Hell of a week, huh?
Since the election I have seen the blame (if such a term can be applied to an open election), for the outcome of the election, placed on several groups. Various sources in the media and socially have mentioned third-party voters, frivolous protest votes (Mickey Mouse, and Deez Nutz are not viable candidates), African-american voters, white women voters, so on and so on. I would have been inclined to just shrug and nod and go on shaking my head at all the finger-pointing.
Then it happened.
I got into an argument. With a complete stranger. Over the internet. About politics
Which is something I never do. Which is something I should have been doing all along.
In this case I called out a man who claimed that he voted for Trump as president, and did not cast his vote for VP. That his vote was not motivated by hate for the LGBT community and therefore should still be considered an ally of that community. I felt suddenly compelled to call bullshit on that. I am not going into the details, because the other people involved are not here to speak for themselves. But, when I made the decision to buzz in on that thread it was because I realized I had not been doing enough.
I guess what I am saying is that I am willing to shoulder my fair share of the blame, if it really is a matter of blame.
I voted, I voted against the Trump ticket. I voted for Clinton, but I voted in silence.
For years I decided to stay out of the fray. I liked to think “I was above it”. I had taken an attitude over the years that people need to sort out their own screaming matches. I adopted a facade of general disinterest, “because it’s all going to hell in a bucket anyway.” I cowardly disentangled myself from the broader discussions, believing that I should only talk about those things with people who know me and have context for my thinking. I convinced myself that everything would be fine, so long I threw my ballot into the box marked “Human Decency”. That was a bullshit position to take, because over the years I wound up not jumping in when I encounter people spouting of in a hateful, bigoted manner. I’ve kept scrolling when I see a meme, possibly posted in jest, that spreads false, or misleading information about another class of people.
In short I have consistently failed to step in and stand up for the things that I tell myself I believe in.
I’m not saying that there’s about to be a shitstorm of preachy, political posts coming to this space. I am just saying my friends, family, and society at large deserved better than my apathy, pseudo-nihilism, and smug sense of intellectual superiority.
I need to do better, and I know I’m not the only one.
Anyway that’s what’s been on my mind this past week.