Silence is Damaging

Before the first Presidential debate, I had a discussion about the political climate with some other authors online. There were some great comments made by everyone, but I put to words something that has been bothering me about my response to the current election.


You see, I live in a firmly red state and, while I believe this will change as we become more diverse in Texas over the next four years, for as long as I have been a registered voter, I was almost always the lone Democrat in the room. Usually, I take that in stride. I keep my mouth shut and avoid the subject of politics unless I am in the company of very (and I do mean very) good friends. I can honestly say, there are many of my very good friends who I wouldn’t dare bring up politics to because the resulting discussion is just not worth it.

Especially this year. Especially this election. Even now, given the revelations of the weekend this is still a hostile place for someone not firmly in the red. I have stayed off Facebook, where most of my conservative friends live and kept to Twitter, where I follow mostly librarians, authors, pop culture aficionados, and artists.

More and more though, I have been thinking about what silence means and I have been thinking about this quote:

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

–Martin Niemoller

I think about Niemoller’s words and I know that history will not look kindly on this election and it will not look kindly on the kinds of words that have been used in it nor with the hatred with which they have been spoken.

I think about all this and I am tired of being silent. I was tired when I first wrote this post weeks ago. I am tired now. My heart hurts even more, knowing I waited to put these words up. I waited while they came for everyone else and I stayed silent. That silence hangs around my neck like a weight.

No more.

For the record, I like Hillary and I want to vote for her. My vote will not be a protest one, but I am done being silent. I am finished with keeping my mouth shut about the kind of man I think Donald Trump is because he is a contemptible person and his words are damaging.

They are as damaging as my silence on the matter. I do not want my silence to be taken as approval.

I cannot, with good conscience and my hand firmly wrapped around my moral compass whose true north is Jesus, condone anyone who supports a man who seems to hold in contempt almost everyone around him. Whose business is categorized by bankruptcies and refusing to pay smaller businesses money they were promised. Who has no idea what sacrifice and honor mean and who would deny refuge to victimized, suffering people because they have the unfortunate luck to be from a Middle Eastern country. Who clearly doesn’t understand minorities and views half of the people in this country as objects for pleasure whether consent is given or not.

Voting is important. Everyone over 18 should be voting this November. Everyone over 18 should vote every November (and in local elections too). Do some reading from credible news sources. Watch the debates. Make an informed decision and be able to look yourself in the mirror afterward.

The time for silence has long since past. I am sorry I held mine so long.