We have to show up

Dear President Trump,

I once knew someone who had the habit of suddenly falling asleep whenever she was asked a challenging question. It was pretty amazing to watch this primitive avoidance behavior happen. It was like clockwork; challenge => eyes closed and snoring. When I saw that you flippantly told reporters you fell asleep watching President Obama’s Univ. of Illinois speech today, this is where I went. I know you intended to broadcast that you found it so dull you couldn’t help but fall asleep. But if you did indeed fall asleep, I think it’s much more likely this happened because you were avoiding the truths he was speaking about your destructive legacy. Goodness knows you have about the most primitive defense systems known to man, so why shouldn’t we add reactive sleep to the list?

Your twisted response aside, President Obama’s speech today came at an incredibly good time for me. It’s been really tough around here between the grief we’re feeling over our brother-in-law’s untimely death and the stress and worry we’ve got going over whether our daughter is ready to head off to college, whether we’ve really prepared her well for this next part of her life. All this plus the omnipresent political crap had us going to sleep last night wondering whether things would ever look up and feel ok again.

Of course one speech by one ex-President, no matter how well done, doesn’t magically turn all this around. There were some super helpful bits, though. He stressed the need to let go of all/none expectations – that we have to work to make things better and can’t hold out for perfection. Check. He also talked about how we have to resist the temptation to think it’s ok to behave like asshole lying bullies (he said it nicer) to fight back effectively. This is key. We can’t stoop to below ground level like you all because any gains we might make would be tainted and hollow and we’d be tainted and hollow too. Another thing he called out was how only 1 in 5 young people voted in the 2014 midterms. Obviously it’s not just young people who need to turn out to vote this November, but the point he was making is key – we can’t piss and moan about the outcome if we sit out the game. We have to show up. Showing up is how we are going to turn things around.

May we keep our values and integrity safe.
May we be happy to show up.
May we use healthy, solid tactics to promote our values.
May we resist trolls who would divide us and instead make peace.

Tracy Simpson

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