Awkward, Festivities, Internet Things, My Idea Of Being An Adult, Out of the Ordinary, Thoughts, You're Fine

Dear America

I still remember the presidential election of 2000. I was in the fourth grade learning about politics for the first time. Since most kids typically vote for the candidate their families vote for, I was rooting for George Bush. I come from a mostly Republican family. My best friend at the time, Megan, came from a mostly Democrat family, and her vote was for Al Gore. When Bush won, I jumped up and down for joy while Megan kicked her feet around saying, “Gosh darn it!” and we still ate lunch together as if nothing ever happened.

The same exact thing happened in 2004 with George Bush and John Kerry. I still managed to keep my Democrat friends close even after George Bush won. So, I ask America, what in the world happened to us? Unless I just grew up, opened my eyes, and realized what was actually going on.

The 2008 election was just a small taste for what we were in for: hatred. My best friend at the time, Katherine, was voting Obama and she let me know every day what a terrible mistake it would be if I rooted for McCain. I must admit, that election was during my senior year of high school and I honestly didn’t pay attention as much as others did because I had college applications and SAT’s on the brain. But, my family was voting for McCain. However, that didn’t alter Katherine’s hateful and sarcastic comments one bit.

The 2012 election, I was paying attention to the best of my ability. I voted Romney. And from a sorta-kinda-Republican/Independent point of view, this is what happened:

My college campus was jam packed with Obama buses to bring students to the nearest town hall to vote. Thousands of students were shoving Obama signs in my face, yelling at me to vote. Most of my friends spent the day screaming at the television about how much Romney sucked, and nobody was voting for him (which is ridiculous since obviously people were voting for him). I actually had people who I considered close friends express their hatred for Republicans, which made me uncomfortable to no end.

After Obama won, I wasn’t upset. I went to bed and slept like a baby. However, a former co-worker on Facebook figured out that I didn’t vote for Obama, and it MUST have been because he’s black right? Which he then felt the need to express all over the Facebook page of my employer at the time, asking them how they could hire a racist? That racist was apparently me, and he wrote my name out in all caps. Luckily, my boss was able to delete the comment immediately and block the person. But that didn’t stop the cooks from making racist jokes every time I walked by. I spent most of my shift in the bathroom crying.

Ever since that particular election, I’ve been too afraid to voice my own opinion in a country where we claim we can go ahead and do that. Between the Facebook posts bashing not just Republicans but Democrats too, to the unwanted political conversations where all I do is fold my hands and stare at the floor, it’s become too much. I understand this election has turned us into a mockery for other countries. A sort of lesson on “What Not To Do”. But I am here to say that whoever my friends and family vote for, I’m not going to berate them for their choices, and neither should the rest of you.

I haven’t asked one single person who they are voting for because it’s simply none of my business. I was raised to “never bring up politics at the dinner table” and I maintain that even more now. We have to get a grip and remember that not every Republican is so far right and not every Democrat is so far left. For every person you make fun of, whether they are voting Clinton or Trump, you are insulting someone you know or their families. It baffles me that I feel the need to write this to adults. I’ve been wanting to say these words since 2008 and I don’t want to be afraid anymore. It’s not fair.

So, whether you’re a Republican, Democrat, Independent, or what have you, I wish you all a safe Election Day. Don’t forget to stash those nips in your pocket for later.

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26 thoughts on “Dear America

  1. Very well put! I’ve been voting since 1998 and I can honestly say that I’ve never seen a more negative or polarizing presidential race. If my heart wasn’t already made of stone, it would almost break to think this is where we’ve arrived as a society. There’s just too much hatred out there.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I was starting to think that maybe I was just blind to it as a kid but clearly this has only recently started happening! It’s very disappointing to see. It’s all about respecting one another and we can’t even seem to do that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly. No two people can ever agree on every single issue at any given moment. But they should be able to have a discussion about those issues without degrading each other or resorting to name-calling. This election hasn’t been about who can do what’s best for the US. It’s been about who can make the other person/party look worse. It’s like our politicians have accepted the “lesser of two evils” mentality and just run with it.

        That got a little deeper than I meant for it to. On a lighter note, puppies are still a thing. So we have that to look forward to.

        Liked by 1 person

    • This election has scared the pants off of me. Now I am very much in one candidate’s favor over the other, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I feel like this election has set the stage for all further elections to be glorified mud slinging contests. I feel like it’s illustrated to everyone exactly how far we HAVEN’T come. Hearing the crap that people are saying makes me look at everyone around and think.. “I’m a mom, and my mom-senses are telling me this whole thing is about two seconds away from “He pulled my hair! She wiped boogers on me!” (and I’m not talking about the candidates. I’m talking about the rabid slavering supporters on both sides!)

      Liked by 2 people

      • And it carries over into those supporters’ kids. A friend’s 9-year-old daughter shared with her class who she supported and other kids called her names and told her they wouldn’t be friends anymore. Broke the poor kid’s heart. These candidates set a precedent not only for future campaigns, but for how we all treat each other as well. No matter who won, we’ve all lost something in this.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks, Jess. I’ve felt that way too, as if the country became suddenly divided along party lines, tearing apart families and friends and coworkers. And over the two weakest candidates I’ve ever seen. Hopefully we can hit the “reset” button and do better in 2020. PS: I have no idea about the politics of anyone in my family, not even my own parents, and that has made it easier to make my own choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Now that I’m older and can form my own opinions on the matter, I don’t always agree with my family 100% of the time, and that’s perfectly okay. I just want people to understand that the labels we have given to both Republicans and Democrats don’t apply to everyone, and hopefully the next election will be a little more peaceful.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ha I love this post! But, it sucks you were outed / singled out because who you voted for. When I was living in Orlando I couldn’t vote because I was working double shifts and 19 year old me couldn’t care about politics. The next day a corwoker said to me, “Well I bet you’re happy now” in a nasty tone and I was so confused. It took me a while to realize what she meant and when I told her I didn’t even vote she had a sour look on her face.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s amazing how people just assume they know who you’re voting for whether it’s seen as positive or negative. I hope that woman got her sour face stuck like that.

      Like

  4. Well said! We had huge referendums to vote in the last two years over here, one to leave or stay in the UK and one to leave or stay in the EU, I got so fed up with all the Facebook rants, debates, rallies and arguments that I considered not even voting! I did vote but I never told anyone which way because EVERYONE had an opinion.
    I can honestly say I’ve seen Clinton and Trump on TV more here than I’ve seen our own new Prime Minister!! I’m over it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I liked this post. Not necessarily because I agree with your choices but because it underlines something important. The beauty of democracy and freedom of speech is that people have the right to choose as they please. It’s our right. And no one should make you feel bad for that. Sure, they can disagree with you. That’s their right. I personally found the story about the guy who tried to get you fired disgusting!

    Liked by 1 person

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