I recently de-activated my Facebook account…it was a hard decision because I do benefit from the ability to promote my writing there, not to mention the people I enjoy staying in touch with. That being said, I’ve clearly had enough. It was a sentiment that had been building in me for some months and I can’t point to one cause. It came down to people and their reactions to events and primarily to one another.
I have a Facebook friend who was an actual friend long before the existence of social media…I have known her for over 60 years. I like and respect her, I admire her accomplishments in life, yet, upon reading a single post from her I realized it was time to go. She said, speaking of the Associated Press’ calling of the election (because as of this writing it is not an officially certified election and recounts are ongoing), “This is the first day in four years I have not awoken with a sense of dread”.
Now let’s get one thing out of the way; this is not about politics, at least not in the direction most will leap. To one degree or another, I haven’t liked many presidents in my lifetime, but I always respect the office and the election process. It’s OK with me if people didn’t like, or even hated, Donald Trump because I don’t know him nor do I hang my hat on his words. I don’t like politicians and that was one thing I most liked about Trump…he is not a politician. Biden, on the other hand, oozes ‘career politician’ from every gesture and pore; that alone means his era begins with me not a fan.
Much ado has been made about Trump’s manners or lack thereof and the Big 3; his alleged racism, misogyny, and homophobia. I have no argument with denigrating him for his perceived attitude toward women, but I only buy that argument if you reacted the same way to Bill Clinton, JFK, Eisenhower, etc. and though not a president, the infamous Chappaquiddick incident with Teddy Kennedy. None of it has been right, but your argument only holds water if you don’t make some of the incidents more right than others. But I digress…
I admit my reaction to my friend’s post was incredulity. Not for one moment do I believe she awoke every morning, for 1460 straight days, with a sense of dread. She has and has had, a rich, full, productive life. As far as I know, DJT’s presidency did not stop her from anything she was attempting to do or accomplish in the last four years. She is, as are we all, still here and living the best life possible. However, my issue with her post was MY problem, not hers. I realized that reading some of the empty thoughts that pass for informed opinion colors my thinking about individuals I like in all other aspects of life. I’d rather not think ill of friends and if I don’t read ‘it’ and can’t see ‘it’, no harm, no foul as it relates to my relationships. Face to face, the discussion would never happen so rather than challenge an opinion she has every right to have, as do many that agree with her, I save countless friendships by saying adios to Facebook. Posting and acting like petulant “mean girls” (and boys) makes one no better than the man who is so proudly despised.
In my mind, the decision of so many in the last ten or so days to drink the Kumbaya Kool-Aid has brought unrealistic expectations to the table. I absolutely concur that the majority (barely) in this election voted for Joe Biden and as such in ten short weeks he will be sworn in as the next president. I wish him well. But the idea that the arrival of Biden signals everything will be alright now and that Zen, euphoria and nirvana are just around the corner suggests a need to limit the Kool-Aid intake. Donald Trump is now a non-issue, but the belief that things will not proceed as before is a pipe dream.
That slim minority of 70+ million people now being told it’s “time to heal” have spent the last four years being chastised and insulted for their views and are now being dismissed as ignorant, psychotic, stupid, or possessing an IQ that hasn’t climbed out of the double-digits. As the Speaker of the House screeches we must “stop the circus” there are at least 70 million people who believe over the last four years she, herself, has been one of the marquee acts. As we watch the horribly biased, ‘unbiased’ media rail on, there are at least 70 million people who remember the media before they were ‘Entertainment Tonight’ with a photoshopped journalism credential. Finally, those 70+ million folks have not forgotten that the very same souls urging healing now, never did, and still haven’t, healed from or accepted their self-proclaimed catastrophe of four years ago.
Conversely, every Biden voter did not spend the summer rioting in the streets, they are not devotees of Karl Marx’ “Communist Manifesto”. They did not vote for a man whose sole hope is to destroy our country because no person that attempts to be chosen President ever does. But while Biden voters had many and varied reasons for making their choice, it should be noted that Trump voters did as well.
Before the term “ignorant” is bandied about, maybe someone with a child or spouse in the military supported Trump because there have been no new wars in the past four years. Maybe IQ is not the issue, but job security, and thus the ability to provide for a family brought about by an industry remaining in the US that caused the box to be marked for Trump. Rather than “stupid”, possibly those affiliated with the law enforcement community checked the box because they felt supported in their efforts, and rather than “psychotic”, maybe those in middle America in danger of losing their family’s farm and therefore legacy, felt someone was listening when they marked their ballot. Behavior of a childish nature is annoying, but not the most important thing to many people who ignore the same behavior from their friends and co-workers every day. One doesn’t have to agree with someone’s reasoning to understand how they reached their conclusions, but if one satisfies themselves with the easy labels instead of sincerely asking what brought someone to the choice they made, that paints the labeler’s behavior with the same broad brush the almost-former President has been painted with.
To lay it on the table, Donald Trump did not cause the division in this country, no one did. Well…except us. We did. We did and continue to do it to ourselves. Any adult citizen who takes any cue for their behavior from a politician of either party, an entertainment figure or media personality has greater problems than who is President. If you are an adult, you know how to behave correctly. You may or may not follow through, but you do know what the correct way is.
I never supported DJT’s rambling monologues or Tweet-filled days; before the 2016 election I told family and friends the best thing to happen to him and us was for someone to tell him Twitter was broken…permanently. Trump has no “impulse control”, but that has no bearing on my behavior or impulse control. He has been known to say mean things, but no worse than I see multiple times, every day, on social media by those who need to take responsibility for their own actions. He is a narcissist, as are most Beltway sycophants, but he is not the cause of the rampant narcissism in the country. To blame him for the way the populace acts toward each other is just more of us refusing to own our actions.
Let’s just do ourselves a favor…accept that in ten weeks though Trump will be out of the White House many will still be vengeful, angry, hate-fueled ideologues, 70 million strong, whose opponents are the other 70 million whose high crimes and misdemeanors were simply choosing to look differently at life and what is important. Donald Trump didn’t change us and Joe Biden won’t either. Even a nine-year-old understands the responsibility for their thoughts and actions rests with them alone. How about giving that concept a shot? Hmmmm?