This election won’t bend or break me

I think we can all admit that it’s been one hell of a week. Regardless of who you supported in the election, there weren’t that many people that truly expected the electoral map to fall out exactly as it did. No one would’ve won this Powerball.

And now we have this situation that so many of us dreaded. I have to note that before anyone decides to go off about how I’m a “libtard” or a “bleeding heart”, please know from the depths of my heart and soul that I will NOT tolerate any of that bullshit, the comments on this blog are moderated to weed out spam and assholes, and if you can’t be civil, then STFU.

I have an immense amount of privilege in some areas, and a complete lack of it in others. I can camouflage. I can hide behind my skin color and others’ assumption of who I am because of it. I have a Western European background–primarily Anglo-Saxon–so I can masquerade and move silently through the crowds as though I’m something I’m not. But I choose not to.

I choose to be out as bisexual because bisexuality chose me and I will not be afraid to live as who I am. (Yes, I’m married to a man. Monogamy and bisexuality aren’t mutually exclusive.)

I choose not to hide that I’m a woman or pretend that I’m meek. I’m not meek. I grew up with examples of women on TV like Colonel Wilma Deering, Jaime Sommers, and Wonder Woman. I grew up idolizing a mother who worked full-time in management and was a full-time wife and was a full-time mother. I knew that if she could do it, I could too. I SHOULD. Meek is for mice.

I choose not to hide that I’m Jewish, although I must admit that I’m not and never have been an observant Jew. To those who hate Jews, though, that matters little. People have already been out on Twitter, loudly offering “tattoos and showers” to Jews. (If you don’t know how unkind this invitation is, do some research on World War II and you’ll see.)

So, what do I do with all my anger for an administration that’s pledged to roll back rights for LGBTQ people? What do I do with my frustration at so many people who think it’s okay that the President-elect has freely admitted to sexual assault of grown women?

I could be meek, but…nah. Fuck that.

Here’s what I do plan to do, and this action plan isn’t the end; there will be more.

  1. Renew my membership in the Southern Poverty Law Center. It’s always important to commit to stopping hate wherever it rears its ugly head, and given the number of hate crimes that have already occurred just in the first 48 hours since the new President’s election, they have a lot of work to do.
  2. Start donating to Planned Parenthood. In general, I try to concentrate most of my donations to food banks and children’s health, but things are about to get way worse for women’s access to healthcare, and Planned Parenthood IS the primary health care resource for many women across the country.
  3. Continue encouraging my kids to be themselves and not let others get in the way of that. Just because a bully has been elected to the White House doesn’t mean they have to be bullies. We always have the choice not to be the things we see that aren’t okay.

I know I lost friends along the way through this election. They took their leave or I dropped them out of my Facebook feed with impunity because this was real for me. I won’t cry for what I didn’t have in the first place. I trust my friends to have my back, as I surely have theirs. Actively supporting someone who has shown no respect for or belief in the humanity and equality of women, Black people, LGBTQ people, Muslims, Jews, or–really ANYONE who’s not from America shows that you don’t have my back. And I won’t miss you when you’re gone.

There’s been a lot of talk about people living too much in their own bubble, how those of us living in urban coastal areas (who overwhelmingly voted Blue) just don’t understand those who live in more homogeneous environments. Oddly enough, no one seems to want to turn that around with an expectation that those who live in less diverse areas try to understand what it’s like being in an area where people don’t look like you, don’t worship like you, don’t love like you. We are the only ones who have to change or understand. That’s utter bullshit. Either we ALL have to get out of our bubble or no one does.

I remember my first few weeks at college, when one of my roommates–who’d never met a Jew before–actually checked me for hooves. She didn’t realize Jews had feet. I’ve seen what that bubble looks like, and if those people don’t try to get out of theirs, they will continue to wallow in an ignorance that more than half the population rejects.

So, I’m going to be more active and work for a better America despite the election of a man determined to tear it down for his own personal profit. And I will teach my children to be better than he is (admittedly, a low bar to jump over). And I won’t be meek. EVER.

The future is now: Why THIS Bernie Sanders voter is choosing Hillary Clinton

Vote November 8, 2016

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I have a degree in Political Science, and I remember really loving politics. I used to watch “Meet the Press” with a ton of enjoyment, and I reveled in knowing what was going on inside the Beltway. Lately…not so much.

More and more, it seems like a lot of what’s going on is our descent into some random circle of Hell that even Dante couldn’t have dreamed up. Opinions vary wildly about the state of the economy, although some numbers in 2016 are far better than they were in 2008…and some not as much.

For example, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is almost 50% higher than it was in 2008, and inflation is only one-quarter of what it was back in 2008. On the other hand, college tuition costs are still experiencing double-digit increases and I don’t know ANYONE who’s gotten a raise to match that.

When it came time for the primaries, I decided to vote for Bernie Sanders even though The Bern and I don’t see eye to eye on everything (such as guns, where he’s pro-gun and I’m *not*). Still, I took exception to Hillary Clinton using a private email server when all reason and logic–not to mention Federal regulations–should have kept her from doing so. Being a Clinton is not excuse enough for a “get out of following the rules” card, or at least it shouldn’t be.

But I guessed when I cast my primary ballot that the most likely event was a primary vote for Bernie and a general election vote for Hillary. And thus, this is what will come to pass.

For, you see, I cannot in good conscience vote for Donald Trump. He is the horrific funhouse mirror distortion of our country, a walking poster child for the loud-talking, unapologetically ignorant ‘Murica that many of us nervously joke about when we see knee-jerk jingoism that doesn’t represent us.

At the gateway to New York Harbor stands proudly a gift from the French, a handsome lady clad in a toga, holding aloft a torch–a beacon of hope for those who passed by her from distant shores. The inscription at her feet partly reads:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”


I can’t in good conscience vote for someone who treats our military veterans and our Gold Star families with scorn and derision.

I can’t in good conscience vote for someone who treats women as if they’re either playthings or vile creatures–in neither case deserving of respectful treatment.

I can’t in good conscience vote for someone who believes that banning entire groups of people, specifically those from other countries or of a religion to which he does not subscribe, is the answer to ANY question or problem we have.

So, why vote FOR Hillary?

Bill Clinton wasn’t perfect (“Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” being a prime example of a WRONG TURN), but the Clinton years weren’t a complete dystopian nightmare as some would have us all believe. And Hillary is NOT her husband. Like Bill, she is a smart, well-educated person–although, unlike Bill, she’s got experience in two of our three branches of government. Her years as a Senator for New York give her an understanding of how the government works on multiple levels, like playing three-dimensional chess. It’s unclear her major opponent can play more than checkers, and if he lost he’d claim there was cheating involved.

I’m voting FOR Hillary because I know that she’s pro-Woman. Not pro in the sense that she’s a man-hater, but pro in that she doesn’t believe women are less than men. Equal. She believes in equality.

I’m voting FOR Hillary because she believes that our diversity makes us stronger, not weaker–meaning that the answer to the problems of illegal immigration can’t be solved with some towering wall that would be better seen with hallucinogens than concrete: they’re far cheaper and just as effective at solving our current immigration situation.

I’m voting FOR Hillary because she has experience in dealing respectfully with the outside world (and other people INSIDE our country). She doesn’t bark at people to the level where you wonder if her volume button is broken.

I’m voting FOR Hillary because she will make reasoned, rational decisions. Does she always make the right ones? No. (Note the aforementioned email server.) However, she lives her life and conducts herself on a far more even keel than her opponent–although admittedly that’s not a high bar. One could stumble around singing death metal songs in an intensive care ward while knocking out every electrical cord from the wall and still do less damage and harm to those around them than her opponent does every time he opens his Twitter app.

And yes, there are third parties out there–but none of their pairings are either impressive or truly viable on the national stage, and we don’t have a parliamentary system that would go for a coalition government.

It’s time to choose sides: America or ‘Murica. A way forward, or a grand leap back into the Stone Age. Inclusiveness or xenophobia. Reason or rage.

For all of these reasons and more, I choose Hillary.

Oh, and one other thing: if Hillary wins, it won’t be because the election was rigged. Crying foul this early in the process is only the whining of a brat afraid of losing when he knows he’s unfit to win. Perhaps he’s missing out on the lowest common denominator in all of his failed businesses, failed marriages, and failed attempts to win over voters: himself.