Ugly in Defeat and Ugly in Victory

this-is-what-yall-wanted-rightWhen I arrived at the office the morning after, one of my co-workers said promptly and cheerfully to me, “I saw you on TV last night.”

I was still relatively new to the office, and not yet at a place where I was privy to inside jokes or enough history to make anything more than polite conversation. So I replied, “Oh yeah?”

“Yeah, down at the protest at Trump Tower,” he laughed. “Did you have fun?”

I had not been at the protest surrounding our very own Trump tower, though I had seen the protesters on many of my social media outlets. I’d spent the entirety of the previous night sifting through the news – articles about the woman vote and Trump’s agenda for his first 100 days and tweets about violence directed at non-cis white individuals. And yes, I’d watched footage from the protests too, and been too tired to filter my mixed emotions.

godbless“I got a lot of good pictures,” I played along.

It wasn’t until later, when he made another joke about emails and meticulous record keeping that I realized – he hadn’t been good-naturedly poking at me for being in utter shock on 11/9. He hadn’t been trying to establish a light-hearted dialogue about freedom of speech and protest and the complete 180 our nation is about to be doing. He was mocking me. Continue reading

A Plumber or a President?

I don’t remember what segment of NPR it was, or who was being featured, but I remember one thing he said. It’s given me a lot to think about over the past few weeks. This particular guest was asked if he thought Trump’s overtly discriminatory attitudes disqualified him from being presidential material and his response was, “Look, I view the president, and really every member of the government, as someone who’s there to do a job. Like a plumber or a builder. They’re there to fix something. I don’t care what they’re doing or saying when they’re not on the clock. They’re there to do a job and that’s it.”

At first, I thought this was a unique way to look at it. Down to a point – yes, no bullshit, they’re there to fix something. But then I started really thinking about that sentiment, and I began to wonder if that was perhaps a too-narrow way to look at the most powerful offices in the land. They are indeed there to fix stuff, don’t get me wrong. But aren’t there moral responsibilities that also go with the job? Can you really look at the office of the president through the lens of a plumber or builder?