Seeking My Best Self

trying to make sense of my life – and lose some weight

Not So Happy New Year

2017

I don’t know about you, but 2016 beat me up. My health has suffered. From the deaths of loved ones (family and famous) to elections, it’s been a tough year.

In my opinion, the ultimate winner in the presidential election was ugliness. I’m not besmirching our president-elect (though he spearheaded much ugliness in his own right): I’m talking about the vicious, hateful attitudes, actions and language that pervaded on all sides of the political spectrum.

On Facebook, I unfollowed (and sometimes unfriended) right-wing trolls while the campaign raged. I didn’t want to hear the Islamaphobic, homophobic, willfully ignorant, openly prejudiced diatribes (that they pretended were none of the above) that spewed forth in synchrony. Their chosen ignorance horrified me. Still does.

After the election, I unfollowed left-wing trolls. I was – and am – amazed at the elitist, condescending venom that erupted when the egalatarian mask was torn off. I understood – for the first time – why some voters turned in desperation to Trump. It wasn’t just misogyny and misinformation – though I will always believe that played the largest factor – but also a reaction against a more subtle tyranny, the tyranny of upper-middle class elitism.

The electoral college was created in part to woo smaller, rural states into joining the union by promising them a larger voice. Those states found their voice this year, shouting at the top of their lungs and overturning the larger, urban popular vote.

But the urban left will not give ground in hard-fought battles for equality and justice. What will Big Government do if and when backward-looking, restrictive laws are passed – and ignored in urban areas? Will they institute crippling economic sanctions? Will they activate the military? How do they plan to put the genie back in the bottle?

Truth is, there are two genies: a red one and a blue one. Both are out. Both are hopping mad. Neither will give ground. The problem, I think, is that we’ve tried to cram too many different philosophies under the American roof. Now the roof has been blown off, and I’m not sure the house can survive.

I’m not reading Facebook much anymore. I don’t know what might save our national home – or if it can be saved – but I know it won’t come from propaganda spewed from either the left or the right. Hope for course-changing solutions has always and only come from those who look beyond what can be measured to That which/whom cannot.

So I will pray. And pray more. I will remain informed – from unbiased sources. I will prepare to stand, even at personal risk, against injustice. I hope that it doesn’t come to that, though I fear it will.

Everyone is looking with relief toward 2017. I’m not sure I am. It just looks like a bigger battlefield to me. Happy New Year, all.

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