It’s the first time I’ve sat down to write since the election results, so I’m pretty sure this is the post where I’m supposed to bare my soul and share my viewpoints and try to convince people that either my elation or my utter despair is the correct response.
I’m not going to do that. I won’t.
That said, it would feel super weird (and more than a little icky) to just dive back into writing about my own precious kiddos and my own little life. I can’t pretend like the election didn’t happen. It happened. I see it. I acknowledge it. It seems completely bizarre to talk about anything else.
So right now, I can do this: I will address it by addressing that I do not currently wish to address it.
Some might think that it is un-American to refrain from disclosing my choice, that I should be grappling for the nearest megaphone to shout WHY I AM RIGHT — after the polls have closed, after the decision has been made — and I definitely get the feeling that I am in the minority about this. I know how almost all my loved ones voted, and it’s not because I followed them into the booth and peered surreptitiously over their shoulders. I know because they told me.
I find this kind of transparency commendable, provided that it is accompanied by some degree of tact and class and kindness and respect. I am fascinated by ALL positions — and whether you are my friends or family members or almost-strangers in my Facebook feed, I tip my proverbial hat to you, sirs and madams, for summoning the courage to express your views. Thank you for bravely and thoughtfully sharing your perspectives with me. I’m listening. I’m nodding. I’ve heard all of it, and I want to know more.
But I definitely wouldn’t blame you if you turned to me and said, “You know? It’s really none of your business.”
Is there a polite way to say None of your business? If so, then let’s agree to say that instead. But on a fundamental level, it just isn’t.
People have every right to ask. And we have every right not to tell them.
As part of the tenth grade curriculum, I used to teach the Declaration of Independence. We always paused to discuss the word “duty,” and I am still bowled over by the weight of such a thing. If I am not happy with the direction of the country, it is my DUTY to change it. My RESPONSIBILITY. What an incredibly profound power we’ve been given — what a heavy, sobering charge.
But I can try to change it by my vote — and my next vote, and my next — and not by raising my voice or my fists.
In the meantime, here is where I stand: I believe in kindness. I believe in goodness. I believe in forgiveness. I believe in tolerance and acceptance and civility and hard work. I believe that our daughters will absolutely shatter glass ceilings and I believe that our sons should be gentlemen. I believe in this country, and I am so, so grateful that I am inexplicably fortunate enough to live here.
I am not embarrassed by my beliefs. I’m just fiercely protective of that hard-won secret ballot. My own parents don’t even know how I voted this time. (Sorry, Mom and Dad. I know you’ve been curious. xoxo.)
People assume I am a liberal because I’m a female who worked in public education for over a decade. People assume I am a conservative because I grew up in Bloomfield Hills. They assume I am a liberal because I went to college in one of the most left-leaning cities in the country. And they will assume I am a conservative because of this post, because I am choosing to protect my right to privacy.
All or none of those things might be true. So might anything in between. For now, I do not wish to speak.
At the moment, I think it is more important to listen.