Settle Down

Yes, that is loose skin. Pale, hairy, pasty loose skin.

Rough week. I didn’t vote for the guy who won, and I worry about what that means for a lot of innocent people. There was a big upturn in reported hate crimes the next day, and the scattered protests are putting even more people on edge.

I can understand that frustration – not the hate-driven frustration, that’s moronic – but right now, we have to calm down. We need to reflect on how this played out, and look at what it will take to make things better. The thing about most political parties is that they go right for the biggest prizes right away without looking at building up the base. That’s why there’s no viable third party in this country. If you want to start undoing what was done, start at the local level. Help build things in your own hometown. Start that grassroots movement. That’s how the other side operates with such efficiency, and won with virtually no ground game. It was already built in. We can do that.

We’ll see internal strife in both parties during the coming months, I’m sure. But remember, we live in a democracy. The vote happened, and it’s part of our social contract to accept the results. The upside is that we will have the opportunity to balance things out or swing things the other way in time. Be active in that. Don’t just lash out, because then you’re no better and no more productive than an angry mob.

Honestly, the best way to fight that anger is turn it to love. Screaming, chanting, and bullying others into silence is exactly what turned so many people away from progressive causes. Angry confrontation does not get the job done. Lead by example, extend a hand in friendship, even if you know it will be slapped away. It’s a harder road, one that will frustrate and make you question just what you’re doing, but it’s a road that leads to unity and success. Your party affiliation doesn’t matter. Just work against that anger and hate.

Eventually, the generally good people will look at you, look at the goodness you put out into the world, and will come around. I choose to believe that there can’t be that many people with so much hate in their hearts. There are good people on the other side, people that will look at the violent, hateful mob with disgust. If you reach out to them, show them friendship, they will stand with you against that hate. I’ve tried to live my own life in such a manner. I choose to believe in the inherent goodness of people. While this past week has given me doubts, made me question that belief, I refuse to give in to despair.

Tensions are very high right now. We need kindness and compassion more than ever if we’re going to make it. Don’t give up the good fight, but don’t let anger fuel you. This country was founded on a dream of unity, a dream that people from all walks of life could come together peacefully.

There’s no better dream worth fighting for.

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