This has been a strange season. I’m not talking about winter, which ended yesterday, or spring, which has just begun. I’m not even talking about the 2016 election cycle, though that has a little something to do with it. I’m talking about how things in life seem to move in cycles, how things come and go, and start and stop, things are lost and found again.
I’ll talk politics for a brief moment, though. I have voted in every presidential election (and I believe every midterm election as well) since I was old enough to vote. In the 1990 elections (Senate/House) I had not yet turned 18. 1992, I voted for Slick Willy, because I was young and stupid. 1996, I tried to remedy that by voting for Dole. In 2000, yes, I voted for Bush, you can blame me, though my vote wasn’t part of the problem, as it was part of a state that went Blue – New York. Same in 2004. I was fooled twice, what can I say? Clinton really pushed me that far down the rabbit hole? I was married to a right wing conservative nut and I had my head that far up my own ass?
I liked John McCain, and I was hoping that if he won, he would survive his term. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it…
And then, in 2012, I couldn’t make excuses for myself any more. Not with “Binders full of women” and rape apologists so shortly after I had walked out on the aforementioned right wing conservative nut. I had removed my head from my derriere.
That was around the time that I quit eating Chick Fil A, too. No more Chicken Sandwiches with pickles, Propylene Glycol and MSG. No more Waffle Fries. No more Lemonade in styrofoam cups. I was making the world safe for marriage equality.
I voted for Obama, and in the process, I angered someone I had called a friend for 18 years, and the fallout was ugly. And in that fallout, there was collateral damage – a friend I had met through her, who (understandably) needed to be loyal to someone she’d been friends with for most of her life.
Fast forward to yesterday.
I am getting fed up with people telling me that my white skin makes my #BernieOrBust pledge selfish, despite my desire to vote for the candidate who has fought for Civil Rights and Human Rights, the candidate who has the broadest immigration stance, and the candidate who is the least likely to cause us to “carpet bomb the Middle East until it glows!”
I get that because I’m not sufficiently ethnic, I don’t seem to have as much to risk if my vote isn’t cast for someone slightly less vocal in their racism than Donald Trump. But it’s still my vote, and I’m still fighting for my right to exercise that vote, and I still value my right not to have a candidate that I see as corrupt, untrustworthy, and as likely as her husband (Slick Willy) to go back on even the issues I think she is currently “getting right” forced upon me by a party that I’ve only signed up with so that I can have some part in choosing a candidate in a system that is so rigged that it will otherwise shut me out entirely.
I’m not really a Democrat. I’m not a Republican. I’m currently an Independent again, now that the Florida Primaries are over, because I want the DNC to know that they can’t count on me to ratify an act of political chicanery. When the new Progressive Party is created, which it will be, I will register as a Progressive, so I can vote for heroes like #NinaTurner, #CynthiaMcKinney, #AlanGrayson and #TulsiGabbard, #JillStein, and though I am currently upset with her for not endorsing #BernieSanders, #ElizabethWarren, and other people who will not be bought.
I’ve had far too many arguments with people pushing for Hillary lately. Look, I get it. Trump is freaking people out. I understand.
We don’t want a wall. We don’t want a message of hate.
So vote your conscience. Leave me to decide my own. It’s part of the process. You don’t get to choose for me any more than I get to choose for you, and insulting me isn’t going to change my mind. Trust me on that, I’m a very stubborn person.
Still, I fight for my beliefs in so many little ways. I write, I talk, I don’t pressure people, but I state my beliefs. I point things out. But it gets exhausting.
I try not to buy anything Nestle. That meant having to cut out Stouffer’s as well. Revlon. Zephyrhills. Poland Springs. Carnation. There are so many subsidiaries of Nestle.
I’ve been avoiding Koch products. No Georgia Pacific. I read the packaging on the toilet paper, paper towels, the printer paper…
It gets old, all of this trying to make a difference. And then, I watch as people get pragmatic and settle for something that goes against their own best interest out of fear of something that might not even be that much worse.
So yesterday, I decided to take a temporary respite from saving the world, and eat an MSG and Propylene Glycol laden, pickle covered Chick Fil A. I skipped the Waffle Fries, but had a small lemonade. I added a little Polynesian sauce, too. It tasted pretty good, but dried out the inside of my mouth. It wasn’t all that much better than a McDonald’s Southern Style Chicken sandwich, which doesn’t have MSG, peanut oil, Propylene Glycol, and a side of homophobia.
The funny part? The day after deciding that I would take a hiatus from saving the world one through boycotts, I heard from the person who was “fallout” from that 2012 election cycle. Maybe things are starting to change for the good.