I love you, all of you. But I can’t do purple.
We are one nation. It was true before the election. It’s still true and it will continue to be true (unless Texas makes good on threats to secede). I would desire nothing different. “One nation” is a good thing.
There may be some fronts on which we are united. Although sitting here at the moment I can’t exactly think of any. We may agree on the evils of slavery, but racial equality is far from a reality. We may agree that women have value, but gender equality still eludes us. We may agree that individuals should be respected, but still have prominent religious and civic leaders devaluing and spreading baseless fears about the LGBTQ community. I could go on.
We are one nation. But we are not united. We are a gradient: a blend of ideas, colors, and priorities.
The first election I remember was in 1980 when Ronald Reagan ran against Jimmy Carter. Ever since then I have gleefully watched as maps turned red or been gloomy as they turned blue. This was the first election where my heart had changed. I have been and am still grieving.
As a chronic people-pleaser my instinct says to do all we can to mend the tears between us. To set our differences aside and come together for the greater good.
But I’ve learned something these last few years: those living in the margins are not served just because my need for peace between us has been met.
I can’t set aside my desire for equality and fair protection of those who live in fear simply to bring the red and blue together. The cost of purple is way too high.
I can love you. I can be church with you. I can do parenting and PTAs with you. We can be a village. But we may not be united. We may have different visions and goals for that village, city, state, and nation.
I can accept that. And stand by my convictions.
I’ve heard enough campaign promises and watched as administrations tried to fulfill them (or forgot about them) to not allow myself to become fearful. That’s not an indictment of those experiencing fear. Under the circumstances it’s a perfectly understandable emotion. There is reason for caution and suspicion; we need to be on guard and ready to respond, but fear has dominated too much of my life to let it back in. Not for this. I will watch and be wary and act accordingly.
They say that when “united we stand, divided we fall.”
And when we fall, we fall hard; with little or no compassion or even awareness.
But at the moment deeply and needfully divided.
For the wholeness of all.