Hold Your Fire, Please

My chest aches. I’m not finding much comfort in my furious friends who are ready to fight back. Which is odd because generally I’m the first person to fight for the underdog.

But as I listen to the anger, projected on the people who didn’t vote, the people who did but voted for Trump, I don’t feel good. I feel icky.

When I watch the American flag being burned by people in one of our ally countries – I feel sad.

I want to write my international friends be they in Canada, UK or Mexico and ask that they hold their fire, please.

Yes, we are a country in deep conflict right now. The full extend of the division of our united people is easily seen through the election where Trump won as a self-proclaimed racist, xenophobic, sexist white male by getting the electoral vote. However, Hillary won the majority vote of the people. One a neo-nationalist, Trump and one a neo-liberalist, Hillary.

I like Hillary. Where I may have failed my neighbor is not going below the vicious hate I saw being directed at her. I didn’t like the delivery and so just dismissed it without speaking up.

With Trump, I haven’t been able to get beyond the vile presentation – the bullying, child-like behavior whenever there’s negative feedback and a general lack of respect for the job is being asked to take on, the Presidency of the United States.

As a result, I did not hear the real pain of half of my country.
That’s on me.

I am getting an understanding of it now. There are people who sit in the middle of our country who don’t believe their opinions and views are being heard. They believe government is focused on programs for people other than themselves, and they are being asked to pay for those programs when frankly, they are not making enough money to do it.

There are people who carry guns and use them well and don’t want gun controls that will infringe upon their rights to responsibly bare arms.

There are people who live on the border of Mexico that have had to face and deal with challenges due to illegal immigrants, and worry that if they say anything they’ll be called a racist.

I think white men and yes, some white women, feel threatened by being told they’re privileged. These people are told to shut up, it’s no longer your turn and they just don’t understand the impact of their so-called privilege.

These are just some of the issues I think Trump spoke to and as a result this LARGE group of people felt heard.

Do I agree? Well, that is not the important point.
The real question for me to be asking is, “Did I even listen?” and “Will I listen now?”

We all want to be heard. Often we can live without getting our way if we believe someone has truly heard us and considered our point of view with real interest and regard.

I am not sure I have done that to those people, which is why my heart aches.

Because now I will be living with a President that did listen. I’m not really sure I believe he has good intent for those that he stirred up, but he did listen and did it better than most of us.

So for all my desire for equality and freedom for all – I failed.

I don’t want to keep failing. I also don’t want to see us lose the ground we have gained because we have made progress. I will still speak up to racism. I will speak up to sexism.

But I want you to know, if you don’t realize already, that racism, sexism is within each of us. It’s not relegated to privileged, the rednecks, or Trump.

In my opinion, we’ve got to start really listening to each other and not just fighting back and continuing the cycle of winning and fighting again.

Yes, be angry and find ways to express that anger responsibly and then get back up and relate to each other! Because “We The People” are ALL people – not just the ones who agree with me and even those people who hate me because of who I am. I know that is painful.

I’m not great at listening without defending myself especially when someone is attacking. It is hard to stay open and be curious. However, I can’t just keep saying my own point over and over again. Or run the people I hate out of town.

Frankly, I think the only way to break out of this hell we are now in is to actually try to listen. Not to the press, not to the media but to my neighbor, your neighbor who very well might have voted for Trump.