Giving thanks just got a whole lot harder for a whole lot of people in the United States. There will be cries of stop being such a special snowflake, and so on. Those cries coming from the most protected demographic in the country, which also happens to be responsible for these turn of events. The truth is, they have no idea what life is like for those outside their experience (women, minorities, trans, or gay). Nor will they try unless startled into it. Cognitive Dissonance is like that.
Every eight years we exchange who is in control of the country, Dems swap to Repubs and vice versa. The difference this time is that voters failed to turn out enough to ensure the checks and balances of the system were enforced, and that the congress and/or senate were turned over to the opposite group that would hold the executive branch. Of course, along with that, comes the Supreme Court appointment that has been left vacant for months by the sudden death of Justice Scalia.
Why did they stay home? Because they watched a primary be stolen from them, proving the long held belief that your vote doesn’t matter. They faced debilitating bullying online from all sides, each vying to use them as proof that their candidate was the better choice. It wasn’t about gaining strides for any protected classes. It was about preserving the status quo for the upper class.
Things that a majority of citizens have feared coming true stand to actually come to pass now. Citizen are responding with wearing symbols that will let their vulnerable friends and family know they have their backs, and that there is still safety within the borders of the United States. Despite that promise, a few of the oppressed have taken their own lives in fear. While we can scoff or even laugh off what we want to term drastic measures, that ignores that there is a real problem.
There is little that many among us have to be thankful for, or so we feel, though we’re told to be thankful for what we do have, whatever that is.
That isn’t a choice. No one chooses to be abused, poor, or hated. It happens to them without consent.
There is always someone in line to say the vulnerable made decisions that led them to being in situations that are harmful or difficult. This, too, ignores the reality of our nation and the world. The truth is, the system that is run in the United States cannot function without those that are taken advantage of. Capitalism grinds under a decided number of citizens—it’s part of the formula, a formula that seeks to seat most of the assets in the hands of the few, to use humans as commodities to grow capital. To deny that is to not understand simple economics.
With that person blaming poor decisions, you’ll also find a strange coldness toward their fellow man. Not unexpected, they tend to also be deeply religious by their own admission. God, Country and Mom. Yet, their words and actions deny their claimed faith. It was Jesus who asked them to take care of the most vulnerable—it’s right there in the book, probably in red letters. Instead, they deem only those they have chosen, hand picked, to care about as worthy of any assistance or deference. Scriptures suggests that the adherents of the faith take care not to mistreat strangers as they are important in the eyes of God.
I’m not religious, by any stretch. I can’t tell you when I last saw the inside of a church that I wasn’t just striding by playing Pokémon Go. I can tell you that I adhere better to the faith these people claim to have better than they do, many atheists and agnostics do. Facts are facts (quantifiable proof). You cannot be cruel and be a good Christian, or Muslim, or Jew, or Buddhist, or Hinduist, or Wiccan. Yet, while altruism is taught in church (temple or mosque), altruism is scoffed at outside by many of those same attendees. It’s as if they don’t truly believe what they claim to believe.
Those people rallying under white hoods, stabbing others or threatening them; those people maliciously trolling online, they’re making this world unnecessarily difficult for the rest of us. Whether their actions are based on willfulness or cognitive dissonance, it is unacceptable. For too long, we’ve coddled the feelings of those who hurt others, like special snowflakes, and allowed their opinions to carry, so as not to rock the boat. Going along to get along doesn’t serve anyone. It condones bad behavior.
When the DNC colluded with the media to propel a weak candidate ahead of the best nominee they’ve had in generations, they put popularity and personal gain ahead of the greater good. Supporters of this candidate tried to make the opposition go along to get along—with threats and abuse. That behavior continues as they scramble to find reasons as to why their candidate failed, instead of admitting what they had been told all along: that she was hated and thus too weak to ever win. After all, she was soundly rejected in 2008, how could one possibly believe “it’s her turn” was enough? Yet, they did. Opinions and not facts carried. Bad behavior was not only condoned, but rewarded. For instance, Debbie Wasserman-Schulz, after being let go from the DNC for slanting the primary, was rewarded by Clinton with a position on her team. Historically, she should have become an untouchable.
There are a lot of misguided feelings ping-ponging around the internet, supported by years of propagandized conditioning from special interests. Coming together will be nearly impossible the longer we continue on this road, ignoring that it’s all orchestrated to keep those in power where they are (look to Trump’s dealings in just a couple weeks since the election to see it’s still status quo and so much for change). Skin color, orientation, and gender do not make you more able in life or more likely to pass the pearly gates in death. It doesn’t define where you should be in life or how you behave. If you care about life, then you care about all life, and seek to make things better in the most reasonable and sound manner possible. You don’t blow off another’s experience, which you couldn’t possibly know, because you don’t want to be a better person. Be a better person and stop accepting mediocrity.
I hope that we can all, especially the most vulnerable among us, find something to give thanks for this holiday. Stay safe. Use your empathy. Be kind.