Parents are good at lots of things: multitasking, silently opening a candy bar wrapper so that our kids don’t hear it, and feigning interest in mind-numbingly long stories about Minecraft and Pokemon Go.
We’re also really good at worrying. We worry about little things, like forgotten homework and whether they’re eating enough broccoli. And we worry about big things, like whether our kids are healthy and happy and have friends to sit with at lunch. We worry about the world our children are growing up in, and all the ways their sweet and innocent spirits could be broken. We worry about money and bills and how to find the time to fit homework in between soccer practice and piano lessons.
I worry. You worry. We all worry. That is what parents do. But lately, I’m not just worried. I’m scared as hell and totally fed up.
I hear watch the news and read political articles and hear the hateful things Trump and his supporters are saying. And I am worried, scared, and fed up. When will we say enough? This is madness. Americans, we are better than this. As humans, we are better than this. We are better than a man who mocks the disabled, military veterans, grieving parents, and children. We are better than the lies and rhetoric and buzz words. We are better than conspiracy theories and false “facts.” We are better than the hate and bigotry and violence that is brandished at political rallies. We are better than this. Enough!
Trump’s brand of hate and disrespect is infiltrating our country on every level; it is appalling, sad, and downright terrifying. If you’re a Republican, I’m sorry — I really am — but you do not have a candidate in this election. Trump is not a Republican, and his platforms and policies don’t represent Republicans ideals. The conspiracy theories and “facts” shared on Fox News are not facts or news any more than the Enquirer.
Reasonable minds can have different opinions about policy and government, but Trump defies reason, logic, common sense, and any semblance of morality. He is, quite simply, an embarrassment and an asshole of the highest form. Until people start getting on the Hillary train and stop diminishing his awfulness with anti-Hillary rhetoric, he will continue to be an embarrassment, a virus of hate, and a threat to our entire country. And we are better than that.
Deep down, I know that we are better than this. I know that we are a country of love, acceptance, tolerance, freedom, compassion, and hospitality. This is, after all, what we were built on. Deep down, I also believe that most people are mostly good and kindness wins out in the end. But…
If we don’t show up and prove we’re better than this, where does it all end? If all the quiet, good, and kind people don’t rise up, how can we stop this monster of hate? If we don’t speak up to say enough, won’t the voices of reason (regardless of political affiliation) be drowned out by the loud and angry voices of fear, violence, and bigotry? If we don’t show up, rise up, and speak up, how in the hell can show that we are better than a nation that elects a hateful asshat for a president?
Like I said, I’m worried, scared, and fed the fuck up. And you know what? I bet you are too. So stop sitting on the sidelines and start getting loud. I know you’d rather be quiet, especially when it comes to things like politics and the shit show that is this election season. It’s a noisy world, and you crave stillness and calm. You are polite as fuck and don’t want to get into any debates. You loathe drama and break out in hives at the slightest hint of confrontation. You ascribe to the “never discuss politics and religion” camp.
I get it and understand. I’m a quiet one, too. Under normal circumstances, I would agree with your preference to stay quiet, be polite, and avoid controversy. But this isn’t a normal election, and these aren’t normal circumstances. These are desperate times, and your voice is needed.
And you know what? This election is just too damn important — and so are you. Your thoughts are important. Your opinion is valid. And your voice is worthy of being heard. We mothers didn’t surrender our brains when we brought our babies home, and it is dangerous to assume that we would have relinquished our intellect or to imply that we shouldn’t share our opinions. We have been taking care of business and getting shit done since the beginning of time.
Generations of women fought like hell to give us the rights we are due. We owe it to them to shout it from the rooftops. We owe it to our children to shout if from the rooftops. And we owe it to ourselves to shout if from the rooftops. We will not be absent. We will not be silenced. We will not be quiet.
We will show up, rise up, and speak up.
This election season isn’t a contest between Republicans and Democrats, but a fight to preserve the integrity, freedom, and goodness of this country. It is about stopping an apocalypse of hate ushered in by a troll with a bad comb-over. It is about the world we are shaping for our kids, and whether it will be a world that values greed, hate, and bigotry or one that values freedom, love, and respect. After all, these aren’t just political issues, but parenting issues.
Like I said, I’m worried, scared, and fed the fuck up. I’m fed up with the sexist criticism and conspiracy theories. I’m fed up that we’re still talking about emails and whether Hillary smiles enough, instead of the actual issues and policies. I’m fed up with rancid stench in our country that Trump’s mere presence has created because hate, unfortunately, breeds hate and the racists, homophobes, and bigots have climbed out from under their rocks to spread more hate and filth.
As much as I would like to be quiet and polite and calm, I just can’t. I need to stand and say “Enough.”
And so do you. Because the issues are too important. There is too much at stake. We quiet ones cannot afford to be silent any longer. We are better than this.
We need to show up, rise up, and speak up, so that our quiet voices can join together and be heard as a loud and proud chorus of voices all shouting, “I’m with her!”