not what Republicans set out to be, especially when forming the party. And I’ve never been truly afraid, as a Democrat, of a Republican candidate. Until now.
I don’t hate Donald Trump. I’m afraid of him. I’m afraid of the people that cheer when he talks about hitting people. I’m afraid when I watch people at his rally’s hit people because they think it is ok. The way that Trump talks about Muslim people has allowed people to think it’s ok to treat them so poorly. He chose a running mate that has openly discriminated against LGBTQ people and therefore, created a culture of supporters that think that is ok too. Trump has create a space in which racism is ok. Where sexism is ok. Where hatred and violence as a means of disagreement, are ok. He has taken the power and given people permission to allow all of the horrible things festering in our society to rise to the top. They’ve always been there, but now someone in a powerful position is opening the door to all of it. Kind of ironic from a man who wants to build a wall.
I’m not going to tell you how to vote. That’s not my place. But I will be aiming to use my voice for love and care. For peace and comfort. To show support to the people I love. And perhaps I didn’t show the most loving spirit a few days ago, and I recognize that. But I’m going to move ahead and focus on the things I can do and the ways I can use my voice to be part of the good things I know we can become.