Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I Am Not a Conservative. I Am Not a Republican.

I am not a conservative. I am not Republican. But last week I was overwhelmed by the pain in Marco Rubio's voice as he spoke about witnessing the results of who the America people are trying to put into office.

I sobbed, I didn't expect his words to hit me so hard. My family was sitting next to me on the sofa, and I had only seconds to cover my face with my hands.

I am a child of immigrants, as Marco Rubio is. His family fled a country where a “strongman” took hold, and he has seen the destruction to a country from someone voted in to "shake things up." Rubio's family left, as my family left my country, Colombia, when a civil war – that is still going on 50 years later – began.

America wants a man in office who has spoken about immigrants, in a way that cuts deep. The polls attest to the people's choice. Americans think they are voting someone in who will get things done and they risk not being able to get him or his changes, out. “Roman democracy fell when a strong man took hold and made himself emperor. People need to know their history,” my 18-year-old son relays what he's just learned in his History class and shakes his head. "People don't know that someone can be elected in, and they don't have to do what they promised."

"Vote with love for our country, do not give in to fear, hatred, anger.“ I listened to the words from Marco Rubio and cried.

“It's going to be OK, mom. It won't happen, mom,” my 13-year-old leans into me, looking into my face, his forehead creasing with concern. “People won't let it happen, mom,” he holds my hand and keeps repeating the words he uses in hope to reassure me. His hand moves and rests tense on my arm, he wants me to look at him. But I keep my face covered because I don't want to look back. I am overcome, my heart is cracking, and I try to explain it's because I know the dreams of immigrant families -- why they come to the United States.

How do you explain the light that surrounds the words "United States" when they're spoken through an immigrant's mouth? We don't come here to have this man, the one who belittles and despises the countries we immigrants come from, we don't come here for him as our president. We come here to flee this hate, violence, inequality.

“They won't let it happen,” my son wants me to see his eyes. He finally kneels in front of me, "Mom, I promise. We won't let it.”

I want to answer him back, I try to hold my voice steady, trying to explain all the reasons that the words I hear from Marco Rubio are different from the ones my American born children are hearing.

I think of what I need to say, I feel everyone looking at me.

I tell them about the summer, a few years ago, when I had to see a Dr. for a medical procedure. "Remember how you were worried? And you needed me to tell you over and again, I would be OK? It feels like it's me who now needs to hear what you're saying. That we won't lose America."

I'm looking to my children for their hope and trust now. In the America they know, in the overwhelming good in us to bury the bad that Trump is calling forward.

It's their turn to promise me now. “I believe it, mom. We all do. The reasons your mom came to America are still here."

I finally look into my youngest son's eyes. He stares back, wide-eyed, trying to read if his words have been heard. He wipes the tears from my chin. "I won't take back my promise, mom. My job is to keep it."

His head is so close to me I smell the morning's shampoo. He pulls in to me and whispers his promise again, “We'll make sure we tell everyone the truth. Good always wins."

“You'll see, mom. It will be OK.”

"Ours is a special nation. Where you come from doesn't get to decide where you go." ~Marco Rubio

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  1. I refuse to believe that America wants that man to rule. I know some Americans do--ones so ruled by fear that they are desperate and blind. They are part of America. It's going to take a lot of work to keep them in check. But you're doing it, the work. Speaking out. Sharing truth. Let's keep faith (and keep fighting) together.

    1. He knows just where to visit, too. Trump is coming to WI on Tuesday, to a small town, one where several industries have closed.

  2. I love your words, friend. And I love the children you're raising.

    1. Jennie, keep us in your hearts. xo

  3. This moved me to tears. Thank you so much for sharing. I am also not a conservative or a republican, but Rubio's words rang right into my heart, as did yours. I, too, am afraid and saddened. I'm not blind to the flaws of this country. I know that we have much to work on in terms of social policy and progression (and more). But, even being aware of our downfalls, I have been shocked to see how loudly the volume on the hate dial can be turned up. I grew up in Texas with lesbians for mothers. I'm no stranger to hate and prejudice, but what is happening right now scares me. We have to believe that, just as your thoughtful son said, it will be okay. And we have to vote. We have to vote SO HARD.

    1. Kelly, what a moving comment. I tried to find you, to see if you have a blog. I want to thank you for the shared thoughts here... I do feel like if enough of us don't give in and allow this to take hold, that we can still fight!

  4. I have hope. I always do.
    I refuse to give up.
    I love you.

    1. Julie, this part of America, we know it's there. But it seemed as if people were working, trying, and Trump has brought up the ugliness and willed it into acceptance. It's ugly.. he's removed the societal push for justice and equality.

  5. Knowing that so many people want to vote for that classless, bigoted and un-presidental man has made me angry. But hearing your story, it now also makes me sad. Before, I was outraged and now I am tearful. Your perspective is very important. Your message needs to be heard.

    1. Thank you, Diary. You encouraged me to share the post on FB. Thank you.

  6. ----Such an emotional post.
    Your words soaked into my bones and soul.
    I believe your son. I must. We must BELIEVE.
    And I believe in GOD. He will not allow
    somebody like 'you know who' in he White House.
    PS. Your son is beautiful just like his mommy. x

    1. Kim, your words, how kind they are. Thank you.



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