A field of daisies

Living as a conservative in one of those blue spots on the electoral map, I have quite the collection of ultra-liberal friends.  Over the past eight years, we have all lived in harmony and generally kept our political opinions to ourselves.  That completely changed after the 2016 election.  My hardcore Democrat friends started sharing absurd social media posts, claiming to be "horrified" and "terrified" over Trump's appointments, actions, and tweets.  They are convinced that a secret coup is underway; that America as we know it is at risk; Trump is using the tactics of Hitler; and, of course, the Russians are coming!  To my mind, all of these social media posts and comments are totally irrational, and the hysteria is insane.  My friends have been driven to lunacy by our new president and his administration.

At first I was amused, and then I was baffled.  How could these seemingly normal people be so completely irrational over the new political leaders of our country?  How could they actually be so frightened of our president, his appointments, and his agenda?  How did their behavior make any sense at all?

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks: these people are me.  They are feeling exactly what I felt every minute that Obama was in office.  These ultra-liberal friends have all crawled into the dark, scary, doom-filled bunker I was hiding in for eight years.  From this emotional bunker, I could see our country, culture, and freedoms crumbling every day.  I could see it clearly, while my liberal friends were oblivious, as if always happily strolling through a field of daisies.

I started digging my bunker eight years ago, during the first few weeks of the Obama administration.  Eric Holder, who defended a terrorist?  Timothy Geithner, with tax problems?  Valerie Jarrett, with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood?  How did any of these people make sense for America?  My bunker grew dark with the news of the IRS targeting conservatives and Obama having a kill list, with innocent civilians suffering the consequences.  The lies of Benghazi and results of the Arab Spring had me seriously questioning our president’s motives in the Middle East.  Whose side was America on?  I read account after account of violent illegal immigrant crimes that repulsed me.  It was horrifying that our president paved the way for a nuclear Iran and was at constant odds with Israel.  I bought lots of canned tuna and stashed it in the basement.  Yes, I was terrified while living in that bunker for eight years. 

And just like that, immediately after the election, my ultra-liberal friends and I have traded places.  My blue friends are now in their own backyards, digging doom-filled bunkers, peering out at the spooky administration of Donald Trump.  They are overanalyzing every appointment, reading Nazi parallels into every Trump executive order, searching for fascist undertones to every tweet.  They are scared, paranoid, and panicked, just as I was with Obama.

And while my left-wing friends are all digging their new, dread-filled bunkers of no hope and stashing cans of tuna in their crawlspaces, I get to step into the sunshine.  The nagging feeling of impending doom has disappeared.  After eight long years, I am able to turn my face to the strong rays of hope.  I can breathe freedom and life again.  I can feel optimism in my bones.  Finally, it is my turn to open my arms and run through that field of daisies.

Living as a conservative in one of those blue spots on the electoral map, I have quite the collection of ultra-liberal friends.  Over the past eight years, we have all lived in harmony and generally kept our political opinions to ourselves.  That completely changed after the 2016 election.  My hardcore Democrat friends started sharing absurd social media posts, claiming to be "horrified" and "terrified" over Trump's appointments, actions, and tweets.  They are convinced that a secret coup is underway; that America as we know it is at risk; Trump is using the tactics of Hitler; and, of course, the Russians are coming!  To my mind, all of these social media posts and comments are totally irrational, and the hysteria is insane.  My friends have been driven to lunacy by our new president and his administration.

At first I was amused, and then I was baffled.  How could these seemingly normal people be so completely irrational over the new political leaders of our country?  How could they actually be so frightened of our president, his appointments, and his agenda?  How did their behavior make any sense at all?

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks: these people are me.  They are feeling exactly what I felt every minute that Obama was in office.  These ultra-liberal friends have all crawled into the dark, scary, doom-filled bunker I was hiding in for eight years.  From this emotional bunker, I could see our country, culture, and freedoms crumbling every day.  I could see it clearly, while my liberal friends were oblivious, as if always happily strolling through a field of daisies.

I started digging my bunker eight years ago, during the first few weeks of the Obama administration.  Eric Holder, who defended a terrorist?  Timothy Geithner, with tax problems?  Valerie Jarrett, with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood?  How did any of these people make sense for America?  My bunker grew dark with the news of the IRS targeting conservatives and Obama having a kill list, with innocent civilians suffering the consequences.  The lies of Benghazi and results of the Arab Spring had me seriously questioning our president’s motives in the Middle East.  Whose side was America on?  I read account after account of violent illegal immigrant crimes that repulsed me.  It was horrifying that our president paved the way for a nuclear Iran and was at constant odds with Israel.  I bought lots of canned tuna and stashed it in the basement.  Yes, I was terrified while living in that bunker for eight years. 

And just like that, immediately after the election, my ultra-liberal friends and I have traded places.  My blue friends are now in their own backyards, digging doom-filled bunkers, peering out at the spooky administration of Donald Trump.  They are overanalyzing every appointment, reading Nazi parallels into every Trump executive order, searching for fascist undertones to every tweet.  They are scared, paranoid, and panicked, just as I was with Obama.

And while my left-wing friends are all digging their new, dread-filled bunkers of no hope and stashing cans of tuna in their crawlspaces, I get to step into the sunshine.  The nagging feeling of impending doom has disappeared.  After eight long years, I am able to turn my face to the strong rays of hope.  I can breathe freedom and life again.  I can feel optimism in my bones.  Finally, it is my turn to open my arms and run through that field of daisies.