I won't write about how the electoral college needs to be disbanded, or how the American people clearly wanted Hillary Clinton to be the 45th President of the United States. I want to focus more on how this happened, and express how I am still stunned that so many Americans were willing to reward an unfit, hateful xenophobe with the highest office in the United States.
I wanted to publish a piece right after the election, but just couldn't formulate the words for how I felt. I was angry. I was disheartened, and I was scared. Not scared for myself, but for the many people in harms way under a Trump regime. He has emboldened his hateful followers, he has made it ok to verbally and physically assault those you don't agree with. He has used his own words to encourage his followers to be violent.
Trump got votes by exploiting and preying upon an angry America. He used people who were angry at the economy, angry at Washington and angry at Obama. He played to racists and to misogynists and after selling himself as the "anti establishment" candidate, got right to work building a cabinet of very well established Washington politicians. In the early days just after the election, I was incensed at anyone who cast their vote for Trump. I wanted them off my social media pages, and didn't want to look them in the eye. But I have come to realize that just because someone voted for him, doesn't mean they are automatically racist, or misogynistic, or that they hate LGBT people. I believe that many voters just felt he truly was different, someone who wasn't a typical politician, and who would create major change. I believe they pinned their hopes on the only candidate who seemed far removed from Washington. But what many fail to realize, is that even if you don't agree with his biases, by giving him your vote, you have said yes to his hateful agenda. You have said yes to racism and classism. You have said yes to sexism, inappropriate behavior and possibly (although quite likely) rape and sexual misconduct. You have given a thumbs up to traitorous actions and to foreign governments being allowed to influence our elections. You don't get to walk away from this innocently, simply by stating, "I voted for him because he's different, but I don't agree with everything he says or does" -- because, in the end, you said yes to him in his entirety.
We're already seeing an increase in hate related violence and the re awakening and emboldening of established hate groups. The KKK is more active than they've been in many years, and people are behaving in ways we haven't seen in a very long time. People are hurling insults at others with no regard, attacking people in broad daylight, and vandalizing personal property -- all while exalting the President elect. Every single vote in support of Trump allowed these things. I see your words, over and over again, telling people to just "calm down", "give him a chance", "it's just a difference of opinion" -- and how lucky are you to be that privileged. To be able to have no fear where he is concerned. I envy you. I do not share your sense of apathy, in fact, I am one of the people who has a lot to lose under a Trump regime. Where I go to the bathroom in public is still under attack, and it's an issue Trump finds to be trivial. He is uninterested in helping my community -- and uninterested in trying to prevent transphobic behavior from his supporters. While you aren't concerned with potential fallout from the election, mothers are begging their daughters not to wear their hijab anymore. They are afraid to openly practice their customs under Trump. Families are being ripped apart, the poorest among us are afraid of their survival, and the LGBT community is in very real danger of losing rights and having to deal with an increase in hate crimes. Women in very real need of the MANY services provided by Planned Parenthood are facing losing the only health care and family planning services they have been able to have access to. And the wage gap, and women's equality? Forget about it. Trump likes a woman to know her place behind men.
I could go on and on but the fact is, time will tell. I doubt Trump will last four years. He is unfit to be President, and he lacks the true motivation for the job. This was just another notch in his belt, and he will tire of having to do the actual work. I just hope that the damage done in the meantime isn't too great, and that he doesn't destroy this nation in the process. And until then, I refuse to support him. I've had several people tell me "you HAVE to support our President" -- and to that I say, show me all the ways Obama's detractors supported him. The very people crying out for us to rally around Trump, refused to support President Obama. They ridiculed him, disrespected his beautiful family, and threw roadblocks at his every turn. And yet after eight long years of unprecedented, unapologetic attempts to silence the opposition, the hatred and anger of this party won the U.S. presidency and are demanding support. This was not a fight won through diligence and working together for the sake of the nation. This was a fight fought and won on the backs of the most vulnerable among us. For that reason alone, I cannot get behind this Presidency. And don't let anyone tell you that you have to either. Dissent is, in fact, the highest form of patriotism.