The Silent Contingent: Words from a Woman who did not march or celebrate the inauguration of Donald Trump

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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.

Once Upon a Time in a Seasonless Land with Soggy Air, There Lived a Girl Who Thought Too Much.
Spilling the Secret to Living Your Life Like a Boss

16 Comments

  1. Bee
    BeeReply
    January 23, 2017 at 10:52 am

    Yes, yes and yes!

    • Cookie Cawthon
      January 23, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      I absolutely love your refusal to allow political venom to clutter your feed, Bee! Thank you for reading!

  2. Vickie Foxx
    Vickie FoxxReply
    January 23, 2017 at 10:59 am

    I was cool with everything till people started attacking Barron Trump. He is a 10 year old boy thrown into the adult world. Kids are off limit. Idk whose children they are you don’t verbally attack a child.

    • Cookie Cawthon
      January 23, 2017 at 12:26 pm

      Vickie, I think all kinds of lines have been crossed on all sides of every issue. I have not seen one exhibit any more integrity than the other. Sadly…

  3. Kelley Sellers
    Kelley SellersReply
    January 23, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Awesome

    • Cookie Cawthon
      January 23, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      Kelley, thank you so much for reading and commenting. I am grateful! And I hope you are doing super well…

  4. Martha Davis
    Martha DavisReply
    January 23, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    I’m shouting for joy! I chose not to vote for either candidate, as well! I refuse to vote for a man or woman who lacks integrity. I refuse to vote for someone who is so disrespectful of women! As a military mom, I am a bit anxious about having a president who shoots off his mouth without a passing thought! If he offends the wrong foreign leader with his lack of diplomacy and bully pulpit, our country could be at war!

    I feel such compassion for the First Lady and her son. Has anyone else wondered if degrades her the way he does other women? I’ve posted some superficial things about the inauguration. but maybe I should be silent. I’ve spoken out about Secretary of Education appointee’s lack of qualifications and the important things she should know but doesn’t. Again, maybe I should be silent.

    I can’t stand the ugliness coming from both sides! It truly hurts my heart! I’m trying to be a good citizen and pray for those in authority. But there are days when I find it so hard.

    Lord, help me let your light shine through me!

    .

    • Cookie Cawthon
      January 23, 2017 at 3:03 pm

      Yes! Yes, Martha! I am holding on to Dr. King’s words………”Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

  5. Kerrie Early
    Kerrie EarlyReply
    January 23, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Amazing! Thank you!

    • Cookie Cawthon
      January 23, 2017 at 3:37 pm

      Thank you, Kerrie! I value your opinion; thank you for reading!

  6. Carson Cawthon
    Carson CawthonReply
    January 23, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    love love love love ❣❣❣

    • Cookie Cawthon
      January 23, 2017 at 8:59 pm

      Thank you for reading and sharing, sweet girl! I love you a million!

  7. Grammie Terri
    Grammie TerriReply
    January 24, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    I have enough to do in my own city to try to improve and increase the love and respect of ALL humanity. I don’t have time to join in with those who are fighting to be heard but never listen…the definition of close-minded zealots who blow hot air but do nothing to help the homeless get inside on wintry nights or feed hungry children.
    Thank you for your thoughtful and thought-provoking use of our freedom of speech.

    • Cookie Cawthon
      January 25, 2017 at 12:42 pm

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I think you definitely nailed two of my biggest frustrations with both camps…..1) No space for listening and 2) A lot of heated rhetoric with very little action on the ground to help people. There are a million practical things we could all be doing to improve the plight of marginalized people if we all just got to it. Thank you again and have a great one!

  8. Attila
    AttilaReply
    January 24, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Was mesmerized by your thoughtful insight and very eloquent writing…until the part of ” demeaning women”…I believe women have done a well enough job in the media of that on their own don’t you think? ( Madonna, Miley Cirrus, Lady gaga and others have put themselves out there enough times don’t you think?) Where is the anger or outrage or outspokenness for their actions? Is it a different standard because of him being a man, or, does political paranoia have its way even in the speaking of truth? Still, think the world of you and family and always will! You and your family have been a blessing to many lives, including my own. God Bless!

    • Cookie Cawthon
      January 25, 2017 at 1:03 pm

      Attila!!! I cannot thank you enough for joining the conversation and bringing a male perspective. I don’t think you and I are going to agree, but I think that is totally okay and healthy, and I love that you are bringing a difference of opinion in a respectful way.

      As I tried to convey, I find no home in either camp. And you will get no argument from me about the celebrities you mentioned. Donald Trump, however, is held to a higher standard – not because he is a man – but because he is the President of the United States. And I think that’s appropriate. Biblically speaking, there is a higher standard for people in authority (and for men, in particular, but that’s an entirely different blog post). To dance into yet another fire, I happily submit to my husband because I 100% trust him to protect me, champion me, esteem me, hear me, and advance me. I find freedom in being under his authority. My distrust of President Trump isn’t born out of political paranoia as much as it is a hypersensitivity to the sexual exploitation of women and the words that have come out of his very mouth. My submission to that kind of authority does not come easily. The argument over the character and past of President Trump is one of those circular arguments that can go on endlessly without gaining any new ground, but I think we can agree to respectfully disagree. I am certainly praying for our president and hopeful, by God’s grace, he will be a great president for our country.

      Again, THANK YOU! I have great respect for you and hope you’ll be back to lend your perspective on future posts. Have a great day!

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