For the past week since the election, my throat keeps seizing up. I’ve been popping Ricola cherry throat lozengers like crazy and assuring my clients that I’m not sick, just have a dry throat. Today, after a coughing jag, one of my intuitive clients asked me if there was something that I wasn’t saying. My first response was to say “no”, but then a realization struck me. There has been something that I need to speak about. So here goes… I voted for Trump.
I quit talking about politics many years ago. I’m a dedicated libertarian. That’s libertarian with a small “l” as opposed to the Libertarian party (capital “L”). My dad has been a libertarian all of my life. I grew up with lively political discussions around the dinner table. We kids were always included in the discussion and our opinions given due courtesy. I admit that as a teenager and young adult, I adopted my parent’s philosophy without a lot of questioning. As an adult nearing 60, I’ve done a lot of questioning and am even more of a libertarian.
So, what is a libertarian and how in the world could I vote for Trump? I believe passionately in individual freedom and liberty. I want social justice and equality with all of my heart, however, I know that those things cannot be legislated. They must be enacted individually in order to be authentic and to bring about the desired result. I believe our government has way overstepped its bounds and is doing more harm than good. I think we are fast approaching a point in our history where more Americans are dependent on the government (local, state, fed) than work in the private sector. More and more people look to the government to take care of them from cradle to grave. That’s anathema to me.
Barack Obama believes that more government is better. His eight years in office demonstrate his philosophy. Hillary Clinton also believes that the federal government should take more control of our lives. Clinton has a long history as a politician, so we can look at her record. I find it appalling. She knowingly compromised national security with her emails. She lied about Ben Gazi. The Clinton foundation took advantage of impoverished Haiti. Hillary and Bill became rich by trading favors. I don’t trust her or any politician to make important choices for me.
Of the two main political parties, the Republicans are closer to my values than the Democrats. And for some crazy reason, Trump ended up as the alternative to Clinton. I’d love to see a woman as president, but not someone as morally bankrupt at Clinton. When I filled in the circle next to Donald Trump's name, I was actually voting against Hillary and her socialist agenda.
I’m not a racist, bigot, misogynist (can I spell that?), homophobe, white supremacist. I am of the privileged class (white, heterosexual). I can’t help that last part. I reluctantly voted for Trump.
I quit talking about politics because I discovered that most people take things personally. I remember years ago when I worked for HP, mentioning that I disagreed with the US involvement in the first gulf war over lunch in the cafeteria. I found out a few days later that I deeply offended a couple of my coworkers. Many people seem to avoid talking about politics or get angry with you if you don’t agree with them. Why is that?
Many of my dear friends and clients are of the liberal persuasion. They are kind, considerate and caring people. My conservative friends and family are also kind, considerate and caring. I am kind, considerate and caring.
Maybe it’s time we started talking about politics with our family, friends and co-workers. Here’s the deal. We have to agree to quit using media-prompted labels like racist, bigot, misogynist, homophobe, liberal, conservative, left-wing, right-wing, privileged. What do those labels really mean? Where is the evidence in people’s actions that we can debate? Can we agree to listen to each other with an open heart and mind and not take differing opinions personally?
This is an important time in the history of our nation. I believe in American exceptionalism. Where we lead, others will follow. Let’s turn fear and anger into productive discourse.
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss