voting day

click on the picture to read the post

~

As many of you know, I took a risk yesterday. A big one. And it scared the hell out of me.

When I got the e-mail from the Huffington Post editorial desk letting me know that my post, The Biggest Hypocrisy of All was up, I was terrified. And when I put it up on Diary’s Facebook page a few minutes later, I was literally shaking.

The response shocked me – in too many ways to count.

When I first checked Diary’s Facebook page, I realized that I was wincing. I had braced myself for the backlash.

What happened was entirely different.

As of 5:00 this morning, there were 181 comments on the Diary page, another 37 on the post itself. 657 of you liked it. 215 of you had shared it. I’ve found it in countless other places – shared by friends and friends of friends and friends of people I’m pretty sure I don’t know at all. Overwhelmingly, the response was supportive of the post.

Of course there was some of this …

Where’s the dislike button?

And this …

And as god blinded the people from Sodom and Gomorrah as the men raged for the young boys for sex. No, it’s not my rule it’s just my belief. Fighting for a unnatural [sic] union and fighting to eliminate embryo’s [sic] in favor of a woman’s ability to have sex at will and oh-no! make a mistake by getting pregnant sounds like a truly hedonistic paradigm. Oh, and it’s not emotional and my statement is level headed…..are you that calm when you read what I wrote which does not agree with what you think?

(For the record, yes, I was calm when I read that. I just happen to think very, very differently.)

And even this …

It’s amazing when someone disagrees with DOAM or doesn’t support Obama, their [sic] “getting their panties in a bunch” or is filled with hate and ideas of exclusion. Amazing.
There was this (that made me smile) …
If the article is on huffpo it’s too leftist for me. Never read anything from them.
And this, (that didn’t) …
I love your blog and following the ebbs and tides of your experiences with your daughters but I think that you have ventured into something that is just too opinionated for your followers. While it is obvious that some whole heartedly agree with your opinion and others do not, I think that you have drawn a line in the sand in a community that is already divided on many issues and that makes me sad. Of course we are all entitled to our opinions but I don’t think this post or any other on Facebook is going to change who and what people vote for. I sincerely hope that you didn’t do yourself a disservice by this post.
 
There was this …
Jess, I really enjoy your blog because as a mother of a child with autism, I can relate. I really wished I hadn’t read this. Like my parents and grandparents have always said, “Politics and Religion are best left at home!”
There were those who laid out clear arguments about why they disagree, like this ..
The issue of abortion is pointless. No one is ever going to repeal the abortion laws and so it’s a non-issue.

I have a son with autism and to say that the GOP will cut their funding is ridiculous. Obama care is what gutted Medicaid not the GOP. Autism will be an issue each party has to address because of its prevalent in our society. No getting around that.

The issue about gay marriage should be left to the states. Even Obama flip flopped on this issue. I think everyone agrees that gay marriage will eventually happen but like dont as don’t tell, it takes time to get it implemented. 

If you want to vote for a man that has no plan to get people to work, that leads the world from behind (what about the Syrians who are being killed) who calls on special ops teams to kill bin laden but leaves them hanging when they call for support in Libya, or for a guy who promised transparency and bi-partisanship but has isolated most of congress and has stoned walled them on issues like fast and furious then go ahead. 

Your [sic] voting for someone who believes small business owners don’t build their own businesses and has more people on food stamps than ever before. And what do we get for his plans for Change? Nothing ! All we get is more lies and more debt and more people in the middle class being over burdened. 

Romney is the clear choice for a successful America… For everyone!!
And this ..
Are you aware that President Obama is pro-illegal aliens, and we the citizens of the United States are paying for all their benefits, including driver’s licenses! Not to mention they are getting the jobs that should be going to the jobless in this country! Our President has sued the state of Arizona for upholding the law to stop illegal aliens from coming into our country. Dont’ [sic] take my word for it, you can be informed by going to this link…numbersusa.com Did you know that during his campaign for the Presidency, President Obama said he would make sure that Monsanto’s genetically enginered [sic] foods would be labeled, but that hasn’t happened…why not! Do you believe we have a right to know what’s in our food, and what we feed our family. Thanks for listening!
And one who simply said this ..
I’m voting for Romney!
And then there were these …

I read your article. While I do not stand in agreement with you on a facet or two, the general premise of your article “Think about what and whom you are truly voting for” are quite valid points and you articulated them well! I applaud you for not keeping silent. We know that was difficult for you to write but I think it was necessary. Thank you for sharing your viewpoint with us, whether or not we agree.

and …

You’re a brave woman, Jess, and while I don’t agree with you on some of what you wrote and will vote accordingly, I respect you completely. Thank you for your honesty and integrity.

and …

Thank you so much for sharing your point of view. I really appreciate your passion and the fact that you don’t compromise! And I’m glad that we can share a belief that we want our kids to grow up in a better world than we did.

and …

I applaud you for the courage to once again speak your mind. Use your right as you see fit, no matter who agrees. I hope it inspires everyone to VOTE no matter who they vote for. What I find disheartening are the mean, cutting comments from people who fight everyday for their loved ones with Autism. You would think that you would hear enough of those things on a daily basis from society. I know I do and I look for support, not verbal abuse. Jess, I pray for your thick skin and your courage to speak!

and …

I agree with you wholeheartedly, and even if I didn’t I respect your right to voice your opinion and to vote for who you think is the best candidate. That’s the beauty of living in a democracy.

and …

Write what you are passionate about. Never fear that writing about a topic so important to you will mean you will lose readers. These are topics that need to be discussed. And we need brave people, like you, to tackle them. If you lose some readers, so be it. But you will likely gain far more.

And perhaps my very favorite — this ..

You can and should express your opinions without shame or fear. You must also respect others ideas and opinions. I do not agree with most of what you wrote but I will stand with you so you may express it.

~

No matter what you believe is most important in this election, I hope that you will make the effort to express it at the polls today. I know for many of you, especially those struggling in the aftermath of Sandy, that will not be an easy task. But it matters. Luau has signed up as a volunteer to drive folks who can’t get there on their own to the polls today. I hope that others will do the same.

Last night before bed, I wrote the following on Diary’s Facebook page. This morning, it says it all.

All,

Thank you so much for all of the thoughtful responses to my Huffington post piece today. I am so grateful for the overwhelmingly supportive messages and comments. In some ways, I am most grateful to those who respectfully disagreed — who stated their differing views thoughtfully and despite our different perspectives chose to support my decision to speak up about what I believe, just as I support theirs. THAT is the stuff that truly makes this country great.

– Jess

God bless this great nation.

I’ll see you at the polls.

20 thoughts on “voting day

  1. When I read it, all I could think of is…

    “I may not agree with what you say, but to your death I will defend your right to say it.”

    ~Voltaire

    I actually feel as strongly as you do, but on the opposite end of the spectrum. However — hooray for you for speaking your peace. I love your blog, and this won’t change a thing. You are a refreshing light in a sea of numb-minded people. Stay the course! Your passion will serve you and your dear family well. ♥

  2. Good morning! I read through your post, and the posts you linked to. I stopped and really thought about my vote. I prayed about it, and thought about it. Your post made me stop and think when I had already determined who/what issues were my priorities. I had layers of numbness about the election on top of my decision, tired of the ads and the mudslinging and stuff that were covering up my original choices. You made me stop and think and pray, recognizing how important it is to make a thought-filled and for me, a prayer-filled decision. Thank you!

  3. I am so glad you wrote this. When you are advocating for your children, you can’t stop halfway up the mountain just because that is the “polite” thing to do. If you don’t vote for the policies your children need, there will be nothing left to fight for. We must all raise our voices for the sake of our children. Bravo!

  4. I just wish more of our political discourse could be of the informed-exchange-of-ideas variety. I think the middle 50-70% of people actually agree a lot more than they disagree. Unfortunately the discussion is dominated by screamers and ideologues on both sides. But the populace? The populace gets it. This is 4 straight presidential elections in which the popular vote will be neck-and-neck. And yet, for all the shouting and gnashing of teeth and threats of doom and gloom and moving to other countries, the populace finds a way to go on. It gives me a secure feeling that democracy, even a democracy dominated by money and special interests on both sides, is still the best form of government out there.

  5. I applaud you for exercising your freedom of speech and for encouraging others to vote. I think we can all agree that those messages are so very important. We are all entitled to our opinions…and we should not be fearful about expressing them. We should also go vote..it is our privilege to do so.

  6. All that is needed to evil to flourish is for good people to say nothing. Bravo, Jess, for your courage. I do believe it had to be said. Voting is a big responsibility, and our most serious one as citizens.

  7. I didn’t Comment yesterday because, well it was a Horribly no good day in autism land at my house, but I wanted to say that while I may not agree with everything you said, I respect you for having the courage to speak honestly. I Love Your Blog, and will continue to. I served ( and my Husband still serves) to defend the right to Free Speech, and that means that we can, without fear, speak our minds. Thank You for your Blog, for your Honesty, and for solidifying for me that this Election is not one to be taken lightly. Much thought and Prayer leading up to today, and even more in the minutes and hours before I head to the Polls. You Rock Jess!!

  8. I am not a politically minded person. I especially hate when they start mud-slinging and it becomes doubly difficult to figure out what the candidates stand for. I greatly appreciated your post and it made me really think about much harder about who I am going to vote for. I will be continuing to think and pray about these decisions as I head out to the polls and wanted you to know that you made a difference in the way I am approaching today. I am being much more thoughtful about it. Thank you for taking the chance and saying what you felt was important.

  9. You’ve engaged people and made them think. That’s a powerful thing to do especially when we’re all exhaused from this campaign. I agree with your views but more than that I appreciate you offering this space so people can disagree with each other respectfully. Thank you.

  10. The whole point of blogging is to express your feelings and hopefully inspire others. You should not be discouraged from sharing your views on this most important of subjects!! You are a brave and remarkable woman!!

  11. Well, I don’t agree with your political views, my views are Polar Opposite. BUT I do believe that we have more binding us together than ripping us a apart. 🙂 Honestly, I wish more conservatives had your voice. You speak/write very eloquently and are passionate about your beliefs.

    Plus, I concur with what Allison above said… “The whole point of blogging is to express your feelings and hopefully inspire others.”

    ROCK ON Jess…

  12. was just reminding my boys at dinner last night that we live in such a great nation because we can disagree so deeply and yet still enjoy a peaceful transfer of power when the time comes. We set the rule for them that whoever our next president is we will show him the respect the leader of our country deserves and then we will fight like heck to support the ideas we believe in as is our right and priviledge as citiznes of this great nation. I have the deepest respect that you step out and voice your beliefs here, Jess. Keep it up!

  13. Great post. I read it on huffpo and I wasn’t surprised at the backlash you received. Many of these people are immature minded and think they can control everyone. There was only one choice for me as I voted. I voted for my children, for women, for those who died for the rights to vote, I voted for Gays, For minorities, I voted for those with pre-existing condition, I voted for your child and my child and I voted so we can take the country forward hence my choice for Barack Obama!

  14. You are amazing! Your voice is true…on many levels. Disagreement is key in a free society. If we are not loud, the evils will continue uncontested! If your followers are true….they will route for you regardless. Nice piece of writing!

  15. Amazing – But what is really amazing is that you are one of those few people who know how to not only take disagreement gracefully, but to thrive or even enjoy opposing views, because you know a community needs all kinds of different views. I bow my head to you. I am not sure I could have done that myself. But I am glad you did!

  16. I agree with you a million percent on all issues, thanks for your courage! I wanted to comment earlier,but the Internet was jammed here in Fl. So I took the kids to Key West for the afternoon to try to ignore how much stress I was actually feeling over this election. Now, having just opened a split of champagne that I had waiting in the wings, I am able to finally exhale and take comfort in the fact that there are enough reasonable people out there to recognize the outrageous hipocrisy we have been inundated by, and, hopefully, keep us moving forward. Congrats on gaining Elizabeth Warren as your new senator! Fired up! Ready to go!

  17. I read DOAM every day. I shared your HuffPo article with several people, (including my own husband!) because you summed up exactly what I have been thinking and feeling but just couldn’t find the words to articulate. Thank you again for sharing your perspective – even when it’s hard. I appreciate you more than you will ever know!

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