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  • Alicia Takaoka

Thoughts about the election

The memes are priceless. Thank you and props to all the meme makers and sharers across social media this past week! The post proper is after the memes, which are dank.

Some are general about the election, like these:

Some are about those late states.

And some are about Nevada. Specifically. These are some of my favorites about my home state:

But nobody is talking about this result:

This is the craziest margin ever, I feel like. So many people did not want to work with the 45th.

So, joking aside, how do we move forward? I posed on my personal social media that we need to talk.

Having strong boundaries is healthy for an individual and can be freeing from toxic and one-sided interpersonal relationships. They allow two people to exist as they are without forcing the will of one person on another. However, our strong boundaries did not help our nation very much.

Unless you unfriended people, calling for others to unfriend you is not healthy. If you want people out of your life, you have to let them go. It can be quietly or in a rage or whatever, but the onus to change the dynamic of the relationship, if they are unwilling to work with you, is on you. It may be lonely and may hurt for a bit, but if you aren’t getting the healthy things you need, like respect for your personhood and existence, you can and should leave. Barring these situations where respect is continually unrequited, we need to talk it out.

This does not mean talking with your toxic family that can’t understand why you’re gay or not having kids or whatever. This is on a community level.

We need to understand this election as a choice, the needs and fears of the other side, and discuss why it was okay for a whole shit ton of people to vote for a racist, sexist, and homophobe a second time. One of my friends pointed out that it seems disingenuous when it is framed that way because it seems like I am saying that they are wrong, and they are being baited to be shamed. I get that. That also seems abusive. That is definitely not my intention.

As I expressed to that friend, I want to genuinely understand the appeal. Why was it okay to vote for this person when he made fun of people and talked about harassing and assaulting women? I can only see what is unacceptable to me, so show me what is acceptable to you.

If those things, making fun of people for being different or abusing people, are acceptable to you, then I will try to meet you where you’re at so we can work together to identify some trauma around where those beliefs come from and try to move past it.

This same friend indicated that we all have to not draw lines in the sand and say “Eff that!” We all have to come to the table to with open minds to discuss what we want a shared vision of the future to look like. While I agree with that, I want to share another conversation I had with a different friend about this. It’s about definitions of terms.

We are using the same words to discuss very different concepts. We were discussing moral authority. This friend indicated that conservatives have expressed that liberals come off as wanting the moral authority, which is off-putting, because they correct everyone and say what is and is not acceptable and call people racists and whatnot. I brought up that conservatives come off as wanting the moral authority because they want to have their point of view as the only point of view. Same same but different. We need to talk this out and come up with a plan for change.

What, for example, does moral authority mean to you? What about voter suppression, taking care of your family, or the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

Another person I talked with about these crazy conflicting definitions brought up that just this one perspective about moral authority and religion may influence why some people want their beliefs to be law. It was just a thought experiment and in no way true, but the point was made that perhaps making some choices illegal is tied to the fact that some people in different sects of christianity believe that people who aren’t christian don’t deserve the same rights and freedoms because they are going to hell and they are wrong. Do your religious or personal beliefs label people as inferior? What does that look like in practice?

This is why we need to have the conservatives onboard. What are they really thinking?

What are we all being told about each other from our own sides without really questioning the agendas of those messages?

One thing that I cannot cave on is that every living, breathing person deserves the same equal rights. This includes marriage and a myriad of other things. Rights are not privileges. Every person deserves to be treated equally and fairly under our laws. Then, I have a wish list.

We also all need free health care. People shouldn’t have to host a Go Fund Me page in the hope of raising enough funds for a surgery. The same care and options should be afforded to everyone. If people want personal insurance, great! Buy it! But my friends with cancer shouldn’t be experiencing different levels of care because they have friends with differently sized bank accounts. Every person should have their basic health needs met without causing a burden or hardship to themselves and their family. This is a lofty ambition, but I would like to see it happen (with the ability to opt out, of course) in my lifetime.

I was sharing with some folks too that this election made me realize how much I disagree with the DNC. I registered to be a Democrat so I could vote in the primaries, but that vote seems to matter less and less. I did not have a say again in who was our candidate, and Biden was not even in my top five. Maybe Kamala Harris was my 5th choice, but she was not any higher than that.

So yeah, I like losers I guess. It’s fine. Andrew Yang for Secretary of Labor!

This is a long post. It has a lot of words. I’m not really sure how to end it, so I will just leave it with this idea that we all need to have difficult conversations. What are the tools you have to enter in these hostile spaces?

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