What Side Were You On?

 

Forestlake-4394

 

History will ask us what we said and did in these times. I assure you of that.  They will demand to know what part we played.

Your children and your children’s children, they will ask you, if we each make it that far. They will ask what you were thinking. And what you did. They will ask us you what side you were on.

And so many will have to answer, “I was eating my McDonalds, even though it was ruled unfit for human consumption. Because it’s fast and it’s cheap and I have important things to do. Plus, I never missed a professional football game and that took up a lot of my time…”

Others will say that they could not speak, because the simple words of, “You are using that word wrong,” and posting proof of it is enough to get them banished from their family.

The state of unrest in our America ripples through every single citizen, like it or not.

So many others will claim that they merely wanted to Make Facebook Fun Again, so they were so busy blocking and deleting and de-friending that they skewed the way the whole world looked around them, until they created a space where they only saw what they already knew and believed in.

And yet, ironically, our ancestors will not have to wonder what side we were on. They will not have to ponder what our lives were like. We have laid them out in detail all by ourselves, from corner to corner across the World Wide Web, like road maps to our destruction or our salvation. That part is still up for grabs.

Either way, we are writing own stories as we go along. Choosing what parts get the sunshine and which parts are kept hidden. Choosing “sides” or remaining “neutral.” Ignoring the whole damn mess or getting our hands dirty and helping to clean up the mess.

It could be easy to stick labels on everything, like name tags, and pretend it’s so simple.

But these dividing lines are not about Republican or Democrat.

They are not whether you are Muslim or Christian or Buddhist or atheist.

They are not about whether you are black or white or one of the multitudes of varieties of ethnic origins within the human race.

The dividing lines have nothing to do with where we all fit on the LGBT spectrum.

 

These dividing lines are about good versus evil.

They are about the top of the 1% who currently holds all the wealth and all the power, and the rest of us.

They are about right versus wrong.

These dividing lines are as old and as simple as our human existence.

Some among us are attempting to make things seem complicated. And to divide us, because they know (better than we do) that our strength lies in our numbers.

But this is not complicated. We can look at what makes us different or we can look for what makes us the similar. It is as simple as that.

These are the morals and truths that we were taught by our mothers and fathers. By our kindergarten teachers in classrooms all across this county. By our favorite aunties and our grandfathers and our cool older cousins.

Play nice.

Take turns.

Hands to yourself.

 Share.

Be respectful.

No name calling.

 Use your words.

We are always learning.

And most important, we love one another.

It is the words written in Red and the premise of the holy book of every major world religion.

Love one another.

But not everybody is ready.  One must set down the division to see the similarities. And love lies within the similarities. It cannot thrive or even exist among division. But that is something we can only see for ourselves.

I want to be clear that this is not about what label you put on yourself or what box you check inside your own voting booth.

This is about our America. And the fact that our democracy is being purposefully and systematically dismantled piece by piece. This is about real and actual danger.

And if you do not know this or believe this, then you are simply not paying enough attention. Or not listening to the whole story.

So I’m not going to stop talking about the important stuff that is going on around us. No matter who storms out of my life.

I’m not going to be quiet because it bothers some of you. Because that would be irresponsible.

 

And I assure you, unless you are a member of the true 1%, this will affect you and your family for generations.

 

Did you ever wonder where you would stand if a battle rose between good and evil? Now is your chance to find out.

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Dear Democrat Friends

 


Family voting for Wisconsin Education Superintendent. Voting happens more than once every 4 years. And every vote counts. 


I was thinking about that day back in November when we all voted.

My timeline filled up with nearly 100 women posting photos of themselves with their “I voted!” stickers, and the accompanying hashtag #Imwithher.

And what a proud day everyone thought that was going to be for women and for America.

And here’s what I said, out loud, to my husband. “Hashtag It’s Too Late.”

And I don’t mean to offend a single one of you because I’m sure that some of you reading this did this very thing with the voting and the sticker and the “ImWithHer.  And I love you all.

But I had been going around for about 6 months by then telling people that unless people got on board, Hillary simply was not going to win. She did not have the excitement or following needed to win this election.

I was pretty much always called a conspiracy theorist for this statement. A term I have come to take as a form of compliment, regardless of how it is meant.

But in the 9 months before the election, I noticed a trend developing:

Republicans stand by Republicans. NO MATTER WHAT. Let’s repeat that for the people in the back. They vote Republican no matter what.

Most of the people I knew on all sides of the political fence did not want to associate with any party. And certainly not publicly.

But the Hillary supporters in my life, they were quite nearly all silent. All but, without exaggeration, 3 of my friends who felt compelled to post and stand behind Hillary Clinton. Of my 900 Facebook friends, there were 3 who felt compelled to publicly support her. THREE.

On the same note, the lawns of all my Democrat friends remained empty and free of yard signs.

Their Facebook feeds full of were gluten-free pasta and how to make Play-doh, but never about Hillary. I had many friends share with me privately that they felt that politics shouldn’t be on social media.

That is until voting day, when everyone had just assumed that she had already won. THEN everyone could stand behind her and cheer for what was supposed to be a historic day for America.

But I knew that wouldn’t happen. I was hopeful, don’t get me wrong. I’d take her over Trump in a heartbeat. But she wouldn’t win and I knew that.

Why? Because to win at anything, especially something so big, you need excitement. It doesn’t even need to be good excitement.

A big part of why Trump won is because he created a lot of stir and his name got said a million times. That guy got painted up one side and down the other, far and wide across America, every time he did anything. The media multiplied it. And then my Democrat friends (who never posted a single positive thing about Hillary) would share how terrible Trump is, and put another quarter in his jar.

If you want to win anything, you need to draw a crowd. Trump did that. And then he rode in on the coattails of a lot of people who vote Republican NO MATTER WHAT.

Whether your goal is the presidency or the cheer-leading squad, most of the real stuff happens before the big day. Before the voting even starts.

We all know that if you want to make the cheer-leading squad, what really matters happens in the cafeteria at lunch, and has to do with what party you were or weren’t invited to on Friday night. And what everyone is saying about you, or if they are saying anything at all.

What I saw was silence from so many of my Democratic friends. For so long. The desire to remain unsticky and stay the hell out of it.  I saw the need to not create waves and keep Facebook free of drama and ultimately the need to sit back and the hope that it would all just work out.

You could almost tell yourself that it’s important, or even honorable, until Donald Trump becomes President. And then it becomes irresponsible.

We tell our children daily that they don’t get anything done by sitting by silently ignoring the dishes or letting a kid get bullied. Nothing happens if we are merely waiting for something to happen. And yet we let “politics” drop off our list of battles worth picking, and stand by the excuse that we vote once every 4 years.

We have one vote, and we should use it. But we can no longer sit by and think that is enough.

It clearly isn’t.