Why I'm Taking All This So Personally: #NaBloPoMo Day 6

I’ve followed this presidential election cycle really closely, and obviously have some really strong opinions about the candidates. I regularly listen to five political podcasts, participate in a Facebook group dedicated to having respectful, intelligent conversations on politics (loooove it), watched all the debates while closely following Twitter at the same time, and have read a ton of articles and posts from lots of intelligent people (on both sides) to learn all that I can. I voted early, and voted very differently than I have in the past. It’s 2016, and for the first time, I’m informed and invested in all this.

In 2012, Obama was running for re-election against Mitt Romney. I don’t remember one single thing about that campaign cycle, or election. I honestly can’t even remember if I voted or not (surely, I did, right? But I don’t have any memory of it). Why? Oh yeah, Grayson had been diagnosed with Leigh’s less than two months before election day, and I was fairly newly pregnant with my surprise baby who we didn’t know wasn’t also going to be born sick.

In 2012, my brain couldn’t handle much other than trying to survive the aftermath of two shocking, life-altering pieces of news. I highly doubt that who was going to be president the next four years even factored into any of my immediate thoughts or concerns.

Now, having emerged from the fog of G’s diagnosis, I realize that having a special needs, medically fragile child requires me to be invested in politics and have knowledge of what legislation is being passed that will directly affect my family.

When cuts are made to deny therapies and special education, that’s not an abstract, fiscal decision. That’s our life. The people receiving government assistance for medical care aren’t people who are “lazy” and “taking advantage of the system”- they’re us, a family who would be legitimately broke without Medicaid. So much of Grayson’s quality of life and our ability to give him the best medical care and education depends on decisions made by people we elect to make these choices on what money goes where. I have to pay attention, and I voted for the candidates and party that I believe will best serve disadvantaged populations and people truly in need of assistance.

I also have to factor in how the candidates value life, especially the lives of the vulnerable, disabled, and disadvantaged. (Please don’t turn this into an abortion debate; we can talk about that later and how I truly believe you can be politically pro-choice and hold all life in the highest esteem). I’ve really been struggling with the reality that so many people I love and admire deeply are voting for Trump. I feel genuine anger, and I know that’s not entirely fair. The anger is on me, and it’s my issue to deal with, and no one owes me an explanation. Most of the Trump supporters I know are kind hearted people who want the best for their families, my family, and the country. I truly believe they are voting not because of Trump’s disgusting behavior and insults, but in spite of them. I don’t think they are included in the Basket of Deplorables, although they are giving deplorable views a pass and a voice: a pass that shouldn’t be given and a voice that shouldn’t be heard.

After reading this article, I know why I’m so upset. I’m taking Trump votes personally because I see them as a slap in the face to my family and my son. I am really having an impossible time accepting that people who love my child and my family would say that they want someone to be president who sees my son (not to mention other groups of people) as “lesser”. Trump has repeatedly and unapologetically discriminated against and ridiculed women, immigrants, the disabled, and minorities. He bragged about sexual assault. In addition to friends also raising children with disabilities, I have friends who are immigrants, who are black, Hispanic, Muslim, and gay. There are people I love dearly who have been sexually assaulted. I take those votes personally for them, too.

If you are skeptical Trump doesn’t think less of people with intellectual disabilities or weak bodies given to them by genetics (as my son has), watch the video in this article. It’s horrifying.

This isn’t about Hillary Clinton. I understand that people have valid concerns about her candidacy and can’t vote for her. It’s not about the Republican party platform, or Supreme Court nominations. This is about this candidate, in this election. Those voting for Trump are casting their votes not just for his policies, but as tolerance for his hateful and bigoted views against marginalized and vulnerable people. They may not hold those views personally, but their support is amplifying the views of many others who do.


  1. Anonymous on November 6, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Hello, I am just a random girl who has an interest in/passion for understanding the every day lives of special needs kids and their families, and when I stumbled across your blog I fell in love with your family, adorable kids, and writing style. I have a lot of admiration and respect for you, and I think you deserve to be lovingly told that you're not seeing clearly on this issue. If your conscience keeps you from voting Trump, I just can't see why you would vote for Clinton. You talk about the future of your children; Wikileaks revelations show that the Clintons are associated with horrible satanic rituals like “spirit cooking” and some sort of pedophile ring. She's knowingly taken money for the Clinton Foundation from countries whose governments are funding ISIS. She continually has been shown to lie, participate in criminal behavior, cheat by colluding with the media, and more. At least Trump is open about his biases, whereas Clinton continually sends out false counter-narratives and feel-good empty lies through her media allies so nobody knows who she really is. Trump voters see all those things you mentioned…we just feel that for the safety of the country we have to choose the lesser evil. Remember that it isn't just the presidency…at least one (and probably 4) Supreme Court nominees and a whole lot of appointed officials go along too. If you value the Constitution and the principles of religious freedom, freedom of speech, second amendment rights, etc. you have to accept that the candidate preserving those ideas just isn't the nice guy we'd hoped to nominate. And if you are worried about the sensitivities of marginalized and vulnerable people, continue befriending them and working in your community to show those people they have a friend and are not alone. It's not the government's job to take care of people's feelings or to police what some people can say so other people don't feel hurt…its purpose is to keep its people physically safe and protect their rights. Freedom of speech has to be protected even when people are saying racist or ugly things so that it can be used to speak truth as well. That is what I feel is in jeopardy if Clinton is elected. If you respond I won't respond back and get into an argument…I just wanted my views to be out there. I really do have a lot of respect for you, and I adore your beautiful family. I hope G is feeling much better today. Sending my anonymous prayers as I always do after reading your posts.

  2. Elizabeth on November 6, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Hi- thanks so much for taking the time to comment and for your prayers for my family. I really appreciate that and am humbled that a stranger would do that for us. Like I said in my post, this isn't about Hillary Clinton and my reasons for voting for her; I wrote this specifically about my feelings about Trump votes. I respect your reasons why you cannot vote for her just as I'm sure you respect why I cannot vote for Trump. I wholeheartedly agree that showing love an support in my community is going to make the biggest difference and I try to do this every day. Thank you again for reading and for praying for us!

  3. Trina on November 7, 2016 at 12:04 am

    Hi anonymous. I don't think Elizabeth deserves to be “lovingly” told nonsense about HRC's highly fact-checked “satanism” and other conspiracy theories. She's done her research and I admire her grace in her response to you.

  4. Beth on November 7, 2016 at 12:29 am

    So, I am to assume you think I don't love my son and daughter who are both bed bound, my only two children because I am a Trump Voter. I am going for the State of the Country for my Children. I take that as a slap my face. Because no one can love their children more than me. I have been fighting for my kids for 20 yrs. TJ has need everything you have needed from day one. I know your fight more than you know your fight because I have been there and I am way past where you are. Never thought I would have both kids where they are. I will never be a Mother of High School Graduate, College Student, Getting their license, Being able to vote like we are debating now, Getting Married, having children. You get my point. So I am doing my parental duty and looking out for their country the best I can, keeping the country the way it is suppose to be, the way our fore fathers wanted it. A vote for “Hillary” is taking us in a direction we cannot get back. This is a Historic Election and I am very passionate about it. Obama Care needs to demolished for children like mine. My children do not contribute to society and that makes a difference in ObamaCare as they get deeper into guts of implementing ObamaCare. This will go as Medicare as well for the the Elderly. Types of treatment will be denied if it is not cost effective so to speak. So you may see denial in therapies now and I understand that as the Country is drowning in debt. But wait till Obamacare denies treatment that is necessary for life for children like mine. My kids are 6 yrs away from being totally dependent on Medicaid. That will be here in a blink of eye. I love my kids with all my heart sole and I have looked into this more than you know. So no I cannot vote KILLARY. Keep in mind, I am not rich and I need the assistance desperately. I worry about my cousin who is currently pregnant with triplets and I know what this can mean to her. That is why I am looking out for the country as the one person that I am and can do.

  5. Amber on November 7, 2016 at 12:32 am

    I continue to wake up every morning expecting this to be a very well played out joke. We can't be serious, right??? Nothing about Trump is presidential and his behavior is embarrassing and inexcusable. I'm so sorry that this affects your family in such a personal way.

  6. Diane on November 7, 2016 at 1:18 am

    Not a slap in your face- I voted Trump and while I sure wish there was a better choice the thought of Hillary has left me sleepless for weeks. Come tuesday night whoever wins will leave this Country more divided then it has been since the civil war. Things will be bad and get worse. I don't think it is a slap in my face that you like Hillary, and feel like you just stereotyped me. But that is America! We are ALL equal and no one is BAD or WRONG for believing what they believe. I think that has been lost and forgotten. Weds morning is going to be one of the worst days our Country will see- no matter how we vote. We will wake up more divided then ever before and I am going to go hit the grocery and stock up on dried beans! 🙂

  7. Elizabeth on November 7, 2016 at 2:02 am

    Beth, of course I don't think that you don't love your children and I'm sorry if that was how you interpreted my post. And like I said, this post is not about Hillary Clinton and it's not only about me and my “fight”.

  8. Elizabeth on November 7, 2016 at 2:06 am

    I'm very sorry that you feel like I stereotyped you in this post. That's not what I intended and why I mentioned that most Trump supporters I know are kind, good hearted people who don't explicitly condone or hold his most offensive views. And of course I don't think you are bad or wrong for believing what you do, but the people who DO believe the racist, misogynistic, and bigoted things he says…yeah, I think they are wrong.

  9. Kyla on November 7, 2016 at 3:15 am

    Of course you love your kids, Beth, and everyone knows that! Elizabeth was just explaining how SHE feels, and she was very careful to give grace to people who are voting differently than she is even though she has strong feelings about it all.

    My kids are ALREADY dependent on CHIP/Medicaid as their only insurance, so I'm voting for the candidate least likely to cut and gut those programs our family depends on. I was a Republican until Katie came along and was denied health insurance for pre-existing conditions. I had no clue that stuff even HAPPENED to people who were trying to be responsible and care for their kids. It was eye-opening for me. While ACA has LOADS of problems, it at least has fixed that. Unfortunately as long as we have a for-profit, privatized healthcare system, there are going to be cracks and somebody is going to be falling into them.

    We each get a vote, we each have our own views, and we each have our own feelings about this election season…Elizabeth was just explaining her own feelings, and that is okay. She definitely wasn't directing her feelings at you because you have a different opinion or making any kind of statement about how you feel about your precious kids! We're all just mamas trying to do our best!

  10. Diane on November 7, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Yep, and just as many of those misogynistic, and bigoted thinking people vote for Clinton's for various reasons. Sadly, those types are evenly spread between all of the options. We will always have them to contend with no matter what type of faux utopia we think we are voting for! 🙂

  11. Reagan Leigh on November 7, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Sorry, I've got to ageee with Beth and Diane here! I'm not a Trump supporter and I'm certainly not “with her”! But I'm tired of hearing everyone spout off about both of them. The idea of voting in this election makes me sick to my stomach and I feel I can't support either of them. And I am sick of hearing everyone spout off about the two of them. Everyone has to put their opinion out there…like the whole world is going to change their opinions based on their rantings or the article they suggest you read. I can't wait for this to be over!!! ONE MORE DAY. Imho we are all losers…:(

  12. Kyla on November 7, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    I think a lot of people voice their opinions so other people can understand why the “other” side thinks/feels a certain way OR so that other people who feel the same as them don't feel so alone, not to necessarily change minds. I feel like Christians who are not Republicans are hugely outnumbered and aren't really given a voice (without their salvation being questioned and things like that), so I appreciate Elizabeth's willingness to speak up. My main issue this election season is when it crosses the line from civil discussion/disagreement to name-calling and other hateful, personal behavior…it has gotten ugly way too often. I'll certainly glad for that to be over (or I hope it will be!).

  13. Reagan Leigh on November 7, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Unfortunately their good intentions are often missed and instead it comes across wrong…unintentionally isolating or seemingly ridiculing those who don't believe the same as they do. Fingers crossed everyone will move on after Tuesday. Can't we all just get along???

  14. Elizabeth on November 7, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    I'm sorry if anyone reads any of my posts or articles I link to as “rants” or ridicules against those that disagree- that is the opposite of what I am ever trying to accomplish. And as Kyla said, I wrote (and read) political opinion posts not to necessarily change anyone's mind, but to perhaps make someone consider a point of view they hadn't before. For example, I've read several accounts of rural Trump supporters and now understand better why they truly feel desperate and left behind economically in this country, and I do feel empathy for them and can see why Trump's message of “Make America Great” again is so appealing. I don't agree, but I'm glad I have the information.

    I don't think disagreeing and making strong statements about where we stand has to equate to not getting along. Yes I disagree and am angry with a lot of people I love right now. But I still love them and value our relationships.

  15. Jos on November 7, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    “Christians who are not Republicans are hugely outnumbered and aren't really given a voice (without their salvation being questioned and things like that)” <– THIS. Exactly how I feel, Kyla.

    Elizabeth – I so respect your way with words, and I'm sorry you've had to learn first hand how much these issues DO affect families at a very real level. People who say that voting for Trump isn't going to very negatively affect our country are completely in denial IMO.

  16. Jos on November 7, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    <3 Exactly.

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