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OHio part4
This election has left me brokenhearted. Ohio, my home state, was one of the first swing states to fall into the dark pit of acquiescence to totalitarian rule by a divisive, self-absorbed demagogue.

As I watched the election results come in on Nov. 8, 2016, when Ohio went to the GOP for president, it felt like a gut-kick. Oh, Ohio, how could you be so unkind? I am wounded. I am grieving.

I’m doing my best to recover. I am doing my best to stop crying, to not lash out in blind anger, and to not lose hope for America’s future. I’m doing my best to move forward in a backward political tempest.

I must admit, it wears me down, trying to consider the feelings of people who voted for Trump; particularly when most of them seem to have no compassion. “Get over it”, or “he won”, and other forms of self-righteous gloating. Those sentiments are hard for me to fathom... especially when the reproaches come from family members, longtime friends, next-door neighbors, and co-workers.

Do those who voted for him, have no empathy? Do they think they can mask their imprudent intentions under the guise of wanting an “anti-establishment” candidate in the White House? Do they think that those who did not vote for him can’t see through their “patriotic” facade and into their base natures of authoritarianism? Do they not understand that their xenophobic, homophobic, misogynistic and racist hatred (which they so carefully wrapped in the flag and tried to hide) has been exposed?

Seriously, they are the ones who need to get over it – the “it” being, themselves. They are the ones who need to take a closer look at the pocket-sized Constitution they carry, and realize that the first amendment applies to all, not just them. And while they still have their reading glasses on, I hope they take a look at amendments three through ten; the rest of the “Bill of Rights”. There is no need for them to re-read the second amendment, as they have it memorized; touting their misinterpretation of it ad nauseam.

*sigh*

As my broken heart still beats, it still yearns for restorative insight that will bring about healing for our divided nation. At first, the tears in my eyes prevented me from seeing how I may have played a part in all of this. I started reading comments and articles from those on the left, right and center. The first one that actually made sense to me was written by my friend, Deborah Baron, where she pointed out that we don’t listen to each other, even when we’re on the “same side”. In her article she stated, “...the bottom line is people vote based on their gut, their emotion, their heart and their opinions.”

I took Deborah’s words to heart, and decided to reach out; to take a small step towards reconciliation. I contacted one of my small-town Ohio girlfriends who I knew voted for Trump, via private inbox on Facebook. She is a healer, a registered nurse and, despite personal struggles she has had to weather, she has always taken on life with a faithful and loving heart. It turns out that we DO have common ground on which we stand: We both want the best for our children. We both want the best for our country. We both want to see term limits set on Representatives and Senators. We both think the RNC and DNC are power hungry; that they have forgotten too many of “We the People”, in their quest to retain that power.

It’s a start, I guess, using one connection at a time, one conversation at a time, to bridge the deep divide that the politicians, lobbyists, special interest groups and the big-money elites have effectively carved out between us – between U.S. It’s a start, I hope.

*sigh*

Meanwhile, I’ve taken other steps to try and mend my broken heart: I have quit watching the news so much. I have spent hours reading good books that have nothing to do with politics. I have called friends who share my point of view (and who are as brokenhearted as I am), seeking advice on how to cope. I have created a new FB page for family and close friends, only. I have donated to a local project for homeless children at the St. Vincent Du Paul Center in Dayton. I have eaten two pounds of Girl Scout candy and at least one pound of Boy Scout caramel corn.

*burp*

Also, I have joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). I applaud them for their letter to Trump, published 11/11/16 in The New York Times. And I will work with them to expand equality and opportunity for Ohio, and all of America.

OH, Ohio, you may have broken my heart this election cycle, but I still love you. Even though I stay in New Orleans five months out of the year, Ohio, you’re my home. And, broken or not, home is where the heart is...

Map of Ohio


OH, Ohio (Part 1)

OH, Ohio (Part 2)

OH, Ohio (Part 3)

AUTHOR’S NOTE: At least I can find comfort in the fact that Sen. Sherrod Brown from Ohio is still working for the working class in Congress; don't miss his 11/17/16 New York Times op-ed piece. Also, I have asked my girlfriend for a list, telling me why she felt the way she did about a candidate. She said she will do that – she’s just been too busy with work, etc. I will save that input for another article, maybe it should be called “OH, Ohio Part 4.1: The State of My Healing Heart”? I don’t know. I’ll build that bridge and cross it when I get there. Peace.

Bonnie Bertelson

Bonnie Bertelson

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