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Nov 15 2016

Of Safety Pins and Play-Doh

On this day in 1864, Union General William Tecumseh Sherman burned Atlanta, Georgia, beginning Sherman's March to the Sea.

On this day in 1864, Union General William Tecumseh Sherman burned Atlanta, Georgia, beginning Sherman’s March to the Sea.

It’s been a week. Actually it hasn’t as I’m writing this on Saturday.

But my news feed is still full of people distraught over the election. I get that, but as I said on Monday, it’s not going to change.

Sometimes life stinks.

I was supposed to be rich and thin by this point in my life. It is small consolation that I have to be content with being devastatingly handsome and incomparably brilliant.

I digress. But just a little bit.

At Cornell University there was a “cry-in.”

At the University of Kansas you could go on social media in search of a therapy dog.

At the University of Michigan students got Play-Doh and coloring books.

To that the best response was that of a friend who wrote on Facebook: Forgive me but what the ¥%&€ are they gonna do on November 26? Go Buckeyes!

Look I totally admit crying on Election Night when we lost the first campaign I had worked on as a professional. But those tears were at the bottom of a bottle of Virginia Gentleman. Just one of many reasons that, even though I joke about it as a southern writer, I stay away from bourbon.

But the morning after that election I got up, re-did my resume and started looking for a new job. After enough of those experiences I left the campaign trail.

The other thing that baffles me somewhat is the advent of the Safety Pin.

No, I know what safety pins are. I’ve used them to hold up my drawers before but now they’re being used as a symbol to tell people that you’re a safe person to come to if they feel threatened.

The origin of the use was from World War II when the Germans occupied the Netherlands. The Dutch wore safety pins secretly to show their solidarity.

Secretly.

First century Christians would draw the sign of a fish in the sand with each believer drawing one arc of the symbol to let the other know.

Again. Secretly.

I love all of my friends who are sharing their safety pins and trying to get the message out. I totally get what you’re saying with this.  I know that your intentions are heartfelt and that you really do mean this to help.

But you’ve shared this all over social media.

All. Over.

I just can’t imagine a scenario where all the Jeffrey Dahmer wannabes of the world aren’t making a midnight run to Walmart to stock up on safety pins.

Pardon me, your emotional slip is showing.

Honestly? I hope I’m wrong.  But I can’t help being skeptical.

There’s no participation trophy for this election. There are winners and users. Every game is not a tie.

I had another friend on Facebook write this on Veteran’s Day.

For what it’s worth, when my dad was 19, he fought for the “heartbreak crossroads” at Wahlersheid, only to have to give it up as his entire division disengaged in the heat of combat, turned south, in broad daylight, in the full view and maintaining full fighting contact with the the enemy, withdrew to face the Nazis at Rocherath and Krinkelt. He and his company “ran like hell” (as the historian put it) when the full might of the Wehrmacht slammed into them. But they sucked it up, fought house to house with pistols, small caliber rifles and hand grenades against tanks and rocket-propelled grenades, slowed the German advance, made ithe Germans think they were a much bigger force, then dug in on the Elsenborn Ridge where the Germans hit them over, and over, and over, trying to widen the gap in the allied lines through which they could drive to Antwerp and cut the allied forces in half. They scratched foxholes into hard-frozen ground with GI folding shovels, and looked over rifle-sights at Panzer tanks coming toward them. They did not sleep, eat… they just held that ridge until Patton came from the south and opened Bastogne and the Nazi advance was halted. He entered concentration camps, saw the ravages of war. All at 19.

And yes, he cried.

Every time they played the National Anthem.

There are no safe spaces.

Winter is coming folks. And, for the next four years anyway, Donald Trump is going to be sitting on the Iron Throne.

As I said yesterday, I have a lot of problems with Donald Trump and I didn’t vote for him. But, he is not the demon that campaign rhetoric and the media (real and fake) have made him out to be. And he IS going to be the President.

Grieve. Be angry. Be upset. But you have to get beyond that.  We all do.

In the 1990s during the impeachment of Bill Clinton, an entire movement arose over the phrase “Move On.”

It’s time, because the results aren’t changing.

Put your shoes on one at a time and get back to work for the things in which you believe.

Because, frankly Scarlet, I don’t give out Play-Doh.

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3 comments

  1. Beth Dunnavant

    Just heard this generation referred to as a “Cosseted” generation. I wholeheartedly agree and then wondered how many of them could define that word. 😉

  2. Rich Rose

    You’re right, lick your wounds and get on with life! I’m not an Obama supporter, but I survived the last 8 years to, I hope, assist in Hillary’s defeat. Trump wasn’t my choice either, but when it boiled down to be between he and Hillary…the choice was easy!
    Good blog, I hope people heed your advice!

  3. Rich Rose

    Correcting email address

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