As I wrote on my Instagram and Facebook the day after Election Day…
Our country may be broken in some ways, but in other ways it is filled with beauty, kindness and graciousness. That’s what I want for my babies, all grown up, but still babies in my heart and in my desire as their mother, to protect them from pain and heartbreak. I want kindness, given and received. I am grateful for what I have and for the love that surrounds me. Today I dream of a better future for my boys, and for everyone. We can do hard things!
I posted a pic of my son, The Peacemaker, at the Grand Canyon on election night. November 3rd was actually Day 12 of 16 of our Fall Family Road Trip. I’ll get back to those other days real soon. In the meantime, our older son is safely back in Brooklyn, and our younger son was with us on our road trip. It was truly a gorgeous afternoon in Arizona. A rain shower brought with it a rainbow and an even more amazing sunset. We were blessed to be standing in that spot at that time, however, our hearts were heavy as we tried to focus on the beauty as the election results started rolling in.
I am not a political person. I do not enjoy discussing politics. I am a liberal democrat (because our system basically forces us into two distinct parties in order for people who represent our views to actually be elected to a political office) and I always have been. Three quarters of my parents are Republican, two being pretty darn conservative. Even my democrat mother has been known to vote fairly conservative at the prodding of her church and her husband. I find it totally flabbergasting, to be honest, but we each make our own decisions in life. It’s called freedom.
I would love for our system to change… for a wider perspective to be acknowledged, for more Independents to hold office, for a more thorough representation of ideologies to be embraced. Unfortunately politics is dirty business and many of our politicians are bought and sold within a corrupt system. It needs a re-vamp, but nothing happens overnight, and many days I feel like we are slipping backwards, away from individual freedoms. Our system is broken.
So what does “liberal democrat” mean to me? Fundamentally, I believe in individual freedom, and equality. We don’t all have the same start in life. We don’t all have the same freedoms and opportunities. Blue Eyes and I own our own business. We do not currently struggle financially, but we did, for quite some time. We built what we have and we pay a lot of taxes. Our accountants are conservative Republicans and frankly don’t understand us and try, desperately, to get us to make decisions so that we will owe less in taxes. I understand where they are coming from, but I respectfully disagree. I don’t mind paying taxes, BUT, I want my money to go to healing our country, not to waste, and wars, and greedy, spoiled politicians and fat cat oil executives and drug company CEOs. I want people to have health care. I want our population to be educated. I want those who choose higher education, whether it be university, or trade school, to be able to have that learning without bankrupting themselves. I want everyone to have the nourishment they need, both physical and mental. I want programs available to people who don’t have the same opportunities I had as a white woman in America. I didn’t grow up wealthy. I paid my own way through a public University by working multiple jobs, BUT, I also wasn’t persecuted for the color of my skin. I never went hungry. I always had medical coverage. My grandparents all owned guns, and hunted and I respect that although I would never knowingly or willingly kill an animal. I believe in the right for women to choose what they do with their own bodies. I was faced with the option of an abortion many many years ago and I realized I would never be able to do it, but I also would NEVER take that right and choice away from another woman. I was blessed with four parents to help raise me and I took what I wanted from those people, and learned from their mistakes. I hope my children are learning from my mistakes. I taught them not to blindly follow. I continue to teach them to appreciate the beautiful land that surrounds them and to respect it and not abuse it. My children are much more progressive and liberal leaning than I, and I am proud of them. They have youth and energy on their side. I hope their dreams aren’t decimated as they go through life fighting for individual rights and freedom, while doing all they can to protect our planet for future generations. I am proud of their marches in the streets and their desire for human decency for all.
So, that’s the end of my political soapbox. I lived through Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, both George Bushes, and now Donald Trump. I will survive what happens politically in our country, I have a pretty good track record on that, but I will continue to vote for people who represent the desires of my heart. I am currently hoping for less divisiveness and hateful rhetoric, and some healing and cooperation. It may not happen, but I have hope.
Please enjoy this video of a young elk at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon trying out his bugling skills:
More pretty road trip pics to follow…