IMG_2025.JPGToday is a beautiful, sunny, summer-like Sunday, with just a touch of fall in the air. Finding myself with a block of time between activities, I wondered how best to fill it. So, I plopped down in a chair on our porch, turned on my laptop and turned my attention to this long-neglected blog, which I pay a fee for every year. It’s been almost a year since my last post. I am definitely not getting my money’s worth.

The last time I posted was the day after the 2016 presidential election. I was angry, sad, disappointed and completely stunned, although not surprised. In re-reading my post almost a year later, I find that there is nothing I would take back, but there is something I failed to do-

I’ve always believed in, “Respect the office if not the man”. (And it is still a man.) So out of respect for the office, when Trump is our President, I will say little about the man. Because he has a very long way to go to earn my respect. But I wish him no harm. I don’t believe in grudges or revenge, which do nothing but fill one’s heart with hatred. I guess that’s why in yesterday’s election hate trumped love. Revenge breeds a reckless disregard for common sense.”

And this comment exchange that followed-

“Thank you! I second everything you said, except I’m not sure that I can stick to just discussing his policies for the next four years. This is a man who is morally and ethically bankrupt. This is a man who declared himself a racist in my book several years ago when he challenged President Obama’s citizenship with no hint of evidence. He showed his character then, and he reinforced it with everything he has said and done since. Romney I could respect, and even George W. is starting to look good by comparison. But the acceptance of Trump by so-called Christians is unbelievable. If they would just say, hey, I know Trump is a despicable person but I voted for him because of his position on abortion and gun control, then I think it would be easier. But their unwillingness to condemn the countless deplorable things he has said and done, well it makes them deplorable too.”

I agree that it will be difficult to stick to just policies. I may break my own promise.

: ) Thanks for your comments–I agree completely!

I most definitely broke my promise. In fact, not only have I not stuck to policies, I have said more about the man personally than about his policies. But that is because it is the man who seeks, always, to put the focus entirely on himself rather than on his governance or the people he supposedly governs.

It would be interesting to know how many of his supporters follow him on Twitter. I know many who do not, which is too bad. While his tweets are annoying, degrading, unnecessary and ill-advised, they are also revealing. They reveal a need for validation. They reveal weakness. They reveal insecurity. They reveal a lack of empathy. They are hyperbole for the most part. They are sad.

But I don’t really want to write about Trump today. I don’t have anything good to say. And that’s not something I say lightly. It would be okay for “Trump to be Trump” if he were not the president. But he is. And he should be more. But he’s not. That’s pretty much what it comes down to for me. I’m not opposed to Trump the man; I’m opposed to Trump the man as POTUS. I still wish him no harm. And I can’t pretend to know what’s in his heart other than what he reveals.

Instead I want to write about this beautiful Sunday and how there is more good in the world than bad. I want to write about how lucky I feel to have the life I have and to be surrounded by the love of family and friends. I want to write about how my kids turned out to be great people and about the great man who I married. I want to write about the warmth of the sun and the freshness in the air. I want to savor all the goodness because I know hard times will come. They are inevitable. Bad things happen in this good world. But today is a good day for me and no one knows what tomorrow will bring.

And just as I know that today is a good day for me, I  know that today is a very bad–maybe the worst–day for someone else. We can’t live each day agonizing over misery that is not our own, but we can live each day acknowledging that we all have different experiences in life. Those experiences shape our worldview. Expecting someone else to react or respond the way we would to a situation or event or idea or even words is unrealistic and shows a lack of understanding and empathy.

Maybe I’m finally getting at what I really want to write about–privilege. I believe it’s a very real thing. I’m starting to think that acknowledging privilege is the single most important step we can take as a society. Privilege isn’t about how hard you work or how many bad days you’ve had or how many obstacles you’ve had to overcome. Privilege is about never having to consider one’s race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc., as a factor. Privilege is about being part of the default–being part of the “norm”.

And this brings me back to Trump. Was Trump elected as a way to keep privilege intact? Of course, I don’t mean that this was intentional because many don’t believe privilege is real. But the mere fact that he was elected may support a different theory. As part of the default, as part of the norm, I feel privileged to even write about this because I know that many of his policies and planned policies will not affect me directly, although that may very well change. I can live in Trump’s America without much fear for myself or my family. But that’s not good enough. That’s not a privilege that I want.

The view from my front porch is crystal clear today, but this post is meandering and muddled. Or is it? Oh well. At least I got my money’s worth.