I don’t like confrontation. Ask my friends. I try very hard to understand and respect all points of view. Or stay quiet. Maybe, I am a coward. Or maybe, I am simply weary. Tired of the division in this country, like most Americans. Many have stood by our president but, in my opinion, only one person is responsible for this ugliness: him. There is no need to delineate the reasons. It has all been said before, over and over.
Why should I write this, though. I yield no special power or influence. I am just a middle-aged woman in middle America. That is what I used to think. But no more. My power is my voice, and I am ready to be heard, regardless of who disagrees with me.
I recently returned from a trip to visit an elderly cousin in rural Iowa, my mother’s birthplace. Beneath the bucolic rolling countryside lies a sentiment that is so far removed from my own that I must remind myself to stifle my opinions if I find myself in the Northside Cafe just off of John Wayne Way. Each time we visit, my cousin cautions both me and my sister to watch our words when we are wandering around town. Talk of politics is strictly off limits.
But the good, hard working people of this small Iowa town are the very people I would like to talk to. Because I believe many of them have been tricked and lied to and manipulated by a president who is laughing at them behind their backs. Preying upon their fears. They don’t deserve that. Yet they are not likely to want to hear that from me. My address and profession qualify me as not just an outsider, but the enemy. I am deeply saddened by that.
I will be watching the Democratic debates, thinking of them. Wondering if they will be watching, too. Hoping they are tired of defending the man in the White House. Weary of hearing the hyperbole, the insults, the lies, and deflections. Looking for a new voice they can trust.
When I think of the torrent of deceptions the American people have been subject to during the past four years of this president’s tenure, I am reminded of this Maya Angelou quote: “When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”
Now, I believe, would also be a good time.