Monday, November 14, 2016

Dear Mrs. Clinton.......

.....I may or may not have voted for you. Whether I did or I didn't, I feel like I got ripped off. I am a registered Democrat and have voted as such my entire adult life. Even for the likes of Al Gore and John Kerry. I even voted for Michael Dukakis in the mock election in my Government class in High School. But this year, for the first time, I was truly conflicted.

I am sorry that you lost. I know it must have been a horrific disappointment for you. And your concession phone call to Mr. Trump must have been a very bitter pill to swallow, indeed. It couldn't have been easy to admit defeat to such an unimaginable ass hat. But, if you're interested, let me explain to you what, as I see it, you did wrong.

-First, your sheer arrogance was extremely ugly. You, your advisers, even the media were so smugly sure that there was no way in hell Donald fucking Trump could possibly get elected that you took your eye off the ball. And Trump knocked it out of the park. This arrogance was evident, palpable even as I watched the returns come in on CNN. I thought Mr. Blitzer's head was going to explode, he was so stunned that a Trump win was actually possible. And as the night wore on, it not only became possible, but probable. In the days afterwards, CNN was a ghost ship.

-I, like most Americans, am beyond tired of voting for the lesser of two evils. Only this year, it really didn't feel like there WAS a lesser evil. Your evil wasn't as blatant as Mr. Trump's, but it was there. Somewhere in the smoke. And there was a LOT of smoke for there to not be any fire. The fact that it was so unclear and murky and hard to discern only made it worse.

-You spent your campaign quoting me your resume. Which is impressive, but I already knew that. I needed to hear you say that you heard us little people. Us, the ones who do the actual building of bridges and highways and houses and not just the ones who design them. Because those of us in the Blue Collar Community? We're still struggling. We're still living paycheck to paycheck if we have one at all. When you've been struggling - to hold on to your house, your vehicle, feed your family, keep the heat and lights and water on, and send your kids to college - for the last eight years, you're willing to overlook a lot. Mr. Trump spoke - very clearly - to these very people. The people in Michigan and Wisconsin and Ohio and Pennsylvania and all those other places where the majority of people feel abandoned and forgotten. He promised them jobs. You listed your qualifications for the job.

-We did not appreciate the idea of our lifelong friends and our family members being tossed in your "basket of deplorables." That was not the best example of "when they go low, we go high." I know you only said half of Trump's supporters belonged there, but still. You and the rest of the political elite tend to look down your noses a little bit at those of us who are not college educated or live in the heartland and other rural areas. You don't think you need our votes to win and so you focus on the Battleground States; the states with the largest population of urban dwellers. And while they're also important, you need us, too. You need us out here growing stuff and building stuff and driving stuff from point A to point B. You would do well to remember that the next time you're enjoying your fancy steak dinner at your $50k a plate fundraisers. A lot of us don't even make that much in a year. Or two years even.

-You and the DNC did Senator Sanders a dirty. While I'm not certain exactly what that dirty was -again with the murkiness - y'all were convinced that you and you alone had a shot at defeating Trump. Again with the arrogance. Had you taken a risk and chosen Sanders as your running mate, I would have happily cast my vote for you and never looked back. But, you chose to play it safe with 50 shades of bland in Tim Kaine.

-You can point fingers all you want at Mr. Comey and his ill-timed letter to Congress regarding the e-mails. Again. I do believe that his motivations were entirely political and intended to sandbag your campaign. But the fact that there was anything there for anyone to question is solely and completely on your shoulders. You would have gone a long way with me if you had just said again and again and again, "I'm sorry. I was wrong. I shouldn't have used a private e-mail server. I have learned a valuable lesson and it won't happen again." Own your mistakes, Mrs. Clinton.

-I know you have no control over your husband's previous escapades in and out of the White House. I respect your decision to stand by him and keep your marriage intact. These days, it's awfully easy to just give up. There's a part of me, however, that wanted you to kick him to the Pennsylvania Avenue curb and step over his philandering ass on the way out the West Wing door.

What you did do is open the door for the possibility of having a woman for president. That in and of itself is pretty amazing. And I'm sure in the next four years we will see more women put themselves out there for consideration. Again, I'm sorry you lost. But in my mind, you just weren't the right one to be the first one. Be better, Mrs. Clinton. Be better.

A Fed Up Voter

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Dear Young Person.......

.......I see you struggling.

I know you are voting for probably the very first time and I am so very sorry that this election has been so terrible. As an adult who has voted in a great many elections, I do not recall one as nasty and divisive as this one.

I know you are still idealistic and believe that you can change the world and make it a more loving and inclusive place for every one. I'm older and I still believe in making the world a better place, but my world has become much smaller now.

I know you might not yet understand that good doesn't always win. Time and experience has shown me that the world can be an ugly place and that disappointment is a part of being an adult.

I know that you are still trying to find who you are and where in the world you belong. Growing and changing is hard work and can be scary. I wish I could tell you that change gets easier. The good news is this: with change comes opportunity.

I know that you are afraid - for yourself, for your friends, for our country. It's okay to be afraid. You must, however, not build your house in a fearful state. You must continue to be brave.

I also know that the sun will continue to rise. And even though it feels as though all is lost, it is not. Hold on to your passion. Use it to continue to fight for your ideals. Engage in the dialog. Be the ally your friends need you to be. You can count me among them.

Because, dear young person, I am struggling as well. Maybe we can help each other through it.

An Old(er) Person