Every day for the past year, I received 150–200 emails begging me for money to support election-related causes and candidates. Most of these were frightening and negative, claiming if I didn’t sign a petition and donate immediately, all would be lost. For me, these pleas came from the left, but I suspect those of you on the other end of the political spectrum received similar emails.
But here’s the thing — no one needed to scare me into making donations. Between the pandemic and the chaos of the election, I was frightened enough. There was almost nothing positive in these email pleas for money. They generally suggested some poll has placed my candidate behind and only my “small” donation could remedy the situation.
I’m exhausted. I have given money, sent postcards, and written blog posts for the candidates I support. I have “acted blue” to the best of my ability. I understand that this is the most important election of my lifetime. I get it. I just wish I had received fewer emails and their messages were more positive. I especially wish money were not such a huge factor in our elections (thank you, Citizens United).
I believe with every fiber of my being that we have to end the Trump Error. Living through this mishandled pandemic is depressing. As I write this 9.4+ million Americans have contracted Covid-19 and almost 233,000 have died. I haven’t seen my out-of-town grandkids for almost a year. I can’t hug the ones who live nearby. We now meet briefly outside wearing masks and winter coats. There will be no family Thanksgiving. My holiday gifts for them will come via Amazon. Maybe, like the very sad commercial (for me) selling I-don’t-know-what, I will FaceTime my grandkids when they are opening those presents.
We are headed into literally the darkest time of the year. When the Winter Solstice hits Chicago on December 21, my husband and I are likely to be inside and by ourselves. I know, we are lucky to have each other. I know enough people who are literally alone. If the rancor from this election lingers or if it is still in dispute, these winter days will be dark days politically. More emails will come asking for more money to fight the good fight.
I hope that won’t be the case. I hope Biden will win, and some form of normalcy will return. But if the election results are being appealed in the courts, if funds are needed for lawyers, please just straight up ask for money and explain things without fear tactics. I’m frightened enough.
We need to stop demonizing each other and start trying to find the common humanity that unites us. Even if Trump is ultimately gone, the anger and divisiveness he promoted will take time to heal. It may not happen in my life time, but I hope my grandchildren come of age in a more loving and accepting country. As Martin Luther Ling said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”