You Don't Owe Anyone Anything

Anyone who was old enough to be politically active during the early 2000s can remember the responses that greeted any criticism of George W. Bush.

Respect the office, not the man. He’s your president.

At the time, I had one answer to that statement: No. I respect our country, but I have no intrinsic respect for a man just because he holds an office. Respect is earned. If you hold the personal belief that is important to you to support the office of the President of the United States unequivocally for the unity of the country, I won’t challenge you on that. But that’s your own choice. Everyone else can do what they want.

But wait, what about 2008? What happened to those same people in 2008? The same human beings telling me to respect the office, not the man, greeted the election of President Barack Obama with what, exactly?

He’s not my president. He wasn’t even born in this country.

The laughable incorrectness of the second statement aside, do I have a problem with the first? Well, no, I don’t. You don’t have to support any President you don’t want to. Even if you were one of the people telling me I had to like Bush the Second, I gave you a pass for eight years, because perhaps you understood now what it was like. Perhaps. Maybe not?

Ah, but what about now. Two days after the most inexplicable election in decades, if not a century or more?

We need to come together for the unity of the country.

He won. Get over it.

Suspiciously, same people again.

How about: No. We don’t owe you a goddamn thing. You voted for someone with one platform issue: Racism. The answer to every campaign question? Racism. You chose comfortable lies over inconvenient truths, because the truth is scary to you. Rather than work together for solutions to the problems of our nation, you sought a scapegoat.

I have people in my own family who are going to expect me to look them in the face, when my son (soon to be sons) go to a Jewish daycare, and they voted for the presidential candidate supported and campaigned for by the Ku Klux Klan. How do I reconcile this?

There will be no supporting this President. Beyond the most technical definition, he is most certainly not [b]my[/b] representative in the federal government. And if you did vote for him? Good. Now is your time, enjoy it. But don’t pretend the rest of us need to participate. That’s not how freedom of speech works.

I will not be doom and gloom. I know what’s coming is terrible, and soon you will too. I have great hope that I am wrong, and that every single thing Donald Trump has said up to this point is an elaborate fiction. But why would it be?

It’s midnight again in America. We must all struggle so that we may see the dawn.

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