I watched as the results came in, as Donald Trump was winning, and wondered. I wondered what happened? What will happen? I cried. I was scared and hurt and angry and shocked, broken…..and so utterly disappointed.
I don’t see this as a game or a contest. I’m not upset one team lost and one won. That’s not what this is about, contrary to what I’m seeing on Facebook. I don’t completely surround myself with like-minded people and so I get the different viewpoints. People think I’m sad because she lost? People think I’m angry because he won? No, that’s not it.
I don’t believe for one minute that every person who voted for him is a racist or a misogynist or is stupid. I don’t believe they’re all haters or sexual predators or bullies. I truly see the good in people and cannot live in a world where I think half the country are all those bad things. Everyone who did vote had a reason for choosing one or another. We can argue the numbers and demographics from now until the next election. But numbers don’t lie. There are millions of people who voted him in. There is a voice to be heard. Mine wasn’t the loudest or the strongest, but we absolutely cannot ignore that there is a voice to be heard. Let’s listen to it. Let’s not dismiss that entire voice as hate. I don’t believe for one minute that it is – completely.
So I’m not angry at them. I’m not sad because of them. My future president – OUR future president has his work cut out for him, that’s for sure, but so do we – so do all of us. Seeing people hashtag #notmypresident will not help. I’m not exactly happy about people saying, “I told you so,” or “have fun moving to New Zealand or Canada.” That’s rude and I can’t exactly say if the shoe were on the other foot, it would be any different. There are always rude people.
I’m sad and I’m scared that all these good people will watch and learn from their example. I’m scared that my kids might not get health care. I’m scared that my gay son’s rights to marry someone will be taken away. I’m scared because of the uncertainty and if all the promises made are kept, then my Judaism leaves me as a 2nd class citizen. Vice President Elect Pence said today, “We need Jesus even more right now.” And while that was a NICE thing to say in the scheme of things, does he mean that the only people he’s willing to support and govern are those who believe in Jesus because at that moment I didn’t feel like a citizen. I don’t need Jesus. I’m not a Jesus believer. I do believe in God and I do pray, but not to Jesus.
This is not a Christian country. I know that’s hard for some people to believe or even desire, but it’s not. We have a separation of Church and State. Why are Christian values more important than mine? Or my son’s?
I am frightened for my daughter, a gorgeous young woman on the verge of a life – a career – that she might get groped and minimized and not paid as much because of who she is. That she might listen to those telling her that she’s not worthy. I’m scared that someone might not even SEE the potential because she’s a woman. I thought we were beyond that and I don’t think we are.
He made no secret that he was campaigning to a group of white straight Christians – and that’s okay. We all have a target audience. He campaigned using fear and exclusion and he won. So let’s listen. Listen to what the country said. They are afraid. We are afraid. Know that you won’t change the result, but you can change what people hear. You can educate more than just your inner circle. Posts on Facebook are useless for change if you don’t go outside your circle. They’re great for support and for venting and for coming together – (and I’ve so desperately needed that!) but really, those groups were already together. Now we have to unite – with others. Be ALL together. Or at least fight for that.
I’m not angry that Hillary lost or Donald won. I’m angry that by voting for him – and 42% of women and 33% of Hispanics voted for him (NOT just a group of straight white Christians!) – those say it’s okay to say “Grab him by their pussy.” “Ban the Muslims.” “Mexicans are rapists.” We can say differently. We can teach him differently. We can set our citizen boundaries. He can be taught. I firmly believe this. I have to.
Last night we voted a man in to our Presidency, but we don’t have to walk around moping. Okay…we can, and I fully intend to for a few days. But eventually, if I don’t use my voice for positive change to people outside my circle, than I’m no better than the ranters. I need to use my voice. I need to volunteer (might be challenging working 2 jobs!) and donate my services and money to those organizations I feel will be cut short. I can speak out for communities that will get bullied. I can speak against bullying.
He won on a *change* platform and half the country voted for his type of change and the other half for another type of change. The only thing guaranteed is that change WILL happen. If you pray – pray for his wisdom and strength and that he makes GOOD decisions for ALL Americans and our neighbors. If not – cross your fingers because we’re in for a Hell of a ride.
We are a broken nation. But we’re fixable. But we have a responsibility to fix it. We have a disconnect but it’s not his job to connect it. Okay – it IS his job – yes, but really it’s all of our jobs. We have to be the change we want to see. We have to talk to more people. We have to be kind – despite what others are saying. We can’t validate the hate even though we might think others voted for it. I don’t believe the stereotypes. I really don’t think they would say to themselves, “I hate ____ so I will vote for ____”. Maybe some, but definitely not the majority. What will you do? Who will you reach? What good will you do? We need to know we’re not alone – and we aren’t, but unless you speak out, you won’t know.
So today I’m going to cry and maybe even tomorrow. And I believe that everyone needs to feel what they’re feeling because nothing good comes from internalizing those feelings. But then we need to get to work. Or maybe you don’t – but I do.