Currently Listening to: “Mama’s Gun” by Erykah Badu
In a shocking twist, Election 2016 did not pan out as I had hoped and expected. I was boldly confident that Hilary Clinton would be our next and first female president. I talked MAD NOISE. I called out the alignment of religious friends and the support for Donald Trump. I wrote a blog post. I argued with friends and laughed at the “basket of deplorables”. I was well-equipped for a Democratic victory.
So when the numbers started rolling in, I panicked. I had not planned for this. I obsessively refreshed my feeds, bounced between different news sources and did my own math for paths to a Clinton win (mind you, I haven’t done math in more than 10 years). When it was all said and done, I felt angry, confused and numb.
How did this happen? Who are these people who voted for Donald Trump? Were they in my family? Were they friends who rolled their eyes with me with Trump spouted hate speech in front of an international audience? Did they throw shade with me when Mike Pence was selected as his running mate and Omarosa [No Last Name] was put in charge of a increasing the African American vote?
What does it say about the country I love?
I grieved over the next few days. I basically lived out Solange’s “Cranes in the Sky”. I drank too much. I ate too much food and didn’t even taste most of it. I managed to get along but I was completely distracted. I had been obsessed with the election for a year and I thought I would be released on November 9. However, I’m now obsessed with the analysis of the election. I scoured podcasts and the internet for answers. How did this happen? I want to see all the charts, graphs and articles.
Now, more Trump supporters are visible to me. Since Tuesday, online and live interactions of people proudly boasting of the Trump victory have been thrown in my face. I can’t say I blame them because Lord knows I would have been Public Boaster Number One if Clinton had won the election. Besides, they got the miracle everyone said they needed to succeed.
However, those who believe in equality and justice for ALL and follow up that belief by acting and making choices that support equality for all Americans got kicked in the heart.
My daily life will likely be affected very little. I am fortunate enough to make enough money to supply my needs. My employer makes my healthcare reasonably affordable, matches my 401k contribution and provides a pension that helps save for a prosperous retirement. My community is safe. I am fortunate to live in a diverse area and to have a network of friends who seem to understand that increasing justice and prosperity of those who are not like them does not negate their own justice and prosperity. However, it is not enough for me that my personal life wouldn’t be affected by changes to the Affordable Care Act, marriage equality laws and to government spending that supports families and non-profits (among other changes that may affect people living in poverty, people in poor health, parents, children, immigrants, LGBTQ people, non-Christians, Veterans, disabled people, etc). My values align with the idea that people should be treated equally and fairly and that people should be allowed to make their own personal decisions when it comes to their body and who they love. My values are that we assist people in need and nonprofit by providing time, education and money. Regardless of which party is in the White House, Senate and House of Representatives, I am committed to these values. This election result only means that I would likely increase my commitment to these values over the next 4 years.
Clinton reminded us to never stop fighting for what is right. The fight might look different for a few years but it won’t stop. Clinton won the popular vote. That shows that more than people than not officially took a stance against the hateful rhetoric and ideas that were public presented by Trump. That shows there an opportunity for positive work to continue on the ground level. Here’s to the coming years – the years that won’t destroy us.