• Elizabeth Bartasius

Why I'm "On Break" with Facebook: A creative writer dips her pinky into politics.

To Republicans and Donald Drumpf supporters:

A recent Facebook post from a friend stated: “I love you but your pro-Hillary posts are making me crazy.”

I wanted to write back: “I love you, but your pro-Trump comments are making me crazy.”

But I stopped myself just in time because, to me, that kind of dialogue doesn’t get us anywhere; it just perpetuates the you vs. me mentality.

However, what did strike me as useful was a recent post, in the light of all the political back-and-forths, asking us to consider not who, but what are we for?

So, I wonder, as human beings...

...what are we for?

And I wonder what I am for, exactly.

I come from a long line of Democrats, hell-bent on “progressive” ideas. (Which mostly seem like common sense to me.)

I’ve also watched a long line of smart comedians make perfect, hilarious, and seemingly obvious statements poking fun at the senselessness of Republican mentalities.

I’ve also listened to right-wing fundamentalist spew speech that sounds absolutely crazy to my inherent belief system.

So, I wonder...

  • With 7 billion (and counting) people in the world, how do we align behind a common purpose? Even if our ideals are not the same?

  • How do we choose a leader we can stand behind and actually make some good shit happen?

  • How do we reconcile our differences, even though we may admire each other as individuals, but despise each other’s worldview?

I don’t know the answer to these questions, but I do know how I feel:


I feel hopeless in a world where smart women I know seem to think Trump is a good idea, when we have an infinitely superior female candidate.

I feel hopeless in a world where smart women I know seem to think women should not have a right to choose.

I feel hopeless in a world where smart women I know seem to think when a rogue, demented shooter kills policeman, that suddenly policemen are more in danger than the collective innocent black men and women are routinely gunned down in the name of the law.

I feel hopeless in a world where celebrity status means more than intelligence and commitment.

I feel hopeless in a world where hate and demagogy are rewarded with more and more attention.

I feel hopeless in a world where the lowest common denominator wins.

I feel hopeless in a world where Facebook has become the new norm for “thoughtful discussion” and “intimate connection.”

I feel hopeless and I want to run away. To an island...To Europe...


To live a simple life.

Where I can look in the eye of the person in front of me.

Cook dinner for friends.

Hideaway in my novels and laptop, snuggling kittens and the doting dog.

So, I’m ditching Facebook, for the moment, to have audible conversations with real people, to gather thoughts, and to meditate over pen and paper, also allowing others to share their thoughtful responses.

I really want to know why are you for only policemen, but not the innocent who are gunned down and beaten routinely? I don’t understand why you feel you have to choose one life over the other.

I don’t understand how you can fight so hard to save a life before birth, but then enact policies and a mentality that puts more people on the streets in need of social services.

I don’t understand how you can back someone who perpetuates killing others as the best solutions.

What I Am For

While I despise large crowds, avoid talking to people on airplanes, and generally don’t enjoy dinner parties larger than 10, I am 100% for humanity.

I know that each nameless person I pass on the street has a story.

You have a story.

A loss story.

A comedic story.

Sci-fi moments.


Possibly even horror.

And very likely, some adventure.

We each have our own story arcs and plot points.

We have “all is lost” moments.

We have redemption.

We have resolutions.

And then call-to-actions, once again.

But mostly, we all have love stories.

Heart-wrenching, heart-warming love stories.

I don’t understand you.

I only understand me.

But then, again, I only know my story.

I don’t know yours.

I don’t know who raised you, or who put you to sleep at night.

I don’t know what losses you’ve incurred, or victories.

What I want to know is...

...what is your story?

When I look back on my story, I see that I am for love.

Not a woo-woo-love-and-light mantra, just plain-old common love.

Loving your neighbor as you love yourself.

The simple kind many preach about, but then sometimes don’t enact in “everyday” life. (Myself included.)

I’m for the kind of love I saw after Hurricane Katrina, when class seemed to disappear and everyone was helping each other out, accepting, forgiving, and having space for all the oddities of our differences.

I’m for asking, “What would love do?” when I’m unsure, and then acting in accordance.

I’m for that.

What are you for?