October 2, 2017—the day of the Las Vegas Massacre. It was technically the night before, but the world woke to another tragedy. A community shocked and numb.
It wasn’t surprising—I feel like everyone knew something like this was going to happen at some point in Las Vegas—but that doesn’t make it any less devastating or easier to accept.
I’ve seen it closeup several times before. I have a lot of connections to the Columbine shooting—know people on the hit list, have friends who lost their friends. I was there for the Theater Shooting, was a couple of miles up the road from the New Life Church shooting, drove along the highways during the Arizona I-10 Shooter scare, and used to play arcade games where the Trolley Square Shooting went down. I have dealt with this in my backyard, I have seen it unfold through the eyes of people who have established roots in these communities.
Vegas still felt different.
While there is absolutely no moral equivalency being drawn between good and evil—right and wrong—this exposé on same-sex marriage and modern families is completely about turning a blind eye. How I looked the other way—simply because everyone else did. We are afraid to ask the simplest of questions just because of the way it makes us feel. Ignorant. Confused. Fearful of the future. A whole host of complex questions that require considerable thought, vulnerability, and stirs deep emotions.
Meet Ginger; a longtime family friend and who would be the closest thing I have to a sister. My dad and her dad have been friends since the mid 1970s. They met while at work; my dad being a construction manager and her dad, David, owning a painting company. The two played competitive softball with each other for many years. As the stories go, it was a tight-knit group of friends and the ballgames were much more than obsession—it was their life. My mom had a significant role in Ginger’s young life, acting as an close-to-the-family babysitter for her and her brother for several years. Ginger’s mom and dad were always very much involved in her life, but appreciated the extra help while working full-time jobs and managing softball teams. Eventually I was born and my mom looked after all three of us. Though I was only a toddler, Ginger was my favorite and I followed her around like a duckling.
I understand the higher over-arching symbolism that each candidate represented. Breaking the glass ceiling, women vindicated—or simply keeping someone out of office who openly derogated women, religion, and minorities. I understand what our President means to the world, what the position means to children and how the position sets the tone of what we agree upon as a society is acceptable behavior. The Presidency is much more than policy.
As stunning as it was to witness our country elect Donald Trump, I was more shocked and dumbfounded by Millennials. Their response. How they reacted and handled themselves. The level in which their feelings, lives, and outlook of the world was so entwined with the person in office.
While Conway isn’t single handedly responsible for Donald Trump being elected, she was certainly instrumental. A strong case can be made that if it weren’t for her, Hillary Clinton would have become President. In my opinion, this has to create tremendous pause within the movement.
Is Kellyanne the troll of women’s rights? The pawn that men used to tear down another woman? Or, is Kellyanne the posterwoman of the movement’s success?
Not only has it challenged our democratic system and the strength of our union, but it has also touched our citizens personally. Deeply. It’s widely complex. Not just debatable on the way we interpret facts and policy, but also how we are choosing to represent our civilization.
Our government, intentional or not, has become more than a government. It’s the organization we look to as a society that sets the tone of how our culture is supposed to be lived. The things we value. The ideology we pass down. The fundamentals we set and lead by as an example to the rest of the world.