Thursday, January 26, 2017

My answer

Six days in, and my head is spinning. The schism amongst Americans grows wider, as each “side” digs their heels in deeper, oblivious to the fact that they are sinking into the pit. While we know the side that I tend to lean to, I think of it as less a side than a set of beliefs. I believe that a society is ultimately judged by how well she takes care of all of her citizens. I believe we are a nation of immigrants, and that should not be ignored-unless you are of 100% indigenous ancestry, your people were, at some point, part of the tired and huddled masses looking for a new life. I believe that facts are facts, proven in trials and peer-reviewed studies, not inflammatory videos that show no faces or references. I believe that our healthcare system is broken. It was broken ten years ago, and it is broken now- but we shouldn’t set fire to it and leave an ashy pile of debris with no other option in sight. I believe in equal rights- those rights were and are hard fought for. Any woman who thinks those rights just floated in on a cloud of fairy dust and faith needs to study on how women rising up and protesting actually brought about any rights at all. If not for suffragists willing to be jailed and tortured, women would still be considered chattel. Rights can be fought for, given, and taken, so complacency is not always an option for everyone.
Now, I have had spirited discussions, privately and publicly, with men who think that the marches were unnecessary and unpatriotic. I have been asked a lot of questions about why we marched and about Trump’s actions. Why do we think he is against women? Why do we think he is dangerous? What is wrong with his stance about the environment? Why do we think he is dangerous in regards to freedom of speech and freedom of religion?
I started to answer these questions. I compiled a list of his quotes, his tweets, and screenshots from his website- all verifiable facts that come from the man himself. And then, the epiphany. Why do I have to explain Trump’s policies, words, and actions to anyone? If you voted for him, you should know what all of those are. You should know that in 2012, he decried the Electoral College as a sham. You should know that he is systematically dismantling protections for the environment- it is all laid out in his speeches and on his websites. You should know all of this and more. You might agree with it, all of it, and that is your right. And if you do not know all of his actions, you should start paying attention. Again, you voted for him- if I have to answer these questions for you, you really do need to catch up on your reading of both our constitution and of our most recent executive orders.
So, no, I am not going to answer all of the questions. I can, but you should know the answers on your own. Look at the facts. Read the briefings, the legal wording of each presidential order- don’t trust the grainy video or the catchy meme. And remember that one of the highest acts of patriotism is to question. As Roosevelt said, “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”
Pretty sure that Roosevelt did not reference blind allegiance to one man or to alternative facts. As for me, I cannot speak for anyone other than myself. So, I am going to keep paying attention, keep questioning, and keep living my life. I hope you do the same.

Peace, facts, and humanity, buttercups. xx

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