FROM THE PRESS ROOM
Well, some condolences are in order. The election is FINALLY over and as I predicted, half the country now believe the end is near. It’s not. This election cycle has been amusing, to say the least, amassing a number of “nasty woman” memes, SNL sketches, hot audio leaks, FBI investigations, and one rather disturbing instance of Donald Trump referencing his penis (remember Marco Rubio?). Articles were written, segments produced, speeches delivered – not all of which on the level you would expect from our supposedly most “qualified” analysts and politicians. But, nonetheless, it is over. President-elect Donald Trump stands victorious. Let that sink in. Let the healing begin.
When I started Topline earlier this year, it was an exciting venture for me to reach out to whomever is listening or reading, and have a discussion. Not only on politics, but about the events and discoveries and people shaping our existence (the ones you never hear about). In the initial months, I prided myself on the need to remain unbiased, neutral, and calm. As circumstance would have it, Topline was born unto an election year where such attributes are rarely practiced, or admired. And as the cycle hit high speed, I lost interest in not only writing, but paying attention. I am sure some of you shared my apathy. The stories of who said what, who did what, who made headlines for no other reason than mere nonsense – they became abundant and repetitive. So much bluster, and not enough words.
I was unsure where to take this little project moving forward. I felt like so many Americans (yes, we are all still Americans), like I had no voice. The world was unfurling on its own and anything I could say would be absent-mindedly shouting into the void. Then, it happened. A new president was elected, and the country erupted. Into joy from fiery supporters, into despair from shocked and dismayed opponents, into fury by disillusioned youth groping for a non-existent branch toward safety. The result was inevitable. Whoever would stand before their elated congregation, smiling and triumphant – a rampage was sure to follow.
This year in politics has unraveled unlike any other in modern history. The proliferation of a media culture, the obsession with celebrity, the shortened attention spans, the constant yelling and spinning and self-promotion – all of which now dominate our culture – have yielded a need to “take sides.” Gone are the days of open discussion or debate. Gone are the days of asking questions or seeking opposing views. Gone are the days of meeting in the middle.
Moderate is a swear word. Opinions are absolute. Beration is the norm.
Aside from spending the hours it would require discussing how we arrived here, it is time to accept simply that we are here, and we need to keep moving. I forget the last time I had a conversation that did not end with, “Let’s agree to disagree.” This is a common phrase for someone attempting to remain unbiased, neutral, and calm. Despite which candidate steps into the Oval Office come January, I have been left with a new perception due to the last 11 months that crash landed this past Election Day. Unbiased, neutral, and calm are an immediate reaction to the hard line most of us scrawl across the dirt. When there is so much rhetoric and vitriol, nonsense and noise, so much narrow minded obsession with being “right” – it is easy to stay quiet and play the peacekeeper. In the same respect, it is equally as easy to lose your own voice in the process.
Moving forward, we now have a very different future than the past eight years could have predicted. Riots, fear-mongering, self-pity, yelling, screaming and destruction, they speak one word: fear. I don’t want you to be afraid. I refuse to be afraid. This is not the end of days. This is a wake-up call. The realities of this world will never disappear. We owe it to ourselves, Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Conservative, Independent, Libertarian, or whatever else, to communicate. My condolences are due in part because I could not realize the potential we have together until now. I want to use Topline, and I would love for you to use it as well, to talk.
This is not a safe space, this is not CNN, this is not a side. This is a conversation.
Let’s remember what actually makes America great. We can talk. About anything and everything. We can agree and disagree. We can learn together. The President will change. The people and faces will change. I want to be vocal the only way I know how – with my words. I want to lend my voice in the hopes that we can redefine radical. In this new era, where it is undoubtedly easy to mute one another, it is a radical notion that we actually speak. Without the self-righteous glory of a pulpit, I will speak my truth. I will make my voice heard on issues that matter, or should matter. I will not be unbiased, neutral, or calm for the sake of saving face. I will do this not to be “right,” but in the hopes that you will too.
Do not fear the unknown. Do not cower behind mobs. Do not let your only action be reaction. Take a deep breath and let’s talk.