Scattered Sundays November 14-20
So, fair warning, the top part of this post is about the election. I know, I know. I have gone back and forth on whether or not to include the below. I’m not afraid of losing a few readers, I don’t think a single person will change their mind about anything, and I realize what done is done. So why did I write it after going back and forth for multiple sleepless nights? I sure wish I knew. I don’t have an answer for you, but I felt called to finally just hit “publish”. I still can’t explain why. So, if you are so over anything election related, pretend these lines below this paragraph are happy little bunnies on the screen. Scroll past those cute little fuzz balls, and it is safe to stop scrolling and start reading when you see a video (of my mom).
I have written and rewritten parts of this post multiple times. Just when I finally think it is exactly what I want to convey, I think of something else, or a friend says something and then I edit it again. I even completely deleted the first post I asked my friend to preview for me. So yeah, I’m sorry to waste your time Elaina.
Just consider this post a stream of conscious, and maybe a working document? It’s not perfect, but it is honest, and is trying its best to see both sides. Just like me.
So the election. Deep breaths everyone. I don’t know if this will be exactly what you expect it to be. And if it is, and you sighed initially, then my bad and I’m sorry. Check back tomorrow for something more light-hearted.
I am a hard person to pin down politically. Many people think I am easily in one camp, and then they find out that I actually worked for two Republican members of the Washington State Legislature for three years (2002-2005), and we are gun owners (bet you didn’t see THAT coming! 🙂 ). I get it, I’m confusing. And if you think about yourself, you probably are too. You likely don’t fit a pretty mold when it comes to always voting a certain way.
I’ve always been extremely proud of being an independent. I’ve always researched the person and the issue, and felt free and happy to be able to vote my conscience without aligning to any party. The members of the legislature I worked for both had values that I felt comfortable with. And the guns? They’re Troy’s. He does competitive target shooting when he has a chance. I’d get in to it more, but frankly, it is so nerdy I am just going to stop right there. They are locked up tight, and the kids have zero access to them. I’m not a huge gungho advocate for owning firearms, but we have them and I believe that access to a gun is part of our country’s history. Do I think I need or deserve or am entitled to own an automatic high-capacity weapon? No. Do I think we should have to go through a background check to own our guns? Yes. Do I know how to use them? Yes. Would I use them if the life of my family was in danger? Yes.
My support for the military is unwavering. I’ve lived near a military community for years, and I was even the company commander of our high school JROTC company. Even though it is not remotely actual military service, you don’t spend three years in uniform without having the utmost respect for our men and women who serve.
To recap, gun owning crunchy chick who has worked for the Republican party, and spent three years in junior ROTC. Let’s go ahead and add supporter of gay marriage, reproductive rights, affordable healthcare for all (with protection for those with pre-existing conditions), desire for the government to be fiscally responsible with the taxpayer’s money, and affordable public education to my tally. I also find it morally reprehensible to prevent access to affordable and reliable birth control, and then turn our backs on single parents who chose to have the child they never wanted in the first place. If a baby is a choice, than that same baby/child should not later be viewed as societal burden.
Independent. Me. Got it?
I haven’t hidden my distaste for these two candidates, or the 2016 election. Had the primaries turned out differently, I may have been excited about other candidates on either side. I don’t know. It never got to that point, so we were left with two choices that the vast majority of us felt a big giant “meh” about. And it showed; almost 50% of eligible voters did not vote in this election cycle. Voter turnout was at an all time low. And yet, anger and apathy was at an all-time high. Regardless of who won the election, only 25% of the population would be making the decision for 100% of the country.
And today? Today I am sad.
I’m sad that there are already instances of empowered hate groups finding targets in the wake of the election.
I’m sad that schools all over this country are sending letters home asking parents to help their kids know that the bullying (by both sides) they have seen over the last year is not ok. It is not ok for kids to act like that, and god knows it was never ok for adults to act like that.
I’m sad that my son saw someone make fun of disabled people – like both of his grandparents – and it was deemed “ok” by voters.
I’m sad that as the daughter of two people who have immense medical needs through no fault of their own, could be in danger of losing health care coverage. The repeal of the very imperfect Affordable Care Act could mean allowing insurance companies to deny based on pre-existing conditions. My parents are the freaking poster children for pre-existing conditions. Currently one of them is facing another shoulder replacement, and another who drinks about three glasses of wine a year is facing advanced liver cancer. Recent articles have indicated the pre-existing condition may be kept with any future revision of the Act, but for those who face an emergent health crisis, “may” is still a scary term.
I’m sad thinking of how much anger and despair there is in communities who are facing staggering unemployment/underemployment, crime, drug abuse, etc., to make them vote for hope for the promise of a new type of government, even if it means overlooking the fear that has been stirred up.
I’m sad for people who voted due to the influence of electing a new supreme court. I can understand needing to vote your conscience, and I wish there had been less decisive choices for your candidate selection.
I’m sad, because as far as I can tell, a candidate backed by the KKK has always been a non-starter in this country since the civil rights era.
I’m sad that this election was a loss of innocence for me as an independent. A commentator on one of the channels I was watching on election night summed it best by saying “the blue states are getting bluer, and the red states are getting redder”. It has moved from “I support this person’s agenda” to “who scares me the least”. And, I don’t have the solution. Is it becoming a three party system? Who knows. Is it doing away with the electoral college, which was partly set up to make sure that the number of slaves in a state didn’t skew population numbers? Who knows. Empowering more to vote, because they are offered better candidates? Probably. But who knows.
And if I, a white, middle class, hetero, Christian am sad, I can’t imagine the fear and anger felt by communities that were targeted during the election. You cannot spend 15 months scaring the ever-loving shit out of people based on where they were born or how they choose to pray, and then call for peace and unity.
We received the following as part of a longer email this week from a bishop in our regional church family (if you aren’t religious it is still a great message):
After a long, contentious and often painful election process, we have voted in new leaders at both the local and national levels, including a new president-elect. Most of us cared deeply about this election and so we find ourselves experiencing powerful emotions in these “days after”. Among us there is shock, delight, despair, or numbness, depending on how we voted.
As I sort through all my reactions, I find myself hearing Martin Luther asking us this question, “What is God calling you to do?” After the shock, the grief or the euphoria subsides, what constitutes right action?
One of our callings, said Luther, is that we hold the office of “citizen”, called to work for the health, well-being and justice of our entire community. That is particularly true in our government “of the people, by the people and for the people.” However, along with the many specific issues that we must address as a nation, such as employment and the environment, there is a deeper, fundamental ingredient that we must restore. We are being called to rebuild trust and a sense of community within our cities and country.
Trust right now is a very scary idea. I do not dismiss an ounce of fear that communities are feeling right now. I don’t have any solutions. I don’t have the answers, and I certainly don’t know what the next four years will look like. I can only control my own reaction to it, and be the best influence possible for my kids. And I can pray that whatever happens next, sanity, civility, and safety for all Americans will prevail.
*If you choose to comment, I request civility and respect for those reading. If you are pissed off at me, fine, email me directly. If what you choose to say in the comments section would result in a time out in any preschool class in this country, I restrict the right to delete comments. Not because I can’t take it (I can), but because we’re all just exhausted from anger right now m’kay.
So, a few weeks ago after sharing the news of my mom’s cancer diagnosis, a lovely and kind blog reader named Stephanie reached out to me. Stephanie makes hand dyed silk scarfs (I’m assuming magic is involved?), and was wondering if she thought my mom might want one. A little something new and pretty to wear to treatments, or when she is feeling down. We talked colors and preferences and such, and a short time later, a gorgeous scarf arrived for my mom. The video above is the SECOND part of her unwrapping it, because my mom is the worlds slowest person when it comes to unwrapping anything. Christmas will be upon us before she finishes unwrapping her first piece of Halloween candy.
Anyway, with the trauma and drama the country has faced in the last week, the kindness of a complete stranger may make you believe in good again. It was one of the sweetest things that I have had happen. I also found out Stephanie has an Etsy store if you are interested in your own handmade piece of happiness. She did not ask me to promote her page or anything like that, but I adore sharing the love when given the chance.
Friday, my sister and I implemented a morning of intrigue. I had conspired to get my dad out of the house early that day, and when he left, she swooped in and together we cleaned out his garage. It was supposed to be organized and tidy when they moved in almost 18 months ago. But, the shelving he had imagined never worked out, and as things often go, it became an epic craphole.
We started by cleaning everything out. Everything.
Troy was in on the intrigue, and put together some shelving in secret in our garage the day before. He also helped install some pegboard, and other wall hanging items.
We found not one, but two fake legs.
We finished up about the second my dad pulled in to the driveway. He was shocked and excited, and very thankful. He was also able to park his car in the garage for the first time in almost two years.
During the clean out, my sis and I listened to a few podcasts. I have been secretly loving and hating you all for suggesting so many amazing podcasts last week. I haven’t had a chance to check them all out, but am loving the ones I have listened to thus far: Brains On! (this was suggested for Jack, and he loves it), Stuff You Should Know, Criminal, Disclosure (omg, the ANSWERS I needed from Serial. ANSWERS people).
Meal plan time!
Monday:: Jack’s school is having a fundraiser. No cooking by me! Just paying.
Tuesday:: Jack has been asking for homemade mac and cheese. So that, and a crap ton of side veg and hummus. I ate like a frat boy last week, and need to pound the veg (TWSS)
Wednesday:: Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, and some sort of vegetable (shopping on Monday). I’m working on a mashed potato post for Thanksgiving, and we need a delicious taste test.
Thursday:: Jack’s soccer team is having their end of the year party. No cooking by me! Just paying.
Friday:: Popcorn dinner
Saturday:: Soup! Probably a Vegetable Soup With Mini Cheese Ravioli, dutch oven bread, and a salad.
Sunday:: Family dinner
What are you having this week?
I would like to unpack this further.first saying that both candidiates are just as bad is not true.hillary Clinton while she is imperfect just like the rest of us has never advocated racist , sexist , homophobic , anti semetic ,islamophobic policies.nevermind that he is also a pussy grabber. secondly as per some of his voters comments.when a person says that I am not a racist, sexist , homophobic , etc but I voted for someone who is, means that you co signed that behavior,you okayed that behavior,you supported that behavior.i am jewish but even if I wasn’t I am terrified of what he will do to everyone that is not a white Christian.and its not only him its the garbage that he surrounds himself with like steve bannon who hates jews.and what this election has unleashed in this country.i know there have always been bad people out there.this has given them freedom to come out of the shadows and destroy everything and everyone that is other.and let me not leave out one of the worst things he did made fun of a handicapped person.i am a tolerant person,but I will not tolerate him or his voters.he is not my president. sarah I’m sorry that you and your family are going through hard times.sending you hugs and prayers
Interesting to hear a comment from Australia (hi Aless) – but it just shows that there are as many opinions over here! Some have expressed concern, some are quietly hopeful, but a lot have commented on the seemingly world-wide trend to ‘wake up the politicians’ and make them understand that their constituents aren’t happy, no matter what the leaning of the political party is. That politicians seem to have forgotten that they are supposed to represent us and not to rule. I can see it is the same the world over right now. We are in for some interesting times!
Very excellent point Annette!
Hi Sarah (and others who read your blog)- watching from afar, I can tell you that many people in Australia have been observing this election with trepidation. Our country has so many links with the USA, in trade and militarily specifically, and people here are anxious about the future of our world. I watched each of the televised debates in full, and they were eye-opening!! Our electoral system is quite different (being modelled on the Westminster (British) system, because of our history), and the results in the USA have caused quite a lot of comment here about the differences. The foremost one is that here voting is seen as a civic duty and is compulsory, with fines if not observed.
There are important issues here that will be directly affected by your results, and this will be echoed throughout the western world. So, the eyes of the world are on you, not because we consider the USA to be the centre, but because what the USA does can land other countries in hot water, through no fault of their own.
Without fail, every single person I have spoken to since your election has expressed extreme concern about what the future holds for the world. There have been comments, over here, both for and against both candidates, but the most common has been ‘what does he know about running a (powerful) country?’ It’s hard to imagine a country’s ultimate leader never having had experience in public office beforehand. Not wishing to offend anyone, I will just say that the almost universal reaction here to the successful candidate has been a slack jaw. We understand the many reasons for the win, but why THAT person?
I thought it might be interesting to hear from another ‘angle’- no country is an island…..
“I thought it might be interesting to hear from another ‘angle’- no country is an island…..”
Ok, I totally know what you mean by that, but I am laughing so hard because your country literally is an island. Thank you for the best laugh I have had in days. Nothing funnier than a geography based laugh, right?
So interesting that voting is required where you are. Do you find that people are decently informed of the issues when they vote? I would see a lot of Americans in both parties doing some very spiteful voting if forced in to it. I suppose if it were part of the culture, the push back on it wouldn’t be as much. Here, you have to register to vote when you turn 18. Some states have passed laws recently where you are automatically registered to vote (I think it is tied to your drivers license somehow?).But you could also just not vote of course. I live in Washington State (not Washington D.C.) and we are a 100% mail in ballot state. We get our ballots about three weeks before election day. As long as they are returned (you can drop them off at various places in your county) or mailed in by 8 pm on election night, your vote will be counted. We don’t have any polling places where you physically vote. Some states have a mix of the two.
Thanks for chiming in with info about your system over there. I’m a total political nerd and find this stuff fascinating!
I’m glad you enjoyed the reference! We are required to register once we turn 18 and can cast a pre-poll vote but there has to be a good reason (will be at work on the actual day etc etc). The rest of us (and our election day is always a Saturday) have to turn up in person and have our names crossed off a paper electoral role, preferably in our actual electorate. There is little cheating (by voting more than once). We submit paper votes. We can, of course, make our vote not count by messing it up deliberately or by not marking the ballot paper, but historically, this happens very much less than you’d imagine. These are known as Informal Votes and are recorded in each electorate. Our electoral campaigns only go on (officially) for a matter of weeks, though there is a lot of jockeying by all parties beforehand. There will always be uninterested or ignorant voters, but in the main, people vote with at least basic knowledge of the issues. In our Federal elections we vote for a Lower House (local) representative/Member who can be from a major party, a minor party, or an independent. Our Upper House has half term elections at the same time (half the members only change at that time) when the number of Senators are allocated on a state by state basis.With the Senate,we can vote for a minimum number of people or we vote ‘below the line’ which used to mean ALL of them (74 I think last time it happened,voting them in numerical order of preference). That changed somewhat this year to have us number less (but still a minimum) candidates!!! LOL!! Our voting papers can be enormous!! The party that wins the majority vote chooses the Australian Prime Minister. Our state elections are basically the same, with state leaders being called Premiers. You’re right in it being part of our culture, so it’s just the way it’s always been done. Tempers can get very frayed here too, but once the ‘shouting is all over’ (an old saying here), people just get back to normal. There are a lot of so-called ‘swinging voters’ ( DON’T laugh too much again…LOL!!)- people who have no set allegiance to a political party, but vote on issues every time. I’m one of those!!
It is not unusual for one political party to be voted back many times in a row. The most recent long-term PM was from 1996-2007. The political parties can and do change leaders whenever they want to, so the PM can change if there is unrest in their party. I was away overseas on holiday in 2010, and half way through, got a call from home saying that our first woman PM had been announced, after her party dumped the incumbent PM…….Having said all this, you might have guessed that politics fascinates me and always has- I had very politically aware parents who encouraged debates at the dinner table. Our family was quite (in)famous for this amongst our friends. 🙂
I am so sorry you are sad. But from what I read you wrote that the voters for ‘a candidate backed by the KKK’ deemed it OK to make fun of disabled people. Talk about name calling and generalizing!! I assure you that behavior like that has never, and will never be appropriate. No need to assume that I will morph into an ogre and be inspired to change my conservative morals and advocate or accept that behavior from anyone. It never occurred to me to assume that people, by virtue of their vote for a candidate who steals from their own charitable foundation (see how this works both ways & can be hurtful) would propel their supporters to follow immoral and corrupt behavior. Ahhh, see how it feels? You just shot yourself in the foot and fueled the fire you were hoping to neutralize. I choose to look at the potential of our leadership. Kindness begins at home.
Hi Naomi, thanks for your comment.
My dislike, disgust, and disappointment in both candidates has been made clear on this blog on multiple occasions. In separate occasions I referred to them collectively as “a poop sandwich and a diarrhea shake”. I liked neither of them, and supported neither of them. Neither inspired me or made me feel safe, or made me feel that we were headed in a positive direction. Had Hillary won on Tuesday, the post would have been something like “yay for breaking the glass ceiling, but I’m “meh”, guessing this will be a one-term presidency, and airing other things I disagreed with her about. And there were so, so many. Had Gary Johnson won, my entire post likely would have been “WTF” in the biggest font I could have managed on WordPress. And maybe some “OMG” and “Really? REALLY? Is this a joke?” thrown in there for good measure. It was a collective crapshoot in my opinion this year.
Just because I am scared about how things played out, does not mean there were not frightening aspects of the other choices. So, had Hillary been someone I supported, your comments would be internalized, processed, and I would have moved on.
Thank you for posting this! Honestly, I don’t see how someone who claims to not be racist, sexist, or homophobic could vote for a man who spews so much hate and evil. By voting a man like that into office they support what he stands for. I am scared for our country, for the world, and my family. And yes, if you would have come on this post saying you backed trump or voted for him, due to my moral beliefs I would have not followed your blog anymore. Which does make me sad as it is very enjoyable. but from now on I am going to try to be more active in supporting the causes that bring equality to all people regardless of differences and causes that make the world a better, peaceful, safe place for me to raise my children in! I wish their was a way for our country to rebuild this riff that has come between the different sides but I can never stand with someone who treats other human being with so much hate. It is truly disgusting. And actually I agree with a lot of your stances. I too think guns should be legal. We don’t own any yet but I see it happening real quick in the future. As a single mom I feel I need to have every protection I can to keep my children safe!
I am sorry your parent have so many medical issues, I am not a christian but I will keep your family in my thoughts and hope the affordable care act isn’t repealed!
Again, thank you for posting this!
While I appreciate your passion, I would encourage you to not automatically dismiss a supporter of another candidate. I rarely agree with Bill Maher (he may have some good things to say, but is just so dang nasty about it), but today he said “you can’t unfriend 47% of the nation”. No matter our thoughts on how Tuesday played out, we all have a role in moving forward and working together. We don’t have to like it, but the alternative is to be left out of the process. Yeah, Thanksgiving is going to be super weird for a lot of families this year (really weird), but once we all process our joy, anger, sadness, or general “meh, it’s just meh” about it, it will be a long four years if we stay in our bubbles. It is exhausting right now for sure to see everything playing out. Taking care of ourselves and others, even if we disagree seems to be the only way I can think about most of us finding common ground in the future.
Thank you for writing these words and bring brave enough to publish them. Never have I encountered a leader (Republican or Democrat) with so much bullying behavior. If our children would have said some of the things that he said, they would have been suspended or expelled from school. I have respect for all of the past presidents in my lifetime, but this time I have none. I truly hope that those who voted for him truly understand the consequences that are coming. If you really study his plans and what they mean, they will have disastrous economic fallout for the majority of his supporters. He is already reversing some of his “policy threats” so there is some hope. Take good care, everyone.
Katie, how about you and I write a bill that calls for all future debates for the next 40 years, be moderated by preschool and kindergarten teachers. If anyone can make political parties get along, it may be Jack’s Montessori instructor! 🙂
Well written Sarah.
Count me in the group of people that are scared for what the future holds. I realize I can’t undo what has been done, but I can commit to be more involved in local politics and help drive the county back in the direction of equal rights for all. Regardless of how people voted, the key will be to move forward in a rational, mature way, make sure that people realize it is not okay to hate or abuse based on gender, race, religion, sexual orientation and respect the world in which live (environmental change is real, not made up by liberal scientists).
I will continue to read your post because you model many of the values that I believe it: financial responsibility, kindness, treating the earth well and raising your children in a responsible way.
Thank you so much for your thoughtful post. I agree wholeheartedly with you.
I love your your blog and have followed you a long time. This is my first time to comment. I want to say that those of us who are conservative, republican and voted Trump are really tired of everyone else telling us that we are sexist, racist, hate the disabled, hate anyone from another country and are homophobes. Please stop generalizing. Do people like that exist out there? Sure, but they are not an entire voting contingency. There is not enough space here to explain why I voted the way I did and frankly I don’t have to justify it to anyone. But can we please stop with the hateful language, the divisiveness, the blaming. The media who hates conservatives have demonized us and continues to paint us as these horrible people that violate everyone’s rights which is simply not true. We are all Americans, even if we disagree. When is the hatefulness going to stop?
Hi Cheryl, I appreciate your perspective and thoughtful reply. Speaking for myself, I have never found a candidate I agree with 100%, but when I vote for them, I am buying that package. To put it in a gardening term, if I sign up for a veggie CSA, there is a high chance I’m going to get something in there in which I’ll turn up my nose. So, when I come across that item, it is up to me to figure out how to work with it. Do I find a new recipe, give it to someone who enjoys it, do my best to power through, etc., because it was part of that week’s haul. Whether anyone in this country was on the “winning” or “losing” side, it is up to all of us to find the things we like, and work to be change agents for those we don’t agree with.
However for some Americans, it may not be as simple. They may always feel targeted because of their race, gender, ethnicity, orientation, etc. They may not get to a place where they ever feel safe (regardless of who is in charge). So, as we move forward as agents of change, we all need to be aware that not everyone feels equal.
Tomorrow I am doing a Confessions post, and it is 100% silliness. Hope to see you there, but understand if it is no longer your thing. Maybe I am now the Kohlrabi in your CSA, and that is ok.
Cheryl, no one is accusing all Trump supporters of being racist, sexist, etc, HOWEVER just because you don’t condone his statements or even agree with them, by your vote, you ARE COMPLICIT in his actions.
Let me put it this way, and I quote Nate Black: “Not all Trump supporters are racist, but all of them decided racism isn’t a deal breaker. End of story.”
So any subsequent actions by Trump which takes the country backwards 50 years in civil rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights is ON YOU.
I really hope you cannot f***ing sleep at night for the next 4 years.
Here, I’ll even tie it into Sarah’s comment: “you bought the whole package”.
I’ll reiterate (in all caps in case you missed it): JUST BECAUSE YOU DON’T CONDONE TRUMP’S WORDS, DOES NOT IN ANY WAY EXCUSE YOU FROM BEING COMPLICIT IN HIS ACTIONS…….(wait for it) *BECAUSE YOU VOTED FOR HIM*”
Let’s everyone all give a big slow clap for Cheryl, who has now exonerated herself for *anything* Trump may or may not do in the future.