Right before and after the 2016 Presidential Election, I felt at home with my fellow writer, my family, various organizations I found interesting, and my friends. Everyone takes a stand for what they believe in, and I hold no grudge against anyone who feels differently than I. This said, the comments on social media platforms became the nastiest I’ve encountered in my lifetime.
I am a Christian. I believe in God. Jesus is my Savior. This is, and will always be the most important element of who I am as a person. I am not a perfect person. I cannot and have never lived a perfect life. I cannot and will not change who I am in order to please anyone. I only want to please God. I want our country to be wonderful again. I want the founding principals of this great country to have meant something, and to mean something once again.
In the beginning, I posted in favor of my candidate, but the crude and hateful remarks I’d receive unsolicited caused me to stop posting those. I then had to choose who I needed to unfollow, hide posts from, and whom to disassociate with entirely. I’m still finding this difficult, and I know it should be easy. I am a writer, and I like being informed. I do not like being unfairly judged because I have an opinion. I find the actions, morals, and beliefs of some of the people I like to call my friends and associates have become unreasonable. The following is an essay I wrote of my opinion of the 2016 Election.
Temerarious to Faits di·vers
In the aftermath of the 2016 election, I feel like a sponge I might hold in my hand under the faucet. The dry, rough stiff sponge soaks up water until it is drenched and the water fills up its pores. It becomes softer, and when it is full it becomes heavier, excess water dripping out. It is a sponge, so we squeeze it until it is no longer sopping wet, and can be used without making a mess.
As I write, I wish for a long, cooling drink of water to ease the pain I feel when I’m online and checking my Facebook feed, only to see vicious, rude, and totally uncalled for remarks on my pages. I see people I count on as my friends, relatives, and acquaintances rallying against each other, and calling each other and myself names.
I’ve made my online life a circle of those whom I’ve relied on to make my life as normal as possible since losing my ability to go out into the world as easily as before due to a long-coming disability from some early diagnoses in my twenties of Fibromyalgia, then the beginnings of arthritis and disc degenerative disease in my early thirties, to psoriatic arthritis and unknown autoimmune disorders and inflammatory arthritis along with osteoarthritis in my forties.
The overflow from this election year has left me feeling heavy. Unlike a sponge, I have a nervous system, a digestive system, and a circulatory system. While the sponge relies on a constant water flow to remove waste, it takes more than water for me to remove the waste leftover from the division of people I now see in our country.
I find my once daily respite of online reading, writing, and friendships can’t take me away from physical pain. Instead my Facebook feed and news feeds remind me of the pages of the tabloids shouting only sensational, and often untrue, stories and they remind me of gossip magazines stuffed in the racks at grocery stores, drugstores, and along the sidewalks of busy city streets.
All this from a Presidential election where two candidates, from vastly different worlds, and for their own reasons, chose to run for the office of the President of the United States. One is now feeling the sadness of failure and defeat, and one is feeling the exhilaration of the win, but most disturbingly, there are American people out there turning their right to vote into their right to voice obscenities toward whomever they can, whenever they can. Although I have heard mud-slinging election rhetoric in previous elections, and I do follow politics and economics and keep abreast of the world to the best of my abilities, I have never in my lifetime seen any election go to this extreme.
In attempting to create an essay for an online class assignment. On November 2, I opened my email from merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day. Temerarious. An adjective meaning marked by temerity, rashly or presumptuously daring.
Then I opened Webster’s New World College Dictionary Fifth Edition and my finger pointed to a French word, faits di·vers, which means brief news stories, as those typically found in some French newspapers, that are sensational, lurid, etc.
Since the 2016 Presidential election is the source of my angst, I felt this subject and how it is affecting me now more than appropriate for my message.
Today, post-election, the media is reporting on the election even more and from everywhere — television, radio, the Internet, newspapers, and gossip magazines all with their fragments of knowledge about how this election turned out the way it did.
My head is spinning. I cast a leery eye and carry a broken heart. With what rash boldness and recklessness are we are temerariously destroying our friendships and dividing our nation, one person at a time?
Right now, like that sponge, we have soaked up a tremendous amount of toxic information. Our pores are full. We are soaked to the eyes and noses on our faces and are drowning ourselves in tears of noxiousness. Never in our lifetimes have we had such an onslaught of faits di·vers in the United States of America so easily available to us.
I hope our world, with all its wonderment and hope and dreams can squeeze out these contaminated excess waters until we are no longer sopping wet and making a mess of our lives. I pray we do this before our long-standing, important relationships with each other dry out and become rough, like the sponge without its life-sustaining water.