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Spiritual Lessons from the Election of the Centerfold Senator

These have been tough times recently.  Most personally, two days ago was what would have been my mother’s 71st birthday.  She died in September 2009 after a long illness.  As my birthday is today, it’s the first time that we haven’t celebrated it together.  I’m just feeling a little bit numb about the whole deal.

The other area that I’ve been knocked off my foundation was the election of soon-to-be Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown.  Enough has been said in the media about how he ran a good campaign (which is true) and how poorly Martha Coakley ran hers (which I also agree with).  I’d like to talk about how this personally affected me.

I was very down and upset at the results of the election, and the grandstanding of many people.  The vitriol of many of the conservatives was out of place (I’m particularly taken by Facebook updates such as “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” upon her conceding.)  As a woman who has been working tirelessly for the betterment of all citizens of the Commonwealth, I don’t get when people were calling her names and saying things about her that just had no reason in fact.  She wasn’t the most exciting candidate (I think Mike Capuano would have taken this race easily), but she was much better in my opinion that Scott Brown.

To me, his election is not only a complete ticket to the Party of No (Those who think that he’s going to be an agent of “change” and independant I think will be eating their words shortly, as I think he will fall in lock step with the obstructionist part of Congress), but also a complete slap in the face to people like me, namely the GBLT community.  Scott Brown doesn’t feel we should be treated equally, and will work with those in Washington who want to keep me a second class citizen.  This says nothing about the fact that he will vote against what will actually help the people who voted for him.

I heard an interview with Rep. Barney Frank on TV recently, and he stated that a common phrase on Capital Hill is “It’s not personal”, but he said that any law that will make GLBT people “less than” others is personal.  For those friends of mine who voted for Scott Brown for “change” (which to me means that you didn’t want change, as you’re voting for obstructionism and bad behavior which will now have more of a toehold in Washington), you’ve really said that my basic right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is not important.

Needless to say, this upset me.  What if we brought back the “Irish Need Not Apply” or had different bathrooms for different ethnic groups?  It might be personal to you then too.

Anyway, I can’t change what has happened.  I’ve been thinking about what I can do.  Here are my thoughts:

  • Breathe: I can only control myself at this moment.  Is the next thing I say kind? Am I being the change I want in the world?  If I can show compassion to others, maybe those people who are hard-hearted to my situtation might see it differently next time they vote.
  • Forgive: For those that have been so uncaring of the fate of others, I just have to let go and not assume that it’s done maliciously. Even if it were, it doesn’t do me any good to think that way.
  • Take Care of Myself: I need to focus on my own needs.  Nutrition, exercise, mediation, friends, etc.  I need to bring good positive things into my life, so that I have a positive vibe to my day.

I’m sure there’s more, but I’ll ask you what you’ve learned.  Post them below!

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