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The Pain of Caring

The Pain of Caring

I had to stop and ask myself a question this afternoon more than twelve hours after the election tide was obviously turning away from my candidate, Hillary Clinton, and slowly but surely toward her opponent Donald Trump. Why, why was I still so upset, so sad, even depressed? I mean, the man who occupies the Whitehouse doesn’t affect me directly, does it? I know how I felt when Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter, and how I felt when George Bush beat Al Gore and then John Kerry, I mean I was more invested in those contests educating myself and anyone and everyone around me about the solid reasons to support my candidate over the Republican Party’s. Was it because I thought Bill Clinton had been robbed of his legacy and opportunity by a highly partisan witch hunt based on his lone indiscretion in the Whitehouse with an intern well past the age of consent, and that folks were right when they said the wrong Clinton was elected President?

Was I too studied on how much better Hillary Clinton was as a candidate in terms of character, experience, competence than her rival who was clearly not even close to being “Presidential”? Was it based on all the articles I read and the letters I wrote and responded to or the countless Comments I made or replied to on my Facebook account? Was it my investment in Hillary and her campaign, organizing dinners and breakfasts and setting up a listserve to contact and rally fellow Democrats to the cause? Was it the time and efforts on my part to send out email “blasts” and open our Headquarters and order signs and post signs in the windows and my yard and polling sites? Was it all the time organizing lists and callers and calling folks to participate in Democratic functions? Was that it?

I have retired so I don’t need a job, so the “unemployment” roles don’t bother me, and I have investments that appear solid so I need not worry about paying my bills. Neither do I need to worry that another big bank might fail or the economy shudder under the policies of a Trump administration, watching Dodd-Frank regulations removed to allow the bankers free rein once again? I have Medicare and an employee based supplemental plan so I won’t be affected by the repeal of Obamacare. I am not Gay, or Bi, or Trans, so I won’t be affected by the loosening of laws protecting that class of citizens, just as I am not Muslim or a Refugee or an Immigrant from another country. I was born here and was raised a Christian, Protestant at that. And I am a white male, so I don’t have to worry about being stopped for being Black or grabbed, fondled, or worse as a woman.

No. I am upset, and depressed because I was born with that empathy gene, the one that makes me care for the plight of others, most especially those close to me, ones I see and hear about everyday. It is for THEM I grieve, because their lives suddenly got harder, got scarier. Their welfare became more precarious. They will continue to struggle instead of receiving the living wage they’ve earned. They will leave their house in fear, of being stopped, questioned, arrested, deported, harassed, assaulted, even killed because the President, our President has not only allowed, but encouraged this behavior by individuals who lack that empathy gene, in fact much like our President elect, they care only for themselves and their foolish notions of what they need, what they deserve, too often at the expense of other human beings. THAT is why I am upset and depressed, not for myself so much… as for them.

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