On this inauguration day, it’s time to talk about the thing people urge you not to talk about but is SO prevalent in today’s society: politics.
I am a log cabin republican. We are real, I promise. We are the republicans who believe in some strong, core, true republican values: strong national defense, limited government, low taxes, and individual liberty. We are typically comprised of hard working, middle class Americans who believe in the value of hard work, free market, and success through determination. Log cabin republicans are different than traditional due to our break from the “moral high ground” typically emphasized in 2017 circles. We believe in the right for a woman to have an abortion (even if, as individuals, we don’t believe in it), the right for gay marriage (again, even if our religious values tell us otherwise), and the need for scientific advancement beyond that outlined in the bible. We allow church and state to remain separate, but equally important domains. Log cabin republicans are the definition of moderate republicans: grounded and entrenched in TRUE republican values, while adjusting our moral compasses to reflect modern day issues.
But today? You can’t say you’re a republican anymore without vile, non-stop, blatant hate.
I understand that people are upset about Donald Trump being sworn in as the 45th president of our great country. I understand that many who didn’t vote for him did so out of a deep fear that they may be discriminated against. But there are two things to remember, which get lost in this sea of judgement: 1) not every republican is a racist/sexist/homophobic and 2) not every republican voted for Trump.
I chose not to vote for Donald or Hilary. As a log cabin republican, I cannot find myself voting for Hilary, both due to her policy stances and some of the outcomes of her biggest tenures in office. I frankly don’t trust her, and couldn’t imagine putting her name down to paper in the voting booth. I also did not vote for Donald Trump. The man ISN’T a republican: he’s just riding on the wings of a need for change. He wasn’t a candidate I could remotely get behind.
I am also not a racist. I understand there is this truth that any white person in today’s society, born ultimately of privilege, is racist, even if they don’t acknowledge it. The debate on racism is not part of this blog; instead I choose to see myself as not meaningfully racist. I understand and acknowledge that my whiteness makes me inherently so, but I do not seek to imbibe that with additional feelings on race.
I am not a sexist; while yes as a republican woman I have a serious problem with being handed things or being paraded or treated a certain way for being a woman, that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate my gender or the roles that need to be expanded for them. I just don’t believe it has to happen by FORCE.
I am also not a homophobe: my best friend in the whole world is gay, and I support LGBTQ rights. I may never understand them, I may never fully comprehend what it means to be gay or transgender, but I absolutely believe those individuals should have identical rights as anyone else. Why am I not these things? Because I believe whole-heartedly, regardless of political affiliation, that we are all ONE race, ONE unit, and we should be equivalent in the eyes of our governing bodies. It may not ever be an achievable belief widespread, but it is one I fully dedicate myself to.
Being a republican today is hard. I am NOT saying that those people, truly in fear today, are any “less” struggling. Struggling should not be rated on some scale. I am saying it is hard today to wake up and try to live by your convictions and your beliefs and be vilified by so many for being something you’re not. For a world that tweets incessantly about #lovetrumpshate, anyone who is not a democrat can tell you, that love is subject to judgement and scrutiny first, and not everyone is worthy.
Today, I am choosing to see the optimistic side of the inauguration. I am choosing to believe that Donald Trump, or the people around him, will be good, wholesome, REAL people who only strive to truly make America “Great” again (although I’m not sure when it ever stopped being so fan-frickin-awesome, but that’s beside the point). I am choosing to believe that the highest position in the United States brings with it a bit of humility and tolerance. That the age that has come to EVERY president ever also touches him gracefully and opens his eyes. But most importantly, I am hoping today ends the horrible judgement that has flooded mainstream media, facebook, and the halls of my work. I am hoping today everyone accepts that Donald Trump is YOUR president, whether you want him to be or not. By living in a democracy, where people are free to elect who they choose, you did in fact CHOOSE him, even if you did not put his name down on your ballot. The freedom you are granted by this country chose him. Your ability to vocalize your disapproval is granted BY him, and by the office he upholds. Stop taking it for granted. I am hoping today everyone realizes the people that work next to you, who voted for him (or didn’t) are just as much Americans as you are. That the people you loved pre-election day are the same people that you SHOULD love after election day. Republicans are not awful people… “awful” should not be categorized and pre-labeled on a group just because. Be better. Be bigger. Be what you want the world to be.
Judgement eats at you. It hurts you. It corrodes at every good, decent thing we feel and believe in. Ultimately, as our lesson is for the month of January, judgement is something we are completely powerless to. We cannot change the way people look at us, examine us, define us. We are only able to define ourselves. Examine ourselves. Look into the mirror and really SEE ourselves. Judge your own character…and stop judging others.