Tuesday, November 22, 2016

My Two Cents

My dear friends, it’s been a while since I was here the last time. Some of you might have had the funny feeling that my absence was caused by the result of our presidential election, and of course you’re right.

I try to keep my blog free of politics, but sometimes I just can’t sit by silently. This is one of those times.

Like so many other Americans I was glad that with November 8th this election campaign finally came to its long overdue end. My family and I had sent in our mail-in ballots two weeks before – our first presidential election since we had become US citizens. It was not only our vote for the president, but so many other decisions as well on the state, county and city level. It kept my husband and myself debating for weeks and finding our “yes” or “no” decision. It was a fruitful debate where we listened to each other and didn’t call the other one names when s/he didn’t share our opinion. The way it should be.

Since Brexit, however, I had a very bad feeling about the outcome of our election. The last few days before that fateful Tuesday the media acted as if it was no question that Hillary Clinton would win the election, and every time I wondered “how do you know?”

Well, they didn’t. I didn’t even watch the election results on Tuesday evening. The first results trickled in while our polling stations were still open. I curled up on the sofa with my knitting needles, feeling sick. When I only heard grunts from the Geek who was following the election on his computer, I knew that Donald Trump was about to win this election.

Has he? As it turned out, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. In any democratic country this would determine that she became the next president.

But this is the United States of America with the antiquated system of the Electoral College and we have to live with that. We have to accept the outcome of this election whether we like it or not. We can scream and have tantrums like two-year-olds or curl up in bed in denial – or we can try to be positive and contribute in a way that represents who we are and what we believe in.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not in favor of the mindless “get a grip and move on” attitude that we can hear so often right now. I will not forget neither forgive the dreadful things that were said during this campaign. I do not accept that it is okay to make fun of the disabled. I do not accept that it is okay to describe Mexican immigrants as rapists and murderers. I do not accept that it is okay to call veterans losers because they were POW while serving our country. I do not accept that it is okay to grope and sexually harass women. I do not accept that one human race is seen as superior to other races. I do not accept that it is okay to turn an entire group of people in the world into scapegoats because of their religion. I do not accept that climate change is a “hoax”.

And the list goes on.

I worry for my daughter’s future. I worry that any men might sexually harass her without any consequences, that this is thought to be okay. I don’t understand how any woman can accept that and how any parent of a daughter can accept that. Thankfully I’ve raised a daughter who has very healthy confidence in herself and who doesn’t accept this either.

I worry for our planet’s future. We so often behave as if we had a second one in the trunk of our cars. Now we will have people in our government who might break away from the world’s mutual attempt to save the planet. Where will we go to when our beautiful Earth cannot provide for us any longer?

I wanted to give our next president the benefit of the doubt. I still want him to succeed for the sake of our nation. But when I see who he is appointing right now all my hopes and my heart sink.

So what can I do? I will continue with kindness in my life. So many little things – as simple as holding the door for someone – can bring a smile on someone’s face and lift their mood. So often I have heard someone say “you just made my day”. I will go on doing it. Rudeness and inconsideration shall not be part of my life. I will be watchful. I hope I find the courage to stand up in public for someone who is being harassed or bullied – after all, I wear a safety pin. I will go on doing my part in conserving the resources of our planet, in sustainable living. Good thing I have a very environmentally conscious daughter who is not afraid to step on my toes if I’m thoughtless. That is the spirit!

These are my two cents.


And with this I return to blogging about walks around the lake, knitting baby cardigans and hats with sheep, and photos of the beautiful islands of Hawai’i.

To all of you in the US, have a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving.


JoZart Designs said...

For that two cents you deserve a $1,000. Well done! It is reassuring for me to read how you feel and see that there are some sane, sensible, caring citizens in America.
I agree that we should all do our best to make the world a better place despite (and because of it all).
All things change.
Jo x

Jeanie said...

Beautiful. I couldn't agree more. I, too, have pledged to do what I can do -- be kind, give charitable contributions to organizations whose mission I support and especially those that might find their funding threatened, and to let all people know that they matter to me. I can't move on as though nothing has happened but move forward because it has.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, Carola, and I salute your first vote in America for president. And welcome you as a voting citizen.

gina said...

So many of us are in a lot of pain in these tumultuous times. I want to believe that love will trump hate. This is a country of immigrants, and our diversity is our strength. I try to avoid politics in the blogosphere, but I feel we must speak up to protect our freedoms and rights. Wishing you a peaceful Thanksgiving.

Astrid Maclean said...

I love your blog and your work, but normally don't take the time to comment and apologize for that... Today is an exception. I live in the UK but have been following this election with rising horror. I woke up at 6 am on the 9th of November with a nightmare that left me sweating, namely that Trump had won. With a smile on my face feeling confident that of course it was just a nightmare I switched on my computer to check the latest results, - just to find that the last results were coming in and my nightmare was actually reality..... I pray for you guys there in the US, and for the rest of the world. Thank you for speaking out here today. There are so many of us out there that feel the same, but yes, all we can do is try and be positive ourselves. Change happens from within! xxx

Anonymous said...

Carola, you have beautifully and articulately expressed how I feel, exactly, better than I've been able to even in my own thoughts. Even now I don't know what to say, except thank you. I wish you, your husband, and your daughter a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. xo

windrock studio said...

It's a wonderful two cents and I agree with everything you said and how well you said it.

Darla said...

I agree 100%. That said, lets knit! LOL. You asked about the yarn I used on a recent scarf. It is called Wisdom Yarn Poem Sock. My local LYS doesn't carry it. I did find it here:


The link is to a discontinued color but it tells you a bit about the yarn. I loved the colorway. The yarn is just a bit fuzzy and made ripping out tricky - and since it was lace I did have to rip a few times.

Anxious to see what you are knitting next.

La Vie Quotidienne said...

So well said.

I am so sorry that your first election as an American citizen wasn't a more positive experience. This election was so difficult and the outcome so unexpected that everyone is still reeling. It has certainly taught me a lesson-and that is to be more involved. I hope to participate on some level with the 2018 congressional elections are very important too.

Magic Love Crow said...

What a great post! You said everything perfect! Being Canadian, this has a big affect on our country too! Your new president vowed to "break" certain deals with us and other parts of the world! But, I have to believe everything will work out! I won't change! I will keep being positive me!
Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!