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  • valpalnicole

November 3rd, 2020

Election Day


I've found in the last couple of months or so, that it is hard to watch people, whom I love, in very literal pain as they anxiously await the results of this election. Donald Trump and his supporters are as relentless as ever, and it is proving to be detrimental to the mental health and physical health of many Americans.

Just last week, another black man was murdered by police officers, and folks only seemed to be worried about the riots that broke out in response...


I feel like it is important that I say that I am not here to tell you that Joe Biden is going to save America. I'm not a democrat, in fact, I don't identify with a party. None of them really support all of what I see as some really important moral values as a Christian, so I'm just here for all the people. If you know me, you know I'm an advocate for the oppressed, the underdog, and the meek. And quite frankly, Donald Trump just ain't it for those people. So, we have to settle. We settle for Joe.


I saw a post shared on Facebook about a week ago that said president Trump has truly "changed the world, whether he wins in the next election or not", and I have to say, I agree. Things are definitely different...Let's dig into that. (disclaimer: you might not like what I have to say from here on out, and that is okay with me)


Since being elected in 2016, DT has "succesfully" done the following:

- Immigration enforcement has increased by 30% (not a positive)

- Temporarily suspended DACA and arrested multiple Dreamers

- Ended a Temporary Protection Status for 200,00+ Salvadoreans

- Repealed anti-bribery rule much to the delight of the oil industry

- Nominated an EPA Administrator who doesn't beleiev in climate change...

- Weakened the firearm background check system and made it easier for fugitives to buy them

- Reinstated the Global Gag Rule

- Proposed defunding Planned Parenthood

- Betsy DeVos...

- Named Jeff Sessions, a long-time opponent of civil and LGBTQ+ rights, as attorney general

- Supported economic and educational policies that are detrimental to communities of color

- Blocked LGBTQ+ Syrian and Iraqi refugees from finding protection in the U.S.

- Helped America get to the number one leader in Covid cases

- Mocked the media and scientists and polititians relentlessly

- Got the coronavirus and said it wasn't a big deal, basically insulting everyone who has suffered at the hands of this pandemic


Now of course you can say, Valerie, every preisdent did bad stuff in office. I mean, Obama "built the cages" right? Okay fine.

But, did every president instill fear into the lives of hundreds of Americans solely based on their skin color or gender?

Did every president call women names and objectify them publicly and in disgusting ways?

Did every president call people lazy, rapists, thugs, or animals based on skin color or heritage?

Did every president before Donald question the IQ of refugees and threaten to shoot migrants?

Honest questions here.


But Valerie, he's not alllll bad.

But Valerie, he's our president, we have to support him.

But Valerie, everyone makes mistakes..

But Valerie, he's a Christian....


Listen.


I get all of that. I've heard it all. It is not enough.

Maybe, as Christians, we shouldn't have to excuse epically bad behavior because of a handful of "good" policies. and I say "good" because, some of them are disguised...I won't even get into how harmful the pro-life claim is...


(actually I will. “Pro-life” isn’t pro-life until ALL LIVES are cared for. That includes getting rid of the death penalty, that includes re-thinking war, and that includes supporting BLM and condemning the violence shown by police officers. You don’t get to pick and choose which lives you support. It’s hypocritical.)


But, anyway, supporting a man who has ripped apart lives really isn't something I want to sign my name to. .


I reached out to a list of people, some that I am close friends to and some that I am not, and asked them 4 questions about DT and this election. They are part of several communities that have been threatened by the Trump administration, including African American, Hispanic, Latino, Female, and LGBTQ+. I would encourage you to take time to read their answers, and maybe attempt to put yourslef into their shoes as you experience the things on their hearts.


I will list the questions and then responses I got. I took the liberty of italicizing some things I felt needed to be emphasized.


Questions-

  1. Do you identify with a specific political party?

  2. What would a continued Trump presidency look like for you?

  3. What will you need from those who love you if he is re-elected?

  4. Do you have any personal anecdotes or feelings about the 2016 election and how it changed your life?

Yesenia Gomez-

  1. Democrat

  2. More hate. More division. More ignorance. I'm not one to live in fear, but seeing how some of DTs supporters are towards BIPOC, I feel scared to be out and about becasue I don't want to be verbally or physically attacked for just... existing.

  3. Their love. Genuine, mourn with those who mourn, love your neighbor- Jesus type love and understanding. The big one would be praying for me. It is too difficult to find words to say right now, so I need someone to pray on my behalf and if DT is re-elected... I'm gonna need a lot of prayers.

  4. I was just sad. I felt betrayed. I was so sure that after the "locker room" tapes were out- he wouldn't win. I was so sure that after he called mexicans rapists and theives- he wouldn't win. And honestly what hurt the most about his win was that people from church that I LOVED and grew up knowing, people who taught youth group and helped me through hard times... they voted for him and they were publicly ecstatic that DT won. It was a slap in the face that these church people were okay supporting a man who does not care about me or my family's well being.

Maia Zeno-

  1. I identify as a moderate

  2. A continued Trump presidency would not only effect me personally, but it would also effect my friends and family. For me personally, it's not necessarily a fear of him being unpredicatble in office, it is a fear of what his "proud boys" followers will do to me, my friends and family, and it's also the fear of how his followers/supporters will be openly racist against all people of color and LGBTQ+ members. (I'm not saying all of his supporters are racist, but majority of them are)

  3. All I need from people I love is their continued support and determination to "fight the system"and their continued allyship in fighting for the human rights of people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and the women in this country.

  4. No I don't.

Ansel Jeffries-

  1. I identify as a Democrat. I believe in the basic laws of individual right of choice when it comes to your body, I believe in universal medicare for all, and generally I believe that the current party views on climate change and foreign relations match my own.

  2. So far, I have not truly experienced the work force with him as president being in college, but due to the hardcore Trump supporting demographic exhibiting unnaturally high levels of ignorance and refusal to acknowledge bipartisan issues such as the support of minority groups in this country and racism seen across the world, I don't personally feel as though I will be physically safe entering another term.

  3. I will need guidance on how to continue to have the tough conversations, helping me find the wisdom to know to love through ignorance (although I will not allow for ignorance that threatens my saftey or rhetoric that de-values my experiences) and continue to love me so I don't feel the hate.

  4. When the 2016 election happened, I was a senior in highschool. And I can remember debriefing with my family and friends on how many ignorant comments and hateful words were spewed by people who felt emboldened enough to display such actions. And it broke my heart and terrified me that people could so easily hide their hate they felt for others until they felt they didn't need to anymore. That election taught me that even people you may think you love can hold a secret hate for you in their heart. And not all republicans did that. Not all republicans are bad people, but that election taught me that not everyone has your best interest at heart, and when they feel they can show their true self, they will.

Alysa Campos-

  1. I guess you could say I'm a democrat since I have very liberal beliefs although I suppose if there was a republican candidate thaat I agree with I would vote for her/him. Although with what the Republican Party currently stands for, I don't see that happening.

  2. I'm honstly very fearful for having Trump be president for another four years, I'm scared for what it means for me and my family. As well as immigrants in this country. It hurts to see a country that you call home hate you because of where you come from. You love our food and our music, and yet we get treated like criminals.

  3. I honestly don't even know what I'll need because I can't believe living in a world where he is re-elected. What I NEED right now is for everyone to go vote. If you care about me or any minority you will go vote and not let what is one of my biggest fears happen.

  4. I think in 2016 we just didn't understand how many people out there truly agreed and believed in Trump. I think that us as a younger generation kinda thought it was a joke of him winning and didn't take the election or voting seriously. I also think that has changed at least I hope it has. I hope more people vote and use their voice. The last four years has opened my eyes to how much hate is in the world as well as fear. Still I have hope for this generation and the younger people that will not be messed with and that won't be silent this go around.

Kiva Maxwell-

  1. I would consider myelf a Democrat, despite that not being all encompassing of my politial beliefs.

  2. A continued presidency looks like more unchecked racism. It looks like racism's being promoted by the President. It means that the overall race conscious of those around is gone, leaving me to fend for myself. Particularly in White Christian spaces that I exist in that, someone who can claim Christianity can get away with vile things in the name of Jesus. Thus my need for justice is seen as a threat and not a need. A continued presidency means that people in my community won't have access to health care. Another term of this presidency looks like the world not being safe for a black woman.

  3. I need the people who love me to pray for me and my soul. I need them to understand how hard this is for me, and to remind me of my faiht and my conviction to be a person of joy. I need those who love me to remind me I've still got work to do to make this place we called earth significantly better.

  4. After the 2016 election, I almost left church altogether. Existing in a predominantly white faith space at both school and church as a black woman was exhausting. The things I heard church people say was downright hurtful. They stood behind this man that meant me harm. They didn't care about the orphan, alien, or the widow. My convictions about faith and my family kept me in church. Fast forward 4 years, I'm in college and somehow surprisingly finding myself within a consistent house of worship every week. I still have church PTSD from 4 years ago. I've been a Christian my whole life and I hate being found around church during election season. 2016 showed how many people are loyal to their party in the name of God, even when their leader has a continued history of making life hard for the disenfranchised.

Anonymous-

  1. I don't think I can really identify with a political party. I identify with what is best for ALL humans. Not just humans that agree with me. I think both the democratic and republican parties have things they seriously need to get together. They are both focused on political gain rather than fixing the problems at hand. However, I do identify with AOC. It makes me sad she has no plans to run for president.

  2. A continued presidency from Trump will honestly lead to less rights for the LGBT community and women... I mean he has clearly shown his lack of respect for women. But I fear that he has focus on diminishing what little rights we have. As far as the LGBT, I fear not being able to marry my girlfriend. Or us being able to foster or adopt. Which is just sad to prevent children from having a home. It is scary to think of what may happen with his continued control. As a student it is scary because he wants to take me off of my parent's insurance and provide no help with student loans. That's terrifying to think about as I graduate and enter the work force.

  3. Support is what I will need if he is re-elected. Also, for them to pay more attention at the state level to what they are trying to pass. That directly impacts us. I mean for instance, Gov. Abbott just passed a bill saying social workers could turn the LGBT and disabled people away from adoption and foster care. That's absolutley insane; to prevent kids having loving homes because of sexual orientaion or disabilities. Also, vote every two years for who is in the judicial branch and the legislative branch. Those are just as important and they are the ones coming up with these laws. One thing many people who love us don't understand is if you aren't saying anything then you are just as guilty as those voting against us. Speak up. Spread love and positivity.

  4. The 2016 election was a scary one. I personally did not want Hillary to be the first female president but I also was worried about what Trump would do if he got power. I remember when election time came and Trump was announced as victorious, I texted a group of my friends saying "welp...do you think we burned our bridge with England" and one of my freinds said "we better start apologizing". That was a laugh we all needed.

Kayla Gomez-

  1. I identify as a democrat.

  2. I think if Trump continued to be president, I think it would send our country back 50 more years than he already has in the past 4. He’s instigated so much hate between people and other countries… that at this point, there’s no expecting what will happen.

  3. I think something I would love to see are my friends speaking and calling out the injustice and hatred we’ve seen. I see many of them just stay silent as if nothing’s going on. It makes me think, what if something like that happened to me? What if I was taken by ICE as an American citizen? Would they just sit there and pretend as if nothing happened? It breaks my heart.

  4. Honestly, I did not vote in the 2016 election. I had just started college in a different state and had never known how complicated out-of-state voting was. I am rather ashamed of myself because even though I now know that my vote counted, my no-vote went to Trump…

------------------------------------------

Your Responses Should Reflect Christ


Let me preface my thoughts here by saying that there is no arguing with those thoughts and feelings above. no one dismisses them or discredits them, because no one can know their hearts like they do.

Look, I would be lying if I said that I wasn't trying to change a few minds with this post, and if I only change one, I will be thrilled.

My OC folks, I bet you know at least one person on this list. Think about their words. Reach out and offer some kind words of encouragement. Their entire world could change tonight, good or bad, and that is a big load to carry.

Remember, no matter which old man is in office at the end of all of this, people will be upset. Be humble in your responses to the outcome. Don't be a sore winner.


We are told time and time again in the Bible to bear one another’s burden, to protect the unprotected, and to speak up in moments of injustice. Screaming about taxes, fracking, and abortion are not how we do that.

Vote. Vote for the opressed. Vote for the ones who are in danger of having rights stripped away. Vote for your scared brothers and sisters. Vote for Yesenia, AJ, Kiva, Kayla, Alysa, and Maia. Vote for our minorities. Vote for the sweet babies at the border. Vote for love, kindness, and hope.


Please.


If you or anyone you know would like to talk about today or tonight or anyhthing involving this election, let's talk. I'll listen.


Thanks for reading.


Peace.

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