No I haven’t partaken of the Kool-Aid. Let’s just think about this for a minute. Trump has single-handedly galvanized an enormous group of people into action. Like many of you I have railed and complained, rejoiced and delighted in the movement and action of the government all from the safety of my own home. I have done my civic duty and voted faithfully. Truth be told I probably couldn’t even defend most of my choices in the elections because I had only a very fundamental grasp of the issues. I had absolutely no motivation or desire to look beyond the problems and worries of my own life. Hell, the last time I was moved to actually move was when I protested the war in Vietnam and heard Ralph Nader speak in Philly. That was a long, long, time ago and I was a teenager not even old enough to vote but according to the sign I carried old enough to die (it was a sign a guy had given to me since at the time women were not allowed in combat). Now I am 61 and while I cried in wonder at the election of the first president of mixed race and celebrated again 4 years later, I have to admit I have done little else involving issues that did not press home for me.

I was outraged when young black men seemed to be getting gun downed by police officers for no apparent reason, but did I move? No…I was outraged when there were riots to protest this behavior that only seemed to increase the tension but did I let my outrage be known outside of the comfort of my like-minded friends and family?? No…I again was horrified when police officers were being killed just because they were police officers but did I even so much as bake cookies for my local force? No…When David Muir took me on a tour of the depressed coal mining regions of West Virginia ( a place that is very close to my father’s home) did I holler in outrage that something must be done?? No…When I saw terrorist kidnap and rape school girls did I organize a rally to save them? No….. When I saw a 4 year old boy sitting bloodied and dazed in the back of an ambulance because his home and town had been unceasingly bombarded by terrorist and even by those that sought to “save him” did I rush to my Facebook and demand that we march in protest? No….When Native Americans were threaten by the pipe line did I scream foul? No…When refugees escaping their own tyranny needed help and shelter did I volunteer my time or open my home? No, I did none of those things. It just didn’t affect me. It didn’t change my day to day life.

Now one man has lit a fire in my belly like no one has before. One man has come to represent all that outrage. I have heard the lamentations of African Americans that no one stood for them when they were fighting for freedom from profiling and oppression and I agree with them and all the other causes that should have catapulted us into action. This includes the plight of the working class that lost their jobs to over-seas factories and work forces because they were cheaper. That the plight of those in the rust belt and coal areas drove them to vote for Donald Trump to help ease their struggle is horrifying and it’s because we did not address their concerns, they were forgotten Americans. Our country and government (that’s you and me) should have taken control long before it has come to this trying time. Now, thanks to Donald Trump and his brash, unstable methodology of government and showmanship, I have moved. I have marched, I have spoken out, and I have written, called, and done all the things I should have done long before now.

One last thing Donald Trump has done for me. He has made me take notice of his voting base. I see those men and women who are tired of being blamed for everything. Tired and scared, like a kid being beaten up on the playground who in desperation grabs a stick and starts swinging and doesn’t care who he hits or who gets hurt. They just want it to stop, they want it to change, and they want to stop feeling helpless and hopeless. They want it to “go back to the way it was”. I don’t think they mean to a time when women’s and minority’s rights were non-existent but to a time when they knew what to expect, a time when if you worked hard and followed the rules and did the right thing, then you could live a righteous life. Frankly I think we all would like to live a life like that.

So Donald Trump, as much as I oppose you and everything you stand for, as much as I worry about your mental and intellectual capacity to represent the greatest country in the world, thank you for opening my eyes to the world. Thank you for lighting that fire for justice that I hope I can keep burning until my last breath is drawn. You have inspired me in the most negative way to fight for our American ideals of truth and justice for all.

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