One of the greatest gifts of Democracy is the right to peaceful protest. If you live in the US, you can’t escape what’s happening in our country, a division like no other. If you live outside of the US and you’re watching the news you’re probably thinking, what the hell, America?!
The outcome of the 2016 presidential campaign has caused a Grand Canyon sized rift in the US that will be felt for generations to come. Protestors have taken to the streets and the movement has grown organically. But, from where I sit it is not for the reasons some may think.
I am guilty, once again, of political writing here on our site but I hope you will bear with me. I am experiencing what I can only define as a visceral reaction to the election results and for those of us who write, the pen (or the keyboard) is our sword, our outlet for our voice.
Yesterday, I read a comment in a Facebook conversation thread that read, “As long as they don’t close Disneyland, my America is still just fine.” I’m hoping this was just a flippant comment but I found myself irrationally angry because it is not a time for flippancy. And, I fear this flippant remark is a symptom of our country’s complacency – why only half of our population turned out to vote. That’s right, only half of the people in this country used their democratic right to vote, and half of that half, voted for a person who ran one of the most vile campaigns in US history. And, once again, the candidate who won the popular vote is not taking office.
Since I’ve gone ahead and dived in to the political pool, I might as well swim to the deep end and share that I am about as far left politically as one can find oneself, but here’s the thing… when George W. Bush won the presidency, I was disappointed, sad and probably a bit angry. But I was never afraid. I never had the visceral reaction that I am currently experiencing.
Over the past few days I’ve read many posts across social media telling the democrats to shut up and move on, get over it, etc. I’ve listened to elected officials that I respect telling the country it’s time to heal. It’s all good in theory, but this wound will not heal. And, from where I sit, the reason it will not heal is because it is not an issue of red or blue or libertarian or green or purple. It’s an issue of human decency.
While I respect everyone’s freedom of choice, I cannot turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to excusing the inexcusable. From where I sit, protestors in the streets are not angry because a Republican won, they are angry because a person who ran on a platform of hate and bigotry and fear has been elected to the presidency. Protestors are angry because those who chose to support him chose to support all of his ideologies. His bigotry cannot be overlooked for the promise of jobs. He was (is) a package deal. Protestors are angry because the US will soon have a government without checks and balances for a minimum of 4 years. Protestors are angry because children in schools are crying, worried their parents will be deported, and protestors are angry because hate crimes are on the rise at an alarming rate.
All this and so much more, this is why protestors are angry and taking to the streets of America.