Beyond the Ballot Box

By Maureen Brown, TIWP Co-founder and Director of Operations and Strategy

“Out beyond ideas of right doing and wrong doing there is a field. I will meet you there.” —Rumi

Let’s not argue about who is right.

Unity won’t be possible if either side claims moral superiority.

We can’t move forward believing those who voted for Trump are pro-racism any more than we can believe that those who voted for Hillary are pro-abortion.

We can’t move forward if we believe that the hatred in the hearts of those that crush and demean another’s existence is better or worse than the hatred in the hearts of those that incite violence in the name of protest.

There’s a dual nature in all of us. There is good and bad on both sides. And there’s hypocrisy, too.

Let’s suspend judgment for a moment and consider:

What would happen if we believed that everyone wants a good life for themselves and a better life for their children, that we all want peace, security, jobs, education, opportunity, personal freedom, and respect?

What would happen if we believed that everyone cares about our culture, that we all value human dignity, responsibility, accountability, honesty, hard work, and equality for all?

What would happen if we, for even a moment, believed it?

Do you see more possibilities?  More peace?  More kindness? More acceptances?  More love?

I’m not suggesting we live with a Pollyanna mindset.  I think there are facts here that need to be seen for what they are.  I believe we have a dangerous man wielding a dangerous amount of power.  He has the power to create legislation, make nominations, and represent America to the rest of the world.  And if this isn’t bad enough, he also has the power to change our culture and what we hold most dear.  He has the power to divide us, instill hatred, and promote fear.  He has the power to impact adults’ and children’s, especially our children’s, perceptions on what is appropriate for a man, a father, the President of the United States, and a human being.

My deepest fear is that his behavior will become, and has become, normalized.  It’s already been excused, trivialized, and minimized throughout this election.  His behavior is not normal.  Nothing about his jokes, lewd comments, mocking manner, name-calling, demeaning words is normal.  Nothing about his ability to avoid responsibility for himself and to blame others is normal.  Nothing about his loose relationship with the facts or the way he expresses himself is normal.

So let’s ask ourselves, is it more important to be right or to be unified? It is possible to let go of our blame and judgment and simply embrace our common humanity? Can we fight for all of us—and can we fight this one together?

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