9: What have you done, America?

I wish I could say that I went to sleep last night and woke up to a historic moment in American history. That finally this gruesome, infuriating election cycle was over and we elected our first female president.

But that didn’t happen. I didn’t sleep and I didn’t wake up to good news. I was glued to the TV last night when the election results trickled in. I started feeling physically sick. I couldn’t go to sleep. I stayed up all night and witnessed what nobody thought possible – Trump winning in pretty much all the swing states and clinching the election. I cried over an election that should have never happened. I cried that a man that openly promoted hate, racism, bigotry, misogyny, and xenophobia during his campaign actually got away with all of it and was elected president. I cried even more  about the fact that people are either full of hate and actually support what this man stands for, or indifferent to the consequences of their vote just because they wanted to give the middle-finger to the establishment. I honestly don’t know what terrifies me more. 

Then the anger set it. It grew like a pit in my stomach and I am afraid it will be there for a long time.

Hillary Clinton was never my first choice for president, not by a long shot, but in the end, I was proud to support her. As a woman, I can only imagine the hoops that she had to jump through to even get the foot in the door of a largely ‘old-white-men’s-club’. And in the end, she still couldn’t overcome the double standards that have been applied to her. She was scrutinized for every misplaced word, called crooked and corrupt, while Trump went on spewing hate and (proven) lies and people didn’t blink an eye. What is wrong with this picture?

The hardest pill to swallow: Hillary won the popular vote. More people voted for her than for this pathetic excuse of a man and she still had to concede (and oh-so-graciously she did). I don’t think I could have mustered her grace and composure (or Obama’s, for that matter, who must have felt like he was slapped in the face hard). It’s heartbreaking and frankly unfair.

But there is another unfairness to this: 47% of eligible Americans decided that it wasn’t worth their time to cast their vote. This means that less than 1/4 of the population decided on the fate of this country. I know that voter turnout has always been poor, but I honestly don’t understand why people here seem to care so very little.

This is a sad day for America. This is not the America I signed up for when I became a citizen. During her concession speech, Hillary said, “This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. It’s always worth it.”

I agree, we need to fight for what is right. The alienation and oppression of women, minorities and immigrants is not. This is not what the United States stand for. There is so much I want to say, but I feel like I can’t string a coherent argument together. My thoughts are honestly all over the place.

I just want to say this: I know many people are hurting right now. To my black friends, my Latino friends, my LGBTQIA friends, all the women in my life and everyone I know who – like me – is terrified of what this presidency could mean not just for us, but for the world: I feel your pain and fear. I am afraid of what we might have to endure before it gets better again (and trust me, I am fully aware that I still am privileged, even though I myself belong to two groups that Trump has repeatedly belittled and offended. But I know that for other minorities things will probably be far worse.) We need to listen to each other, unite in our shared beliefs, and talk about our differences to move forward into a better future.

We might not be able to control much of what happens in Washington now, but we can control what is in our hearts. I believe in love, kindness, and compassion. I believe that most people are inherently good and we have to make sure that we bring that out in everyone around us. We need to stand together and work together to turn this country around again. We can’t let hate win. 

  1. This was such a well-written post. I can hardly believe that English is your second language. You’ve got a beautiful brain, woman.

    For what it’s worth, my heart is with you right now. <3

    1. Thank you, friend…. both for the compliment and the support <3

  2. Amen my friend. A-freakinmen. <3

  3. I think you said this all so well. It was a very sad day for our nation. I just don’t understand how it could happen. I thought when key members of the Republican party decided not to endorse him, that would be the final nail in his coffin. But apparently it didn’t matter. I was reading the Harry Potter play when I went to bed on election night (before the results had been announced – I couldn’t keep watching) and I got to the point where Voldemort is ruling again when I stopped reading for the night. It felt like a parable for what I woke up to on Wednesday morning. :(

    1. There is nothing more to say :(

    2. Nothing mattered in this election. Not his outrageous rhetoric, not his proven scandals, not his open racism, bigotry and misogyny. I am at a loss of words how people could vote for him in spite of all that.

  4. You hit the nail on the head, San! I admire you for being able to write such a thought out and coherent post. I still feel like I can’t think straight because I am still SO UPSET. How could this happen? A part of me still wants to just wake up and realize it was all a bad dream :( I take comfort in the fact that I personally know so many people who feel the same as I do (including you!), and that I live in a town where 85 per cent voted for HRC. I think I’ll need a bit more time to digest this before being able to move on… In the meantime: hugs!

    1. Thank you, Eva. I am glad you feel the same…. as all of my other friends. I definitely need more time to digest this… I still woke up with a knot in my stomach and no appetite. I call it the Trump diet.

  5. Racism and sexism and white supremacy are such deeply ingrained traits of America. That’s what this election has showed me. I am terrified. I don’t know how to have hope. I guess those who wanted a revolution are going to get it.

    1. It’s terrifying. I take solace in the fact that we’re not alone, in fact, the majority of voters is actually with us.

  6. This election crushed some of my ever-optimistic, faith-in-other-people soul. Ugh.

    1. OMG. I am usually such an optimistic person, too. This shook my optimism to its core.

  7. I’m still sad. And angry. And that combination has kept me offline and internalizing for the most part. Not healthy, probably, but it’s how I do.

    Ugh, my heart still hurts.


    1. Hugs my friend. As you know, you’re not alone.

  8. I’ve been dealing with such a range of emotions this whole week. I agree with much of what you said. I live in Alabama – Trump country! – but I voted for Hilary. Was she a perfect candidate? Not even close, but I was so ready to wake up on Wednesday to overwhelming emotions of having voted in the first female president.
    I will say that I am wiling to give Trump a chance. I just wish that the people who voted for him (the people I KNOW are not actually racists, nativists, sexist, and other bigots) would just say “I voted for him because _______, but I do NOT condone his bigoted remarks and actions.” I get that America largely wanted CHANGE, but I just wish the country had gotten behind somebody else who represented change. All I can do now, though, is support the marginalized in our society, keep an open mind, and stand up for my beliefs. But, dang, is it hard! ;)

    1. Thank you, Catherine, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! I love that so many people speak out and express their opinion during these hard times.
      It’s hard for me to be tolerant with someone, who voted someone into office that is personified intolerance. I do not really care why they voted for Trump, because it means that whatever their reason was, it was more important than protecting vulnerable minorities and legitimizing hate. That I cannot stand for. But you’re right, now it’s our turn to really do something about the marginalized in our society and stand up for our belief. <3

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