Saturday, October 29, 2016

My sorry attempt at a post about the election

I've tried, at least 15 times, to write a blog post about the upcoming presidential election.  Each and every time, I save the draft, return later and delete everything I've written.

If there is anything good about this election, it is that it has forced me to really think about not only where I am coming from about my political beliefs, but where other people might be coming from.  I have friends and acquaintances from both parties, and this hasn't been an easy ride for many of them.
Under no circumstances do I understand the appeal of Donald Trump, but I feel like I can understand the desire of people to vote GOP because that party aligns with their general belief system and that, for them, means voting for Trump, even if they are dry-heaving as they do it.

What has been most uncomfortable for me is what this election has made me feel inside because it has brought a lot of my own internal ugliness to the forefront of my consciousness.  I say ugliness but maybe the better word would be honesty, which can sometimes feel ugly even though I'm not 100% sure it is actually ugly.

This election has made me ask myself "Where the hell do you stand, Carrie?" and the answer is that I'm sometimes in the midst of playing an internal game of Twister, with one foot in the GOP ideology, one foot in the Democratic ideology, and a hand in the third party ideology....on the exact same topic.

"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." 
--F. Scott Fitzgerald

I can't, in all honesty, be a person who loves all and welcomes all unabashedly, which is how I sometimes see the Democratic party, as a big party of love.  This feels far too hokey for my personal taste.  I am far too cautious to be this way, but neither do I like what I perceive to be a party of exclusiveness and avoidance of the other, which is how I often perceive the GOP. 

I do not think abortion is right, but I also don't think I can force my belief on something that is wholly someone else's choice, even though I sometimes shudder to use the word "choice." Having carried my own babies, I would have been devastated had I lost them at 16 weeks of gestation, even though I know they were unable to survive outside of my body.  Even though they were alive, without me, they were nothing.  That seems like holding two opposing positions in my head and trying to remain sane.  But if I don't want others telling me what I can do in my bedroom, with my birth control and with my body, I can't really force my own confused and uncomfortable beliefs and feelings on someone else.  It feels an awful lot like splitting hairs when I think to myself, "I believe that life begins at conception, but I also believe that it is unviable life without the mother, and I think in this regard the mother's autonomy outweighs the life's autonomy at least until viability."  Could that be more complicated?  

I fully support LGBT rights, and yet am pretty darn conservative when it comes to marriage, whether it is heterosexual or homosexual.  I'm not always sure I understand my own feeling of "Do whatever you want with whomever you want until you promise to marry and have children.  From that point on, you stick with your promise."  And that is not even a hard-and-fast rule because I know there are all sorts of circumstances that make sticking with one's marital promise impossible.

I dislike stupid regulations but also know that businesses cannot be trusted to run without regulation of some kind.  The almighty dollar doesn't have a conscience.  

How can I feel that Donald Trump's groping statements are sexual harassment and that men should never say or do such things but also feel that women sometimes do really stupid things that certainly aren't "asking for it" but set themselves up to be in harm's way?  As a person who doesn't have a sexy bone in her body, I cannot wrap my head around women who want to dress in tight sexy clothes.  They have the right to wear whatever they want, but I have the right to think they are ridiculous for putting their bodies out there and then claiming they want people to judge them on their minds.  People will not judge you on your mind because they are distracted by your body.

Having that thought makes me uncomfortable, but I can't feel differently than what I feel. It's maddening.

This election has made me consider my own implicit biases, and I have them.  We all do, whether we think we do or not.

This election has made me consider whether I dislike outright lying more or less than sneaky lying (and we have two candidates who excel in their respective categories).

This election has exhausted me.  I am about at the point where I just want it over and don't really care anymore what happens.  It has been a fun exercise in near-constant rehashing of my personal belief system, but I'm tired.  

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