“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”
Yes, I did just quote Nietzsche. I know. Pretty lame way to start a post. What is this, freshman philosophy class? But I can’t get this quote out of my head. And I think I finally figured out why. Bear with me.
I’ve taken some abuse over the last several days as nearly everyone in my immediate family—as well as my extended family—are Trump supporters. Facebook has been positively brutal lately. I posted a rather longwinded post there a few days ago, and the shit hit the proverbial fan. Thing is, it wasn’t even that outrageous or personal. It was kind of hopeful, actually. But, because tensions are high and egos are involved, it got ugly fast.
Let’s see, I unfriended two members of my extended family and unfollowed nearly everyone else. I canceled Thanksgiving this year. We are going to stay put and make our own meal. But it sucks. The whole thing sucks. And a few family members have said, “Get over it! Life is short. Don’t let this get in the way!” And they’re right. And it won’t get in the way forever. But for now? I, like many others, just need time.
Here’s the deal: I know most of my family members aren’t racist. Some are. That’s just the truth. But most aren’t. They are afraid of certain things; afraid of what they don’t understand. But they aren’t bad people. I would wager to say most people aren’t bad people. Most people are good. And most Trump supporters aren’t racist. But, and here’s the catch: they supported a racist, bigoted, misogynistic person. They supported a racist, bigoted, misogynistic person who then went on to appoint an anti-semite as his chief strategist. They supported a man whose pick for Vice President is pretty terrifying if you’re a woman.
And that’s the part I think many of us are having trouble coming to terms with. People we care very deeply about—people who care for us—stood behind a person who legitimized intolerance and hate.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has reported that between November 9th and November 14th, 437 incidents of hateful intimidation and harassment have been collected. Some may say, “Well, the SPLC never collected incidents of hate like this before.” To which I might respond, “Well, the SPLC never had a reason to collect incidents of hate like this before.”
A common theme I see from Trump supporters is that Hillary Clinton supporters are acting like sore losers and crybabies (actual words used). We are told that we are spending too much time whining and not enough time supporting our now president-elect. We’re not being hopeful enough. We are being told to suck it up. What’s done is done. We have to accept it because the system is the system and he won fair and square. But that’s not really what’s happening here. It’s not about our inability to accept the outcome of who won. That’s not what’s causing this nagging headache I have had sitting behind my eyes since last Wednesday. That’s not what’s making me feel a coldness I haven’t felt in a long, long time.
I have accepted the reality: Trump is going to be our next president. I get that. He won fair and square and I’ve accepted that. But ultimately, I’m not upset that you won and I lost, I’m upset that from now on, I can’t overlook who you stood behind.