Pearls & Vodka

We are all a bunch of hypocrites…

Remember when Donald Trump said, “I like people who weren’t captured,” in reference to Senator John McCain’s time as a POW in Vietnam? [1]

Repeatedly since the beginning of football season, the same Donald Trump has taken issue with the protests during the National Anthem before the NFL games. He has said, “This has to do with respect for our country and respect for our flag.”

If you look at those two situations through black and white lenses, he’s ok with criticizing a war hero, a human life, someone who willingly went to war, but he’s not ok with peacefully and respectfully kneeling during the National Anthem?

To take it a step further, in regards to the heinous events that took place on August 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, Virginia, he said, “there were some very fine people on both sides.” [3] He dared to call men like Richard Spencer, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and white nationalists, “very fine people.” But he believes John McCain is only a war hero because he was captured, ignoring his missions as a naval aviator where he flew ground-attack aircrafts from the decks of the aircraft carriers. And even with the lifelong physical disabilities he has today, President Trump still has the nerve to say, “I like people who weren’t captured.” [1]

It’s easy, from the outside looking in, to see the hypocrisy of these opinions and statements.

I’ve been outspoken about my thoughts on Harvey Weinstein here on this blog. I stand behind those statements. I think the history of Mr. Weinstein’s behavior towards women is deplorable.

Yet, I voted for Donald Trump.

And sure, I’ve got a little “voter’s remorse,” so to speak, though I’m not sure with only those two options on my ballot again what I would do, knowing what I know now. I’m still not entirely sure it would change how I would vote. And that’s a hard concept to wrap my head around.

Here’s what I’m left wondering today…

Have we built a culture of acceptance towards the behavior of men like Harvey Weinstein, by electing men like Donald Trump to the highest office in the country?

And it doesn’t stop with Donald Trump.

You could argue that Bill Clinton used his power to get what he wanted “under the desk” in the Oval Office as well. And back in the day, some similar sentiments could have been shared about John F. Kennedy.

This is not another blog about men in power taking advantage of the women around them.

This is, however, a blog about realizing the hypocrisy within ourselves that permits things like Weinstein, Trump, Clinton, et al.…

We have built a society that cares more about the voices of those in our own echo chambers and very little about the ideas outside.

In reality, the ballot box is the perfect space for people to voice their opinions without the outrage that comes along with it. And if we are truthful with ourselves, that is how Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States of America.

I was vocal on Election Day on this blog about casting my vote for Donald Trump. It was hard; it has been painful at times. I’ve had conversations with family and friends that I never dreamed of having. But it was my truth. And I put it out there.

No one thought he would win. He’s narcissistic enough; I’m sure he thought he would. But the pollsters who are paid mightily to predict elections got this one wrong. Way wrong.

And that’s because not everyone blasts their voting records on public domains as I did.

Right, wrong, or indifferent there were still enough people out there that voted for him and didn’t have to answer to anyone about it.

And yes, I know we could have a massive debate on popular vote vs. Electoral College, and I agree, that’s a debate that should take place.

Gun laws have been all the talk since the Las Vegas massacre. And I’ve said before on here; they need some work. But I always find it interesting when the “big names” in Hollywood are so vocally opposed to guns, yet they are surrounded by bodyguards carrying weapons. All that says to me is they feel like their safety is more important than mine? Sure, they have a bigger sphere of influence, and more people become crazed in obsession with them than me. But their life isn’t worth more than mine. And protecting their home isn’t more important than protecting mine.

Healthcare has been a hot-button topic for, well forever. But more so over the past 8-10 years through the implementation of Obamacare to the current attempts to deconstruct it. And yes, it needs some work. And yes, it has helped some people. But the thing that has always stuck out to me is that our elected officials are so quick to influence the levels of coverage and care we, as American citizens, can receive; but don’t you dare suggest their insurance changes. They so easily swipe the pen to sign their name to remove care from those who can afford it least, but so casually use their benefits as if it is just expected that they would be insured. They “represent the people” but whose interests are they really protecting?

Every single day we drive by homeless people standing on the side of the road with a beat-up sign, looking disheveled from a night sleeping on the street, they want money, maybe really all they want is food, a warm shower, or a clean pair of clothes. We roll up our windows, and we look the opposite direction. We get to our cozy offices and are quick to whip out our wallets to support the latest fundraiser a coworker’s child is participating in. We buy the sheets; we buy the candy bars, we buy the popcorn, the cookies, the magazines, the wrapping paper. We do so knowing good, and well, we will hit them up for our own kids, and they will purchase from us too. And sure, some of those fundraisers are for worthwhile causes at their schools. But how often are we pushing our friends to buy “all the things” from our kids so that they can “win the contest.”

How many of you have been outraged, like President Trump, at the protests in the NFL? How many of you have said, “it’s not about race, it’s about supporting the troops?”

Did you post that on Facebook before, or after, you volunteered with an organization which houses the homeless veterans?

You were so quick to post on Facebook your disdain for those who attended the Women’s March in Washington back in January. You very proudly, and eloquently, stated your pro-life stance on your Twitter account. Impressive with only 144 characters. I must have missed the status update about the donations you made to the unwed mother’s home. I guess you didn’t post on your Instagram that you were helping a family friend afford their domestic adoption.

I read your outrage towards me about Trump wanting to “build a wall.” You told me, “This is America, people come here to chase the American dream. That’s how we all got here.” I won’t get into the semantics that technically some of us come from families who were here first on Indian reservations. But I wondered why I didn’t see your name on the list providing food to the refugee family who just had a baby?

I felt your stares in Marilyn’s that night. I wondered why you didn’t come to speak to me. I forgot you didn’t like black people. I forgot because it’s so hard to wrap my head around disliking someone (my husband) who loves everyone, treats everyone (including you) with kindness and respect; and has the sweetest heart. I understand you were a little busy flirting. Your wife would have said “hello” if she had been there.

I had so much fun the other night looking through old pictures from the college years. I wrote a blog during Homecoming weekend about what an amazing experience I had at OBU. We had so much fun there together. Parties, outings, mixers, class, long chats in the student center. I went out on Facebook to send you a message, just to say hey and see how things are going for you. I was disappointed to see you had unfriended me. I never imagined losing a friend just because we voted differently. At least we have the memories!

None of these situations are comfortable to write, or read, about.

Hypocrisy is a disgusting word.

More than that, it’s a horrible habit to fall into.

But truth be told, we all have ended up there.

Maybe it’s our humanity. Maybe it’s our sinful nature. Maybe it’s our societal brainwashing.

Whatever it is, we all do it.

No one is exempt.

I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel uncomfortable. I don’t like that aspect of myself. It is easy to point out the flaws in others, especially those in the public eye.

One of my favorite stories from the Bible is the “woman at the well.” I’ve always loved that story, and I don’t know if it’s because my sins have always been glaringly obvious to me, or if I just love a hero coming to the rescue, and Jesus is always playing that role.

Jesus was not deterred by the Samaritan woman’s past, her lifestyle, her social taboo of talking to him at a time when women did not typically appear. He was perfect. He had no wrongdoing in his past, he had no iniquities in his lifestyle. He transcended all laws and social norms. He was perfect.

And I get it; you might not believe in Him. So, the story doesn’t resonate with you.

But put it in your terms.

She’s the person standing at the watercooler at work who’s skin is darker than yours. She’s the friend on Facebook who voted for the opposite candidate. She’s the single mom who wants to own a gun to protect her children at home. She’s the constituent who is just trying to afford healthcare for her husband who is sick and cannot work. She’s the lady from Iraq who moved to your town to attend college and start the business she has always dreamed of.

She’s different than you. She’s different than me. But her sin is the same as my sin. And not one of us is perfect, even if you don’t believe in Jesus, you aren’t perfect. We are all flawed. Some folks root for the Yankees, and I think that is just crazy-talk, that not everyone is a Cubs fan.

We all have a different, “why” in life.

And just because my “why,” is not the same as your “why ” doesn’t make either of us wrong.

[1] http://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/trump-attacks-mccain-i-like-people-who-werent-captured-120317

[2] http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-trump-on-his-role-in-kneeling-protest-1506289872-htmlstory.html

[3] https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/trump-defends-white-nationalist-protesters-some-very-fine-people-on-both-sides/537012/

Photo by Yolanda Sun