You told me that I had wasted my vote by casting my ballot for the person I actually believed was best able to run the country. Because that person wasn’t from one of the two political parties, I had, you said, only helped someone else win. A little research proved you were right. So I stopped believing, stopped seeing a reason to vote.
Before that I looked to political leaders who shared my religious ideals and values. Turns out that they didn’t believe in the same Jesus as me, and that if they really did stand for what I stood for (and I have my doubts), they couldn’t really do much about it. But the Jesus they believed in turns its back on the poor, denies education for anyone not in his fraternity, and says that killing foreigners is God’s work. We quote the same Bible, but my Jesus isn’t in theirs.
So after you told me I was wasting my time, I quit voting. Any energy put toward politics was spent in proving that both sides were the same devil in different suits. I believed that there were good people in the world, people who made a difference in their neighborhoods, but that none of these people could serve in government, because no one in governments served the people without expecting a hundredfold return on their investment.
And then a few came along who caused me to question. Just when I thought all was lost, that it was only a matter of time before I had to learn the language of those who conquered our land, a handful came across the sea of fear with a boat. A freaking boat. Your guys had boats, but they were throwing anchors to the drowning and life jackets to those already on their yachts. Some of your guys stood on the shore, told the crowd to get baptized in the sea of fear while their deacons held hoses making sure that sea stayed full.
While politicians were dismantling education, you called me a fool for having an education and supporting someone many other educated people supported. Education has not only been hurt by lack of funding and poor policy and broken promises from all sides of the political spectrum. It has been demonized.
And so I’m back to wondering why I should bother. You see, hate starts all the conversations now. Hate doesn’t disagree or engage in debate. It spews itself violently and dares anyone to stand up against its bile. I’ve spoken out, but having ideas only leads to me be accused of not loving my country. You’ll never know, in fact, how much I do love America. But I for now, I can no longer stand up to the bullies. It’s futile. Keep your damn playground. Nobody plays there anymore.
Take Hope too. You are going to need it.