For my daughter

I know we can’t possibly be the only individuals having a hard time reading social media these days. Every day there seems to be another tragedy. The divide being created by politics is widening at a rapid rate. There’s so much anger and divisiveness. A few days ago I was reading Twitter conversations between unknown-to-me people about the Presidential race and it was absolutely disheartening. People can’t possibly be okay with speaking to each other in person in that way, so why does it happen behind keyboards? Everyone has a side.

And then I saw this screen shot on Twitter:

Republicans

So I looked up the article to read it for myself – http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/13/us/politics/republican-convention-issues.html?_r=0

“CLEVELAND — Republicans moved on Tuesday toward adopting a staunchly conservative platform that takes a strict, traditionalist view of the family and child rearing, bars military women from combat, describes coal as a “clean” energy source and declares pornography a ‘public health crisis.'”

“But the document positions itself far to the right of Mr. Trump’s beliefs in other places — and amounts to a rightward lurch even from the party’s hard-line platform in 2012 — especially as it addresses gay men, lesbians and transgender people.”

“As delegates debated in two marathon sessions here on Monday and Tuesday, they repeatedly rejected efforts by more moderate members of the platform committee to add language that would acknowledge or condemn anti-gay discrimination — something Mr. Trump has done himself.”

How must the people “on the other side” of that platform feel?

I have LGBTQ friends. I have a daughter who is capable of being anything she wants to be when she grows up. I am clearly a female. As a gay friend checked in with me to see how I was doing with the platform (imagine that), I had a thought “what if my friends feel like I’m slapping them in the face by being affiliated with this intentionally?”

A former mayor I very much respect changed his party affiliation in 2012 after being dismayed at the antics of our party. I remember my sadness at his change. I had hope that we could all work together.

I remember registering to vote in high school and I’ve been registered as an R in either Colorado and California since then. I remember loving the party platform and wanting that strong, conservative leadership. I remember my father being stationed in Iran when they took hostages and I remember Reagan getting them released. But this so-called value where my LGBTQ and women friends are not valued or who don’t deserve the same rights is something I no longer want my name attached to. It’s not ethical and it certainly doesn’t follow the teachings of the Catholic church that I grew up in.

To be clear, there are still some amazing people who are Republicans as well as great friends that I treasure. I still deeply value conservative business principles and the many great things my party once upheld and supported. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. But I personally can no longer stomach this intolerance for individuals and I don’t want to feel as if I’m endorsing this behavior. I certainly don’t want my daughter to think I approve of it.

I visited www.govotecolorado.com and found my registration. Active info since I moved back to Colorado in 1998.

Since 1998

I decided it was time to speak up.

Unaffiliated

For my friends and for my daughter. I feel like I’m giving up a little piece of my identity. Maybe I am. My daughter is worth it and I’m going to continue showing her that strong women can and should speak up for everyone. Maybe I’ll register again just to vote in primary elections and maybe I won’t.

Regardless, I’m going to remain vocal and continue to support public education and kids. I’m going to continue demanding that accountability and transparency of elected officials. I’ll continue to be occasionally sarcastic and crack jokes but I hope that I will never add to the negativity and hate toward anyone.

Bring on the massive unaffiliated robocalls and mailers. As the old slogan says, “we’ve come a long way, baby…” and clearly we still have a long way to go.

I’m a strong, voting, outspoken mother with one less label today. For my friends but especially for my daughter.

Regards,

Shawna, Unaffiliated