Tuesday, November 15, 2016

not okay

Dear readers,

I'm still going about my daily life, but it doesn't feel normal. This is the case for many people around me, too. I work with college students, some of which are devastated and frightened.

I don't hide my political opinions here, nor do I think I should. In fact, I can't stand it when someone claims to be "apolitical" because the truth is, public policy affects every single damn one of us, and anyone who claims to be apolitical signals to me that he or she is a person privileged enough to ignore it. Which is infuriating.

The president-elect is a horrifying man who represents the worst of America. I will not accept his rhetoric or his policies and I will do everything I can to fight them. Shame on everyone who voted this racist into office and don't even try to tell me it's the economy. The only thing Trump has ever been consistent about in his decades of public life is his disdain for women, minorities and immigrants; a vote for him was a vote for institutional discrimination no matter how you try to spin it.  (I have yet to see a black analyst try to explain away Trump's racist comments, and that should tell you something.)

Thank you, Jamelle Bouie, for putting the above into words so much better than I can.

Thank you, Van Jones, for calling out media pundits for their complicity in this whole mess.

Thank you to Whitney, whose eloquent, beautiful post inspired my own clumsy one today.

Thank you to every citizen who will stand up tall and refuse to accept Donald Trump as normal.

This is not okay. Will we be okay? Perhaps, but only if we face the road ahead of us and know that there is a lot of work to do.

I'm still angry. And if you're paying attention, you should be, too.

Gritting my teeth in solidarity with the struggle,

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

the day after

I'm still reeling and functioning on only a few hours of sleep. Around midnight when things were looking really bad, I gave up and went to bed, but I kept waking up and panicking. 

After watching state after state turn red on the electoral maps as the night wore on, I began to wonder what I'm going to tell my children in the morning. Bullies win. Experience and expertise don't matter. The American electorate is desperately short-sighted and uninformed and frighteningly okay with racism, misogyny, bigotry and threats of assault from its own president-elect.

I can also tell them this: take nothing for granted. Take one day at a time. And - as trite and cliché as this sounds - be the change you wish to see in the world. Today, I would expand that to say don't depend on others to do that for you.

Well, that's democracy. 

Monday, November 07, 2016

I'm with her

So, tomorrow is the general election and like most other voting Americans, I'm kind of tied up in knots about it. Thanks to early voting, I have already cast my vote for Hillary Clinton and I did so gladly. My vote wasn't just a vote against Donald Trump - someone who embodies the very worst of bigotry and narrow-minded fear in our country - but for a woman who has spent most of her adult life advocating for the rights of women and children across the United States and the world. Who else who has run for the office of president can say the same thing? No one in living memory, as far as I know. 

The Bush vs. Gore election in 2000 was the first presidential election I was eligible to vote in (I turned 18 a month after Clinton was re-elected in 1996). I was so nervous I screwed up the first ballot and had to redo it (it was the kind where you fill in the arrow, so confusing!) but it was a big deal. 

That fall was hard. My grandpa, a Kansas farmer and lifelong Democrat (yes, they do exist), had hernia surgery on Election Day and stopped to vote on his way to the hospital for surgery. The next day in recovery, when he asked the nurses who won, he didn't believe them when they told him they didn't know who the next president would be. He never found out because he passed away the day after Thanksgiving, before SCOTUS gave Florida, and thus the presidency, to George W. Bush.

As nervous as I am about this election, I do feel reasonably confident that come January, we'll be referring to Hillary Clinton as Madam President. This means my kids won't know a white male president in their lifetimes. It means that they might even think that someone who wouldn't have even had the legal right to vote less than 100 years ago can now be elected to the highest office in the land. That's pretty amazing. As flawed as the two-party system is, as flawed as the candidates are, I'm glad that my kids are seeing this piece of history happen.

I'm with her.