One election night I stood in my kitchen and watched the acceptance speech on the little TV on the countertop. As I listened and watched, I felt sick with fear and dread. I will never forget those moments. It was horrible to know that people voted for someone whose ideas were so wrong. How could they not see the consequences? However, this last November, for many people the first reaction was not just fear and dread, but shock. How could this happen? How could so many people have voted for this man??
Were you one of those? Were you surprised or shocked? And then, afterward, were you horrified? If you believed Hillary Clinton would win based on what you read and heard, then you probably also thought Donald Trump was [insert various awful things here].
My Facebook account is locked down to family and friends only, people whom I love, cherish, admire. I am writing this post for them, but sharing it here, because it’s way too long for Facebook.
I know for a fact that my choice was different than the one some (most?) of you made this last November. My heart aches to see expressions of fear and dismay in some of your posts.
Here’s my point: behind all the name-calling and oppo research are ideas. Philosophies. Philosophy and civilization go together, no? We want to be able to treat each other at least civilly, and we need to be able to work together, no matter what we’re dealing with.
As a trivial example, the chocolate chip cookies will not get baked if two people are in the kitchen arguing and calling each other names over which brand of morsels to use. It’s just as disappointing if the cookies come to the table and someone makes a face and spits out their cookie, then glares at the group before storming out, only because they don’t like (or can’t eat) walnuts.
A healthy philosophy will allow for compromise, courtesy, and correction.
The outcome of an election is vastly more important than cookies.
If you’ve read this far: are you interested in talking about the philosophy that resulted in this election? I am. I know how it feels to fear an administration… to feel like the people in power despise you. I have lived under many Presidents, and some of those administrations were toxic to the American ideal. My intention is not to convert, but to converse.
If you were surprised and shocked by the most recent election, I despise the actions of the people who misled you. (I was going to write “lied to,” but, in fairness, I think many of the writers, reporters and pollsters were as surprised as you were.) I despise the methods of those who keep turning the focus to personal characteristics, instead of discussing ideas in the context of what’s been learned through the millennia of human experience. Note: I despise the actions and the methods, not the people.
Sadly, the validity of a philosophy can be measured only one way: by the outcomes of the societies where a particular philosophy rules daily life. You need, and deserve, to know about these things and decide for yourself. I propose in this blog to (continue) to post about this, if only to explain where I’m coming from.