Some of us woke up this morning in shock, thinking we must be in some kind of nightmare, hoping that any minute, Trump will pop out and say, “Gotcha!” Some of us woke up overjoyed, relieved that our voices were finally heard, stepped outside with a renewed faith in America. Others never quite made it to bed, unable to sleep with all the noise in our heads. But everyone faced the morning with the same reality: This Is It.
Me? I woke up disappointed in my beautiful state, one I love deeply, so much so, I once wrote it a love letter. This morning I read it again, to remind me of that love. I still mean every word. I’m not ready to pen the divorce version quite yet, because Wisconsin has proven more than ever before, it needs me.
I woke up with the sad fact I live in a country where (slightly less than) half of the people value and respect a person like Donald Trump.
I woke up, my heart hurting as I heard the fear in the voices of my Muslim friends, my black friends, my gay friends, women of every age, people of every religion, trying to understand their place in this country, mothers and fathers, trying to figure out how to explain this to their children, how to tell them to be hopeful, to be good, after our country chose to put someone with no integrity, who openly preaches hate, behind the wheel of a vehicle he does not know how to drive.
I woke up a lot of things, but in disbelief was not one of them. I easily saw how America could make Trump their next President. I saw it driving from Minneapolis to Madison last weekend, from one bubble to the next. I saw it in every small town along the way. I saw it in the farmer cutting a giant TRUMP in his field. I saw it in the signs, I saw it on Facebook, on the news. I saw it in my family. I saw it in the Rust Belt that I live in. And everything I saw, scared me. As I have said before, I am not a very political person. But when I see the very real potential for the rights of my friends, the rights of human beings I love and value, people who make this country a better place, when I see the potential for their civil rights to be taken away, I speak up. Next time, I will do so much more.
But now that we are here, I just want to set the record straight on a few things.
I’m so tired of being quoted bible verses when discussing politics. If there is a supposed separation of Church and State, tell me how religion plays a such a huge role every election? We get it. You believe in God. But you don’t seem to understand that not everyone believes in your God. Which means the word of God is just that….words. Not the law. Bible verses do not translate into facts. Freedom of Religion. Please try to remember that. If you voting for Trump doesn’t make you a bad person, lack of belief in your God doesn’t make me a bad person. I don’t need to be saved. Please stop praying for me, I am not the one who needs it. We both made a choice. Except your choice affects everyone who lives in this country, and mine only affects me.
Everyone in this country deserves to be heard, I couldn’t agree more. And it seems like my neighbors in the Rust Belt feel like they have finally been heard. And I am truly happy for them. It’s a wonderful thing to have a voice. That is not what is upsetting so many in the nation today. It’s the underlying message in that collective voice that is terrifying.
Do I believe every person who voted for Trump is an evil person? A racist? Misogynist? Bigot? Homophobe? Xenophobe? No, of course not. Thanksgiving at home this year truly would be a nightmare if that were the case. But do I believe all racists, misogynists, bigots, homophobes and xenophobes voted for Trump? Absolutely. And the company we keep says a little something, no?
I am not saying your vote alone makes you those terrible things. I am saying your vote for Trump, your voice that has been heard loud and clear, the one that says you are tired of being left behind, that you want change? That voice is also saying you were WILLING to accept those things in a person representing America. You told the world you were WILLING to promote misogynistic acts, xenophobic statements, racism, bigotry to the highest position of power.
Donald Trump is president-elect. I acknowledge that. But now that Hillary is no longer your scapegoat, now that she can no longer be used as a distraction from all of the terrible things Donald Trump has done, has said, has shown he is capable of, now, it is time for you to acknowledge ALL that he is, not just the parts that you want to see, the parts that support your cause. Now it is time for you to speak up and let him know, it’s NOT OKAY to treat women with such blatant lack of respect. That’s it’s NOT OKAY to grab a woman anywhere, just ‘cuz you can. We are not playthings. Our looks don’t define our value as humans. We are not trophies. To make sure he understands it is NOT OKAY to make fun of anyone with a disability, not ever. To tell him it’s NOT OKAY to preach hate, to remind him that all men and women were created equal, and deserve to be treated with the same level of human decency, regardless of the color of their skin, the country they were born, the language they speak, the pew they worship from, the person they love.
I know it was hard to hear before, but this is what we’ve been saying this whole time. And now we need your help. Because I don’t think he heard us (like, at all). Yes, it’s downright depressing that our future president must be told these things, but this is the reality we chose. We need to take a step back from politics and a step toward who we are as a country. Come on, America, we’re better than this. You got your president. Now it is time to come together and let him know exactly where he got it wrong. Because he did get it wrong.
And I’ll leave you with this:
First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me.
~ Pastor Martin Niemöller
4 thoughts on “i will always speak out”
Please keep writing. It is so thoughtful, and it is therapeutic for so many of us. At times, blogging can be a lonely occupation, but your words and reasoning and emotions resonate with many, me among them.
Thank you so much CT. I needed to hear this.
Keep on speaking out
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Pastor Niemöllers sums it up. It feels to me that we have evolved into a society, where everybody has an opinion on everything and we are happy to comment and write about it, but that’s it. Words, but no action. I know this is a generalization, but I believe there is some truth to it. Another saying is “every society gets the government they deserve”. We have been too complacent about this nomination and politics in the past. How can we leave it up to the Bush and Clinton powerhouses to govern us for decades? Time to speak up about things that matter and act accordingly.