Living in a post Trump election isn’t easy and it’s day one. It was a late night, and hard morning. I feel like I’ve been beaten up, not just beaten. And before someone starts with a sore loser, keep in mind this isn’t the first time I have “lost” an election, but it is the first time that loss has been of such terrifying magnitude. It might surprise many of you to learn I considered myself a Republican when I was younger, that changed when I realized that the party ideals didn’t match my own. But there was at the time always something noble about the party that drew me to it. At the time, I experienced no backlash for my gender or class, just a belief in candidates that seemed to want to make things better in a different way. Things changed over the years and I realized that A) I don’t buy into their platform economically. And more importantly B) Socially I couldn’t accept exclusionism. Which is how the party has moved over my short tenure. At the end of the day I am an advocate for the people, so while we can argue economics, and whether it is a state or federal place, I will always advocate for the inclusion of all people.
That’s why I couldn’t get out of bed this morning. It wasn’t because I adored Secretary Clinton, I supported her without a doubt, but it was because we now face a government fully controlled by a party and individuals who have run on a platform of complete prejudice in all forms. Endorsed by the KKK. Proponent of solving things through violence, not diplomacy. Determined to revoke all equal rights gained over the past decade. And what’s worse, there is no promise that we won’t turn the way of earlier South Africa, pre-WWII Germany, and other nations who decide that it is “safer” for us to be labeled friend or foe. I woke up in fear for them, in despair for them because they are terrified. Not by some outside force such as ISIS, not by conservative economics, but terrified of their own neighbors. Us. Because they’re different, and differences have been overtly not okay during this campaign. I will promise you one thing; I will never stand idly by watching. I will never not speak up. And if that means that I get my own label, know I do so proudly. If I put myself at risk, I do so without hesitation for you. And I will do it day after day, and year after year, until we all feel safe again.
With respect to the groups of people who don’t buy into the hate rhetoric but still voted Trump, I hope you stand as an ally. For the large grouping of those who voted independent to prove you were anti-establishment too, and won’t “play the game,” I hope you realize the margins lost directly correlate with those votes, and understand that the votes do matter. This election would have been different if you decided your stand would not be presidential, but to begin working in a third party in the house, senate, local elections so that you could have that party be a contender. Instead, you not only lost the election or chance of gaining that 5% you were searching for, but you swayed an election to someone whose ideals are probably more abhorrent to you than the actual establishment. You voted your conscious, I respect that, but timing is everything, and you timed this incorrectly.
For the women, I don’t know what to say. I know from a professional standpoint why individuals stay with abusers, don’t report rape and misogyny. But I don’t know why such large groupings, with full knowledge of what he thinks of you voted against yourselves. The same way middle class votes against their own interests. We knew we didn’t’ have the older White male vote, or the younger white male vote with less education. But women? How do you separate “grab them by the pussy” and rape charges with your ballot? Don’t give me Bill was a(n) ____ excuse, he was impeached for his actions, and was not running. And if he had the opportunity to run following that, no one would have allowed it.
I don’t know how to explain this to the world or future generations. All I can say is that I’m sorry that our American experiment produced this. Because we’ve had bad presidents before. That’s of little consequence. But we’ve never had such danger before. It’s the danger that the world is waiting for.
My hope will always be for my country. That we can mend this, heal, and come together regardless of election. That this election will not be the end of equality and acceptance. It’s not what I’ve seen comment wise so far, but that doesn’t mean I can’t hope. Most believe that I’m a liberalist brainwashed idiot, or pandering propaganda. I am a flaming liberal it’s true. Few would call me an idiot given what I do and have done, but it’s an insult that’s easy to fling. Brainwashed would mean I don’t watch both sides of things, or blindly follow- but there’s no way to prove against that fallacy. But I at least have no fear in questioning my own beliefs and biases in every way to make sure that the truths I uphold are the ones that fall in line with the proof we have. They can change based on data. Because that’s what education has taught me.
We stood a nation divided again in our history this past year. We are Lincoln’s country without a Lincoln to heal us. We are the 1960’s without a MLK. We are in the Middle ages seeking a Renaissance. As a social worker I can tell you we have a rough road ahead. But we will keep going as long as it takes. Maybe we can remind people America didn’t need to be made great again, we just needed to come together to fix what was broken.