Veterans Day.

On election day, I had resigned myself to serving under a deeply flawed and evil (my opinion) person. The next day I woke to find I would be serving under a completely different deeply flawed and evil (my opinion) person. So, I've got that going for me.
I have to hope for the best, because I respect this nation's institutions. I even respect the power of the bureaucracy, because it at least slows the swing of things one direction or another a bit. Gives us time to adapt, to absorb, to find our place within the new reality- whatever that may be.
I'm not hitting the streets in protest. My candidate didn't win. My vote went to a dope-smoking guy whose plans for 2017 include riding the Tour Divide. Not exactly somebody confident in their chances of taking it all, but I just couldn't bring myself to vote for a major party candidate when presented with the two choices.
People in uniform will do what they've always done. I've served far more years under presidents I didn't agree with politically than under presidents I did. It's part of the job, that's spelled out to you when you sign up. Some of my fellow service members will die or be horribly maimed under President-elect Trump's watch. Given the trends of the nearly quarter century I've been wearing the uniform, probably more than a few. That's the world we live in and how America has chosen to interact with it.
I still hope for the best. 
The new president once promoted a bike race bearing his name. Then again, he also criticized John Kerry for riding a bike at age 72 when the Secretary of State broke his leg during a ride. We'll have to wait and see where he stands on bicycles in general. To be honest, I don't think he'll do much for or against them, unless something major happens to grab his attention and shift the status quo.
Until people start really listening to each other and not just cherry picking statements to reinforce their preexisting beliefs, we're going to continue this trend of polarization. Everyone seems locked up in their own echo chambers, and nothing gets through except an endless stream of often-inaccurate (and misspelled) memes. 24 hour news networks feed the fire, because that boosts ratings. Outrage has long ago replaced thoughtful, reasoned debate, because it's so much easier than reaching out to the other side and saying, "explain this to me". You may not agree with their position, but at least you'll understand where they're coming from. But no, an angry, uninformed Facebook post does so much more to advance the discussion. I don't know everything. You don't know everything. Together we don't know shit. However, if enough of us start listening that shit pile may fertilize something good for the future instead of just going down the drain and polluting the water supply.

On Veterans Day, I hope for the best. Too many people have sacrificed for the promise this country represents for me to have anything else but hope. At the very least, I owe that much to them.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to ride my bike.


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