Snowflakes: A letter to my Republican friends

Isn’t it simply beautiful out there. I mean, snow always inspires such awe in me. Just consider, one single snowflake alone, so delicate, so fragile, so ethereal. And yet, let a billion of them come together through the majestic force of nature… They can screw up a whole city.- Betty White as character Sue Ann Nivens The Mary Tyler Moore Show- Not another Christmas Story (1974 )

As someone who has spent a fair part of my days on this earth shoveling snow in all of its myriad forms, I’m pretty familiar with snowflakes.

I’m told the Sami people have more than two hundred words for snow, depending on its quality, the amount of ice, or water it contains. Only one word is insufficient to describe such an integral part of their existence.

I get it. Experience has taught me all the kinds of snowflakes that make up a New England winter.

At a glance, I know how heavy snow will weigh on my shovel and my back. I can predict how stubbornly the ice will cling to the brick sidewalk, and I can make a pretty accurate guess how long it will take to melt.

I can even identify the sounds of snow without so much as glancing out the window. From the sweet, almost mystical silence when it begins to fall, to the squealing tires, the harsh scraping of windshields and the stubborn idling car engines early the next morning.

History and experience have taught me these things among others. I have learned from reliable patterns what to expect.

I know you too. I’ve lived among you. I’ve learned your patterns. I’ve watched how you vote. I’ve monitored your statements on social media, overheard your conversations, and watched your televised propaganda.

You’ve been calling us snowflakes, “special snowflakes.”

You call us “sheeple” as if we are blind complacent followers and you are independent-minded individualists who always think for themselves. But I know that whenever I hear that over worn name, I know verbatim exactly the carefully recited FOX news rhetoric that always follows.

You call us “libtards,” and “feminazis” who aren’t “real Americans” like you. Because the propaganda that you swallow every day has taught you we are not part of the same country. We are blue. You are red. Blue is always bad. Red is always good. You say we’re entitled crybabies throwing tantrums because our candidate lost the election.



You say these things with the same tongues you used to threaten armed revolt if your candidate did not win. I’ve learned conservative intentions are always spelled out in accusations lodged at their opposition. The most glaring current example of this is Mitch McConnell accusing Democrats of “knee-jerk obstructionism,” after eight years of refusing to compromise or accept any concessions on any issue, including blocking the appointment of a Supreme Court Justice for the last ten months of his presidency.

Michele Bachman, during a 2009 interview on KTLK-AM radio, famously claimed that under Obama;

“Young people would be put into mandatory service….re-education camps where young people have to go and get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward.”

Of course, now, we have a vice president who has supported Federal funding for gay conversion therapy and in 2016 signed a bill requiring funerals for aborted fetuses. In October 2012 Alex Jones reported that President Obama engineered Hurricane Sandy using a Pentagon engineered weather modification project. We now have a President who, along with his entire cabinet, has stated complete denial of climate change, and threatens to abandon the Paris accord which could increase the probability of extreme weather on a global scale.

Who needs a weather modification machine, when all you need do continue pouring carbon into the atmosphere?

In the interest of brevity, I won’t list the number of accusations the right has leveled against Secretary Clinton, everything from money laundering to murder.

According to U.S.A. today, our new president has been involved in over 4,095 lawsuits in the past three decades, some of which are still ongoing.

He has been the defendant in 146 contract dispute cases, 77 government and tax cases, 469 real estate cases, 696 personal injury cases, and 118 employment cases.

In 2009 Jerome Corsi of World Net Daily claimed that a Saudi prince funded Obama.

On January 6, 2017, The U. S. Intelligence community released it’s judgment that;

“Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U. S. Presidential election’ with the specific goal of harming Hillary Clinton’s “electability and potential presidency.”

The report went on:

“We further assess Putin, and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for (then) President-elect Trump.”

This is from the U.S. Intelligence community, not World News Daily

Let that sink in. Due to a Russian cyber-attack on our nation, we have a President who lost the popular vote and was unquestionably helped into office by a hostile foreign power under the reign of an ex-KGB dictator.

Let me repeat. Just as it was on September 11, 2001, our nation suffered an attack, and you have embraced the desired outcome of the attacker.

Does this bother you? Evidently, it does not.

In New York Times article titled “What’s the Big Deal? Ask Trump Voters on Russia Hacking Report” dated January 17. 2017, Trump voter Paul Emenes said of Trump;

“It doesn’t change the way I view him.”

When asked what it would mean if Russian involvement has swung the election, David Gubert of Louisiana replied;

“If that’s what it took, I’m glad they did it.”

I’ve seen echoed in all of your posts since the election.

You’re hatred of Hillary Clinton and fellow American progressives, is so great that you celebrate a Russian attack on our nation which allowed your candidate to win.

According to Politico as of December 16, 2016, Vladimir Putin had a 37 percent favorability rating among American conservatives, versus 17 percent they gave to then sitting President Barack Obama.

Based on this information, it is not hyperbole to suspect you of treason.

In 2015 Retired General Jerry Boykin claimed that President Obama’s plans for creating a Brown Shirt Army, just like fascist Germany, were hidden within the fine print of the Affordable Care Act.

On November 19, 2016, Richard Spencer, the leading ideologue of the “Alt-Right” movement held an 11-hour rally in the Reagan Federal Building in Washington. During the rally, he referred to the media by the Nazi-era term “Lugenpresse” and stated that;

“America belonged to the white people…. the children of the sun. A race of conquerors and creators who had been marginalized, but now, in the era of Donald Trump are awakening to their own identity.”

This rally famously ended with the entire crowd holding up their hands in a Nazi salute and chanting “Hail Trump! Hail our people!” Hail Victory!” and, of course, “Sieg Heil!”

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center;

“In the ten days following the election, there were almost 900 reports of harassment and intimidation from across the nation. Many harassers invoked Trump’s name during assaults, making it clear that the outbreak of hate stemmed in large part from his electoral success.”

That, from what I see is what it comes down to.

I’ve tried to understand what benefit that voting for one radical, theocratic government would bring you, but I never found an actual plan.

I heard about a wall, but not how it would work.

I watched him behave like a drooling idiot during the debates

I’ve watched him betray every conservative principle of government

I’ve watched him defy every Christian rule of decent behavior.

I heard “repeal and replace Obamacare” which has begun, with no plan to replace.

I heard about bringing back jobs I heard about law and order but no plan to do so, other than “It’ll be so great.”

I’ve seen all of this, but I know what it was that led you to this choice. I know you.

In a quote attributed to Lyndon B. Johnson by Bill Moyers, the former president put it much more eloquently than I ever could;

“If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”

You’re going to say I don’t know you.

This is where you tell me you’re not a bigot.

But I know this. I know this, as well as I am aware of the sleet howling outside my window as a write.

This is why, after decades of listening to you scream about what crooks and liars the Clintons were, you elected an oligarch who brags about being “too smart to pay taxes.

This is why we have a President who is in active violation of the Constitution. He has yet to divest his businesses to a blind trust. His companies, even now, continue to make foreign deals despite his promise to halt them. Our President owes hundreds and millions of dollars to domestic and overseas banks and other financial institutions.

This is why, no matter how many people he offends, or women he assaults, you defend him against even the smallest criticism with blind unyielding ferocity, the way you would defend your god.

This is why we have a President who will never release his tax returns, making it impossible for the United States citizens to know the full extent of his business dealings, liabilities, and other potential conflicts in the United States and around the world.

I know you.



This is where you always interject with;

“But Hillary.. blah blah Goldman Sachs. Hillary emails.Hillary Benghazi.. blah blah.”

Hillary has been under investigation by the far right, and tried in the court of FOX “news” for thirty-five years now, with no conviction.

Hillary’s tax reports have been read, by her enemies, more times than “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Just stop.

This is why after decades of calling the left “Godless Un-American Commies” I watched as a nation of halfwits in tea bagged bedecked tricorn hats, calling themselves “patriots,” handed control of the United States to the puppet of a Russian dictator.

At the end of the day, it was you, not the left that betrayed your own country to her greatest enemy.

But then I know that none of this is important to you. You’re more focused on important things like winning the “War on Christmas” or protecting your God given right to refuse the sale of wedding cakes to gay people.

Your need to believe, as white heterosexual Christians, that you’re better than the best-colored person is. Much more important than that fact that Flint Michigan still does not have clean drinking water.

I know you like to consider yourselves good, compassionate people. After all, you just love that Ellen.

So please, try to listen to this with your compassionate Christian ears.

When we hold up signs that say “Not my President,” it’s not sour grapes, and it’s not our choice.

By his cabinet appointments, and by every statement he has made since the election, he has made it clear that he refuses to be the President of the Muslim American, the Immigrant American, the African American, the pro- choice American, the handicapped American, The LGBTQ American, the pre-existing condition American. These and many other threatened groups are not the citizens he is willing to be President of. These and many other threatened groups have no voice in his America.

When Meryl Streep suggested, during her speech at the Golden Globes that it was beneath the office of the President to mock the disabled, my goodness you were outraged. You shouted;

“She’s an out of touch celebrity.”

“She has no right to speak or criticize the President”

“She should just shut up and entertain us”

I noticed that you did not express such outrage when celebrity Ted Nugent held a gun aloft during one of his concerts, and in no uncertain terms threatened to assassinate President Obama and Secretary Clinton, you expressed no outrage.

Trump denied that it happened of course, in spite of the fact that it is readily available on YouTube.

Louis C.K., another celebrity, once said:

“When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t.”

When a real leader is accused of insulting or threatening a minority he or she represents, the first thing that person does is reach out and make an appearance to assuage the concerns of the injured, and assure them that their position is understood, and that they are represented and safe under the watch of the current government. A real leader will apologize, if necessary.

When a President is elected to office in the United States, he or she is elected to represent the entire nation. It is incumbent upon the President to assure the out of power, that they still have a voice and a place in self-governance.

Donald Trump does not apologize. He will not entertain alternative positions.

Donald Trump has made it clear that he will not hear questions from any news media that does not align with his ideology.

Donald Trump’s press secretary blatantly lies about the most trivial facts and refuses to take any questions.

Half of your fellow citizens are legitimately terrified of what their lives will become under a Trump Presidency. Do you hear that with your compassionate Christian ears?

Most of our allies fear that he is not sufficiently stable to conduct international diplomacy during this historically delicate period in world history.

Our friends in Poland, Lithuania, and Ukraine have good reason to fear he will betray them to Russia.

But these are not your concern. You are not part of a marginalized group. Those far away countries mean nothing to you. You don’t know anyone there.

Last Saturday, according The Washington Post, over one hundred and twenty-five thousand snowflakes fell on Boston Common, over one hundred and fifty thousand snowflakes fell in Chicago, over half a million in New York City, and more worldwide.

They told you that we have lost our voice in this government.
They are telling you that we are afraid of what your president will do, and what will become of us during his term.

We are telling you he is unfit to hold the nuclear codes.

How did you respond?

Let’s check Facebook for a few of your comments:

“Hypocrisy on parade.. not to mention the disgusting filth displayed by the protesters!!

“ And they care about the environment to…Lmao” ( note good spelling on the word “too.”)

“Idiocy.”

“They were there for pretty much one reason. Abortion”

“They are absolute morons.”

“These women make me sick.”

“These are people that reveal in getting people’s goats. Don’t give in to them. It’s like the screaming child in the candy isle. Ignore them and hope their caretaker whacks them in the back of the head. If not, and no security cameras, well who knows how that spoiled brat got hit in the back of the head. Little more quite now. Just saying”

This one is in response to a fire started by protesters near a Washington Starbucks during the inauguration;

“Wait…are not they supposed to be the peaceful, loving group? News flash idiots…Starbucks is run by liberals and backed Bernie then Killary.”

“Killary?” How clever. It’s like being friends with Dorothy Parker.

In spite of all of this sparkling repartee, and all your good intentions, you don’t seem to hear us, so let me try again.

We lost an election. We’ve lost them before. We did not lose our citizenship. This does not give you a mandate to silence us or take our rights.

This is why we marched.

I know you. You want to hear that you are good people.

I met a Mormon woman recently on a business trip who confided that her high school boyfriend is a gay man with whom she remained friends and is one of the people she loves the most in this world. The next day she told me that she wanted me to know that she loved me too. I told her that was nice to hear after only three days acquaintance but her vote, which threatened my rights and the rights of her high school boyfriend, was not an act of love.

She answered;

“I’m a busy woman. I work and have children. I don’t have time to think about the rights of gay people.”

On the day of the Orlando shootings, I was on another business trip, enjoying drinks with associates, as if we were all friends, who told me of their intent to vote Republican. When I told them that the events of the night before illustrated the fact that, as a gay man, my rights in a country where conservatives select justices are not secure, and my life under a president supported by the KKK was less safe, they were sympathetic but shrugged their shoulders. They just didn’t like “that Hillary.”

My rights and my safety were simply not that important to them.

Someone from my distant past posted;

“I voted for Trump, and I consider us friends.”

When someone honors me with that status, I am always grateful.

I am certain that she also numbers people of color, immigrants, and other members of the LGBT community among her friends. If you ask her, I know she’ll tell you she’s no bigot. She has friends of all races, religions, and sexual identities. I’m sure she likes Ellen.

In the space of two sentences, this woman declared her friendship, and informed me she had cast her vote to give unchecked power to a single party whose clear intention is to stack the courts with judges who will strip me of every right, and protection under the law that I have fought for over the last four decades, and to roll back marriage equality.

My good friend cast a ballot that she knew may very well, once again, would negate my citizenship, and render my very existence illegal.

But to deny her friendship would hurt her feelings. That’s not what she meant. She still likes me.

This is no surprise. Experience has taught me to expect this from you.

However well you may wish me, in the sacred space of the voting booth my friendship, my life, your stated love for me, meant nothing when it mattered.

I know you. You like my pictures. You think I’m fun at parties, or business events, but my citizenship is not as important as yours. The ability to say “some of my best friends are gay” is a handy phrase in a political argument.



This is the part where you usually accuse me of hate speech.

You have no sense of irony.

Your greatest sin is the ease with which you gave away the rights of your fellow Americans to maintain your own sense of privilege.

I know you. I’ve watched you. That was it.

There was no other legitimate reason

Hear this and understand clearly:

I refuse to be the “gay in the sentence that begins:

“Some of my best friends are gay…”

I refuse to be “one of the nice ones.”

I refuse to give a chance to a president who plans to create a registry for Muslims.

I refuse to give a chance a president who threatens to betray N.A.T.O to Russia, a chance.

I refuse to normalize or acknowledge the legitimacy, of a President and who achieved the office with the help of a hostile foreign power.

I refuse to stop demanding his tax returns.

I refuse to allow the oligarchs of Exxon, and Goldman Sachs steal my retirement, destroy our public education, and kill my planet.

I see you. I know you.

You call us “sore losers” and type “waaaahhh” in response to posts you don’t like as if this is a game.

This is not some board game we have lost and flipped over.

This is our life.

Our planet does not have four years of corporate climate denial, and your racist temper tantrums, to give us. Your vote has threatened our existence on this planet.

You call us crybabies.

We are adults. We weep for our lost Republic. We mourn the triumph of venial ignorance over science in a time when only science can save us from extinction. Our weeping has become a roar of rage. Our voice has been taken from us. Our country has been taken from us.

You call us snowflakes. I am ready to adopt the name.

You call us snowflakes as if we are wispy, frivolous things that are easily dismissed.

You don’t understand snowflakes, so let me educate you.

You will learn to respect them. You will learn to fear them.

On Saturday, according to the Washington post, over one hundred and twenty-five snowflakes fell on Boston Common, one hundred and fifty in Chicago, over half a million in New York, and over a million around worldwide.

We fell heavy with our crybaby tears, and hard ice shards of rage.

A blizzard is forming.

If you try to move us, we will break your back with our soggy weight.

If you try to marginalize us, we will impede your progress.

If you try to walk on us, you will slip and fall.

If you dismiss us, try to silence us, or take our rights I as a Snowflake, promise we will bury you.

 

Photo Credit: mathiaswasik Flickr via Compfight cc





Timothy Hennigan

Tim Hennigan is a restless soul, and avid traveler living with husband and two cats, in Charlestown, Massachusetts.

6 thoughts on “Snowflakes: A letter to my Republican friends

  1. Christine Desrochers Reply

    So eloquently written. I’m disheartened by the growing social divisiveness. It’s important that we all take a stand and not allow the current administration to go unchecked and unchallenged. I will definitely share. #SnowflakesUnite

  2. Susan P. BlevinsSusan P. Blevins Reply

    I’m speechless with admiration Timothy! Thank you for writing this oh so eloquent piece. I’m going to post it to my FB page.

    Snowflakes For Democracy, Unite!

    Susan

  3. John Michael AntonioJohn Michael Antonio Reply

    Excellent work my friend. You captured what a large number of us are thinking. Now is not the time for despair on our part, but a time for a calculated relaying of the facts and the truths of our existence as Americans right now. This is exactly what you did and we all thank you for that. 🙂 Well done, my brother in arms, well done.

  4. Dori OwenDori Owen Reply

    I wish I could print this on a flag and travel the United States waving it, saying, “This.”
    Truly one of the best pieces I’ve read explaining the ridiculous phenomenon some are currently labeling the 45th presidency. I used to stay quiet on social medial regarding all things political. Not no more. Every piece I read from well-known journalistic pieces I tweet and tweet and tweet once more. I call the congressional office. And when they closed that line I now call Trump hotels along with my state representatives. I knit pink pussycat hats. I just cannot be silent anymore. The time is now.

    Fabulous blog, Timothy! ~D.

  5. Connie Gorrell Reply

    I LOVE this. So much. I’m going to read it every day!! We must fight that fight. No matter what. Thank you! And I say, Snowflakes Unite.

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