Words

Since the Thing happened last Tuesday, I have gone through a huge host of emotions, none of them positive. While the processing will continue, I’m sure, for years, I’ve also been have many thoughts. A seemingly-unending stream of thoughts related to “How did this happen?,” “What can we do?,” “What is my role?,” and “What is it that people don’t get??” I’ve been talking to people, reading articles, listening to podcasts and NPR, and observing (and occasionally partaking in) Facebook arguments. All of these sources have posed important questions and points of reflection. Inevitably, there is much work to be done. I am going to try to address these things in writing. Whether I do it here, or on my Reflections blog, or on my official blog, I’m not sure yet. I foretell I will write a bit in each space. And while I relish the opportunity, I also am afraid. Because words and ideas have a tendency to whip me into a frenzy, but even as I articulate them, I feel a sense of powerlessless. I believe, whole-heartedly, that the articulation of ideas is the most powerful force in the world, and that it was the mishandling of words that has led us to this moment in history; and yet, there is the problem of finding an audience. I have heard so many well-articulated arguments, but if the right people aren’t listening, if the conditions for reception are not right, then those words are wasted. And I am afraid that my words, my effort, my fear and rage and disgust and outrage, are just another drop of sound in a vacuum.So I have held myself back so far, compiling a list in my head of topics to address, but staying silent. But I need to be brave, and I need to be smart. I need to find a way to amplify my ideas, or the ideas of other smart people. Meanwhile, I want to keep my list of topics, so they don’t continue to slip from my mind forever.

  • the idea that many people seem to have that words don’t matter
  • the idea (facebook post) that racism is non-existent, or over-stressed
  • the responsibility of women who voted for Trump; the pervasive culture of patriarchy and misogyny that created conditions where ANY candidate was perceived as “better” than a woman
  • the superficial understanding of racism and sexism; the inability to understand institutionalized racism and sexism
  • the role of belief in religion; the necessity for every person to examine their beliefs
  • the issue of abortion, and single-issue voting
  • the absolute fucking privilege of people who want us just to “get along”
  • the normalization of “president trump”
  • fucking people who say they had “reasons” for voting for Trump, despite not elucidating those reasons; the selfishness (and laziness) there (of putting their vague suspicions and vague hopes for self-serving benefits over OVBVIOUS disqualifying flaws, and over doing any actual research into the issues, over even holding him responsible for LYING)
  • core value differences: self over all, or all over self (what makes a “true democrat”?)
  • the republican idea of “small government” when it SUITS them
  • this fucking bitch http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2016/11/17/trump-supporter-democrat
  • media, and holding people accountable. pressing issues. demanding answers
  • how to martial INFORMATION, so that average smart people feel equipped to ENGAGE in discussions. This is the only way progress is made, not by sticking to partisan talking points. Which means acknowledging that plenty of issues, painted with a partisan brush, are not partisan.
  • separating values and ideals and beliefs about HOW we should accomplish things and WHAT constitutes success, from PARTY
  • comparing Trump to historical figures, such as Henry VIII
  • being raised apolitical, and how such complacency is a privilege that many people cannot afford (and therefore the utter selfishness of such complacency)
  • whether or not to “unfriend” non-close friends and acquaintances who voted for Trump
  • the need to put issues over party; to take initiative within the party to put people first
  • lack of moral compass for young people; with the internet, no voice of authority, so the immature, still-developing world-view is shaped by selfishness and these people are unwilling and unable to recognize the existence of things like racism and sexism. (I feel like this got worse when Colbert and Jon Stewart went away).
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