I don’t blog about politics; I blog about what’s natural.
And, sometimes, that includes love.
Tonight, I am legitimately distraught.
There are conversations I should have had weeks ago with people I love but didn’t. Because sometimes it’s easier not to talk about the things that divide us. The things that stomp on already shaky ground.
But sometimes elephants in the room deserved to be mentioned. Not because they earned it, but because the humans they represent did.
I come from a town that is very much the same: White. Christian. Aging.
I come from a high school in which the number of black kids in it could be counted on one hand.
And my gay peers…what gay peers?
I also come from a house that houses guns. Guns I was educated about and on how to use.
And then I went to college. And met the alphabet and the rainbow, and I say that only to illustrate a broad spectrum–not to insult my upbringing.
(I still shoot when I’m home, because I’m good at it–it’s a sport at which I excel.)
But, for me, the choice I would make tomorrow has been obvious, and in service of letters and rainbows and respect for the father who kept his guns locked up and taught me about them. Because I grew to love those people. And their partners. And the places they came from. And what they can protect.
In many elections, I think it would be a harder fought battle. Hell, to be honest, put a more moderate Republican at the podium, and I’d have had to spend serious time with a pro-con list about social and political issues.
But not this one.
Let’s say, to be make things fair, that each candidate came bearing the same balance of experience, and I had to go off of something else. For many, it’s the D or R behind the name; for me, it’s my kids.
The hypothetical ones I don’t have.
The ones I have started to love and sometimes write letters to.
The ones that have ended a relationship with the person I love most in this world–because he doesn’t see them.
I think of them when I cast my vote. And I think about the world I want them to grow up in and what I would want for them if they were me, right now.
I would want my daughter to believe in herself and her ability and right to stand next to a boy and debate their positions. I would expect her to follow Robert’s Rules and for the victor to win on merit. I would expect her to shake his hand–win or lose–and I would demand she show respect. But I would also demand that she never let herself or her gender be demeaned because she was simply a girl standing next to a boy…winning.
I would want my daughter to hold the hand of her scared best friend in a well-lit (and well-funded) abortion clinic. And by want, I mean that I expect my daughter to be a member of a tribe who will stand by another, even when it’s hard, if that’s what she wants. And I would expect the same of her fellow tribe members.
And I would want my brother to be able to fall in love with a girl who was no less of an amazing women because she wasn’t born here. And I would expect him to fight for her to stay here, her home, with the family who raised her here because they valued access to clean drinking water and a better education.
I would want my son to be able to go to the range to shoot at a target, to see if he could finally best his mom or his grandmother. And I would want him to hold the gun with a respect for the damage it can cause and a reverence for the freedom he has to fire it.
I vote for the kids I don’t have. And I do so wanting those kids to be proud of the choices I make. Or at least proud of the humanity in my decision, because at the end of the day, I want them to know I didn’t vote for some abstract change.
I vote because I believe in her right to be a woman–nasty or otherwise.
I vote because I believe in the people who are apart of this country–born here or otherwise.
I vote because we participate in a freedom here unknown to most of the world.
And I believe that participation should be handled with heart and humanity, so vote for whoever you want tomorrow. But before you do, ask yourself whether or not you would let your kids repeat most of the things that candidates says, “because out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45)