When I woke up this morning to the results of the presidential election, I was speechless.
Now, I’m not speechless, but my words seem insufficient, muddled; my thoughts are cloudy and I’m lost. I told my husband I’d probably cry if Trump became president. I’m not crying, but I think this feeling is worse.
I’ve followed both candidates, and those that didn’t get the primary nomination for their party, since the beginning of the campaign.
I started a diehard Bernie Sanders fan, applauding democratic socialism in spite of my peers who feared the words, recognizing the genuine regard for humankind behind the eyes of an idealist man (and I don’t mean this negatively, I’m an idealist, too).
I watched debates between the candidates during the primaries, both Democratic and Republican.
I watched as Trump blatantly spewed hatred toward minorities of all races and genders.
I watched as Trump mocked individuals with disabilities and families of fallen servicemen.
I watched as Hillary’s emails were scoured by the FBI.
I watched as uninformed individuals spread pro-abortion rhetoric on social media, including misinformation about “late-term abortions” – a term that doesn’t technically exist in the medical realm.
I watched as Hillary pulled out the Democratic nomination, and as Trump won the Republican.
I watched as the Democratic National Convention and Debbie Wasserman Schultz stripped Bernie of the nomination.
I watched as a Bernie or Bust campaign started spreading like wildfire.
I watched as similar campaigns spread, popularizing hashtags like #nottrump and #imwithher and #killary.
I watched as riots broke out at rallies.
I watched as Trump egged them on.
I watched as Hillary was ridiculed for deaths in Benghazi.
I watched as Hillary called Trump supporters a “basket of deplorables.”
I watched a Trump defended “[grabbing] them by the pussy.”
I watched as Hillary won the popular vote on 11/08/2016.
I watched as Trump won the presidential candidacy on 11/08/2016 because of an outdated electoral college.
I watched as the Republican party took the House and Senate majorities.
I watched my friends in same-sex relationships shudder in fear that their union would be attacked.
I watched my friends of the Muslim faith shudder in fear that they would be persecuted for their religion, tattooed with a symbol of their faith (whether physically or metaphorically) as Hitler once commanded.
I watched my non-citizen friends shudder in fear that they would be ripped from the arms of their wailing infant children.
See, I started as a Bernie fan, enlightened and hopeful at the idea of a democratically socialist society, and when Hillary took the democratic nomination, I quickly jumped onto the #anyonebuttrump train. While I consider myself quite liberal, I’ve never been a straight ticket voter and was attentive and unbiased while watching the Republican debates. There are certain issues that are hot buttons for me – namely, equal rights and protection by the government for ALL people – regardless of religion, race, gender, or sexual orientation. While I could potentially waiver on democratic stances regarding economics, gun control, etc., this is not something I can give up.
This country wasn’t founded on nothing. Nor was it founded on religion. It was not founded on the concept of exclusion – rather, it was founded as an escape from the exclusiveness of the Church.
It was founded on the idea that “all men are created equal…” and that we have unalienable Rights like “…Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” In 1776, it was put into print.
It was founded on the ideals of “domestic tranquility, justice, welfare, and posterity.” In 1788, it was put into print.
It’s funny to me that Hillary received such backlash over her basket of deplorables comment. She stated that “…you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic – you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.” I don’t see this as disputable. She didn’t say all of his supporters were deplorable or racist, etc., but she did state that many of them were. And aren’t they? Aren’t you?
I told you that I wasn’t a straight ticket voter and I meant that with every fiber of my being. As much as those hot topic issues mean to me, recognizing humanity as the only human race is my primary concern. It is DEPLORABLE to exclude someone for their race, gender, etc. It is DEPLORABLE to spew hatred and contempt forth from a position of power. It is DEPLORABLE that by putting this man into the White House, we are validating every single deplorable behavior. We are teaching our kids that bullying is okay. We are giving common practice (often read = acceptable practice) to HATE SPEECH and HATE CRIME. If this man changes economic policies, we will recover. If this man changes environmental policies, we will likely recover. If this man changes policies of warfare, we will hopefully recover. My biggest fear is that we will not recover from empowering a deplorable like Donald Trump. My daughter is being raised in this country—this country that I was (generally) proud of. A country that was indeed a melting pot of culture and individuals, that provided her experiences and a wealth of knowledge at her fingertips. Now, I fear that the knowledge she will pick up on the street is deplorable – the rhetoric of exclusion, belittling, egocentrism, and hatred.
I know that parenting a productive member of society starts at home, and I hope that my husband and I can instill enough goodness in this little girl that she ignores the world around her and avoids this community of hate. I hope that she is able to rise above the common-place rhetoric that will soon take shape and I hope that she is able to change the world. And I seriously hope that by the time she is out in the world
alone, that this world is a much better place for her to thrive.
If you’re comfortable or complacent after this election, you’re either a straight, white male, politically relevant, rich, or ignorant (read: uneducated or naive). But please remember that exclusion comes back around. Don’t believe for a second that you are safe in an environment that breeds hate. And, don’t for a second believe that you’re any better than anyone that doesn’t fit those “norms.” This rhetoric is all very familiar to this Holocaust aficionado/student.
Keep your bigotry. The White House is not the place for it. Our law books have no room for it. Be a racist, xenophobe, or just an asshole, but by golly, keep it out of my government.
I am discouraged that the House and Senate have Republican majority. I am discouraged that a Republican will be appointing the next Supreme Court Justice. I am discouraged that changes will be made to Obama’s administration, after all of the amazing strides he has made in the last two terms.
But mostly, I am disappointed, discouraged, and disgusted in the country that I live in, that we would empower a man as unprincipled and un-American as Donald Trump.