My Response to the Presidential Election

I am not a political person. Nor am I a religious person. But I am a passionate person. And I am an intelligent person. I am an optimist. I have opinions. And I sometimes pass judgments. For the most part, I will keep my judgments to myself. And I generally will only share my opinions when asked. I mind my own business and I stay out of the business of others. I do not like confrontation. But if pushed too far, I will engage. I am soft when the situation calls for it. I am hard when I need to be. I am compassionate, empathetic, kind, and understanding. I am accepting, caring, generous, and loving. But I do get irritated sometimes. Mostly, I just ride it out, complaining only to my family and closest friends. But sometimes, I need to speak out.

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Very rarely will I publicly share my thoughts about anything related to politics and religion. In the realm of politics, I am self-admittedly uneducated. In the realm of religion, I am self-admittedly quite educated. But these two topics tend to elicit so much controversy that I generally maintain my own thoughts, beliefs, and feelings inside the confines of my own brain. However, the recent Presidential election is one of those times that I am feeling the need to speak out.

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First, I am a proud boycotter of voting. I don’t vote. I voted once in my life…the year I turned 18 and could register to vote. For me, it did not live up to all the hype. I voted for Bill Clinton for President. And I have to honestly say that I felt no pride nor did I feel regret for the vote that I cast in that election. I did not feel that my vote counted nor did I feel that it didn’t count. I was absolutely indifferent about the entire process. And I whole-heartedly stand by my indifference. I cannot be swayed. My friends and family have tried. They have never succeeded.  And I have never since voted in any election.

Over the years, I have learned that I am simply not interested in politics. I am not interested in engaging in the shit storm of name calling, digging up past indiscretions, and dragging people and their family members through the mud. I am not interested in the public humiliation of others. I do not and will not support unkindness.

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While I do not follow politics much at all, it is difficult to escape the onslaught of political rantings on social media. So while I don’t know much, I have learned that there has not been a candidate for any political office that has earned my vote in the past 24 years. As a result, I will not be forced to choose the lesser of a multitude of evils. I simply will not choose evil at all. And I completely disagree with people who preach that voting is my duty as an American citizen. Voting is NOT my duty. It is my right. But I also maintain the right to choose NOT to vote. And this decision sits well with me. I sleep at night with a completely clear conscience. And that is how it should be.

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I also will not adhere to the statement that if I exercise my right to choose NOT to vote that I have given up my right to complain about our political system. Not voting does not exempt me from my freedom of speech, the freedom to speak my mind. That is the beauty of our great nation. I choose not to vote. Our political system is clearly flawed. But there are also so many great things about it, too. For example, I can publish my opinion on this topic without fear of punishment. I can say what I want, write what it want, and I am protected by my rights as an American citizen…and as an American citizen who chooses to not even vote.

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Second, I have read a lot of ranting from parents who express fear for their children’s future. Regardless of whom holds the title of President of the United States, I am still going to raise my children the best way I know how. I am going to teach them kindness. I am going to show them love and fairness. I am going to discipline them. I am going to protect them from the ills of this world the best that I can. But I also am going to make sure they know that we live in a world that is not fair, that is not always kind, that is not always accepting. This is the world we live in. It is the world in which our children are growing up in. It is a world they will thrive in if we let them, if we instill our best qualities in them.

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My children are 3 and 5 years old. Do I fear for them?  Of course I do.  I fear for them because growing up is hard and it is scary and none of us know what the future holds.  My 5 year old knows who Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton are. That is all he knows about politics.  He is completely unaware of the horrible things these people have said and done. He is unaware because that is what I have chosen for him. We don’t talk about it. We don’t watch it on television. He is FIVE. He does not need to be informed of this yet. I am not ready to expose to him all of the evils in our world. When he is ready and when I am ready, I will teach him to form his own opinions on these matters. But until then, I am just going to let him be five.

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In the meantime, I do want to point out that progress is being made in this nation, in this world. Progress is always be made. And generations upon generations of people before us have viewed progress as bad. I remember my grandparents claiming that our society was going to hell in a hand basket just as their grandparents probably complained that society was going to hell in a hand basket. I have used those words myself. Yet here we are. In a hand basket on the way to hell?  Perhaps. But still progressing and moving forward.

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Donald Trump in no way has the power to revert us backwards 50 or 100 years as I have heard some claim. We have come too far already. And we the people, divided yet collectively, have voted him into office as our President. So I propose this as a first step…why not just give him a chance. Maybe he will surprise us. Maybe not. Maybe he will be a huge disappointment. But then, rather than sit around and complain about it, maybe taking action to change it would be better. For me, for now, I am going to just sit at my keyboard, hope for the best, and watch it all unfold. I am also going to continue spreading joy, love, and kindness where I can…outside of the political world. Because that is my happy place. And that is where I choose to stay.

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If you have only harsh words in response to this post, please either keep them to yourself, publish them in your own space, or share them in my comment section if you feel the need. But know that it is my comment section and I reserve the right to not publish them.  I also reserve the right to delete them. Also know that I guarantee that I will NOT respond to harsh and unkind words. So if you are looking for a debate or an argument, you will not be satisfied here.

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Good luck to us all. May we all find our happy places…whether it is fighting changes, making changes, accepting changes, or ignoring changes. Go forth and prosper.

Speaking my mind on the edge,

Shelbee

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I am a 40 something Army wife and stay-at-home mother of 2 boys and 2 cats named Dave and Frankie. I have a passion for helping other women feel fabulous in the midst of this crazy, beautiful life.

42 Responses

  1. Amen, sista!!
    But really, we all live here so we should all try to make it a better place. Politicians are politicians, but we have the opportunity to help those around us!
    jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com
    ps…love the OTK boots!!

    • Jodie, thank you so much for this comment! I just cannot believe all the hatred that is flying around today on social media. So I am just going to hold my head high, know that I did what feels right for me, and I am going to continue to inject my joy and happiness and gratitude for what I have right back into the hateful air that surrounds us today!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  2. Well written and thoughtful post. Thank you, Shelbee! – Amy
    http://www.stylingrannymama.com

  3. This has to be one of my favorite “politcal-ish” blog posts I’ve ever read. I love your stance on the issue! Like you, I want nothing but love and peace for our country; and, furthermore, the world. I just hope and pray this new president with help the world to coexist more and close the wide division in our society. <3

    • Edye, thank you so much for this comment. And I know from following your blog that you have that capability of spreading love and peace. And my hope is that you do not falter in that mission even in the midst of the crazy chaos. I have definitely got your back! Keep spreading the joy, Edye!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  4. I liked reading your point of view and respect it – I have several friends who like you choose not to vote and I myself have my doubts at this point. Interestingly its something you can do (not vote) because your system allows you to. You are not penalised by it, in Peru for example if you do not vote you are fined. If you do not pay that fine/tax you cannot travel or even cash a check!
    I guess everyone is a bit startled by the results because of the effect it has world wide considering the US is a world power.

    • Lorena, thank you so much for this very insightful comment. And I am so thankful that choosing not to vote is an option for me. I think so many people take advantage of the rights we do have and don’t realize that so many other people in the world do not have these same freedoms of choice as we do here. There are definitely going to be worldwide effects and all I can do is hope for the best.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  5. You look great!
    Good luck to us all! This is a good message. I hope so, Shelbee. <3
    xxxxx

  6. Shelbee … as always you articulated your thoughts with grace and elegance. Looking good … that sweater is darling and the OTK boots hello!

  7. First of all, I want to compliment you on your bravery to say all of this in this hate-filled world. Here are my thoughts: My daughter and son, both millennials did not vote because they couldn’t in good conscious stand beside either candidate. I tried to get them to put ‘personality’ aside and look at issues, but neither could do that. It really disappointed me. I wasn’t thrilled with either candidate, but I had to look at issues and what was important to me, and voted based on that. I think what drove me crazy during this entire campaign and still going on right now is all the hypocrisy. Each side calls each other hateful and other horrible words, but doesn’t see that they are doing the very same thing themselves. Everyone is basically being a hypocrite…they are angry and hateful to the side that disagrees with them. And it’s really frustrating to me that they can’t see that.

  8. Great post Shelbee! I agree with the so much of what you have to say. Regardless of where we stand politically he has been chosen for our President and we need to hope for the best. Was I a little disappointed by the out come, yes, but as someone put it to me yesterday ‘Wanting him to fail is like praying for a pilot to crash a plane we are all on.’ Very true. Our political system is indeed flawed as are all of us. All we can do is hope that he like any other President will rise to the occasion and do what is best for the American people.

    Love Your OTK boots! 😉

    xx, Elise
    http://www.sparkleandslippers.blogspot.com

  9. Thanks for this very reasonable and thoughtful post! The thing that struck me most was your statement that no candidate has earned your vote. I, unlike you, am very passionate about politics. And in the past, I have “held my nose” and voted for the “lesser of two evils”. I couldn’t do that this year. Both candidates were so distasteful to me that I simply couldn’t cast a vote for either of them. And that was so freeing to me. I so respect you for being so true to yourself.

    • Maggie, thank you so much for this very thoughtful and insightful response. There really has been no politician to earn my vote. And while I do find that infuriating, I have just moved on from it all. The response right now to this election is so disgusting to me from both sides of the fight. All I can do is commit to spreading kindness wherever I can and hope that it penetrates at some level. And good for you for being true to yourself in this election even if met just not voting. Keep spreading your kindness, my friend!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  10. Refreshing, positive, brave and thoughtful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us in this post Shelbee. If we can work towards coming together, I know and believe we can achieve great things…and, it all starts with being kind towards each other and leading by example.
    xx
    AskSuzanneBell.com

    • Suzanne, thank you so much for reading and sharing such a thoughtful comment. It has become my mission to spread kindness wherever I go from this point forward. I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  11. Michelle Cahill

    Let me offer another viewpoint. I have voted in every presidential election since I was 18. I do this because I am ever cognizant of the time in our nation’s history when I would not have been allowed this right. To not vote is a desecration to the Suffragettes’ memories and sacrifices. A willful disregard for the tireless work of Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Staton, and the hundreds of lesser known women who spent their entire lives ensuring we have a voice in our government.
    Secondly, how is it kind to ignore the plight of others affected by the actions or inactions of our government? Ignoring the death of innocents from drone strikes, lead poisoned children, man-made environmental disasters, 9/11 first responders with cancer is not kindness. Ignoring them is not teaching our children empathy to the suffering of the most vulnerable in our society. I am not black, Latina, gay, Muslim or disenfranchised in any way, but if I do not speak out for others through the political process who will speak out for me if that time came? I could easily live in an insulated bubble of white suburban privilege, but I choose otherwise.
    Yes we live in a politically toxic time and our voices seems very small. All the more reason to speak louder so our government hears us to create the society we all want to live in. Affecting change through the political process is not easy or pretty and it never will be, but my children know I will not turn a blind eye to the suffering of fellow citizens of our country and the world.

    • Michelle, thank you for taking the time to read and offer your viewpoint. While I am definitely not going to engage in a debate, your response is so passionate and articulate that I am going to share it here. I agree with you that we cannot ignore the horrors around us, but presuming that my choosing not to vote is my ignoring these things is a bit uninformed. But that is fine. I am not going to get into the details of all the lessons I teach my children or how I go about raising them on a daily basis. I respect your feelings, opinions, and viewpoints, just as I respect the feelings, opinions, and viewpoints of everyone. Please keep spreading kindness in your way and I will keep spreading kindness in my way.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  12. The best election discussion/speech/comment I have read hands down. Amen sister, amen! I especially loved that first paragraph because it is like my own self wrote it.

    No president or vice president in the world can tell me how to treat others, how to raise my child and how to be a good person. I was one of the people that voted this year, as I have every time there has been an election. But you are right it is a right that we have as Americans, not a duty. I will never judge neither can judge someone who didn’t vote. I cannot judge someone who voted differently than me other. It is their opinion and they should do what they think is best for them.

    Also, I am not on the team “Hate Trump” like most people because I simply want the best for United States and we have to give this new president a chance. I can talk more and more about this topic but I don’t need to. I am done.

    Loved this post by the way and that your photo is surrounded by purple, the unity of red and blue! Well done!!

    • Ada, thank you so much for this comment! I couldn’t agree more with you. Decisions of this nature are personal and I am not required to give explanation. I only chose to write this because our country is in such an uproar and reeling with hatred and division. Kindness speaks louder than anything. And that is my mission. Thank you, thank you, thank you…for being sincere and non-judgmental, and completely kind.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  13. I am just glad that the election is over because it was stressful! I am just going to keep being a better person myself. Because I can’t help how others behave but I can help how I choose to react to them. Kudos for not getting any debate because few times it actually helps one’s cause!

    • Lanae, thank you for reading and for the thoughtful comment. And I agree totally that we cannot control the actions of others, we can only control how we respond. And that should be what we focus on…ourselves and how to become the best individuals we know how to be. I am definitely more about love and kindness than arguments and debates! Keep spreading the kindness, my friend.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  14. I love your response that we must all do our best to promote kindness, no matter what is happening more widely. Thanks for sharing at Friday Frivolity.

  15. If you are so brave, publish ALL the comments you are receiving. You are an irresponsible citizen. How would your new president classify you as a “2”, maybe if you re lucky.

    • Ann, thank you for taking the time to comment on my little blog space. I am so brave and I have so far published all comments that I have received on this post. I also have published a public response to your comments here.

  16. Fat dumb ass.

  17. Very nice and I thank you for sharing your views. In reading your post, I was reminded of what Ernie Johnson said on “Inside the NBA” about the election. Here is the link:

    https://youtu.be/ayU5kw7Kf5U

    I am an old man and have realized that even though I do vote, I need to do most of my things on a local, micro level. Just try to teach my two (19, 20) to best the human they can and a good steward on the Earth.

  18. I do not know you, never have I ever been to your blog before this day. I don’t agree with everything you said and I don’t have too but I get it. I respect your choice and just because I don’t know you, does not give me any right to be mean or say unkind words to you from the comfort of my keyboard. When all the dust settles of this election, we the people will go on about our lives, and just like you said, do our very best to raise our children to be the best version of our selves we can, teach them to treat others no matter what they look like or believe, the way they would want to be treated. I’m a blogger too and I avoided the subject of politics all together. I am glad you did not! Your words are powerful and I know they were very well thought out and I commend you for stepping out and voicing something that is so dear to your heart! I wish there were more people with thoughts and integrity like you. Wishing you an awesome day! 🙂

    • Tricia, thank you for visiting my blog. And thank you for being able to express your disagreement in a kind and intelligent way. As I said in my post, I am not a very political person (and I am certainly not the only one), but I felt passionately about something and I chose to write about it…in my own space. It really is quite sad that others can’t articulate their opinions and beliefs in an educated and kind way. My choice to not vote was my own political statement. Nasty name-calling…I am not sure what kind of statement that is…but in my view, it is not a very effective one. And that is one of the reasons I can’t get on board with choosing a politician…because they all seem to engage in nasty name-calling to make their point. It is sad and I cannot in good conscience participate in it. Thank you, thank you, thank you…for your intelligent response to my post. And I completely respect you even if we do not agree. Keep spreading your kindness as well! #SpreadTheKindness #teamshelbee #girlonamission

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  19. One of my favorite things about America is that we all have the right to speak our minds. 🙂

    Thank you so much for linking up at Grace + Lace!

    Sarah
    Bows & Clothes

  20. Well said, Shelbee! Completely agree with you! I like your outfit, especially your necklace, it adds some grace to this at the first glance simple outfit! Like this post

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