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My Tiny Presidential Pile On

I’m not going to post about the election because it feels way too cliché. Just kidding! Friends, consider me infected with the political bug. This addition to the infinity already written is only to engage like-minded spirits (and survivors)–and to vent like the red-haired vixen that I am. First, some housekeeping: I won’t argue with anyone on this site and will delete hateful comments against my candidate or me. If you don’t like what I’m posting, I encourage you to move on. Until WordPress charges me money, this is my territory. Unless you’re a hacker. Maybe I should rethink this.

Well, here goes. My name is Patience and I’m addicted to the news coverage of this damn election. It’s been at level 11 since last June. No one in this household is happy with my channel choices, least of all me. I can’t even watch Housewives or The Voice (boycotting Mark Burnett shows, sorry Blake Shelton).  Not to worry, this addiction won’t last past November 9, but until then, I’m clocked in, baby. This election feels way too important and if I watch, I’m convinced it will go the right way. Like on a plane, if I fall asleep, the plane will crash. But seriously, big moments in our history warrant our attention*.

Here comes the boring part, my history with history. Feel free to skip to the final rant. After college, I watched a lot of news because it made me feel like a grownup. What was there to watch? Oh, the Anita Hill hearings, the William Kennedy Smith coverage, then the O.J. Simpson trial. I remember them clearly, which politician/lawyer asked horrible questions–ones still around and now beloved–and who got away with abuse of women in some form. I remember how the guys at my work cheered when O.J. was acquitted. That one teacher who touched me far too casually and said, “I guess I shouldn’t touch you because of Anita Hill.” Once I saw William Kennedy Smith drive by me on my way to work. I couldn’t sleep for days afterwards because he suddenly had moved nearby, in my small-ish city in the middle of the last place you would think he would live. These events kind of merged in my 20-something, new adult head as I went through the aftermath of a sexual assault–where statistics put me six feet under–and brutal criminal court experience, less than a year after my graduation. Twenty-six years later, I think about it a lot and experience it in some form every day.

My mind was made up before the release of those tapes–and yes, I know about my candidate’s baggage (about that, too, and that) and I still like her, a lot. But those tapes made what we’ve already witnessed so obviously indefensible and grotesque–enough that a few lunkheads finally smelled the foul odor and walked slowly in the other direction. Many remain firmly behind the grabber. What does that candidate have to do, dismember someone and hang her from a flag pole? It’s sad to see that savagery may not change anything. But it does change me and how I react to him and his followers.

It’s this simple: I can’t bear to be around anyone who would vote for him. It’s a vote against any woman who’s been assaulted. It’s a vote against women, period. You can’t separate this violence from a candidate. To add to these tapes, he is grotesque enough to parade a former president’s victims (alleged or not, they are victims) to rattle the opposition, opposition very prepared for all kinds of horror. Even with the escalating ugliness of this campaign, there are people walking the earth who think it’s okay to be hateful. It’s “telling it like it is,” meaning it’s okay to be a total jerk. Some people I know support him. How is this possible?

I’ve had friends from every party and I thoroughly appreciate the differences between us. While I’m passionate about my candidate, I’m more passionate that you should vote for whomever. I understand conservatives, moderates, libertarians, the green party, and progressives. They should co-exist.  This time is different, though. I can’t accept anyone in my life who believes that what happened to me and millions of women (and men) is no big deal, locker room talk. Going in that direction sets women back at least a thousand years…or sadly, twenty.

Peace be with us all. And now, I’m going to crawl back into the rabbit hole and stay quiet until I can blog about other things. Once I think what those things might be.

 

*Unless you’re really sick of the coverage, which I totally understand.