Thursday, November 10, 2016

My Bias

The following piece is NOT written by myself.  It is written by TB Dobbs who lives in the Northeast:

I waited two days to post anything of substance about the election. I, like many of you, needed time to process and get over the shock of Tuesday night. My bias: I voted for Hillary on Tuesday.

It’s time to have a thought experience. For each thought, think about the group of people that I am referring to.

1. I’m a male who works a job that others in my community think I shouldn’t. My community tells me that the work that I do is important, but their support doesn’t go much farther than words in many cases. My spouse is scared that I won’t make it home safe at night because others in the community that I work in sometimes kills people like me. I’m scared for the safety of myself and my coworkers from the uncertainty of death and the destruction of my community from those who I think will kill me. Who am I talking about?
2. I had a job that didn’t provide much but allowed me to pay the bills and save a bit for myself and my future family. Due to economic factors, those jobs have evaporated and replaced with experiences that I’m told will make me employed in the future. However, after years, I haven’t seen an increase in pay (or lost all income) and I’m now scared of the future for myself and colleagues. Who am I talking about?
3. I used to be considered “different,” but I found a group of people who now consider me normal. I learned to survive in this group and to finally vouch for myself and those like me. But for the last year, a majority of the people around me—many of whom I thought I had close and sincere relationships with—now openly mock my way of life and assume that their way of life is broadly superior to what I had. I just want a place where I can feel comfortable being myself and to be able to live. Who am I talking about?
4. I voted for the candidate I feared the least because I was scared shitless of the candidate I feared the most. Who am I talking about?

Ignoring the fringes who have become a part mainstream due to a historically toxic mess of an election, many people who voted for either candidate—or third party—can use any of the above points to justify their vote. We’re left with this: a bitterly divided country where 80% of the electorate is scared about the uncertain future of themselves, their loved ones, and their country. Worst, they’re angry that the perceived “others” who to have devalued their life. I know I am. I know many of you are—liberal, conservative, moderate, whatever—are as well.

We can discuss the perils of false equivalencies and how your side is correct over my side—whatever they are. Or, we can realize that the only way that any of us survive the next two years is to talk and listen to each other. Console the ones who are scared and grieving. Discuss with those who voted differently than you. Support the ones who are trying to make the world a better place and are protecting those around them.

As for me, I am spending every waking moment over the next two years in research to figure out how we got here and how we can get out of this without leaving anyone behind. Everyone. If President-elect Trump becomes the President that unites all of us and makes the country a better place for everyone, then he truly would have made America great again and we all will be in a better place because of it. If not, I will do everything I can to rebuke the fear, hate, and malpractice by working to organize all to stop the bullshit. And if you see it, you need to never stop talking about it and organize the hate away.

Elections set the playing field. It’s up to us to figure out how to make it work or to change it. May God help us all.

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