Nov 05 16

Election Season Angst

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Fear not, there will be quilt photos interspersed throughout this post.  This is a quilting blog, not a political blog, but this election season (I believe it’s been going on for over a year now, so “season” is a bit of a misnomer) has taken its toll on my soul and psyche and I just need to vent a bit.

 

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If you live within the United States, then you probably share my frustration and embarrassment over what has been playing out here.  This election seems to have brought out the worst in people, and I’m not just talking about the candidates.  When I listen to the news, I am so disheartened by the way people speak to one another and treat one another.  I can’t remember a time when it was “ok” to be so disrespectful and society just turned a blind eye, as if it’s no big deal.  We’re talking about grown adults who sound like children in a schoolyard hurtling insults at one another.  Everything is fair game and nothing is sacred.  Sexism, racism, fascism have all been “justified” as if they are ok.  It’s kind of like a civilized society has gone back decades in time in its view of how we should view and treat one another.

 

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I don’t know anyone who feels really great about his or her “chosen” candidate.  You can’t really vote for anyone in this election without ignoring some pretty awful transgressions because no one has a clean slate.  That’s part of what gnaws away at your soul, because you can’t vote without simultaneously endorsing someone’s wrongdoing.  By voting, you’ve dipped your toe into the cesspool that surrounds you, so now you’re part of the muck.  At the same time, you can’t “not vote,” because the stakes are simply way too high.

 

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I know many of you reading this live outside the US and I feel compelled to tell you that you have been witnessing the very worst side of our society.  Personally, I’m so ashamed to be seen the way the rest of the world must see us now.  I feel genuinely scared about the future, more than I ever have, because we are such a fractured and angry country right now.  People are acting with impulsivity and expect not to deal with consequences.  We come across like people who have no sense of right and wrong, no sense of fairness or equality, no sense of empathy or understanding, and no concern for anything other than our piggish wants and needs.  I feel like I’ve been watching a really bad reality TV show that’s gone on for months.  (And this is coming from someone who watches all of the Real Housewives, so that says a lot!)

 

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In my non-quilting life, I am a hospice physician.  My job is all about connecting with people, and connecting with them quickly.  I need to figure out “where they’re coming from,” what matters to them, and how I can best communicate with them.  This means I have to really pay attention to what they’re saying to me and how they’re saying it in order to pick up on subtle cues.  Respecting their values and opinions, even when they are not mine, is key.   Lately, I feel like my job is the only place left where people routinely hold one another to this kind of accountability.  What happened to just valuing one another as human beings?  What about respecting the fact that your political views are different from your next door neighbor?  Do we all have to agree on everything to get along and actually be kind to one another?

 

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If I sound morose, I guess I am.  A part of me feel broken inside after months of this ridiculous back and forth that is endlessly playing on newscasts and in news feeds.

 

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I don’t want to end this blog post on a negative note, so I won’t.  I guess I’ll just say that I’m hoping that whoever wins this election, the bickering, name calling, and posturing will stop.  We really need to put forth an effort to accomplish something together and stop focusing on why we can’t find some form of a middle ground where everyone has a bit of a say in what happens going forward.

 

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Here’s hoping that we find that middle ground…

 

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6 Comments

  1. Rebecca Muir MacKellar Says:

    Hello, Your quilting is lovely. Thanks for writing up a thing about the election. It is awful the political climate around here. I wish that people could just try to accept each other and get along. What I fear about this election is that it will not all stop after the newest president is elected. If Hillary wins trump will be a jerk and if trump wins it will be a disaster.
    What I hate is that the republicans saying that they will not approve of anyone that Hillary chooses for the supreme court, etc. It is all terrible and I am worried.
    You are spot on and I thank you for writing it. I don’t like Hillary, but she is the most qualified and will be what is best for our country. Don’t know how things got this bad. Our fore fathers would be horrified.

  2. QuiltShop Gal Says:

    Absolutely enjoyed your personal quilt show packed with #CreativeGoodness.

    I agree with you 100% about politics and the way people are treating others. Last week I had a getaway trip to Canyonlands and Arches National Park. While on a hike we met a lovely family from Czechoslovakia who were closely following our politics, and it sounded like everyone in the EU was too. We all agreed it was deplorable. Wish Daylight Savings Time rolled us back further and we could have a clean slate of new candidates to choose from.

    Back to more positive, I’m in love with all your beautiful quilts and quilted project. Your home must be stunning with so much beauty around. Of course, I’m confident it is also filled with love and respect.

    Big hug. Tomorrow,next year, next decade, will certainly get better.

    QuiltShopGal
    http://www.quiltshopgal.com

  3. Diane Evans Says:

    Patsy –

    You have put all my feelings into words so very eloquently — I actually can feel my heart racing when I think about this year’s election, so every time I do, I say a prayer. Let’s hope our country can come together in the weeks and months ahead. We need to heal.

    Diane

  4. Lauree Scott Says:

    I read this to my husband and he wants to know how he can share this on Facebook. You have summarized this election perfectly.

  5. Tricia Seppell Says:

    Patsy – loved your posting; could not have said it better. Prayer is a powerful tool and I use it daily; I also use my quilting. I seek solace there away from the garbage in the media. Also,quilting allows me to bless my fellow man with the comfort, love, prayer I put into every charity comfort quilt. It’s these quilts, daily kindness to all I meet, acting with good common sense and the all encompassing commandment…love thy neighbor as thyself that will help heal our hurting nation.
    Thank you for your honesty, the loveliness of you quilts, designs, etc.

  6. Marietta Walker Says:

    I have to agree with you Patsy. I actually had ladies from AU, Europe, and Canada ask me what the heck is going on in my country. All I can say is our youth seem to be repeating history for us. I have yet to hear one person in my life, my friendships, my circles, say they voted for President Elect Trump. Who did vote for him? I don’t know, but we will all pay the price, that is for sure.