Day 9, #NaBloPoMo – Echo Chambers

I went to bed crying, and I woke up crying. I wasn’t crying because my candidate didn’t win. I was crying because of my abject fear of the man who did and my shock & disgust with the people who supported him to get him there. Honestly, never before in my life have I felt like this about an election. I always had my chosen candidate for whom I was rooting, but both candidates always seemed to be generally reasonable, well educated, informed citizens who would work hard for our country and represent us well in the international community. I might not agree with the other candidate on as many issues, but I had a modicum of trust in them.

Last night as the electoral votes rolled in, a very close college friend of mine who I have always considered to be a kind, reasonable man wrote on my Facebook wall, and it just crushed me. One of the (many) things he wrote was,

When it comes down to it, I have no obligation to vote for a candidate that supports those “less fortunate” then me.

I literally didn’t know how to respond at first, I was so taken aback. This comment came from a straight, married white man who was born in the US, raised in a “good” family, went to a private Christian college with me, and who is now very successful in his career. Yes, he is fortunate, but he also was given every advantage in life to get there.

I finally replied,

I didn’t say it was your responsibility to vote for those less fortunate than you. It is our responsibility to care for our neighbors and coworkers and friends and their kids. And maybe where you live you truly don’t see that, but Trump being president WILL affect my friends who are women, people of color, people of different sexual orientations, etc. Not people who are “less fortunate than you” but people who are great people who were simply born different than you. THAT is why I am sitting here crying, for our world, for our country, and for my friendships with people who can’t see that.

To be clear, I am well aware that I sometimes live in an “echo chamber.”

echo-chamber

Over the years, I’ve slowly but surely cultivated (for lack of a better word) a circle of friends and neighbors who think quite a bit like me. We still have our differences, and we aren’t afraid of a good (friendly) debate from time to time about political issues, but overall, I trust in their hearts to choose LOVE. They aren’t racist, misogynistic, homophopic people. They are open-minded people who do their best to give more than they receive…and you know what? I’m 100% okay with living in that echo chamber. It just makes nights like last night all the more shocking. I’m seriously struggling to handle my emotions right now, so I keep watching this gif to try to calm my breathing and my heart. n5jbp45As my Dad texted me this morning,

When mom got cancer we all took a positive view of the future. It worked. Continue.

I’m trying, Dad, I’m trying.

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14 comments

  1. I woke up to nurse my 9 week old little girl and I was checking the results online like crazy. I then was crying and couldn’t go back to sleep. How did we get here? How did a reality show host endorsed by the KKK with no political experience become our POTUS? Sad day in America, that’s for sure. (And yes we are considered upper middle class, somewhat conservative and he is not a candidate I wanted to win.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. sangela71 · · Reply

    “I was crying because of my abject fear of the man who did and my shock & disgust with the people who supported him to get him there.” YES. This. I agree 100%.

    I have voted for the loser in two prior presidential elections. Like you, in each instance, I was a bit bummed and then moved on because I felt that the winning candidate was basically a good, thoughtful human being with whom I simply had philosophical differences. I don’t feel that this time. This is horrifying.

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  3. I, like you, have never ever cried after an election and always felt that no matter what, we were in good hands. I was not a fan of Obamas politics, but I knew in November 2007 when he won that he was a good person who would represent us all well. I said a quick, “well shoot!” And carried on.

    I can’t carry on today. I can barely hold it together. My son told his teacher at drop off this morning, “Dino Trump won. He’s not a nice man. My mom said he couldn’t win buy he did. Mommy’s been crying all morning.”

    I honestly have nothing to say. I’m still stunned.

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  4. I cried the moment Gracie found out. I don’t know if I’ll ever forget the expression on her face.

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  5. Your response was awesome. I’m still speechless and I’ve read your friend’s statement five times. I don’t know if I could have responded as well as you did.

    This has not been a typical election at all. I’ve never felt this way about an election before. I’ve never voted for the winning candidate, but I have enough respect for the other guy to move on. That’s not how I feel this year. I’ve cried several times today. It has nothing to do with who lost, but everything to do with the type of person who won. A bully won. And he has followers that scare me, and my friends, even more.

    What’s even more upsetting to me is that I’m not surprised he won. Even though many people said Hillary would win easily, I honestly didn’t believe it. I switched my vote to her last minute because even if she didn’t win, I needed to know I at least tried to vote someone with a chance to keep a bully out.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your reply to that friend couldnt have been better! And i like a lot what you said,that our duty is to care for our neighbours, etc. And i would add ” whoever needs our help”.

    Your parents always have the right thing to say.

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  7. Such a great response to what was such a sad commentary as to the true feelings of “good
    people” who voted for him. I think I need to build up more of my own little echo chamber 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The comment from that guy on your FB really upset me last night. I’m sorry J but you and many like you have given me faith and hope that America is not doomed. Slightly off balance a long way from healing but i know that it’s still in good hands in many of you

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  9. My husband and I cried during Hillary’s concession speech. I think in that moment it became real for us. I couldn’t bring myself to watch Trump’s acceptance speech. I can honestly barely stand looking at his face. I’ve definitely never been emotional about an election before, but now I am grieving.

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    1. And at least your state got it right! Although my city was 82% for Hillary, PA as a whole went red. 😡😡😡

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  10. I’m a Canadian follower of yours – I love your blog and your posts. Your words are so eloquent and meaningful. You write about things that matter in a raw and real way. This post is no exception. As Canadians, we are very worried and we just don’t understand. I’m so sorry for every American that feels the same way. Hillary’s concession speech was unbelievable and salt on the wounds all at the same time. She deserved this gig, not only because she’s a woman and it’s time, but because she was the right person for the job, hands down. It really is tragic. I’m thinking about all of my American friends today, and for the next 4 years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lisa. It’s so sad how most of the international community can so clearly see what half of America chose to ignore.

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  11. WIth you on this. Thank you for standing up to your friend. We must do the thing that we think we cannot do, as Eleanor Roosevelt said. It’s all so hard, and it helps to know that others are feeling the same, though I’m so sorry that any of us have to feel this way.

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  12. Yes to all of this. I am just so crushed and depressed after the election.

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