The Silent Contingent: Words from a Woman who did not march or celebrate the inauguration of Donald Trump
My skin is jumping with an electrical charge right now. I sped home after dropping the girls off at school, shaking my hands at the wrist. An involuntary tic akin to seizing. Its rapidity and energy escalated as my thoughts raced and my anxiety climbed.
There are words inside me fighting to escape. They’ve been restless and antsy, vocal yet unintelligible. For days they’ve bounced like a current looking for an outlet but with no real shape or message.
Today they began to march. To a rhythmic cadence along my bloodstream. They congested all avenues of thought and overwhelmed the streets of my insides. They are not angry but they are afire with conviction. They will be heard even if there are no ears to listen.
And this is what they say, my words. They say…
“I will not like or comment on your political posts. I do not like your political parties or your brand of angry free speech. I do not like your doomsday vitriol or your celebration of division. I do not like your classless arrogance in either direction. It sickens me.
But I do love you. Not because love’s in fashion. Not because tolerance is sexy. Because I’m pretty intolerant of biting nastiness…..I don’t care which side of the aisle you espouse. Not because you think like me. Not because you believe like me. Not because you hurt like me.
I love you – gay, legalist, feminist, conservative, black, white, yellow, red – because that is the posture most consistent with how we’re made. That’s where personal purpose and fulfillment reside. Anonymous anger feels good in a crowd. It temporarily quells that involuntary tic akin to seizing; it calms the marching ants trying to breakout. But it leaves a residue on our souls.
I did not vote for either of your candidates. And you can be angry about that too. But the same freedom that allows you to march and protest and vote for a man of questionable character affords me the right to vote my conscience.
I believe there are many like me, people who voted both sides of the ticket, who are the quiet contingent.
We are not quiet because we don’t have anything to say.
We are not quiet because we are ignorant.
We are not quiet because we are apathetic.
We are quiet because there is no climate for listening.
I am hungry for discourse.
Sane, kind words bent towards understanding. We will not enter your melee. We will not bloody you with our words nor will we invite your unproductive rants.
I am a woman who was sexually abused as a child by a man in spiritual and familial authority over me. But I am no less a woman because I will not march with a placard. I am also no less a patriot because I will not support a man who devalues women.
Go for it, angry friends. Throw your elbows and force change if you can.
But there will be a corps of us in the pockets of America who are believing in the subversive acts of loving, listening, and championing. You may not hear us. You may not see us on Fox News or MSNBC but you can be certain of a quiet revolution. And it will look like people who are different from each other sitting down to gently nurture healing and understanding.
Discount us if you will; mock us as naive if it feels good. But at the end of the day, we will be able to point to real individuals with real names and real histories and real challenges whose lives are significantly and measurably better because we stewarded our fight well.”
The marching has slowed. The current expressed. And that is what they had to say, my words.