“STOP CRYING, YOU LOST, GET ON WITH LIFE”:
NO, THANK YOU.
This sentence was directed at me during a heated Facebook discussion the other day. It’s a sentiment I’ve heard a lot this past week, directed at those voters angry and dismayed by the recent election. We are, we’ve been told, whiners, petulant children, sore losers. We’ve been instructed to get over it, get used to it, let things play out. This is the response I wrote:
Let me answer your last post in what I hope is a serious and respectful manner.
I cannot speak for all of us who are dismayed by this election, so I will speak only for myself. But I do think you might find my attitude and concerns are similar to many others out there.
My dismay over the election is not because I “lost,” as if this were the Super Bowl. My dismay is, rather, a response to specific proposals and programs put forward by the president elect and the ruling houses of congress, policies that I find both harmful to this nation and regressive for our society. It is my right, and duty, as a citizen, to speak out on these matters. Now, you may disagree with me on any or all of the specifics below — I’m not going to debate those with you here — but I am going to list a few of them in the hope that you’ll see my “protest” as more than sour grapes, a protest based on real concerns, not simply opinion.
It’s clear to me that the incoming administration will choose a climate-change denier to gut the EPA, at the same time reinforcing our nation’s dependency on coal and oil, and shunning renewable energy advancements. I believe this is not only catastrophic for our environment, but also a short-sighted economic plan that will only benefit energy corporations.
The proposal to deport undocumented workers is, to my eye, short-sighted both economically and ethically. Blaming these workers for any economic hardships is naive; our economy depends on these workers. These workers did not steal “our” jobs; those jobs were shipped overseas by corporations, their executives and shareholders. Besides, these are our neighbors and friends as well, and I must reject breaking apart these families; there are already too many refugee families in the world.
The incoming vice-president has vowed to roll back the rights of LGBTQ citizens, and to implement rights permitting discrimination against them. This is, I find, a completely un-democratic and unconstitutional agenda.
The GOP’s determination to defund Planned Parenthood, depriving millions of women much-needed health care — PP does more to stop abortions than almost any other organization through their birth control programs, not to mention the health benefits gained through their mammogram program and other health service. It’s impossible for me to see this political maneuver as anything but cruel and inhumane.
The president elect has made it clear to me — and I base this on what I’ve heard him say, what he’s on record as saying — as someone frighteningly cavalier and naive when it comes to the use of nuclear weapons, as well as to the expansion of our already too large military presence abroad, a military presence that foments terrorism rather than mitigates it.
The president elect is being honored by the KKK in a “victory” parade next week in North Carolina, and he refuses now — as he has in the past — to condemn this organization. While this will be a small event on that day, I do believe it points to a larger and more troubling portion of the president elect’s agenda. He is someone who, at the very least, tolerates racism. That is unforgiveable.
His proposed economic scheme is one we’ve seen before, what used to be called “trickle down” economics, which depends on lowering taxes on the wealthy, with promises that “all Americans” will ultimately benefit. This plan, tied to a refusal to even consider a $15.00/hr federal minimum wage (paltry as that wage would be), is sure to create even greater economic disparity in our country.
I could go on, of course; my list is very long, and quite detailed. But these points alone — or even any one of them — are enough make me fear for the future my daughter will inherit. And not just my daughter, but all the children of this country, and those children beyond our borders too.
So, please don’t call me a sore loser, a whiner. Disagree with me or not, but acknowledge me for what I am, a concerned and engaged citizen, one bound to do his patriotic duty.
No, thank you, I will not shut up.
But I will get on with it:
I will donate money to organizations with more reach than I have.
I will march in the streets.
I will volunteer to better my community.
And I will definitely not shut up.