This past week has been emotionally very difficult for me, like for many, many Americans. No matter who you supported in the recent presidential elections, the evening of Tuesday, November 8th was filled with suspense and anxiety. I can't pretend to understand the sociology of what is happening in this county with political parties and divisive policies. I really don't understand how we as a nation can have come to such a sharp and more-or-less evenly divided view of the world!
The fifteen years that I worked in my store was my first real exposure to the breadth of public opinion on political matters (outside the usual daily contact with news media and such that we all have). I trained as a child in school and a young woman in university in the sciences (biochemistry, genetics) and am married to a phD-holding astrophysicist. This past tends to limit my experience to well educated folk ... although my family background rests solidly with the working class, being farmers for generations out of mind on my father's side and coal miners on my mother's. Hence, my personal relatives are mostly hard-working people who value education but struggle along in their daily lives to make ends meet, like almost everyone else.
I am a 'techie' by inclination, having used my computer (always Apple products, starting with an Apple II back in the late 70's) to do page layouts, desk-top publishing and graphic designing (mostly quilts:) for years. I love my iPhone - not for its function as a telephone but because it is a handy pocket computer that allows me to take photographs, read and send emails and text messages, read books, keep my calendar up to date to remember appointments and birthdays and entertain myself with games (solitaire, Scrabble, crossword puzzles) when I'm waiting somewhere.
I respect and admire people of a religious nature (I don't care _what_ faith - Jewish, Christian, Moslem, Buddhist, shamanistic, etc) who can truly live their religion and give back to the community and society those good things that religion, properly practiced, encourage. I am not, myself, a church-going religious person, though I think I do have a strong streak of spirituality - my daughter says I am a transcendentalist of the Walden Pond variety. My mother was a fairly basic Christian (tending toward the fundamentalist) but also a non-church goer; my Dad was agnostic, at best - he always decried the behavior of people who piously attend church on Sunday and manage to live more venially every other day.
My experience with the general public has, thus, been mostly with women and mostly in a public sphere. (As one would expect, my private friends tend to be somewhat like me though I am quite tolerant of difference:) I do not understand the anger I have witnessed between so-called avowedly religious people and the folk of more modern (usually younger) outlook for whom orthodoxy is anathema. Sigh.
Just to make clear my own personal bias - I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary and, with more reluctance, for Hilary in the general election. I was astonished and dismayed while watching the election returns on Tuesday night. I have parenthetically followed Donald Trump in the media for years ... watched his divorces and blustering and general public arrogance (and all this before the election cycle began). I do not understand how any person of normal intelligence and reasoning ability could willingly vote for him (at the risk of creating a zillion negative comments on my blog). My husband noted that his campaign rhetoric resembled that of Hitler in the latter's rise to power (I think that is likely to raise more negativity - not that Trump is anything like Hitler or that The Donald would promote any of the policies of the Third Reich, but that he used the same kind of fearful, populist, elite-bashing themes to rise in the polls).
I fear for my country - not in the abstract at all, I have faith in democracy and the ideals of our foundation - but in the real day-to-day sense that this election is likely to generate more negative energy in our person to person contacts. I feel strongly that every person has an innate right to self-expression and that all viewpoints are of value. I also feel that dialog should be calm, compassionate and result in as close to consensus action as possible. Sigh.
So, what did I do yesterday? Read (am re-reading the C.J. Cherryh Fortress series), knitted on my cape and went out in the early evening with my niece Amy and her daughter to get a pedicure. Grin. When the going gets tough, the tough go to the spa? LOL! Life goes on and we strive to be good people and kind to one another.