Mystic Mondays May 30, 2016
I don’t feel right. Despite my every effort get Trump out of my body and my soul, he seems to have permanently invaded my mind and my flesh. I can’t seem to shake him. I feel like I need an old fashioned exorcism. You know–where a priest scares a demon out of you in the name of Jesus.
I mean this seriously. He won’t leave me alone!
I have voted in many elections and even when I had a visceral distaste for another candidate I was still able to wash the person from my skin like a hot soapy shower after a mud ball fight. The election cycle took care of that for me. I was promised a voice in the process, but once my vote was cast I could let go. My candidate may not win, but democracy would prevail either way, I would say. I could fight like hell, cast my vote, and then let go and trust the system until the next mud ball fight. I was a good sport even in losing.
But something is different this time. Voting didn’t satisfy me. I had done my part and was supposed to be able to let go and trust the process to carry forth our good democratic principles and values. “May the best candidate win!” was always my motto after voting. And how would we know who was best? Obvious. Whoever the American electorate picked was the patriotic answer!
But I feel betrayed this time. Something is not right. The anxiety in my soul (I am an off the chart Intuitive on the Meyers-Briggs test) tells me something is askew. This is not the usual tough election cycle (understatement of the year, right!). I feel like our democratic process is being used to forward un-democratic values. I feel like we’ve been conned and people don’t give a damn.
Granted, everyone gets to have a voice in a democracy. But aren’t there some unstated assumptions that we all have agreed on and abide by? Aren’t respect and tolerance for the other side a basic expectation even in our disagreement? When did it become okay to demand the first and hold disdain for the second? When did we agree that everyone gets to have a voice, but respect and tolerance are optional? When did we become okay with a presidential candidate raising a big middle finger salute to all the unspoken covenants that provide the glue that hold us together as a democratic people. Somehow winning at all costs has replaced trusting the democratic process to do its thing! I am scared this time that Trump may win, but the country will lose.
I know that I should have been able to cast my ballot, breathe and let go. I had done my patriotic duty. I know much of the country had done the same in their red, white and blue way. All seems to be in order, right? The system is moving forward. The conventions are only weeks away and we will be engaged in the next bout of this presidential mud ball fight.
It’s supposed to be beautiful thing to watch, this democracy in action. But my body tells me something isn’t right. My soul feels betrayed. I flit back and forth from red-faced anger at one moment to wanting to hum “Om” and practice yoga 24 hours a day the next moment. It’s not supposed to be this way. Voting is supposed to feel deeply satisfying. I am supposed to feel proud of my engagement as a citizen in the process. But will voting be enough to protect our democracy this time around? I am not sure we are watching democracy in action. I don’t recognize this.
I voted. I will vote again. This is how it works in a democracy. We get to decide. We get the country we want. We get the leaders we deserve. Shoot–we can even vote for our own demise. That’s the cool thing about democracy. No one is going to stop us from our own self-destruction.
I voted. I will vote again. I hope that is the only exorcism I need. I want Trump out of my body. I want my soul to feel clean again.
I voted. I will vote again. I hope that will be enough.