No Matter Who We Voted For, We Are Are All Better Than This Election
This time last week I was transcribing a Civil War Wagner letter as fast as I could so that I could meet my column deadline and go vote for the first woman president of the United States of America. I was really excited that 240 years into this game (America, not the column…although it feels that way sometimes) we might get a Momma in charge of this whole shebang. I was not nearly as excited as my six year-old apparently.
He inexplicably wore a very nice collared button up shirt to go vote. I thought he was just supporting democracy, the pride of our nation. But I realized that wasn’t entirely the case after we voted and were headed back to the car when he said “That’s voting? That’s it? That was so short. And where the hell is Hillary?!” Apparently he didn’t get dressed up to celebrate his greatest right as a United States citizen, but only because he thought he was going to meet a lady. He’s such a Bill Clinton, that little one.
I told him that Hillary was too busy to come to the Casey Jones Museum that day and maybe he would be better off voting for Trump with that potty mouth. My other son, in true oldest sibling form, scoffed at him saying,”Oh my gosh, you thought you were gonna meet Hillary? There is no way in the world she would ever ever not ever for even a single little second EVER come to this super tiny town in the middle of nowhere.” I told him to chill out on dissing on Water Valley so hard just because it’s small and jokingly told my ardent Bernie supporting sons they must have secret Trumps hidden deep down inside.
And then I woke up the next morning. And realized it wasn’t my sons that had secret Trumps hidden deep down inside. It was the entire rest of the country.
Now, I’m gonna stop right here and say this: I love you all. I love my readers, I love my closest friends who voted for Trump because I know they truly struggled with it. We’ve talked openly about it many times. And I love my friends and family who voted for Trump who didn’t struggle with it. I love my kids’ friends parent who I see at ballgames and on Facebook who voted for Trump.
I know y’all are good and kind and decent people and I’m so glad I know you all, you make my life better. I know your human experience led you to that vote just as mine led me to mine. It’s a lot to ask a person to sum up their entire life of experiences into one tiny circle on a piece of paper on a Tuesday morning.
Here is what I think is hardest for me, personally, to understand. As a kid who grew up in a non-religious family in extremely religious west Georgia, I have been absolutely lambasted my entire living life about morality.
Which is okay! I like morality. The 10 Commandments pretty much nailed it. With the exception of it coming off sounding kinda bossy and some wording issues about wives being property, it’s a slam dunk. But there are all these other little inter-scufflings and self-made nuances in religion that take over the big picture. It may be difficult for some to see when they are in it, but from the “outside” (or as outside of the church as any person who is raised in the South can be) it’s all-encompassing and mystifying.
And despite not being a part of any church we, the “outside,” have to answer to it in a very real way on a daily basis even though it ain’t our thing. And we, because we love our friends and family, for the most part politely oblige with only the occasional softly-treaded shake up.
So I can not understand how the man who exhibits all the qualities that Jesus does not, could win this. I would think maybe it was the abortion issue. I think he really got people on his side when he graphically described an apparent late-term abortion procedure in that debate (which actually just sounded a whole lot like my c-sections) but Trump is pro-choice and has been for years so it’s not that.
It’s other stuff. I’m scared of what that other stuff is. And my friends and family who elected him don’t have that other stuff in them. They are not like him. They are better than him.
All this to say, no matter who we voted for, we are all better than this election. Our lives mean more than our votes for them, whether we are sitting in the top of Trump Tower eating a taco salad on Cinco de Mayo and grinning sarcastically out to Twitter-nation or risking our only God-given life to cross a desert river under gun fire in the dead of night for the chance to pick fruit for pennies. There will always be the desperate, downtrodden and needy. One day it may be you. Maybe it is you now. We are not losers. Not a single solitary one of us.
“There are heroes in the seaweed. There are children in the morning. They are leaning out for love and they will lean that way forever.”
– Leonard Cohen