Saturday, November 19, 2016

Maybe first we laugh together

It's been a tough few weeks. I've been in astate of partial hibernation for awhile now, trying to cope with the last days leading up to the election, and the time since. I'm going to be open and honest here, because I don't know how to be any other way, but please bear with me regardless of where your political loyalties lie, because this is for all of us.

I am a hard core Berner. really hard core, even though I didn't join Team Bernie until a bit late in the game - about ten months ago, for what it's worth. I had been following the news closely, knew I would not likely vote Republican because too many of their platforms conflict with my core ideals, but also knew I was not in favor of another Clinton presidency. There was simply not all that much information about Bernie in the mainstream media. For what it's worth. Also for what it's worth, I knew in 2011 when Trump tossed around the idea of running that I would never support him even if hell froze over. What I had seen of him (primarily on Fox News, I'll get back to that in a second) was mean-spirited and volatile. Considering the precarious nature of foreign relations even at the best of times, I knew he was not presidential material, although I never at that time even considered the possibility he could win.

And yes, I have been known to watch Fox News, because, and I agree with Ann Coulter on this point (proof that as diverse as opinions and perspectives may be there is always some commen ground) it is as important to look at opposing viewpoints as it is those with which you agree. From there Ann and I differ because she views it as knowing her enemy, whereas I use opposing viewpoints to learn and to challenge my own - to be sure than my opinion is truly aligned with my core beliefs.

In the aftermath, I have experienced a profound sense of grief, loss, and fear for what is to come. It took probably three days post-election for me to shake the feelings of, if I am to be perfectly honest, depression and despair. I got up every morning, taught my classes, did what had to be done, but at home alone it wasn't pretty.  Only after allowing myself to feel those feelings could I find my next step...


I started sharing the memes on Facebook, at first because they were just too funny not to share. Then, it became something of a mission to try to find and share them all. I called it cheap therapy to help me cope with post-election trauma. I think most people took it as tongue-in-cheek, but really it wasn't. Humor was a critical part of the process I am still going through to try to heal. All along I have known that my next step would be action - Changing My Realm of Control - but on the way to figuring out how best to do that, I turned to humor.

I found that the memes were appreciated by my friends regardless of political affiliation. It was almost as though they were icebreakers that allowed opposing sides to come together without hostility, and just remember that we are all human, and can share harmless humor.

The other thing that I feel I need to mention, is that as I began looking through the memes, I began to notice the sheer number of photos of Barack Obama and Joe Biden where they seemed truly happy to be in one another's company. They laughed together, and the photos clearly showed evidence of a deep friendship. Two men who worked together for eight years in the public eye through many contentious battles, and yet were able to develop such a remarkable closeness.

Moving forward, I know there is much work to be done, but for now, maybe first we laugh together.

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