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Who are these people who think everyone should keep politics out of everything else in life?

Sometimes for kicks I read comments sections. I like to see what the folks are talking about. This week I’m marveling at the amount of times I see calls for keeping politics out of soccer.

Hmmmmm.

*Processing*

People, read the room. Hel-lo. It’s 2019. Did you just emerge from some kind of underground shelter or extended coma?

Politics is in everything. That’s where we are.

A Disney mermaid is political. Sneakers are political. The Fourth of July is political. What should be a private medical procedure is political. Dead children at a school in Connecticut is political. People packed into cages at our border is political. Being gay and having rights is political. Acknowledging the work of scientists is political.

So, really? You want a team of elite athletes to keep politics out of soccer because it mars the entertainment value for you? You think they’re worried about whether or not you tune in or buy their jerseys? Or if the ratings are as high as 2015?

Oh boy, do you have your finger on the pulse.

Because, hey, never mind that the equal pay issue has been batted around Washington, D.C. for decades. Or that LBGTQ rights are scoffed at by many Republicans. Or that our President thinks of women as ornaments at best, people to prey upon at worst. Somewhere there’s a category in between of women who can serve him in non-sexual ways.

So why would the United States Women’s National Soccer Team or any other group of women, for that matter, believe Donald Trump might treat us as full human beings in his governing or in any dealings with us? He’s a proven pathological liar and his track record with women gets worse by day.

Not only do I think we need to include politics in most things now, I would in fact posit that if you can keep politics out of every other part of your life, there is something very wrong with that. I am so sick of neutral people who think that somehow makes them virtuous. News flash: You’re not.

Trump has made what was once a mostly blue vs. red set of beliefs into a deepening chasm. Now where we come down in picking a side is about life, about humanity. Calling it politics is almost absurd at this point because it’s so much more. We hear people we’ve known our whole lives dismiss what’s happening at our border with the sweep of a hand and “They can avoid the cages if they stay away from our country.” I am particularly stung by the use of “they” and the tone with which it comes off their tongues. Or their denial that it’s even happening.

Thanks to Trump, I can name places I would never live because I would struggle being amongst people every day who have values so divergent from mine. Real estate, political.

Trump didn’t start this fire, but he sure as heck has been accelerating it and will seemingly be pleased when we’re staring at a pile of ashes where our national conscience used to be.

Who wants to align with that? Or not speak up about it?

Sometimes we talk about what we would have done in the face of disasters or crises in the past. We wonder if we would have risen to the occasion. For example, when I see footage of the people who delayed their own escape from the World Trade Center to help another on 9/11, I think, “What would I have done? I so hope I would have been that person.”

But I don’t know for sure, do I?

Now, at this perilous time in our history, I refuse to be one of the quiet ones. The women who just won the World Cup are showing us one way to react in the face of a man who is not leading us, at least not those of us who respect rule of law, our intelligence agencies, a free press, our allies abroad, equality for all, and who strive for empathy in our interactions.

We know the difference between amassing power for the greater good vs. amassing power for one’s own advancement. Our President and his supporters do not.

It’s all political.

Divorcing ourselves from it serves no one and solves nothing.

Originally published at http://unfetteredexpression.com on July 10, 2019.

Columnist, Blogger, Author, Coach in the Greater NYC area. Six-word bio: Zen chick with a Jersey edge. Favorite topics: gender, politics, race, meaning of life.

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