Here I am listening to “Simple Kind of Man” and typing, and thinking this is perhaps one of the most ironic messages I’ve ever typed. I used to have USMC stickers all over the back of my car. I dressed my kids in red, white, and blue, and took them to the Congressional Medal of Honor Museum for sober lessons on Memorial Day. My husband is a Veteran who left his home as a 125-pound, 17-year-old kid to serve his country. He grew up in the Marine Corps. He once participated in a Blue Angels show (doesn’t get more #Merica than that). We were the church-going, S&S Cafeteria on Sundays, apple-pie-eating, Chevy-driving, baseball-loving All-American Family.

And yet I didn’t support Donald Trump for president.

All of a sudden, I was a “far out” liberal, a “high and mighty” female, a “bleeding heart” hippie, and a “disloyal” American. Watch out, folks. She’s dangerous. She’s over there hugging trees, burning bras, and probably starting a Jane Fonda fan-club. The villagers started gathering their pitchforks and readied the fires. “String ’em up and burn ’em!”

Then, there was my favorite. Feminazi. I was called a Feminazi. Fabulous. *Sigh.*

Brace yourselves. The Feminazi is coming!

Yeah, I’m calling malarky, too. That I didn’t support a reality television caricature for the highest office in the world didn’t erase my fiscally conservative beliefs, nor did it make some of my socially liberal leanings “far out” (believing in equal rights for all humans is a pretty reasonable and common idea among various political parties and peoples). But how could anyone believe in narrow Constitutional construction, be against reckless Congressional spending, and not support Donald Trump for POTUS? (Blasphemy! Prepare the arsenal of scare tactics and cyberbullying.)

Here’s the thing. My decision, my choice, my right to not support Trump isn’t politics. It’s personal.

It’s easier to mislabel and misjudge than it is to listen, and this is the root of many problems facing our nation. Lack of empathy.

People resorted to name calling without understanding why some reasonable minds were concerned, why this was one bandwagon many couldn’t jump on, why some folks couldn’t just slip Donald Trump on their feet like a pair of Sperry shoes. Do it, don’t question it. “Fit in.” #Merica, right?

Let’s flip the script for a moment. Imagine we were talking about animal abuse, animal cruelty. Here’s this lady. Let’s call her Jane (my apologies to any Janes out there).

One afternoon, Jane is hanging with a group of friends. She’s shooting the breeze. She says, “Man, listen to this. I got this dog the other day. I moved on it…I hit it good. I just moved right in, didn’t even wait for it to lick me or growl at me. I just hit and kicked it. You know what? It loved getting hit. It just sat there and let me hit and kick it. Dogs everywhere just let me hit them. I can do anything to dogs.”

Jane’s friend got this on camera.

A few years later, Jane decides to run for president of the A.S.P.C.A. Despite the video above and a few other interviews where she said she doesn’t respect dogs, Jane now says she wants to represent dogs everywhere. Would Jane make a good president to represent the safety and security of dogs everywhere?

Yeah, probably not.

Would you blame the dogs, especially those who’d experienced the backside of a hand, for being a bit concerned for their safety? Would you fault them for having trust issues with Jane? Probably not.

Their concerns would be kinda reasonable, right? Expecting a dog that’s been hit to cozy up to Jane’s open hand facing it would be, in fact, unreasonable. Even if Jane now says she wants to “pet” the dog, not hit it?

Well, shucks. That’s not so crazy. And that’s a hypothetical about dogs (sweet, cuddly, cute creatures, by the way). Why should humans be treated with any less regard?

To all survivors out there, this site isn’t about politics. No political leanings. No shaming for being “left wing” or “right wing.” This is about you, your recovery, your healing, and your protection. If you’ve had people try to marginalize abusive acts committed against, and if having a guy who normalizes sexual assault voted into the office of president makes you angry or sad, then know your response is normal. Allow yourself to process these feelings, and don’t feel ashamed.

Bottom line? It’s never okay for others to do these:

  1. Assault – put one in reasonable apprehension of imminent bodily harm;
  2. Battery – cause bodily harm to another;
  3. Aggravated battery – use force or coercion to harm another’s person (e.g., use a gun, vehicle, knife, or other coercive tactic to commit the criminal act);
  4. Criminal sexual conduct – rape and/or statutory rape;
  5. Kidnap – trap, carry, or confine a person against the person’s will;
  6. Stalk – use a pattern of words or conduct that causes fear of death, assault, bodily injury, criminal sexual contact, kidnapping, or property damage to victim or victim’s family member. (Aggravated stalking is stalking accompanied by an act of violence.)

These are unlawful violations. Crimes. These are not “normal.” Doesn’t matter if it’s the POTUS or any regular Joe. Not okay.

Kudos to CBS News for getting this one right. Check out their article here, survivors, and see that you are NOT alone. Take care of yourself.

For all of the rest of us, Donald Trump can’t make America ‘great again.’ America’s greatness depends on all of us, collectively. It depends on each of us, individually. America’s greatness isn’t political. It’s personal. Let’s be good to each other, and let’s work together to make America safe for all of its citizens. Yeah, that’d be great.