I feel like something has died and I am mourning it. What is this elusive “it” I speak of? Freedom? Equality? Democracy? I’m not sure yet, but I believe time will tell. For the next four years I am to live in a country under the reign of a man who has been compared to Hitler in deeply disturbing ways (and yes, their differences still make Trump just as dangerous), a man who has not bothered to hide racist, sexist, and xenophobic viewpoints from the public. I am meant to respect a leader who has upcoming trials for fraud, mistreatment of employees, and sexual assault. The President-Elect of the United States is a man accused of the most degrading, lewd behavior, and I will never understand exactly how this country devolved to this point.
Was this result truly because Americans oppose Hillary that much? I have trouble believing that, but then what is the alternative?
From where I stand, in the midst of a small town that lacks diversity, I believe the alternative is a darker, deeper truth — hatred. Fear and hatred, perhaps even loathing toward a changing America. What is this mysterious “greatness” that Trump speaks of that we apparently need to go back to? All I can think of is Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and how I hope with every fiber of my being that such a totalitarian dystopia does not become reality, but I fear that world because I don’t think Trump is a man who would mind such a place.
I would love to be proven wrong. I would love to see Trump become a man that apologizes for his hateful comments, a man who calmly and rationally makes decisions that may avoid World War III (OR YOU KNOW NUCLEAR WAR) because if you don’t think that’s a possibility with Trump, a man who loves war, as president, then you haven’t been paying attention.
All I can hope is that Trump chooses to be a president to ALL Americans, that he proudly will represent ALL Americans no matter their race, culture, background, sexual orientation, etc… as Van Jones emotionally discussed last night.
To accept the presidency is to accept treating everyone fairly, justly, and lovingly. These are not adjectives I associate with Trump, but again, go ahead and prove me wrong, Donald. I dare you. He does not get to choose the elite of whom he wishes to govern over. That is not American. His loyalty must be to all Americans, even the minorities he speaks so hatefully toward. Otherwise, there is no greatness here, only shame. Along with that, Mike Pence is a truly terrifying man, as in medieval-level terrifying.
But I want Trump supporters to show me they are not the stereotypical racist, screaming, lunatics that I have seen in media clips, that I have heard spouting inhumane garbage in public… Trump supporters, show me your compassion, your empathy, your ability to love those who are different than you. America needs to know you are with all of us, not just the white, privileged, like-minded, Trump Train supporters. Do you want to bridge gaps and heal the nation? You must, must, must let us know. This is your civic duty. I need you to honestly tell me if you support racist, sexist, prejudice viewpoints or if you will work with us to heal divides and aim for acceptance? Otherwise, congratulations on being a terrible human being.
In the mean time, to everyone who feels as heartbroken as I do about the election results, I am with you. Let me offer you one of my favorite quotes that is used in The Handmaid’s Tale as we move forward together.
“Don’t let the bastards get you down.”
And we won’t. We mustn’t. If Donald Trump truly aims to work for the people as he promised in his election speech last night, then he must listen to us. So blog, write letters, tweet, protest peacefully, get involved, write to your state senators, and never let silence rule you. Speak out against racism, prejudice, and inequality. Keep the conversation open, honest, and civil. Love one another. Be kind.