The emotional roller coaster that I’ve been on since President Obama left office is finally beginning to flatten out. Thank God. It’s not because the guy who currently occupies the office is not as bad as I thought he’d be. Au contraire mon ami. I’m beginning to recognize that the past doesn’t matter. Yes, I must move on. People I know let their privilege blind them to the bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, islamophobia, aversion to science and general value of money over people their candidate ran on. It only hurts me to hold a grudge. Frankly getting them to recognize privilege in this hyper-polarized environment is futile. One only need scroll the comments on virtually any Facebook post to prove my point.
I’m finding comfort in the belief that good always, eventually, triumphs over evil. The Edmund Burke quote, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” brings me comfort. The mobilization of millions of Americans who won’t stand for division for the benefit of the presumptive ruling class has been a long time coming. The early days of the Tea Party were founded on those principles before they were hijacked by the lure of Koch Brothers organizational funding. The origins of the Tea Party were opposition to class division and income disparity. Google it.
That being said, I’m optimistic. We must end the vitriol and tap into the angst that fuels the insecurities of middle America. Liberal policies, when framed in non partisan language have broad support. People want the corruptive influence of big money out of politics. People want access to health care. Americans believe that honest pay for an honest days work drives our economy. We all want to be able to worship or not in the church of our choice. Women want contraceptive rights. Students don’t want to be buried in student debt. Nobody wants our youngest and bravest going to war for oil company profits. And nobody I’ve met actually believes they should pay taxes at a higher rate than billionaires.
So let’s engage those internet trolls that we once called friends. Remind them of the times we went bowling together or out for a movie. Let’s ignore the snowflake name-calling and remind them that in high-school they drove a beautiful Camaro or made your day when they pushed you out of a snowbank. And then lets ask them if they are relieved their 401K has rebounded after 2008. Ask them if they are glad preexisting conditions are no longer a barrier to getting health insurance. Ask them if they love stopping for kabobs with a side garbanzo’s on a Friday night after a long work week. And what would we do if we lost our favorite Mexican restaurant on Cinco de Mayo? Let alone the advances to medicine, technological needs and engineering made possible by the best and brightest who have moved here for a chance at our American dream.
We can do this. We just need to practice that liberal inclusiveness that we always claim to believe in. I’m not going to wait for the capital to reunite us. I’m going to start with the people I know and love. And then I’m going to let the capital know, come primary time, that it’s no longer business as usual.
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