It was an uncomfortably warm September Saturday and my neighborhood revealed in the heat, holding on to the memory of summer. The neighborhood porch was that day, and people had tables, chairs, and buckets of icy lemonade, and were selling whatever they had been sitting around their house for too long. We were well enough that we would see most of these stuffed animals and unworn pieces of jewelry being sold again next year, just by different people. Still, the Hamilton Street porch was a Powelton Village tradition. We had to take part.
My friend Avery dragged me up and down the 3500 block, searching for cheap jewelry I knew neither of us would ever wear. We stopped, chatting with our neighbor Josh Bruck over a table of my old clothes that were finally sold.
"You did not know that guy's a Trump table set up at the end of this block ? ", I laughed.
" No, I saw it this morning across the street from my house! " Donald Trump was a very disrespectful member of our family-friendly neighborhood fun.
Avery and I stormed down the 3400 block and my stomach began to sink and twist into knots of shame; I knew what was going on.
My heart jumped as we neared the end of the block, navigating through swarms of people shopping.
Avery continued her chatter, clearly oblivious to my dread , "Yeah, it's an old white guy in a 'Make America Great Again' hat"
That confirmed it. "Oh crap. I know who it is. "I sighed. The only old crazy white guy left on this block was my grandfather. He was sitting at his folding table, the surface hidden under piles of flyers, rolls of stickers, and what looked to be packaged with personal tribute to Trump. He grinned up at me from under his ridiculous hat as I approached him.
"Oh, am I embarrassing my granddaughter?" I looked at my neighbors, trying to apologize for him. my wide eyes.
Sofia Powers & mdash; Science Leadership Academy @ Center City
"Yes", I finally replied.
I opened my mouth to say more but I knew better than to start this today. It was only weeks ago when we had last fought about this. We were having 'tea time' with my 86 year old great-great-aunt Elizabeth. I'd begun to realize my grandfather was turning her against my family politically. Knowing that Elizabeth respected what I said, I tried to reason with him, using her respect for my opinions as leverage. I had barely badmouthed his beloved candidate before he stormed off. His face went surprisingly red, or maybe that was just contrasting from his white hair, and left without a word.
This is when my mother brought up the idea of 'respectfully disagreeing' with him. My ideas on how to deal with him were slightly different, like my plan to lock him in his house on election day. I assume she meant to be. I still felt like I needed to help him understand, and that I had a right to argue with him. But my mother's word is law, so I held my tongue that day. I resisted mentioning that most of his children and grandchildren relied on the program he so hated, ObamaCare. I resisted telling him that Trump was supported by white supremacists, and that his Chilean immigrant wife and black grandchildren would suffer in a Trump presidency. I really wanted to tell him so many things, hoping they would change his mind.
My grandfather spoke, "Please, just take this packet. I wrote it myself. "
"This is bullshit. I'm sorry, but it really is. ", My dad dropped the packet in disgust.
My dad's retort changed something for me. I agreed with him and realized that if my grandpa's actions disrespected my morals, then I could disrespect his actions. I decided to stop legitimizing my mother's excuses about his old age and his over the top catholicism causing his bad choices; if my grandfather has still control over me, he has control over his actions. Donald Trump, I'll say what I mean.