This was supposed to be a more formal post

By Mir
November 4, 2016

So I agreed last week to write A Political Post for an organization I love, and then this week happened and this week was a complete jerkface and I ended up doing… um, almost nothing I was supposed to. At all. As in: I got up this morning and did a week’s worth of dishes, because it was that kind of a week. SUPER FUN! (And here we mean “fun like a root canal.”)

Anyway, that’s not your problem, that’s mine. I’m dealing with it. Turns out that time and coffee heals all wounds, or at least dulls them to the point of manageability.

A different sort of person would then come here and implore you to vote, if you haven’t, yet, and keep partisan opinions out of it. But I am me and if you’ve been reading here for any amount of time at all I cannot imagine you’re shocked to learn that I find The Orange One Who Shall Not Be Named to be the most terrifying “politician” to emerge in my lifetime, and besides, I already told you I’m an enthusiastic Clinton supporter. Not a “well she’s the lesser of two evils” supporter, but a wildly enthusiastic, I-think-she-is-smart-and-dedicated (and yes, not infallible, but neither is anyone), I-cannot-wait-to-say-Madame-President, supporter.

Again: I cannot imagine this is a surprise for anyone who’s ever read me before. If it is, and if you find that offensive, okay. I’m not for everyone.

If you’re willing to read on, I have a few more things to add.

I voted early
I’ve never voted early, before. I never saw the need. Everything about this election scares the crap out of me, however, and so Otto and I headed over to early voting on the UGA campus this week. As we descended the steps to the basement of the student union, at one flat section mid-staircase, someone had filled the landing with a colorful chalk design. Coming DOWN the stairs, the words were upside-down, so we stopped and turned to see what it said. In bright, coloring-book cheerfulness, it read DAWGS FOR TR*MP 2016! [asterisk inserted by me], complete with happy, childish doodles and hashtags and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN (I think; I have blocked a lot of it out). And I would’ve been enraged by the dissonance of it—the happy colors, the notion that the Republican candidate gives a single fuck about any of the sheltered, rich, public university students who are enthusiastically supporting him in spite of his repeated inability to behave like an adult human, much less a leader—except that in a large diagonal across this cheerful message, someone had added RACIST with black spray paint. [Edited to add: My intrepid husband, who took a picture, because of course he did, would like to point out that the black “racist” comment is also in chalk. My mistake.]

Freedom of speech, man. It works both ways, and so I felt a little better.

We waited in line almost an hour before we cast our ballots. Everyone there was pleasant and, it seemed, hopeful. That made me feel better, too. I thanked each poll worker for their service. I cast my votes. I hoped it was enough.

I am pro-choice
I addressed this in the piece I wrote for Alpha Mom, but pro-choice is not the same as pro-abortion. I am, more accurately, pro-education, pro-empowerment, pro-medical-professionals-and-patients-making-appropriate-care-decisions-without-the-intervention-of-politicians. One candidate for president wants to preserve that choice which has already been ruled on by the Supreme Court; the other wants to punish women who have abortions. Scream about the “sanctity of life” all you like (and yeah, I don’t happen to believe a clump of cells is the same as a human, and I don’t believe ANYONE terminates a pregnancy without a certain amount of heartbreak and relevant cause), but in a world where rapist Brock Turner gets out of jail after 3 months, I am 100% not okay with a law which criminalizes women having a say over their own bodies. Women’s bodies are violated at an alarming rate and frequency even in today’s supposed advanced society. We haven’t figured out how to fix that yet, to our shame. We absolutely cannot criminalize a woman’s choice not to sustain a pregnancy when that pregnancy may have been forced upon her or may jeopardize her life. If you believe otherwise, you are either naive or a misogynist (even if you’re female). That’s not the world I want to live in. This world is hard enough.

Also? I’m anti-abuse
Never in the history of our nation have we so blithely had a giant group of people all agree that it’s okay if someone is an admitted attacker of women, and probably children, because hey, have you heard about this email thing? The list of things The Orange One has done (and continues to do) is long and disgusting, but as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, don’t tell me it’s no big deal that he’s scheduled to appear in court to face charges of child rape. Nope. I don’t want to hear it. He has already admitted more than enough to make it clear that he believes himself entitled to whatever he wants, even other people. Aside from his bankruptcies, aside from him stiffing his contractors, aside from his refusal to release his taxes, aside from the fact that he seems incapable of telling the truth about anything, this is a man who abuses women and children. Your argument (assuming you think you have one) is invalid.

My children are having nightmares (I am, too)
My youngest is the most profoundly affected, right now, perhaps because he is the most sensitive of the bunch of us, and maybe also because he is the only one not old enough to vote. I get an earful several times a week when he gets up and comes to tell me about a horrible dream he had. We talk a lot about how much anxiety the election is causing. We talk about the issues with the candidates, but also with the rampant encouragement of intolerance and violence, and how some people are interested in facts and others are only interested in feelings. We talk about a lot of things I wish we didn’t have to.

Someone told me Benghazi is the reason she’ll vote against Hillary
This is someone I like and respect, and she has a son in the military, and so “because he doesn’t trust her as commander in chief” she feels she “can’t” vote for Clinton. We discussed—as respectfully as I think two people on opposite sides can—and there was no budging. It doesn’t matter that military service carries with it higher risk than, say, working in an office or delivering mail. It doesn’t matter that literally thousands of our servicemen and women have died under other presidents, sometimes in similar situations. It doesn’t matter than Clinton was investigated more thoroughly than any other government official and exonerated. That’s the line in the sand. And I get that some people truly believe that, but it’s ridiculous. Benghazi was a terrible tragedy and a failure of communication/action in multiple ways. But you cannot pin that on Clinton. People tried (really, really hard) and it didn’t stick, because it’s not true. Move on.

“Oh but my protest vote means something”
I wish I had a nickel for every time I shared this article with someone who wanted to tell me it was really meaningful that they were voting third party. I get it—our two party system is broken! There are more choices! I don’t really like either major candidate! Well, good for you. One of the two major party candidates is going to win and if you vote third party you may as well not vote. Also, if you vote third party you are categorically indicating that if someone wholly unfit to hold the presidency wins, you’re okay with that.

I happen to admire Hillary Clinton. I know not everyone does (and I think a lot of that has to do with media spin, rampant misogyny, and several decades of the GOP trying to make sure you know that THAT LADY IS THE DEVIL), but even if you don’t, there is no rational planet on which not voting for her isn’t tantamount to voting for the playground bully. So go ahead and vote third party and tell yourself you’re not voting for him. You are kidding yourself.

You are the company you keep
I see lots of otherwise reasonable people saying they’ll vote a certain way “in spite of” various issues which they agree are valid. There is no “in spite of.” You endorse a candidate, you endorse their policies and their ilk. Who is being formally endorsed by the KKK and the Neo-Nazis? Hmmmmm, let me think. You want their guy? “In spite of” that? Again, you’re kidding yourself.

I want to be on the right side of history. I want to live in a world where everyone matters, not just the people with money or the “right” genitalia or color of skin. What you do is up to you, and I will defend your right to it even if we disagree. But this election is unlike any other in my lifetime, and I am scared.



  1. Leandra

    Hear, hear! To all of this. #ImWithHer

    • liz


      I’m so, so tired of the number of [usually white male] people who think that we can just blithely come back from the utter destruction that would follow a presidency by a sentient cheeto who thinks he’s the Christ.

  2. Jeannette

    Yes!!! (So, so scared too). Thanks for clearly stating all the swirling thoughts in my head.

  3. Carmen

    I’m from Canada, so I can’t vote. But I am also scared. Watching this unfold from up here, it is indeed an election like no other. When he first started campaigning, lo these (so) many months ago, I never thought possible that Tr*mp would make it this far. I am flabbergasted. And scared. And though it means nothing at all, I’m with her.

    • Mir

      It doesn’t mean nothing. It means a lot to those of us who are similarly flabbergasted. Thank you.

    • AlisonC

      I’m from Ireland. Ditto to everything you said #imwirhher

    • Lara

      Yes, this. Me too Mir. It’s like watching a train wreck. At first we thought it was a joke but now we are scared. Nervously awaiting results and hoping it’s safe to go see our kid’s rare disease specialist two weeks later!!

    • Reb

      and I’m from New Zealand and I’m scared too. This election affects the whole world and I can’t believe Trump’s in with any kind of chance at all.

  4. Sarahd

    I love this! And agree with every word. You’re so pretty!

  5. Alison

    I’m from the UK, and we’re scared as well. After Brexit proved that scaremongering tactics and outright lies worked beautifully as election tools and saw us possibly screwing ourselves totally, I almost wasn’t surprised when the Orange One started to gain popularity. Because, apparently, people can ignore absolutely anything negative about him because his vague and nonsensical promises, and their inherent distrust of Hillary Clinton, again based on the aforementioned tactics, means that they actually think he can make your country great again. Probably none of our business, but J K Rowling’s tweet to a US citizen who told her to butt out expresses it perfectly:

    ‘When a man this ignorant & easy to manipulate gets within sniffing distance of the nuclear codes, it’s everyone’s business.’

  6. Jenny

    So many Amens to all of this! Thank you for putting into words the thoughts that are running through my mind these days.

    My daughter, who’s almost 10 and doesn’t watch the news, keeps saying “enough about the stupid emails!” and knows that the Orange One is, to quote the movie Steel Magnolias, “a boil on the butt of humanity.”

  7. Karen R.

    There isn’t a like button big enough for this. Thank you.

  8. Melissa

    Yes. I’d love to disagree with you about the third-party candidate – because I desperately want there to be more than the traditional two party system – but you are right. The system is only set up to work for a Republican or Democrat, I think, and we should absolutely work to change it – but there’s not enough time this election. It’s Clinton or the other one, it’s time to face facts, and it’s time to vote.

  9. Kim T

    Bravo! Agree with everything you’ve said. I have also already voted.

  10. Karen

    I am so with you on all of this. You spoke my thoughts with such eloquence!

  11. Kim

    Me, too, Mir. Me, too.

  12. Barb

    Indeed. What you said, all of it.

  13. Marissa

    I am enthusiastically with her for all of those reasons and because she is the most experienced and qualified candidate in history. Hillary has been in the public eye for 40 years and weathered every storm, she has been investigated and criticized and pilloried more than any public figure and she is still fighting! The sheer mental fortitude required to stand on the debate stage with a smile on her face, perfectly composed, and resist taking the bait to scream and yell is amazing and that alone means she has the temperament to be president.

    Have you watch Louis CK on Conan? He makes the best case.

  14. Jen

    Another Canadian here who is 100% #withher. I cannot believe Tr*ump is taken seriously by anyone, and I am enraged that his treatment of women has not disqualified him from holding office.

  15. kellyg

    I realize this is just one person’s opinion but this piece by Paul Waldman is every reason why I want the Orange A-hole to lose bigly and the Republican party eviscerated.

    I have never been angrier about an election. I don’t want this type of rhetoric (the out right lies, the pandering to the worst, the refusing to acknowledge said lies) to become the norm when it comes to political campaigns. I just don’t understand how the Hillary stuff gets so much traction and all of the crap the other one has done just falls away. It absolutely kills me when I hear people say they are voting R “in spite of” and yet, somehow this doesn’t work for Hillary with Dems and independents. I guess Dems and independents have more integrity even if they are wrong about why they won’t vote for Hillary.

    I first heard about Yellow Dog Democrats when we lived in GA when Zell Miller was the Gov. Well, I will wear that badge proudly. I have never voted straight party on my ballot but it’s pretty tempting this time.

    whew. I guess I needed to get that off my chest. Thank you for letting me co-opt your blog for a few seconds.

  16. nicole


    My son’s class did their mock election today and Clinton won. I was so proud. That REALLY says something in my particular location. Now if only the rest of my state (and many others) could be as smart and rational as that classroom of 4th graders.

  17. Julie

    It says something about this whole election that this made me cry. Yes, yes, yes, to every word of this. Thank you, my friend.

  18. Tammy

    I triple puffy pink heart love you Mir!

  19. Jeanie

    Thanks. I needed this today.

  20. liz

    Thank you so much for this post. I’ve been canvassing my butt off the last few days (and once a week for the last few months) and I live in a swing state and I NEEDED to read this today. My feet hurt and I’m tired, but I’m going back out there tomorrow buoyed by your words.

  21. Mom24_4evermom

    So, so well said. Sorry for your crappy week. I’ll be thinking good thoughts that things get better. I’m an email away if you want to unload. xx

  22. Meh

    I really wish that Hillary was “all that” and that there was an actual hope-inspiring candidate in the running. Maybe Bernie would’ve been that? In the end, I don’t think even he would’ve made a difference. Remember what it was like when Obama got elected. The message of hope, the elation, the preemptive Nobel Peace Prize… and then the unending string of disappointments. Even if Trump is elected – and I feel that there is a big chance he will be – don’t be dismayed. If Obama, who climbed from within the establishment and was deeply integrated couldn’t do much, why do you think Trump will be allowed to do anything at all? The eye of the public will be so sharply on him and against him, I think he’ll be eaten alive.

    But the Hillary you’re supporting? Is she really the bright counterpoint to Trump that you seem to think she is? Have you seen this?

    Skip the annoyingly low-brow intro if you need, but this is damning to her character.

    There’s also this, and please do watch it. He makes some very good points.

    All of this, though, it will not matter one bit. Whoever is elected will be just another American president. I just can’t wait for it to finally end, and for life to go on.

    • Mir

      I disagree that Obama “didn’t do much.” So do non-partisan political analysts, and historians, and anyone who understands economics. To suggest so tells me you’re not interested in anything else I might have to say on the topic, though, so that’s all I’ll say.

      • Meh

        Did he stop the USA military involvement overseas, close down Guantanamo, create universal healthcare? Because that’s what the world was expecting him to do, those were the election promises. Of all these, only Obamacare was some sort of goodwill attempt at fulfilling anything (even that seemed to require fighting tooth and nail). But the biggest travesty is the Nobel Peace Prize, which he absolutely did not deserve. Then again, Henry Kissinger and Mother Theresa both won it as well, so he’s in similarly dubious company.

        I’m just interested in the truth. The truth is rarely black and white.

        But if you’re voting for Hillary on the basis that Trump is a molester and Hillary is pro-women, then you’re, to phrase it politely, misinformed. And you’re basing your vote on crude emotional manipulations.

        They’re both despicable individuals, using large-scale manipulation and trigger topics to sway the public opinion. The outcome does not matter very much.

        • Mir

          Obamacare was a first and important step in universal healthcare, and quite the miracle considering the obstruction it faced in Congress. Even with all its flaws, people who were uninsurable before now have coverage. I’m not willing to throw out the baby with the bath water on that one. In fact, both of my children would be uninsurable without it. So you’ve got nothing for me on that, I’m afraid.

          I’m voting for Hillary based on her 30+ year record of public service, repeated demonstration of commitment to children and the underprivileged and underserved, and because she’s already accomplished a ton on behalf of others. I’m not voting for The Orange One because he is an abysmal “businessman,” has never done a single iota of anything resembling public service, has run his campaign in a manner devoid of anything any sane person would consider presidential conduct, AND IN ADDITION TO THAT, I find him to be a loathsome excuse for a human.

          The outcome of this election matters a tremendous amount to anyone who isn’t a rich white male, I’m pretty sure, actually.

          I can’t help noticing that I’m perfectly comfortable attaching my identity to my words here, while you are not. Interesting. Perhaps if everything you have to say is so inarguable, you’d not be hiding? Just a thought.

          • Meh

            Well, I’m not a rich white male, I can tell you that much. :) I’m a woman who is an ethnic minority and who spent her childhood on the front lines of a war zone. English is not my first language and I’ve never been to the US. I played in literal minefields as a child, they put up warning signs many years later. I grew up with sirens, sleeping in day clothes and running to the basement during artillery attacks. We had a used rocket launcher as a toy and got chocolate when the Red Cross gave out humanitarian packages.

            This experience has made me into a person who researches the hell out of things. I am hesitant to give anyone my allegiance, because I’m very good at observing large-scale manipulations. My survival has depended on it.

            Reading your blog is a part of my inquisitive nature, my research into the world of an intelligent, educated woman raising two children in the USA. I actually think you’re pretty awesome.

            All I am trying to do is provide more information, and provide a more balanced view. Hiding my identity is a reflex learned from past experience: when giving information that goes against the grain, especially if that information HAS value, the attacks can get vicious. Hell, even you are asking to know who I am, instead of arguing on the basis of my arguments. It’s a subconscious desire to hurt me because I upset your worldview with information that’s not easy to simply shrug off. My view is fairly cynical, so I don’t even blame you for it too much.

            I look at the world through more than one perspective. Always. I have to, because I grew up thinking I was the victim and ended up being on the aggressor side. As a child I learned quickly how easy it is to be manipulated. Look into the critics of Hillary, don’t dismiss them outright. You might find that they have something to say.

            As for Obama’s accomplishments, you do admit he had to fight every step of the way to get things done. Which was my initial point: so will Trump, if elected. And people LOVED Obama, unlike Trump. I would be surprised if he manages to get anything done. That’s why I don’t think the outcome will really matter.

            But this election is a prime example in large-scale manipulation, and a great opportunity to learn to look beyond our immediate emotions and trigger issues.

            This guy is actually very interesting in his observation of Trump’s persuasion technique. While he’s obviously using this whole thing as a platform for self-promotion, it would not be nearly as effective if he didn’t actually have some great observations and insights.

            • Mir

              Well that was a fascinating psychoanalysis, but again, unless you’re actually a psychologist, I’m going to pass on supposed insight into my psyche from someone on the Internet. A few more things (and then I’m done; you got me tonight as I waited for a pick-up call from the kiddo, but it’s late and this is becoming pointless):
              1) I did address points you raised. Not all, but I did “argue on the basis of your arguments,” and saying I didn’t isn’t true.
              2) The anonymity thing works both ways, and so I brought it up not to “hurt you” but because I think it allows a person the latitude to say things they otherwise wouldn’t.
              3) However, not sure if it was intentional or not, but now I know who you are. I realize my interpretation of the anonymity was not your motivation, so I guess I agree to disagree on that. Generally speaking I think it’s inherently hostile to enter an argument anonymously.
              4) The author behind Dilbert was wildly popular here in the US until he revealed himself to be a self-important, woman-hating troll. He lost most of his fanbase overnight (you can Google if you never saw/read about it all) and the remaining fans are all… shall we say… remarkably Trump-like. So you’re going to have to forgive me for not taking anything he has to say about Trump seriously.
              5) I never said there was nothing to criticize about Clinton. I simply feel that her public service/good works vastly outweigh the places where she is less than ideal. I’ve yet to see anything about the GOP candidate which can be characterized as positive.
              6) I appreciate your point of view as one which is purely theoretical (truly), but would ask you to make some space in there for the experiences of people actually living here—I suspect it’s very different from what you get through “research.” I’m pretty sure that the day-to-day experiences of most Americans would differ vastly depending on who is elected. Our country is already experiencing a surge of racial and religious intolerance just from the election season. I’m supposed to believe that wouldn’t turn into a tidal wave if our actual leader was constantly on Twitter calling people names?

          • Meh

            I can’t reply directly to your reply (there’s no reply button), so I’m gonna do it this way, but I promise I’m not going to drag it out much further. It is fairly tiring to me as well, and really after every conversation like this, I wish we could go for ice cream and a massage or something.

            1) I concede this. You did make an effort to address the arguments, but you also tried to poke at my identity. If I was a rich white male, would that have discredited my points? How? Also, you discredit the validity of my judgment on the basis that I don’t live in the USA. Let me tell you, I don’t like the idea of a future USA president who actively antagonizes the leader of the next largest nuclear power. I’ve lived through one war and I don’t particularly want to live in a nuclear wasteland, thank you very much. Hillary has a history of being a dangerous warmonger.

            2) and 3) Well, you’re also the owner of this space, and I’m the one who’s on shaky ground, arguing unpopular standpoints. I’ll take anonymity out of a sense of self-preservation. However, I did not use anonymity to be a troll or to be offensive. I have done my best to discuss from a position of goodwill, in a polite and reasonable way.

            4) But you should take it seriously, if he makes good observations. You should look beyond the knee-jerk emotion of disgust. I didn’t know he was that widely discredited, I thought he got under fire after the election stuff. But if I think he’s worth reading, does that mean I agree with everything he says? One of his blog posts contained his disgusting views of women, and I disagreed with those. If I only ever read things I could 100% agree with and considered comfortably acceptable, my intellectual horizon would be pitifully narrow.

            5) Alright. Trump’s positives are: he is open to negotiate with Putin and isn’t actively antagonizing him. He wants to try a different approach, he is not from within the establishment, and he’s not a shill for the military industrial complex. However, neither of these things will matter much. The volatile political situation + Trump’s temperament could still result in a nuclear war, and the president simply does not have enough power to implement things.

            6) I know your culture vastly better than you could ever hope to know mine. Do you think it is particularly difficult to empathize with a culture that’s blasted from every TV screen, that dominates every avenue of online discourse? Seriously, this is what you’re going with? Quite frankly, this is offensive. Dude, I know how you told your kids about sex for the first time. That’s the kind of intimate detail I know about the lives of American people. I have a friend from Georgia who got his front teeth knocked out because he was hit by a truck. He had no health insurance so he could never get them fixed and could never get a job after. I suspect that he got into dealing drugs for a living.

            This argument was a truly low blow, I am kind of reeling.

            You do realize you’re just trying to discredit me and make me back down because you dislike my views? You accuse me of being an armchair psychologist, but it’s just obvious. These are patterns of behavior I’ve observed far too many times.

            Are the people of today capable of understanding the political and cultural context of, say, the Roman Empire without having lived there? Compare the amount of information available about the Roman Empire to that about life in the USA. Even in this, I’m the one who can explain why some people might prefer Trump, unlike yourself – despite you living there. It’s not just because they’re racist scumbags (well, maybe some of them are).

            And none of this would’ve happened if I’d stayed anonymous. I wouldn’t have opened myself to these easy ad hominem attacks.

            But seriously, I wouldn’t be putting in such an effort in discussing this if I didn’t respect you a lot. I’d shrug and go my own way. That second video I linked, really, watch it. You can hate it, you can disagree with it, but I promise it will give you something to think about and consider. It will make you smarter, if you can look past the knee-jerk emotions. That’s all I want – for everyone to be more intelligent, better informed, less closed off in their prejudices and their comfortable views. Dumb people enable wars and I will contribute what I can to prevent that.

            (I dragged it out. Blah. Sorry. I honestly do apologize for prolonging our mutual suffering.)

  23. Mel

    I had the protest vote argument with someone this week. Voting is not about “feeling good.” It’s about taking a good, long look at the choices and working toward getting the best person in office.

    I am having nightmares, too.

  24. Karen

    I spewed on your facebook Page, you’ll see my views there. I’m With HER. You go Mir. Thank you for saying it better than I did.

  25. Daisy

    Well said. I’m with you because I’m also with Hillary. I have been on Hillary’s side since she chose to follow her profession rather than bake cookies and host teas. My fireplace mantel displays a “Hillary ’08” clutch purse. This intelligent, brave, amazing woman has seen the presidency up close – and she’s still willing to take it on!

  26. Mel

    I voted tonight (Washington state is mail in/drop off at your local ballot box location). I saw you mentioned Obamacare up there and if it weren’t for Obamacare I would owe thousands of dollars for a week in the hospital plus follow up care from when I had meningitis 2 years ago and doctors struggled to diagnose me. I am so, so thankful for that care and for the fact that I never saw a bill for the amazing care that I received. So yes, I AGREE, Obama has done things that matter. I also voted for him ;) Thanks Mir!!

  27. Otto

    There are many reasons I’m happily married. Just saying.


  28. Kim

    Here in solidarity for a good outcome tonight. I’m fairly confident, but the alternatives is so damn horrible, I’m still nervous.

  29. Mary K. in Rockport

    Nov 13: Still low, still stunned, still pissed off as hell, still With Her. I and my family are not going with the sweetness and light, let’s try to understand the folk who went with the Orange One. No. He is too dangerous and also repugnant. He and the Republicans can take down 50 years of social progress for which we fought so hard. We are not waiting to see if things might be OK after all. We are fighting for the opportunity of the electors to make their votes reflect the popular vote.

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