Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Where Were You?

It's been a week. Everything still sucks. And I just read this post on the Facebook group "Pantsuit Nation" (which I'll keep anonymous because the group is "secret") about how Trump has gotten more liberals engaged:

"What Trump may not realize quite yet is that he has thrown a single match into a pile of kindling, and once the smoke clears, there will be a blazing fire. That is why this happened."

Taken out of context, you could read that as something a Trump supporter would say, because Trump has thrown the match that has made white nationalists, homophobes, and general bigots feel safe to come out of their shells and burn down the world.

But what this person is saying is that those with liberal beliefs, who were too afraid/weak/indifferent to share those beliefs prior to November 8, 2016, are now going to rise up and save this nation. And that's why we got Donald Trump as our president. That's it, guys. We just needed a racist rapist to be elected to the highest office in our nation in order to realize that maybe the progressive value of "just fucking take care of each other" is a pretty good one. That's why it had to happen! Don't you see?

But, like, maybe too little, too late, right? Where were all these people before, when Trump was talking about grabbing women and building walls? I'm not pretending I was some super activist, but I didn't shy away from making my beliefs known. I was not kindling. And I didn't need facing the potential end of this country as we know it as my match. I was already a flame.

It is just so frustrating to see all the hand-wringing despair and "we will rise" stuff coming from people who were mostly silent prior to last week. We wouldn't have to rise if we were already risen.

Sure, these well-meaning people voted for the Democrat, but maybe no one in their lives knew that was the case, or they didn't donate to any progressive causes, or they simply un-followed friends who posted racist/sexist/homophobic memes on Facebook, instead of standing up for justice, or they weren't the least bit vocal at Sunday dinners with their racist uncles. And speaking as someone who was yelling at her granddad about Obama's "Islamism" way back in 2008, this is hard to reconcile.

But I'm a parent. And if there's one thing my wife and I try to stick to, it's that it's never too late to make it right. You can always start over. I just had to use that line on our son last night, in fact. He went to bed after being a complete jerk, and I was tempted to just let the night end like that. But parenthood (and my wife) sometimes brings out the best in me. I went in to his room and told him it was never too late to make things right, and shortly after he came out and did just that.

If I can swallow my pride with a seven-year-old (maybe you think that's easy; it's not), I can sure as hell do it with people who have always been on my side, even if they didn't know until now how important it was to make that clear.

Welcome aboard, suddenly-vocal liberals. We have work to do.

1 comment:

  1. Erin, I started following Katie's blog back when she was pregnant with Merritt because we were both due around the same time. My daughter was born within a few days of Merritt. Since then, I've checked in from time to time to see how you've grown as a family compared to how our lives changed once we had our daughter. I can't imagine how you must feel, despite your well-written posts, about the uncertain future you face as a family in the upcoming Trump administration. I wonder--what do you tell your son about this nightmare? I'm having a hard time trying to explain to my daughter what's going on in the world. The balance between wanting her to be informed and wanting to protect her is continuing to be very difficult. We're from a pretty liberal, open town and as such diversity is an everyday thing in her life--she doesn't have any experience with people not being accepted for who they are or for people being overtly threatened because of race, gender, religion, sex, etc. I don't know what to say to her as a parent to help her to understand but also keep her childhood as worry-free as possible. Thoughts?