Last week, in the wake of President Trump’s 5000th example (“shithole”) of why he’s both the worst president of all time and one of the worst people on earth, I posted a few “political” posts on Facebook and Instagram.
Almost immediately, I got jumped on for violating a make-believe oath I never took about only using my accounts to provide an escape for strangers I’ll never meet.
Please allow me to not apologize.
This isn’t even necessarily about what side you’re on. My opinion on Trump is no secret, but the one positive aspect of his abominable administration is the way it’s mobilizing people who were heretofore content to ignore politics. It’s much less ignorable these days, which is why I’m not ignoring it.
I write about parenting, because, as you may have guessed, I have children. Children who are hopefully going to be living in this world long after I’m gone. Policies that are enacted today, and chain reactions that are set in motion over the next few years, have the potential to change their lives, their country, and the world they – and their kids – grow up in, for potentially generations down the line.
I don’t have an agenda, I have a 7-year-old and a 2-year-old.
So I’m gonna continue to talk about stuff that scares and appalls me, even if it’s “political,” even if it means occasionally skipping a joke to do so, and even if it means losing readers who get irritated that I have a different opinion from them, or are annoyed that I’m mentioning things they were trying to avoid. I want to do what I can to prevent the world from turning into even more of a nightmare by the time my kids – and yours – are my age (23, if you’re wondering!), and using my voice and my “platform,” such as it is, despite the fact that I’m usually focused on being funny, is the best way I can think of to do it.
How blind do you have to be to pretend that what’s happening right now doesn’t impact every aspect of our lives? How ignorant do you have to be to act like it’s no big deal? How privileged do you have to be to be able to ignore it?
Maybe you’re not affected by the immigration crackdown and dissolution of DACA that is upending the lives of millions of immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, through no fault of their own. Okay, fine, you’re lucky.
Maybe you’re not affected by the changes to healthcare and the destruction of Obamacare that is leaving millions uninsured and countless others endangered. Okay, cool, good for you.
Maybe you’re not affected by the new tax code that does little but reward the rich, further empower corporations, and damage the middle class. Okay. And congratulations!
Maybe you’re not affected by increasing tensions with North Korea, or the brazen indifference to and outright dismissal of climate change, or the constant discrediting and threatened muffling of the press, or the shocking intolerance towards the LGBTQ community. Maybe you’re not bothered by the president’s perpetual lying, overt racism, repeatedly substantiated misogyny, blatant corruption, probable treason, and obvious ignorance. To each their own I guess. I mean, WOW, but okay.
That’s a long, sprawling list that reaches into virtually every corner of American life, in one way or another. Writing about all this is less about “getting political” and more about paying attention. If not a single one of those issues above impacts your life, or simply gives you cause for concern in one way or another, you either live a supremely privileged and sheltered life and/or you lack any and all empathy for fellow human beings. Because even if they don’t affect or impact you, they definitely affect someone you know, or someone you at least know exists, whether you want to or not.
#Sorrynotsorry if I took you out of your bubble for a second, but if you’re ignoring what’s happening right now, and if you want to keep ignoring it rather than speak out or do something, anything at all, to fight back, then we have nothing in common. You want to keep your blinders on, go watch cartoons! Or go to a parenting humor page that is worried about alienating readers. I’m just not, and I never have been.
When I started all this Dad and Buried stuff, I didn’t anticipate peppering my social feeds with political screeds against the president, but what about this moment could have been anticipated? (Shut up, Sinclair Lewis! You too, Philip Roth!)
I understand that occasionally wanting to escape the news for a minute does not necessarily equate to ignoring reality. But if I can concede that I understand your aggravation at coming to my page for a joke about toddlers and instead seeing a comment about Trump, then you should be able to understand that I’m an individual person beholden to no one by myself. That I have opinions and reactions that are just as valid as yours, and that sometimes those things appear on my FB page and my Instagram feed and my blog.
If running into one of those opinions on my so-called “parenting humor” accounts irritates you, or makes you uncomfortable, or simply reminds you of something you’re trying to escape? My bad. Also, WAKE UP, before there literally is no escape. RESIST!
Otherwise just scroll down past the political stuff. I’m sure the next post is a joke anyway.