If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…
I would have never believed I’d buy #ImWithHer merchandise as Hillary was always a little center for my very-left leaning politics. But the more rampant and vicious the attacks are against her in my online social circle, the more I suddenly feel the need to put on my Wizards With Her t-shirt and not take it off until November 8th.
When this election is over, no matter what the results, I can proudly say supported my candidate. I was vocal and respectful and I did my part to share the reasons I’m voting for her without bashing her opponent or the people voting for him. (My newest discovery is a a site dedicated to debunking myths.) I kept lines of respectful discussion open while refusing to engage in fear mongering. I did all of this because I’m a Pro-Choice, LGBTQ supporting, Tree Hugging Liberal in a very red state and that has taught me that politics can be put aside and relationships can thrive even between people who vote in opposition of each other.
Can’t we just play nice for a few more weeks? You can’t take these words back, you know. On November 9th you can’t erase the time you declared that you couldn’t be friends with people who voted for Trump. You can’t undo that comment you wrote that said that everyone voting for Clinton was ignorant or brainwashed and “what’s wrong with this country.” You can’t make the people around you unsee the time you swore than anyone voting for EITHER candidate must be brain damaged. You think you know who you’re upsetting and you think “I don’t care!” – but did you know there are some people who can never talk about their politics on Facebook due to personal or professional limitations? So you honestly don’t know FOR SURE who all you’re alienating with your political hatred.
You can think the hateful things all you want. Hell, I organized a meal with liberal friends to give me a chance to feel safe for a little while discussing politics without worrying about upsetting my more Trump-leaning friends and family. But the second you spit those words out onto social media, the words do their damage. I can never NOT wonder now if you just think I’m an idiot brainwashed by liberal media. I can never be around you now and not feel like I have to defend myself as an educated voter. I will never STOP wondering if the reason you’re cold to me is because #ImWithHer.
And for you in a liberal bubble not worried about offending Trump supporters, let me assure you: They are just as terrified of Hillary winning as you are of Trump winning. EQUALLY TERRIFIED. I see their words daily and their words of fear (which they can cite with their own sources because they don’t trust yours) are just as strong as yours. You’re not changing minds with your Trump hate. The only minds left to sway at this point are the ones thinking of staying home, or not voting for one of the two candidates. And fear-mongering isn’t going to change their minds because it just makes your side look ugly. Hillary Clinton has a lot of positive things you can promote, without having to attack Trump. I’m not saying you should marry a Trump supporter, but there are silent Trump supporters on your Facebook feed reading your words and feeling their stabs. They’re terrified of a Clinton Presidency and you can either alleviate that fear by trying to share out factual support of her, or you can stoke their fear and alienate them by dishing the Trump hate.
THREE MORE WEEKS. Can we play nice for three weeks? I’ve actually just started finally unfollowing people. I used to say I didn’t want to do that because I wanted to know what they thought of people like me. But now I realize: I know. They hate me. They think I’m brainwashed by liberal media. They think I love killing babies. They think I’m ignorant of sharia law. (Or else I’d be terrified of the Muslims.) They think I’m only educated by celebrities. They think I’m naive. I know that now because they’ve expressed it time and time again, so why subject myself anymore? I’ve been on an unfollow spree this week just silencing voices that hurt my heart left and right. I’m practicing self care. I’m vocal about how I vote, I make myself vulnerable by sharing POSITIVE things about my candidate and refraining from bashing the other guy. As a reward to myself for playing nice? I’m totally silencing those people now bashing me and the candidate I support.
Clinton is leading in the polls in may states. But not mine. I’m still showing up at the polls and voting Clinton even though it’s a 99.6% chance Trump will take the state. You all may log into Facebook and see a lot of Hillary support. I do not. I see memes comparing Bill and Donald, I see support for conspiracy theories, I see declarations that the last 8 years have been TERRIBLE and if we get another Democrat in the office it’s going to just GET WORSE.
(My son can now marry whomever he wants. It’s hard for me to see declarations of 8 years of terror without at least one footnote declaring it’s cool that gay people are almost equal citizens now.)
It’s hard. The country may be swinging towards the left for this election but not my state. So I’m feeling here what it must be like for Trump supporters everywhere else. Maybe that’s why I can’t get on board with the posting of Trump hate on Facebook.
I’m with her. I’ll continue to vocalize that over the next 3 weeks. I’ll provide the multitude of reasons why, not the least being I desperately want Citizens United overturned, Roe v Wade protected, and the entirety of the Voters Rights Act supported. The Supreme Court drives me a lot this election because I’ve seen it’s power used for good and bad over the last 8 years. I can talk about that and not permanently sever ties with my Trump supporting neighbors, friends and family.