Now

Now we grieve. We mourn the fact that almost half of America thinks racism, misogyny, homophobia, and xenophobia are ok. That reactionism won this election, and that we underestimated the amount of anger and fear in our midst.

Now we hold our children close. We raise them gently. We give them all the love and security we can at home, so they’ll be whole enough to offer love and security to the world around them as they grow. We help hold and protect those around us too. We extend our compassion outside our own walls and find ways to lift up and support those who are struggling.

We raise our children to see injustice. We raise them to see color and recognize the challenges and oppression minorities face every day. We raise them to see privilege and recognize its role in our society. We acknowledge it and take to heart the truth that if we aren’t part of the solution we’re part of the problem. We teach them to stand up against injustice, every single time it happens, Every Single Time.

Now we move forward. We work with this situation and keep the country going for the next 4 years. We hope that these checks and balances we keep hearing about actually check and balance things somewhat. We do what we can to mitigate the negative effects for those less privileged than us. But we don’t show understanding and acceptance for this ideology. We don’t become complacent, this is more than just a “different point of view”. Racism, misogyny, homophobia, and xenophobia are wrong, and their effects harm all of us, whether we realize it or not.

We let our children hear that we’re angry and scared. We let them know we deeply disagree with the man who has become President. If we don’t we’re condoning and accepting the values he’s promoted. I won’t do this, his voice is not mine.

People wanted change. This is the wrong change. This is a volatile selfish man in charge of the largest military complex in the world. This is a sexist bigot who’s bragged about committing sexual assault put into position as leader of a country. This is a real estate mogul thrown into complex diplomacy and foreign policy situations about which he’s hopelessly ignorant. This is frightening.

Now we hold out our hands and our hearts to all the people who are scared. We defend anyone who is put down or threatened because of the color of their skin, their disability, or their gender, and we show the world that This is not our voice. 

And then we hug our kids again. You can never do that too many times.

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The sunrise, the hope, this mourning

 

 

 

 

Election Eve 2016

I voted. By mail, a few weeks ago.

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And tomorrow the rest of the country votes. I, like many others out there, will be so happy when this election cycle is over and we can stop hearing and seeing Trump all over the news day in and day out. Because he’ll go away now, right? He won’t win, right? It’s terrifying. The opinion polls that show him neck and neck with Clinton. What? I knew there was a lot of asshattery in the US, but this much? This loud? This widespread? This unabashed? It’s disheartening. No, it’s more than that. It’s… I can’t think of any word that’s not an understatement.

So I’m predicting that Hillary Clinton will win. Because I can’t stand the thought of the other front-runner winning. (He’s a front-runner? What? Bizarro World.) I’m plugging my ears and yelling lalalalala and deciding that she’ll win.

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No matter how much I’ve heard about it in the media, seeing this list of names on the actual ballot is still Surreal. But there ARE three women running for President, see that, THREE!

I don’t like Clinton as a candidate. Not because she’s a woman and I’m playing to the sexist propaganda against her. No, because of her foreign policy and corporate backers. Supposedly Bernie Sanders’ campaign was going to pull her towards a more progressive platform, but I can’t see that effect in the things she says. She is business as usual, part of the same old gang we’ve always had in charge, and her warhawk stance on foreign policy scares me.

I mean, I know it’s a big deal that we’re getting our first female US President. I remember the way people said “Maybe one day a WOMAN will be President!” back when I was a kid. Sort of the way they said “Maybe one day we’ll have flying cars!”, like they didn’t actually believe it would happen in our lifetime and weren’t really sure it’d be a good idea if it did happen. Like how would that actually work? Levitating street signs? Flying cars zipping this way and that, willy nilly? It’d be chaos! Flying cars, a female President? Chaos and calamity!

So it’s cool, we’re getting our first female President (Because we are. Come on, please?). But did it have to be like this?

Against Trump? What kind of a triumph is that.
No matter what, if you like Hillary Clinton or not, the fact that she was elected with Trump as her opponent  takes the triumph down a notch.
When she’s praised we’ll hear, “Yeah of course she won. Trump was the other choice.”
And when she’s criticized it’ll be, “Yeah, but would you rather have Trump as President?” He’ll still be there, shadowing her throughout this Presidency and giving people the chance to always ask, “Would she have won against a normal candidate?”.

And isn’t it “funny” that when the US is finally getting a female president (Because we are. Please Bizarro People, Please), her opponent is the embodiment of male chauvinistic schoolyard bully fratboy rape culture behavior? They’re like perfect archetypes for these duelling paradigms in American culture. Almost like you couldn’t have set it up better if it were all scripted and staged. Huh. But I’m afraid it’s not. I’m afraid all the hate and anger that’s been unleashed during this election cycle is all too real.

Personally I’d love to see a third party get 5% this time and therefore be eligible for public funding in the next election cycle. To break the country out of the Democrat-Republican rut would be awesome. But first I want to see Trump not become President.

The ironic thing, for me personally, is that if I voted based on the main issue that impacts me directly* I’d vote for Trump. (*well, other than war. War impacts all of us on the planet, obviously) Not many people are aware of this, or even really care much when made aware of it, but the US is one of the only countries in the world with Citizenship Based Taxation. The other country that has it is Eritrea. And maybe North Korea according to some sources. All other countries in the world have Residence Based Taxation. This is a huge hassle to people living outside the US and has become even more horrendous due to the new reporting requirements called FBAR and FATCA. See, I can just feel people’s eyes glazing over and wandering around the screen as I type this. It’s boring stuff to read about, and even more boring to have to do it. Yet there are ridiculous fines threatened (10,000 US dollars per account reported incorrectly, ridiculous things like that!) and it’s an awful onus to live under. People (Americans living in certain countries like Germany and France) are getting kicked out of their banks, getting their mortgages cancelled, their retirement plans cancelled or taxed away to nothing. These reporting requirements were supposedly set up to catch tax evaders hiding money offshore but the result is that it’s making life miserable for a bunch of little fish like me living their lawful normal lives offshore. Uh, I mean, abroad. Oh wait, it’s the same thing. This has nothing to do with tax evasion, and everything to do with not wanting to live under threat of draconian fines and punishments because of an ever-increasingly complex tax system. So even if this isn’t a hot button issue it’s a big deal to those of us who live abroad, and Trump (or at least the Republican platform) is the only one who’s saying he’d make changes to these things.

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(Pic source: spv.no) The offshore bank where I hide all my money. Or, put another way, the local bank where I put my money so my family can use it. FATCA go away.

But that’s not happening. Voting for Trump I mean. Not for one iota of a second would I consider it seriously. Even if one thing he says makes sense, the rest makes none. Or some of it makes an awful kind of sense. A racist, misogynistic, xenophobic kind of sense. Which is not something one just ignores as background noise. No, one hears it and starts to MAKE some noise. Bring it, we’re not letting this become our voice. He is not our voice, America. Right? Come on!

So now we all hunker down and wait through tomorrow. And then hunker down and wait through whatever comes after that. I’ll be here, fingers crossed, rocking in the corner, humming a quiet hippy hymn under my breath. Peace, love, and light. Good luck America. Good luck World.

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Pic source: Brutally Honest Voting Stickers