I Feel Like I Don’t Even Know You

If there’s one thing that this election has proved, it’s that some of the people closest to me don’t share my ideology. It’s shocking. It’s disorienting. Some life-long friends and even family members don’t share my beliefs. I mean, how could I not have known? Many times over the past week, I’ve said to myself “I feel like I don’t even know you” after reading someone’s political Facebook post.

We are told (by the faceless THEY) that it’s not a good idea to talk about politics at parties or at the dinner table, but here we are now blindsided by the fact that our nearest and dearest don’t share our core beliefs.

There’s been name-calling, relatives have threatened to disown relatives.

The shock is real and it’s painful. How could we have been so blind?

For me, it was so clear, I could feel it in the deepest part of my gut: I couldn’t vote for Trump. With such visceral feelings, I assumed that everyone must feel the same way. I mean, it’s so obvious, right?

However, my neighbor/friend/family member was crystal clear in his or her belief that he or she was absolutely voting for Trump and couldn’t imagine why a person would vote otherwise.

Empathy is needed. Dialogue is needed. We need to ask one another: What are your reasons for voting for him/her? What are your biggest concerns with regard to the state of our country?

As I mentioned above, for the sake of propriety, we rarely talk about these kind of things outside of our nuclear family and now here we are feeling lost, misunderstood and perhaps profoundly lonely.

I’ll start a dialogue by telling you two of the reasons I didn’t vote for Trump: For one thing, I couldn’t (and I can’t) tolerate Trump’s rhetoric, antics, and behavior. What many interpret as “honesty” I interpret as being loud and rude.

The other thing is the absence of the environment and our food system on his website and in his speeches. Those two things are important to me, and I feel that he won’t give them the attention they deserve.

Our health is dependent on our environment and food system. With the improved health of our citizens comes better health care. With citizens sick and getting sicker, prices are only going to rise. It sounds simplistic, but I think it’s a rational base from which to start. Sick people drive up rates. Healthy people go to work and help build the economy. (I plan to write more about this in the future.)

It’s common knowledge that president-elect Trump doesn’t care much about food. He finds fast food perfectly acceptable: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/09/us/politics/donald-trump-diet.html.

We are becoming a nation of malnourished, overweight people. It sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s true. People are eating more junk food and are therefore deficient in necessary vitamins and minerals.

Those deficiencies lead to physical and mental health issues.Those issues affect the economy, health care and even crime rates. Nutrition — and having a healthy environment that can provide nutritious food — is a big deal. I’m not trying to take away your bacon. I’m just asking you to consider what I’m saying. Does any of it resonate?

I would love to hear a concern you have. Please share. No name calling allowed.

Don’t let politics ruin friendships or family. Talk to each other. Respectfully debate. Practice empathy.

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