What I’m thinking about this election season

In the interest of having my thoughts written down and expanded upon somewhere, here I go!

I voted Hillary Clinton predominately because I think Donald Trump is a whack job, unfit for President, and that Hillary better represents my social values. Going into Election Day, even though media coverage leaned strongly towards Hillary, my thinking was that I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump won. And then he did, and I was surprised, but not really.

Some people close to me are in the minority groups subject to Trump’s hate speech (LGBTQ, non-white). Other people close to me probably voted Trump, although I haven’t yet talked to them about it directly.

I’m a registered Independent, and would consider myself socially progressive, fiscally conservative, and politically libertarian. In less contentious political arenas, I voted Kate Brown for Governor of Oregon, no to Measure 97 (increased corporate income tax), and yes to Tualatin City Council term limits.

I don’t think Trump won because he’s a racist, misogynist, and bigot. I think he won for the same reasons the congressional approval rating is at 13%, voter turnout was 55% (a 20 year low), and I myself have been largely politically apathetic for the majority of my voting career. Most Americans have lost faith in the US government — they don’t think their elected politicians are effective representatives of their interests.

I don’t think most Trump voters are ignorant, hateful, etc. Given the divisive state of affairs in this country, the only path forward is respect, mutual understanding, and compassion. I’ve been sharing op-eds from Trump supporters because I think it’s important to listen to their stories. I’ve also found these articles illuminating:

This morning, my wife and I attended service at West Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, my first time at church in years. Reverend Tracy gave an amazing sermon titled “Compassion and Action“. The audio will eventually be posted to that link, I think.

Avery Durable View Binder, 1 Inch Rings, White, 1 Binder (17012) by Avery

As a wife and mother, I LOVE this binder. It keeps me in my place, allows me to get dinner ready on time, AND only costs 72% of the more masculine version. Some people might think it’s sexist, but sheesh, I’m not binding my feet, just my brain. Extra bonus, if you sit on it just right, it can act as an effective method of birth control! Full disclosure: I submitted this under my husband’s account, with his full permission. He is the head of our household, and the owner of the binder.

Avery Durable View Binder, 1 Inch Rings, White, 1 Binder (17012)
by Avery

Status

Leah: “I just thought of the best costume idea in case we decide to do the run like hell half marathon on Sunday”

Me: “Pumpkins?”

Leah: “No, you be Mitt Romney and ill be a binder full of women. :)”

Obama’s Way

This time he covered a lot more ground and was willing to talk about the mundane details of presidential existence. “You have to exercise,” he said, for instance. “Or at some point you’ll just break down.” You also need to remove from your life the day-to-day problems that absorb most people for meaningful parts of their day. “You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits,” he said. “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.” He mentioned research that shows the simple act of making decisions degrades one’s ability to make further decisions. It’s why shopping is so exhausting. “You need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinize yourself. You can’t be going through the day distracted by trivia.” The self-discipline he believes is required to do the job well comes at a high price. “You can’t wander around,” he said. “It’s much harder to be surprised. You don’t have those moments of serendipity. You don’t bump into a friend in a restaurant you haven’t seen in years. The loss of anonymity and the loss of surprise is an unnatural state. You adapt to it, but you don’t get used to it—at least I don’t.”

Michael Lewis — Obama’s Way