Monday, November 14, 2016

Post-Election 2012: My Thoughts

“One who is appointed over a community becomes the servant of the community" (Talmud, Horayot 10a).

Unlike back in 2012 and 2008, I avoided talking politics on the blog this year because the election seemed to be so "in the bag." I didn't feel like I needed to share who I was voting for or why because it seemed like a sealed deal. Now that it's all over, I'm still not feeling super keen on the conversation about who won and why, but I feel like a stream-of-consciousness post might let me get some things out.

If anything, this election showed me that, by and large, I don't have many "middle of the road" friends. Most of my friends are bleeding-heart liberals who found themselves huddled in a corner, weeping at the reality of a potentially dangerous white man with anti-semitic, homophobic, and xenophobic friends at his side. Some of my friends are single-issue voters who made aliyah and were praising the election of a man who will put Israel first and move the embassy to Jerusalem (this will never happen, by the way). Many others are party-line voters who found themselves confused about who to vote for and, I have a feeling, voted Republican because they didn't think that Trump would actually win the election. And then, of course, I have friends who happily voted Republican because of the promises of a wall to keep immigrants out, the promise of putting a hardcore Conservative on the Supreme Court to overturn groundbreaking social laws, and the commitment to return our focus on the hardest working among us (never mind that Trump won't release his tax returns, and these hard-working Americans pay the most taxes and work the hardest of us all).


And me? I'm generally a party-line voter, and I vote Democrat. Mostly I'm this way because I'm liberally minded on social issues, but I tend to be more conservative when it comes to our involvement in international disputes and being the policemen of the world.

But this election, it was hard. I wasn't in love with Hillary. I didn't vote for her because I wanted the first woman president (she's no Maggie Thatcher) or because I thought she was the most moral or preferable candidate. Although I was incredibly excited about the possibility of seeing changes for working mothers like myself (I work 80 hours a week and make peanuts and pay more than $2,000/month for my kids to be in daycare). She was the most viable candidate.

But here we are. We're in a post-election haze and no one is really sure what's going to happen. What is sure, however, is that this election has brought out the ugly in everyone. I've watched friendships fall apart in the past week in ways that are completely unrepairable. I've listened and counseled friends on both sides of the aisle.

I've been told by more than one person, "I don't know how you can be in the position you're in," because I have friends that are very far on either side of the aisle and I'm happy to have them in my life and happy and proud to call them my friend, even while disagreeing with their opinions and their logic on why they voted the way they did.

I guess, my reality is that there is more than this election. HaShem runs the universe, and, for whatever reason, this is where we are. We can only hope that the new president-elect manages to be humble, to consider and respect all people, and to serve the people.

We must insist that we be heard, that our leader serve us, and we must be as we expect him to be. We must respect and love one another, if anything, to be an example for our leader. If we continue to hate and divide and live our lives as such, then our leader will know nothing more than to hate and divide as well.

A last thought: We must insist that Stephen Bannon be removed from his appointment to a high-ranking position in the Trump administration. The president-elect is meant to serve the people, and anyone who approves of Bannon's racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic rhetoric should be ashamed of themselves.