A Gentle Piece of My Mind

I had filtered my Facebook news feed with an outside app. I had unfollowed friends who posted things that I consider hateful. I tried to buffer myself from the brunt of the election season and when I did encounter it I tried to remain silent and civil. I tried to hide my horror at what was going on with the election. Be quiet. Keep the peace. Be quiet. Keep the peace?

If there is anything I have learned in the past several years about peace, it is certainly that being quiet only provides an illusion of peace and the loud dominant voices who continue to march on, often crush those silent “peacemakers.” So here are my words, my quiet and meek words, for what they are worth. This is my opinion. I’m not a political expert but I do have some strong opinions.

I’m tired. I’m tired of a sacred and holy faith being used as a club to bully the masses. I’m tired of reading and listening to words upon words upon words that mean absolutely nothing. And I am beyond tired of entire groups of mostly innocent people being demonized and marginalized.

I’m no fan of politicians. For quite a while now I have been voting on what seems to be the lesser of the evils. I think we are all pretty aware that the majority of politicians are not what we would call honest. I have tried to keep faith in our system and the checks and balances that may at least partially work. Yes, the system is bent, if not broken and some changes are desperately needed.

I am still terrified of any form of government under the leadership of Donald Trump. I have watched him lie, bully, massage statistics and constantly use double speak, never directly answering a single question that is posed to him and never taking responsibility for anything. No matter how successful people believe him to be, running a business is not the same as running a country. In business you are selling a product or service. Selling something requires marketing. You first convince people that they have a problem. Then you convince them that what you are selling will solve that problem. Donald Trump presented the problem that our country was in shambles and our government a mess. Next he announced that he could fix all of it right away if he were elected president. Many people believed him and believed that someone good at running a business would be good at running a country but I strongly disagree. Business owners are concerned with the bottom line. They want to make the largest profit possible. While they need to please the customer enough to make them want to buy, and folks surely did want to buy what he was selling, in business the best interest of the customer is not the bottom line. The bottom line is profit. There are plenty of businesses out there who want to make you believe their product is exactly what you need, and Trump did just that. The problem is, just like with all shady businesses, the product doesn’t work. It’s a lie.

I consistently heard and saw President Obama demonized and hated among many people I know over the past few years. I don’t understand why. He is a politician just like all of them. I don’t agree with all his policies as I have not agreed with all the policies of any of our presidents. He was cast in the worst light possible, called the anti-Christ, a terrorist, accused of wanting to destroy our country. But some of his policies have helped people. The unemployment rate went down. I know people who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act. It was never perfect. It needs work. If our current government was working together to make it better for our citizens, wow, I’d be so behind them. But what we’re looking at is a bunch of powerful people on both sides of the aisle acting like children. Some of this is not new. Politics has been ugly for a long time. But this finger pointing, blaming, boasting, belittling, name-calling and especially the tweeting is completely over the top.

I spent three months away from this country. I heard people from all parts of the world joking and laughing about our upcoming elections. The first words people said to me upon meeting usually had something to do with Donald Trump. I went into stores and although it was in Arabic, I could still understand the word “Trump” amid the radio discourse. I couldn’t get away from it. In my opinion, the bottom line for this man is profit and power for himself. I do not believe for a second that he cares about what happens to the American people, or any other people for that matter.

After a four-month break, I am back on Facebook. I missed my friends. I won’t be using my Facebook page to call our president names or claim his followers are “sheeple” because I don’t see the good in that. It’s important to speak up against injustice or any form of oppression. I don’t intend to be silent. For me, resistance to injustice reveals itself through relationships. I want to meet people and learn about them. I want to know what their hopes and dreams are. I want to appreciate and love them. And I want to stand with them. I want to speak more with my actions than with my words. I will use my words, however, when I find it necessary and I think my blog is the best place for that. Kind and gentle as possible.

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3 thoughts on “A Gentle Piece of My Mind

  1. Thanks Julie for using words to express the frustration that many folk are feeling. I think the American people are beginning to see the results of “politics” gone awol and leaving the people in the distance while they continue “catering” to special interests and lobbyists! Until term limites are mandatory and retirement, health care, and salaries are reduced and they are required to participate in getting their own heath care and Social Security for retirement like their constituents it will take longer. I think their “benefits package” (salary, insurance, retirement) should be voted on by their constituents. No guaranteed anything, do their job or return home! Just my opinion of a “system” out of control!

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