…Allow yourself to hate Trump winning the election, then do something about it.
(To be fair I am sure there are some nice KKK members)
If anyone, in all seriousness, needs to talk about the election please reach out to me.
After he won Ohio, I knew it was over. Hope is great and everything, but when CNN anchors look more and more nervous as the election night comes to a close, it’s time to let the crying commence. And it did, along with the drinking and cursing. Donald Trump is the president – elect of the United States and yes of course I am upset about this.
I have in multiple conversations, never held back my distain for Trump. From the way he has belittled handicap people, minorities and LGBT people, to the way he has bragged about his own sexual assaults of women, as well as that small little promise to ban Muslims from our country…he disgusts me in every which way. He’s a narcissist. A liar. A sexual predator. A bully. A borderline sociopath. And soon to be leader of one of the most influential countries on Earth.
So I cried in anger on Tuesday night well into Wednesday morning. I cried because I couldn’t yell. I cried because at the time I could not protest. There was not one person in particular I could send a nasty text to, I had to hate half of the American public – or half of the half that voted.
The next morning I had to hate everyone who made jokes about him being elected. I had to be okay with racists and sexists claiming their part in my country as a majority and not a minority. I had to deal with the fact that even a few hundred people voted for a dead gorilla, Harambe, as the leader of America. I’m sorry but that’s not funny. Memes are funny. Knowing that “educated” adults went out to polls and made a mockery of their vote is fucking infuriating. These people aren’t writing in “Bernie Sanders,” these people are a shooting a middle finger at democracy for the chance of a good Twitter post.
So am I angry? Of course I am angry. I am angry at anyone who isn’t angry. I am rationally angry at people (including even friends who I am very close to) who choose not to be political because it may seem “annoying to followers and threatening to their likes.” I am angry at some white entitled men, republicans and democrats alike who look the other way because they know that those comments that Trump said weren’t directed at them, but they were directed at people they love. I am angry that women are nervous about wearing their Hijabs in public. I am angry that some Americans will lose their healthcare and as a result their lives. I am angry that my niece and possibly maybe even one day my daughter will live in a country where a reality star misfit can say ‘I grab women by the pussy’ and be the 45th President of the US. I am angry that experience counts for nothing. That you don’t have to play by the rules. Hell, you don’t even have to know what the rules are.
Am I worried about foreign affairs, the fact that Trump has Putin on speed dial? All the meetings to take place in the Oval? Of course yes, also. But this is a family matter. This stays close right now. I carry it in my heart; I don’t have the luxury to carry it anywhere else. Because guess what? I am also scared.
What does this mean for the rights of me as a Hispanic woman in this country? But also what does it mean to everyone else…that family I spoke of, who do not look like the first 43 presidents, who walk with purpose for a better tomorrow promised to them these past eight years but who now are terrified of where they go from here. Who feel like a path of comfort suddenly disappeared from under their feet. Excuse me if foreign policy is not on the forefront of my mind. I am trying to hug my family.
So the past few days I’ve mourned. Death of someone close to me type of mourn. And I have been lucky enough to be able to do that in a place that is safe. In my room and at my work, an environment with women and men who understand, who hugged me when I walked in on Wednesday and started crying with me too.
And we’re not all Hillary supporters to the core. Not even democrats. It’s just that we don’t support hate.
In the past three days and in the next weeks, months, years we will hear people telling us how to react to the news of Trump as our president. Stop being dramatic. Get over it. And my personal favorite: let’s all just love each other.
Be careful of people saying this. I know that most of it comes from a good place. But I know some of it unfortunately comes from people who don’t understand what it’s like to live in a country that hasn’t always loved them. Who don’t have to be as angry. Who don’t have to understand our pain. Who don’t know what it’s like to see the country you love fall apart on top of the people who were oppressed in building it. It’s not part of their ancestry.
What I would give to not care as they do. To be so oblivious. To follow a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
And so I’ve reached the point where it has become socially unacceptable to stay in bed and cry over an orange faced cheeto in the White House come January. I have to get up and do things. I have to, as I have done before, stay angry. We have to stay angry at those who voted for him, at him, and even at us.
We have to channel that anger into some damn work, knowing that voting, in particular for me, was not enough. The change comes from small work first and foremost. Phone calls. Canvassing. Volunteering. Donating. It sucks that there is no other way around it right now and that big influential change looks a lot like 2018 but in a way it is also unbelievably a good thing. Complacency feeds itself. And we have done enough of that the past year as democrats, young people, and progressives.
Trump won because Trump lured in the uneducated, the weak, the bigots, but the voters. The type of men who don’t let their sons play with dolls. The type of women who think catcalling is a compliment. The type of people who say they believe in the work of Jesus but hold onto their money a little too tightly. Who condemn transgender people. Who say minorities are lazy. Who roll their eyes when they see a Black Lives Matter sign. Who joke about Mexicans hopping the wall. Who don’t use the term “Mexicans.” Who call me a wetback. Who casually rape women. Who casually rape me.
Despise them but change them. Despise them but don’t hurt them. Despise them and get motivated. Do not become the enemy. And allow yourself, as I have, to hate a man who has never respected you. See I got taught to respect your elders and authority as a kid, but I am not buying it. I say respect anyone who respects you in return. Trump, the president – elect but not MY president – elect has never respected me. I am merely a piece of ass to him. His words not mine. So no, I do not support or respect him.
What happens when you blindly respect a leader looks a lot like 1940’s Germany.
I know the Hitler comparisons have been there before, and now I am sure they are here to stay. But listen when I say this. Because I’ve gone back and forth on something and I think I now understand.
Trump has the hate, but he does not have the strength.
He will love the power. Get off on it. He will appoint people to his cabinet which will make us all want to run for the hills (or in this case Canada.) He will continue to be disrespectful. He will continue to elicit people to feel like their xenophobia is acceptable. But he will get bored. He will crack. He will stumble across the floors of better people who came before him because he was never taught to properly walk with grace. And when he does fall, and he will, it will be up to us to rise up and help blind followers and take back a nation that is accepting of all people who do not go out with the intention to physically, emotionally, or mentally hurt other human beings.
I’ve been seeing a lot of amazing hopeful posts following the election about the genuine love and kindness being displayed in the midst of the country’s shell-shocked demeanor. I’ve heard a lot of opinions particularly regarding the fact that we are the only ones who can make sure that this power imbalance never happens again.
The people saying this are right. Let’s stop looking around waiting for someone else to stand up. Let’s stop twiddling our thumbs. Let’s stop squinting our eyes for the white knight on a horse to make his appearance. “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
But we have to take care of ourselves first. We have to do us. And then we have to do a lot more. And we will get him out of the White House. And we will get love back. And we will fight with words not guns. And we will wear safety pins. And we will march. And we will be okay.