Many people are feeling beat-up emotionally and spiritually right now on the heels of such a difficult and ugly election season. Regardless of whether “our” preferred candidate won or not, the election campaign generated great divisiveness, often causing breakdowns in relationships with friends and loved ones—as well as general pessimism over the realization of just how divided and alienated the electorate truly is. As a result of this exhaustion and general sense of malaise many have experienced, three Open Stories Foundation podcast hosts—Gina Colvin of A Thoughtful Faith, Kristy Money of Mormon Transitions, and Dan Wotherspoon of Mormon Matters—decided it might be nice to talk about this difficult time and various ideas for dealing with the election aftermath in healthy, affirming ways. In the conversation here, they share their own emotions and experiences during the past months and since the close of the election, as well as what has worked for them as they struggle to make sense of what has happened, tend to their own emotional and spiritual care, and as they determine how they want to move forward. May things said here be helpful to others!
Please share your experiences in the comments below.
This is not a podcast about partisan politics, or a place to bash particular candidates or viewpoints. Posts that violate this guideline will be removed.
I’m struggling my way through listening to this episode. The panel this time sounds like a liberal echo chamber with no contrasting conservative voice.
You outlined that it would be a non-partisan discussion. Not sure if you just gave yourselves a pass when partisan comments slipped through, or if you genuinely think you are being non-partisan.
I normally relish our interactions in certain Facebook groups (where political discussions aalre banned) but this is episode a real turn-off.
I wish you could muster up the strength to see the other side of politics the same way you’ve been able to examine your faith experiences in so many post episodes. Maybe Trump voters have positive reasons to support him. Might be worth exploring.
I guess my disclaimer at the beginning about recognizing listeners from across the political spectrum, and then my later apologies for getting occasionally partisan didn’t satisfy you, eh? 🙂 Sorry about that! We were sharing our personal experiences about the election and this past week, and those thoughts and elements were part of the journey I’ve been on with this campaign and its aftermath. I guess I didn’t land far enough in non-partisan territory for you! I was trying!
Thanks for posting this David O. I was debating whether to listen to the podcast or not and your comment has convinced me not to.
David O. “difficult election season”
Did you find the election season difficult? How are you feeling post election?
I listened to this podcast. It seemed to focus on different strategies for moving forward. For me, what helps is to
be immersed in helping others. I also find listening to discussions, hearings etc on CSPAN to be more soothing than listening
to the news–especially those sources which focus primarily on controversy and hype. One big question moving forward is can/should do we care enought to require candidates to adhere to higher standards of truth/accuracy? higher standards of explaining their potential policies? Are these important factors to voters?
Maddy, yes! I find the election season difficult and STRESSFUL! As a conservative, I now feel relieved that the more conservative candidate won, and a conservative agenda will (hopefully) be implemented.
The election is so much bigger and more important than the two major party candidates that ran in it. I believe that most Trump supporters felt that they were voting for increased freedom, economic growth, etc. and not selfishness and racism.
And I distinctly got the impression from the podcast panel that they viscerally felt that Trump voters were racist or otherwise deplorable. It just isn’t so.
Well, David I can certainly understand more a vote for policies that one believes will help the economy etc. and not that you or even most Trump supporters are racist. (but of course there are racists supporting Trump–case in point David Duke).
While you feel relieved, my anxiety has increased significantly. I fear the economic, foreign policy, trade, environmental, healthcare, etc policies will do longterm harm, rather than help.
I wish I could feel like you do. It would be so much easier. Time will tell I suppose…
Dan and Company,
Where was this podcast theme when folks were feeling “pain”, “loneliness” and “isolation” of the last eight years of progressive power and over-reaching court decisions trumping the voice of the people? It is clear the moral ownership, based on the opinion of this podcast, appears to be possessed by one end of the spectrum only. I found it difficult to listen to an obvious partisan panel that appears to be symbolic of the over-reaction that is being projected by an emotional immature constituency that isn’t used to getting their way. It is only an election folks! In four years we get another chance!!
I didn’t vote for Trump nor felt his rhetoric was positive in healing and bringing unification to this country. And obviously I can understand the frustration of some of the electorate by his election win. Nevertheless, you get the impression that we just experienced 9/11 all over again. Ivy League Colleges stopping exams to mourn? High Schools letting there students out of class to protest. Trouble waking up and making it through the day? Speaking to our children to ease their fears? I’m surprise we didn’t lower our flags to half mast. REALLY????!!!! There is real depression and real pain in the world that is being marginalized by the psychological over analysis that was presented in this podcast. All this effort supposedly required to heal those affected by another shift in political power? We used to worry about the little stuff like Soviet domination or Islamic terrorism. Boy were those the days!
It is somewhat insulting and damaging to use the myriad of adjectives in describing the feelings of those affected by an election loss. Pain is when my parents divorced when I was 12. Pain was when my wife was diagnosed with MS. Pain is when our child died during pregnancy. Pain is when my friend was diagnosed with cancer with very little chance of survival. The list can go on and on but I think the point has been made. I was shocked that your credentialed guest, Kristy Money, was so biased and even despondent to something of such a trivial nature compared to what real sorrow and pain Americans feel and deal with everyday.
Yes we are polarized today and have and always will be. Families and friends have always dealt with the differences in opinion with regards to religion and politics. We get through it and this is nothing new under the sun. I recall the Bush/Clinton/Perot election of 92. Boy that was divisive! Don’t recall riots, protesting or therapy to deal with that one. The real fix may be as simple as for us to grow up and act like real adults. America needs to count our blessings and remember what we have. Perhaps that would be a practical therapeutic remedy vs. the psychological formulas mentioned that were confusing at the least to even understand.
Dan I love your attention to the spiritual Mormon matters but had to call you out on this brother!!!
P.S. Sorry if I seemed harsh but I’m feeling the PAIN too!!!!!
Always good to be reminded how terms like “pain” might be overused. To me, pain along with fear are the two main categories of first-order negative emotions (underlying manifestations such as anger, hopelessness, tuning out, etc.), hence I don’t shy away from using it for a lot of things. But thanks on adding how there are potential drawbacks for that, too.
The panel here was put together of Open Stories Foundation podcasters (and we would have also had John Dehlin on but he cancelled a few hours before the session–and it wouldn’t have helped balance it politics-wise to have him on), so it wasn’t a panel we gave any real thought to in terms of ideological diversity. But, as we announced and tried to model staying “above the fray” and non-partisan (with me being the biggest offender), concentrating on re-gaining perspective and energy after a tough and divisive season (regardless of election outcome) I’m sure it wasn’t fun to hear us if not already ideologically in a similar place.
Please keep giving MM a chance as it returns more squarely to its wheelhouse (Mormonism and LDS ideas and trends, etc.) with its forthcoming episodes!
I agree with the mature and conservative leaning comments above. However, as I attempt to understand the thirty-some generation of my children I am completely baffled and fascinated by what seems to be largely generational differences in the way we look at the world. I hope there is room for all of us to be teachable. I fear there are way too many effort in the progressive movements to throw the precious baby i.e. the constitution, out with the bath water of racism, sexism and the like. There is room for all of us to learn from each other and avoid the political hype and propaganda that is hyperbole at best.
I gotta call you out on your comment.
I’ve suffered “real” pain in my life too–the death of a baby, a cancer diagnosis, a marital separation, and a child suffering from depression—but never will I need to worry about myself or my family being deported. I hope to never have to worry about choosing between eating and getting medical treatment. Never have I had to hide or lie about what gender I was sexually attracted to or face a life of celibacy and solitude.
I disagree with your claim that this election is nothing new under the sun and we all need to “grow up and act like real adults.” Never, ever in our history have we elected such a person as Donald Trump . . . If you can’t acknowledge that, then fear for our country is valid.
. . .
I guess you could do what the liberal minority inside the church does each and every Sunday and that is develop a thicker skin and listen to those who don’t share your views. Dan and the panel didn’t delve into a political discussion–the focus was largely on strategies for coping. Maybe this can be your time to stretch and grow?
[Post edited by page moderator to eliminate out-of-bounds, specific commentary about one of the candidates and political parties.]
Because none of us conservatives had to stretch and grow at all over the last 8 years? A little myopic.
Dan, I really like you. MM is one of the few podcasts I continue to listen to with a Mormon theme, you bring a fantastic sense of peace and thought to my spiritual experience and I appreciate it.
As a unorthodox member I’ve always had a hard time fitting in within my congregation, what has been the strangest part for me is that my political beliefs apparently leave me on the sidelines in the unorthodox community as well. In other words I’ve have yet to find a space open to both a more broad political perspective and an unorthodox Mormon experience. I really don’t understand why, it would be nice to see more diverse panels on such topics, at least on MM.
[Edited by page moderator as this moved into politics specifics]
I agree! I too am in search of an unorthodox mormon podcast with a broader political and social perspective. I love Mormon Matters, but it would be so much improved by panels with more diverse opinions politically and socially.
What about it, Dan?
I have ZERO desire to host political discussions on Mormon Matters. They always go badly. With this one, we felt like we were taking a broad enough approach that it wouldn’t turn into something where it would matter what our own political leanings were. As we told our own stories of feeling beat up by the election season and seeking to recover energy, etc., those came out, but still the focus was on the broader issues (I/we thought)! Guess we miscalculated (at least judging by the number of posts we’ve rejected for this comment section.
In terms of other panels having greater diversity of opinions, I both like that idea and don’t. Until I really know a person and their voice and mind and wrestle, I’m hesitant to have them come on just for the sake of diversifying the panel. Some of the episodes I’ve liked the least have been ones where someone was recommended so I added them but they ended up being unable to really contribute to the give and take nature of the conversations, and they’ve often been those who feel less in tension with the church than the main body of listeners who, though often in and committed to staying among the saints, struggle because of holding views and opinions that are generally to the left of the church’s/their ward’s center. Hence I gravitate toward voices that might reach and encourage this group even as we talk about difficult things. Long ago, I decided Mormon Matters can’t be for all audiences.
I’d love to meet more thoughtful, conservative voices who might be able to contribute to this left-of-center main audience, though, Please write me privately with recommendations.
We are deleting more and more posts as they are full of political arguments, or beginning to edit out portions that move into this direction. Everyone wants to have their say, but just as we “tried” (and mostly succeeded) to focus during the episode on all of us–wherever we are on the spectrum–re-grouping, committing, trying to find ways past divisiveness, that’s our hope for the comments section.
When we panelists share our experiences with the election, we certainly identified where our hearts were, but we worked hard not to demonize any candidate or political party or policy. When we talked about going forward, we shared where “we” might focus should this or that happen. Comments of this nature, we feel, are in bounds with the purpose of this thread. As all can see reading threads above, we have no problem with someone identifying who they are and where they are politically and how and why it felt to listen to this episode the way it did and/or attend church or family functions. JStay away from personalities and sweeping blasts of past administrations (we are cutting ones that go into the George W Bush era, too, not just the past eight years) and policies and we will welcome your perspectives.
This is not an episode about punditry. We won’t put up with it on the blog comments either. If you’ve been approved to comment in the past, your posts will not sit in moderation before showing up on the site, but know that all violating posts will be removed, and your status as someone who had been vetted and approved to post in the past could be reconsidered.
Personal and spiritual renewal is hardly possible without truth.
How does one send a message personally? I still would have liked your thoughts on the link I provided and I’m not a part of social media, therefore uncertain how to reach out for that type of diaglogue.
You can write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I DID read the article that the link you shared led to. It was terrific. It gave a great voice to many of the “voiceless” that the media missed, but it “was” politics: Why the election went the way it did. Our goal here was to talk about personal renewal, regaining optimism, wanting to stay in the fight, etc. at a time when the country is so divided. This is not election analysis.
Thanks for joining in here, though!