14 Dec

#notnormal

Like so many people, I am overwhelmed. There are so many things I see happening that I can’t figure out what action to take, or if it’s even worthwhile to take action. Every day it’s some new outrage. I’m trying to put myself in others’ shoes, to see things through other eyes. Not everyone sees the country the same way I do and that’s fine. So, I want to respect the needs and beliefs of my fellow Americans. But a month after the election I’m having a hard time seeing how this is going to be OK.

“Give him a chance,” people say. “Checks and balances,” they reassure.

  orange“His bluster and “straight talk” on the campaign trail was just that: bluster. He’ll be more Presidential if he wins.” OK, but a month on, he’s lashing out via Twitter at SNL, newspapers, and a union boss for not gushing over him. Businesses and offices can probably handle the backlash, but individual people are not prepared to fend off the consequences of targeted vitriol (see last year’s college student who asked a reasoned question of the candidate and received not only a crude response from him but also a year of online harassment from his followers). I don’t see a move towards either Presidential behavior, nor any effort to bring Americans together as he promised.

“He’s so rich he won’t be corruptible. He doesn’t need to be in this for the money. He’ll work with the average worker in mind.” OK, but before the election there was no evidence of altruism. He still doesn’t show us where his money is or what he does with us. Not long after the election, he said he was working with lawyers to disentangle his conflicts of interest. I actually told my cynical husband that this was movement in the right direction and we should give him the benefit of the doubt. But, a month later, there’s been no discernible effort to distance himself from his money. In fact, it actually looks like he’s putting his ducks (children and business interests) in a row to take advantage of of his and their positions of power to guide policy and decision making for personal financial gain. Oh, and he’s put off until after the electoral college casts their votes, his public explanation of his intentions vis a vis conflicts of interest.

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Heal the divide? Not gonna happen with continued Tweet storms or nominating cabinet members with nihilistic tendencies towards the cabinets they’d head. Don’t like the appearance of Pay to Play? How do his big donor advisory picks and cabinet nominations look?

The backlash (mine included) against him can’t merely be sour grapes. This is not the first time my candidate has lost, but this is the first time I just can’t wrap my head around why the other candidate won. I swear I’m trying to suss out the ways his election will address the issues people say they care about, but I just can’t see it yet.

“Government is corrupt and has done nothing for me. We might as well burn it all down.” Ah, now here’s something I think he can deliver on. Unfortunately, I just can’t bring myself to believe that a scorched earth approach to governance is good for the American people. This is not normal…

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…but I fear that it WILL become normal.

6 thoughts on “#notnormal

  1. Kristen, I agree. Being in Europe right now and hearing that Trump is seen as a threat and a clown confirms my own perceptions. It’s like a nightmare, watching him bully and dither and have no concept of SERVING as President.
    His behavior will never be normalized in my mind or family.

  2. Kristin, I agree with everything you said. I’ve never been much of an optimist but I don’t really consider myself a pessimist either. I like to think I’m simply a realist. That said, I’ve listened to people say that we just have to move on and things will work themselves out or that we just have to fight harder for the things we believe in. The problem I have is that I honestly don’t see how things get better or that “we” have a chance in winning the fights we’re supposed to fight. I often reflect on what history teaches us about the rise and fall of great nations and how they are often and ultimately destroyed not from outside forces but rather from within. My fear is that the angst and issues (racism, economic progress or lack thereof, religion vs. science, global “leadership”, etc etc) we’ve been struggling with as a nation for decades have come to a head and led us to finally turn the corner we just turned and our days as a “great nation” are truly numbered. I don’t see any of it ending well and that makes me sad and fearful for what my boys will have to contend with.

  3. Agree with all of your thoughts, and love that you turning to your quilt art to deal with some of these emotions. Just think how much you can add to this, everyday there is some other action that is frightening.

  4. I agree. Overwhelmed is what they planned. So lets put this quilt thing together as our flag. I remember the quilt for folks with Aids back well many years ago. The idea may make sense here as the idea is to bring all of our target hot buttons to one place. Lord i dont know what we would call it. Ill leave that to you folks that can articulate better than i. Bring us to the change flag of human struggle and lets kick ass and take names. Put those names of “the man” up to have them singled out and let their neighbors live with protest, tell me which place im going to stand and protest for my brothers and sisters today! Cool? Help me see the light

  5. I LOVE your quilt. What a wonderful idea. I happened upon it as I was searching for a “this is not normal” image.. We will have to repeat this every day for the next 4 years. All we have is each other!

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