My Wall

The news is full of stories about some wall that’s going to be built and how a 20% tariff on Mexican goods will pay for it. I’ve been thinking about another wall lately.

This election has shown us is that we all live in a bubble, and given what I’ve been seeing and hearing for the last 5 days, I feel like my bubble needs a little heavier fortification. It’s not that I don’t want personal connections; I just want to be sure that the people who are in my bubble are valuable contributors. I don’t want people to be in my bubble who are unfairly or disproportionately draining my time or energy which are limited resources, when I could have people in my bubble who are boosting me. From now on, it’s Angela First.

In an article about why countries build wall along their borders, three main reasons were identified:

  1. To establish boundaries and retain sovereign control of one’s country. Boundaries, people.
  2. When one’s neighbor is poorer. Or hopped up on alt facts.
  3. When the poorer neighbor’s encroachments threaten to reduce the standard of living of the sovereign country. Having to listen to some of you is reducing my quality of life.

So here are the qualifications to be in my personal bubble. I’m not one of those people who needs a total echo chamber. I don’t mind rational, informed disagreement in my bubble. Here are some of the groups that are welcome although not like-minded:

  • Economic conservatives are more than welcome. I don’t take issue with people who believe in the conservative economic principles of limited government. Libertarians are also fine if a bit impractical and extreme. So are liberals, even though I think some are too idealistic and impractical. Independents, green party, Whigs, Tories, Labour Party. People of any political persuasion are welcome. I will even enjoy talking about your views with you. Not an issue. I would hope to learn something from you.
  • SCOTUS voters who backed Trump. Having thrown your vote away for SCOTUS picks is dumb, IMO, but hey, it’s your right. People who misunderstand the church’s position on abortion and think we are straight no-caveat pro-life are welcome in my bubble. How often do we talk about abortion anyway? You can be wrong in the bubble. Wrongness is not a disqualification. Continuing to justify your total lapse in judgment is becoming increasingly untenable. You folks have a shelf life, but for now you’re in.
  • People who voted straight party Republican but disliked Trump. Again, I think it was dangerously foolish of you, and I am sure in time you’ll see that, but I understand that there are just some people who are unthinking straight party voters.
  • Those who disliked Hillary can be in the bubble. I disagree with your assessment of her, but I understand that she wasn’t everyone’s favorite. That’s OK, although the grounds for your dislike may place you closer to the edge of the bubble. If 90% of your information about her came from Fox News, well, I’m not surprised you disliked her.
  • Accidental or apologetic bigots. Nobody is perfect. You’re trying. You don’t want to be racist or sexist or homophobic, but it’s hard to change. I’m glad you are working on it. I’ll allow for that. Hurry up already, and no bashing in the bubble, but you can take a beat to gather your thoughts.
  • People who regret voting for Trump. You made a terrible mistake. I know that. You know that. It’s not forgotten, but welcome aboard. The bubble has room for you.
  • Those who spontaneously start rapping Hamilton lyrics.
  • People who hope for the best without going so far as defending the worst.
  • People who wish to discuss the merits of policy reform in a rational and educated manner.
  • Those who are excited about Religious Freedom. Expect reminders from me that banning Muslims violates religious freedom more than being taken to task for your grumpy unfiltered opinions on gay marriage.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

THE WALL THE WALL THE WALL THE WALL THE WALL THE WALL THE WALL THE WALL

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Sorry, those of you on this side of the wall are being deported from my bubble, and I’m building a wall. It’s not an open border. We may be acquaintances, but we probably won’t be actual friends unless you are willing to invest an extra 20% in the relationship compared to the people on the other side of the wall. I wish you the best, but I simply don’t need you in my life. You’re a drain. From a friendship perspective, you commit a higher percent of crimes than my other friends. You don’t contribute to my well-being. Trying to educate you and explain to you why you are dangerously wrong is just not worth the time required.

  • Anyone who says that a Trump presidency somehow means God is back in charge is right out. Not only are they outside my wall but they are outside of their friggin’ mind.
  • People who mock the Women’s march or claim that those advocating for women’s rights are unrighteous, vulgar spotlight hogs.
  • Anybody who actually suggests we celebrate Trump’s self-declared Patriotic Devotion Day. This applies until the end of time.
  • Those who persist in claiming that Trump’s boasts of sexual assault are “locker room talk” or “how all men talk.” You’re gross. You and I don’t live in the same reality.
  • People who think their opinion or assertion is just as good as scientific evidence.
  • Any fool claiming that CNN is fake news.
  • Those who are relieved they can now say what they really think about gays, blacks, immigrants, refugees, women, etc. Those who spread hatred in the name of “Trump’s America.” People who are openly badmouthing Muslims or refugees.
  • Anyone still defending having voted for Trump after the things he has said and done and continues to say and do. Anyone who thinks he’s qualified, presidential or who doesn’t realize he’s a disastrous thin-skinned insult machine with no filters or moral compass. If you are defending him because you are ignorant, you can spend your 20% in educating yourself. Then we’ll talk.

I can see you there on the other side of the bubble wall. Hello. I wish you well. I just don’t want to hear you. Go on about your business. My wall is sound-proof. La la la.

“But Angela, how can I pay the 20% so that I can be in your bubble?” you may be thinking. I’m glad you asked. Here are some suggestions.

  • Rides to the airport.
  • Brownies.
  • Do nice things to help my kids.
  • Laugh with me. Remind me why we were friends in the first place.
  • Take me out for some 20% more expensive tacos.
  • Stop doing the things on this list around me. I have a short memory. I might just forget your immigrant status in my bubble.

Comments

  1. I’m not going to let people tell me I live in a bubble when I go to work every day with people of just about every ethnicity, national origin, and creed under the sun, while they live in places where it’s possible to go entire days or even weeks without speaking to anyone but Christians (and frequently, just evangelicals) of northern European ancestry.

  2. This is great, Angela.

  3. Kevin Barney says:

    Well done.

  4. A Happy Hubby says:

    I hear you Angela. About the last 6 months I stopped watching the news for my mental health. I found a few podcasts to keep me aware of news, such as the NPR politics podcast. In fact I am worried that I am close to thinking that Alec Baldwin is the president and I get snapped back into reality when I see the real trump actually speaking.

    Hey – as tempting as it is I don’t want to be a hermit. I also unfollowed a few folks on Facebook that were out of control. Emotionally I feel I am doing better.
    I have tried to understand why some people I know voted for trump and I do feel I get some of the motivation even if I disagree that trump has any ability to deliver. I get one of the motivations. I too get the feeling that my job and even my career are very much at risk for being shipped overseas. I work in IT and get paid more than I thought I ever could. But my many friends that have been laid off that are in thei 50’s like me say they are lucky to even get an interview. I also think that actions being taken by the trump administration are going to increase the probability of my fears coming true. A few jobs moving overseas won’t get to the news like a physical manufacturing plant closing will.

    But I will say Angela, as wise as your words are – I still have a monthly goal to sit and talk with someone that is unlike me and mainly try and understand them better and find common ground. For sure this is a goal this year that I will not over-achieve on this year. Once a month is hard enough!

  5. I thought I would be done unfollowing people on Facebook for a while after the election, but it turns out that I’ve unfollowed more people since the election than I did before.

  6. “Take me out for some 20% more expensive tacos.” This and many more lines made me laugh, and in times like this, that is always appreciated. (I think your overall theme of boundaries in friendship is well thought out and on point too. But again, at this point good natured humor is greatly appreciated!) Keep up the awesome posts!

  7. Saying what needs to be said.

  8. Senalishia says:

    So this is what it’s like to match wits
    With someone on your level what the hell is the catch
    It’s the feeling of freedom of seeing the light
    It’s Ben Franklin with a key and a kite, you see it right?

    Am I in?

  9. it's a series of tubes says:

    I’ve established my Hamilton improv bona fides on a prior thread, but who would have thought that much of Trump’s initial actions were actually planned for/by Romney? An interesting read.

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/chrisgeidner/the-trump-administrations-day-one-moves-were-copied-from-mit

  10. What about people who agree with Trump’s deregulation of fifty years of progress on cleaning up our air and water? You know, the type who think corporations will self-regulate and who disagree with the climate science. As far as I’m concerned, let’s send them to Mars. They want to ruin our planet. Let’s give them their own.

  11. “My wall is soundproof. La la la.”

    Mmmm…soundproof walls.

  12. Senalishia: Definitely in! And for good measure:
    Oceans rise, empires fall
    We have seen each other through it all
    And when push comes to shove,
    I will send a fully armed battalion to remind you of my love

    Tubes: The Romney thing is a real kick in the gut. The ACA was based on the plan he implemented as governor, and his campaign rhetoric that Russia was our biggest threat was greeted with jeers and howls of laughter about how out of touch he was, yet it has proven to be eerily prescient. He’s been the most presidential thing the GOP’s been able to put forward in decades, but he simply couldn’t pull the voters. The outrage over “binders full of women” was unfortunately memed to death, and when we were confronted with true misogyny and sexual assault we apparently had nothing left in our ammunition pile and were left sputtering in disbelief.

  13. Aaron Brown says:

    What if I incessantly remind you that you could have — and SHOULD have — voted for Lyndon LaRouche? In or out?

    Aaron B

  14. Angela, this is fantastic! For the past few months, during this whole KonMari organizational craze, I’ve been trying to apply it to relationships in my life. Rather than stuff, I think of people and say “does this person spark joy in my life?” If not, why continue a relationship with that person? But I like this a lot better. It’s stated in a way that the people I need to cleanse out of my life will understand a lot better, I think.

  15. BCC Conscience: I think you need to re-read my list of those allowed inside the wall. I’m OK with disagreement. I am not OK with racism, sexism, continued Trump support, or defending the indefensible.

    “Why should we open the welfare banks to illegals . . .” Suddenly I can’t hear you anymore. Huh. Weird. It must be the sound-proofing those tax-paying so-called illegals installed.

  16. But commenters on both sides here, can’t we agree this post is satire? So effective we might have missed it? I’m worried.

  17. People are not “illegals”.

    “BCC Conscience”: you are not my conscience. Seriously, you’re a jerk. Goodbye.

  18. Laughter is therapeutic. Laughter is therapeutic. Laughter is therapeutic. (I’m trying to convince myself.)

  19. Of course CNN is fake news…. sometimes. Then again, so are FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, etc. Since I have been alive long enough (and lived in small enough cities) to know more about a few news stories that the local reporters I have known about fake news. I believe that it is usually unintentional, but that reporter’s & editor’s bias is also a contributor. We have seen this here locally just over the past week. There have been 3 large public celebrations/demonstrations. The largest has received the lowest press coverage.
    In a presidential campaign where both major candidates and their supporters had plenty of opportunity to correct the record, fake news (even if occasionally justifiably called fake) is more of a political slogan.
    I meet at least 3 of your “in the bubble” criteria, so perhaps I can make the cut. I also do not get on twitter or facebook, so I can just surf the net for a variety of news stories.