I woke up on the morning of Tuesday, November 8th, with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. You know, the “oh shit, I really screwed something up,” feeling. I felt anxious and worried, neither of which are very productive feelings. All day, despite my best efforts, I could not shake those feelings.
Then, last night, all of my worst fears were realized. Donald Trump was elected the next President of the United States. I’m still not sure how that happened. I don’t understand how a racist, sexist, misogynistic, entitled billionaire was elected to represent the people of this country.
To all of those who voted a 3rd party or, “their conscience,” you just elected Donald Trump. You threw away your vote and allowed this to happen. You are not allowed to complain about anything that might arise from that decision. You are allowed to help mend this country and advocate for those who will very likely have their voices taken from them.
To all of those who couldn’t bring yourself to vote for “either of them,” you just elected Donald Trump. By letting your dislike of a bad choice control your actions, you allowed this to happen. Your right to vote isn’t just a right, it’s an obligation. You are not allowed to complain about anything that might arise from that decision. You are allowed to help mend this country and advocate for those who will very likely have their voices taken from them.
To those who have assured me that nothing too bad can happen on Trump’s watch, because there are “checks and balances,” I am not sure where you got the idea that a man who has ignored all rules and regulations for his entire life is going to suddenly toe the line and follow the rules. But, having said that, I hope I’m wrong.
To those who have assured me we’ve lived through bad times before, I agree, but I’m afraid we’re going to see bad times likes we’ve never seen in this country. I am, obviously, a liberal, and I have had issues with conservatives in the past, but none of them have frightened me like Trump does. I hope I’m wrong.
To those who think I’m giving up: guess again. I may be saddened, frightened and overwhelmed, but I won’t stay that way for long. I come from a long line of stubborn people who aren’t afraid to work for what they think is right. My feisty mother would have a few, very colorful words of encouragement, like, “you know where to find sympathy; it’s between shit and syphilis in the dictionary,” and, “quit god damn reacting and start acting.”
Fred Rogers, of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, once wrote that we should “look for the helpers,” in scary situations. I am praying for the strength to be a helper. All night I prayed fervently to be given the strength to deal with what I fear lies ahead. I am praying that this strength won’t be needed. I am praying that I am wrong; that all we’re dealing with is another conservative President. Frankly, I am praying for the ability to move forward with my life without my fears ruling my behavior.
I believe in the basic goodness of people. I believe that goodness will always win out over evil. I believe we’re in for a battle to retain some of that basic goodness. I believe we can do it.