Election 2016: A Plea for Sanity

***political post: if you don’t care to read about politics or my opinion on politics, kindly skip this post. And don’t worry, there’s plenty of non-political content coming. See you again soon :)***

This election is reaching its due date. At less than three weeks out, all we can do is practice our breathing and hope they’ve got the good drugs if this goes sideways.

There’s a lot on the table this election and I’ll admit, there is no perfect candidate. There is no Obama ’16. Oh how things would be different.

Politically I’m pretty liberal, but I try to stay close enough to moderate that I can still see the line. I try to think from varying perspectives because I know I have an enormous amount of privilege. I don’t vote with my gut, I seek out facts. I’ll also note that I’ve been a Clinton supporter for years, though Bernie was my top pick in this election for a while there. I’m guilty of laughing off Trump as a fool and ignoring him.

I teach government and history to high schoolers so while I know that I’m never entirely unbiased, I try to show them every side of an issue and force them to justify their own thoughts with evidence. In my classroom, saying “yes” or “no” or “that’s dumb” isn’t good enough, you have to give me a “why.”

160125114628-donald-trump-quote-shoot-somebody-super-169

But all that aside, the end of this sh**storm is getting close now and I’m scared.

I’m terrified of the racist and sexist comments I’m hearing from not just Trump but his supporters. Of slurs I’ve been lucky to miss throughout much of my life. I’m terrified that this election is becoming the pinnacle of “boys will be boys.”

I won’t even go into what might happen if he’s elected because I honestly don’t know. I don’t want to know.

What I can tell you is that I’m not on the fence about Trump being a threat to the American people. There is no fence. There is no saying that he’s fair or kind or empathetic to all of the people of this country. That’s just a bald faced lie.
There is no covering all of his ignorant hate up with applause for his honesty. You know what honesty is when it delivers unnecessary pain to specific populations? It’s hate speech.

What really makes the bile rise in my throat every time I think about this election is what I hear from my students.

I teach at a school in Brooklyn that is almost entirely black and Latino. My students have all been held back at least twice before ninth grade, that’s the requirement to attend our school. (The overlap of race and grade retention should also tell you something about racism in the school system and our country).

I teach topics that easily lend themselves to the election. And yet every day I fear talking about it. I fear the pain in my students eyes, the distress that they express at the possibility of this man becoming president. tumblr_nebz73cmsw1rk1f5to1_500
On Monday a student said he wasn’t concerned about Trump’s policies on education because “if he wins we’ll all be slaves again anyway.” Comments like that come up every day and while students try to laugh them off, they’re too true to be brushed off that easily.

This man, this sexual harassing, bullying, bullsh**ting, lying monster of a man cannot become president. He can’t.

I get it if you don’t like Hillary Clinton. Ok. She’s got some flaws, she will not be perfect. She is a politician and I know a lot of us are tired of politicians. I’m not even standing for her right now, that is no longer what this is about.

If you decide not to vote because you don’t like Clinton, it’s a vote for Trump. I wish our system didn’t work like that, but it does. In not letting your voice count, you’re letting it shout “Trump!”

That’s my final word on this: go vote, take down the monster.

Best of luck. To us all.

election-2016

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Election 2016: A Plea for Sanity

  1. I agree so much with this post. At this point, Trump himself doesn’t even scare me that much. It’s his fans who terrify me. Absolutely terrify me. The racism, the sexism, the homophobia that they are displaying is sickening. I am honestly scared no matter who wins this election because it’s truly brought out such an ugly side of America and I don’t think it’s going to go away easily.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agree, agree, agree. This is not something that’s going away soon. But I also have to hope that getting the hate in the open will force people to see it. Maybe this is the combustion point that leads to real change. Here’s hoping. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with your plea for us to go and vote when the time comes. Neither candidate gives me a warm fuzzy, and that scares me. I also am sad that my kids are exposed to the nasty exchanges and negativity that has followed this election since it began. They will forever associate the importance of the President of the United States with conflict and drama. At 10 and 12, they are both joking about how silly these two adults sound. It’s sad. It’s terrifying and with the flood of information coming in almost hourly, it is hard to fill out that ballot with utter confidence that whomever is elected will not take our Nation to it’s lowest point.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you’re definitely in the same boat as so many Americans. What really gets me though, as you mentioned, is the fact that parents have to think twice about whether their kids can watch the debates. That’s such a shame, politics shouldn’t work like this. Thanks for reading and sharing!

      Like

  3. It is the duty of every thinking and empathetic person now to rant their dissent of Trump’s behavior- that’s what I believe – and you did a beautiful job of it. I’m a teacher too and know how difficult it is to go into a classroom right now. Ethics tell me I can’t use my position of authority to influence young minds politically. Unfortunately, ethics also tell me that silence in the face of fascism is its own kind of evil. This is the first time in my 30+ year career that I haven’t used the election as an opportunity to teach about government and civics. The only thing about this election season that doesn’t suck is that it has an expiration date. Two more weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much! It’s really hard to allow this election to represent American government right now, because it really doesn’t. I’m just hoping that my students (and yours) walk away understanding the importance of civic engagement. Thanks for reading and sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I like hearing your views on this issue. Most of the people in my area (southeastern United States) want to vote for Trump and talk about how evil Hillary is. It is nice to hear what supporters of both sides have to say about each candidate. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s