Signs to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am...

Signs to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am...

stuck in the middle with you. Actually, you’re stuck with me. And, the real lyrics read clowns as opposed to signs, but clowns are scary AF. And, signs, particularly signs political in nature are on my mind. Today’s ten minute drive to my son’s preschool yielded some raw data: we passed 8 Trump/Pence signs, 1 passive aggressive Wikileaks display, and a Bernie bumper sticker. It seemed support, at least outward support, was not in favor of the Democratic Party in this area. I recognize the need for two political parties, and come from a family that does not necessarily favor one over the other. I respect and recognize the need for varying opinions; indeed, these are what SHOULD make me feel confident that my country is on a sound path.

But my confidence has been rocked. It is not simply the signs themselves stating support for a political candidate that I dislike. Rather, it is what the signs represent. Perhaps the people who chose to stump up a big ‘ol Trump/Pence sign at the start of election season did so believing Trump was a sound businessman and an advocate for their beliefs. What remains now is a statement of defiant patriotism. The inhabitants of these houses are now saying, unequivocally, that they stand by a man who has proven himself to be racist, sexist, misogynistic, and xenophobic. In proudly displaying their support on their lawn, to me, they are displaying these characteristics about themselves. Whether or not there is truth to this remains to be seen; but how else could someone support a candidate with Trump’s record WITHOUT accepting these negative qualities,and thus SUPPORTING them?

The problem, as a friend put it, is that Trump may lose, but the memory of who put his sign out will remain. And, I’ll encounter this individual at the grocery store, or the drop off line, or at the park with my kids and I’ll wonder if they think less of me as a woman. I’ll wonder if they think I’m from a line of rapists and drug dealers. I’ll wonder if they will go home and joke that they should have grabbed me in the genitals. I’ll go home and wonder if they hate me just for what I am. How can I NOT wonder when they pledge allegiance to a man who’s been proven to stand for these things?

I wonder about myself too. Am I now projecting something negative onto my neighbors with my fears? Are these not the same people who have run down the street with me trying to help a neighbor catch a stray dog? Are these not the same people who would run out and help me change a flat tire? Are these not the people who wave hello to my kids as we walk down the street and hook them up with Halloween treats? They are, but now I know. And, I’m not sure I can un-know. And, what do I become then?

We’ve opened this terrible Pandora’s box, and there seems little way to shove back in what’s escaped. I’ve only been an adult for a relatively short amount of time. I have no idea what to do with all of this, and certainly no idea how to explain the world to my kids. It’s a time, ladies and gents, a time. And I feel pretty stuck in the middle.

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