I’ve been struggling with the results of this latest American election for the past week, with little success. I’m angry. I’m hurt. I’m scared. Not just for my own well-being, but for that of my gay and minority friends and family. People are being attacked. People have been killed. And all I keep thinking about is how it’s only going to get worse from here. More people of color are going to be disparaged simply because of how they look, or what language they speak. People are going to be attacked because of which religious faith they happen to have been born into or for their lack of any such faith. All of this because some ignorant people voted for a thin-skinned megalomanic. They have validated hate. They’ve made it okay to call a person a nigger in public. Again.
After all the progress we’ve made, this is what America has become.
I grew up in South Florida, where KKK marches were not unheard of. Even in such an ethnic melting pot as Miami, we were accustomed to the rebel flag flapping behind some diesel powered compensation wagon. And yet, I always assumed that these were the outliers. That the vast majority of white Americans did not hate me because my parents weren’t born here. That if push came to shove, they would stand by the American principles of equality and compassion. But I was wrong. The minority voted. And millions more, who may not actually share this same hate-filled world view, voted with them. They voted for a man who admits to hating brown people. That provokes violence against Muslims with his fearful rhetoric. Who has sexually assaulted dozens of women. And you, the so-called morally superior religious right, have anointed this man the defender of your faith. Hypocrites.
How could any decent person even consider voting for such a man? I hesitate to even call him a man. Because a man doesn’t rape. An animal does. A man doesn’t hide behind thinly veiled contempt for minorities. A coward does. That’s what you’ve just elected to the most prestigious office in the nation. A cowardly animal incapable of self-control. And you find this admirable? The lone wolf anti-politician whom you all seem to think is somehow qualified to lead our nation, to say nothing about our military, based on what? His reality TV experience? And you sit there on your threadbare couch and smirk at the sight of millions of Americans protesting this outcome. Because we’re what, sore losers? Our entire world view was just shattered. The country that we believed stood for hope and equality, has just kicked us in the stomach and loudly proclaimed that if you’re not a straight, white, Christian, then you don’t belong here. That this isn’t your home anymore. Imagine, if you can, how that makes us feel.
For those like me who thought that the people of this country would never allow such a testament to hatred and intolerance take power; we were naive. We underestimated the fragility of the underrepresented white voter’s morality. It’s apparent now that they would vote for Satan himself if they believed he could give them a better job. Or maybe that’s an oversimplification of a hundred years of systematic stripping away of white opportunity, primarily by those in the Republican party. The same party that was just hijacked by a corporate sociopath who could not care less what happens to the people who just voted for him, I might add. Do you honestly believe that he will suddenly bring back the jobs that people just like him have been shipping overseas for decades? Does voting for him make you feel empowered? Like you haven’t been since the fifties. Is that your excuse for voting for such a monster? Nostalgia?
Whatever your rationality, you’ve chosen to stand with a bigot. A mean little man who is so lacking in substance that he’ll do or say anything to get what he wants. More money. More power. More attention. And you’ve hitched your poor disenfranchised wagons to such a creature. What’s worse is you’ve unwillingly saddled the rest of us with this moron. The millions of us who don’t happen to live in your privileged little bubble must now suffer, both emotionally and physically, through at least four years of theocratic rule. Through cronyism and incompetence. You’ve taken this country back by fifty years, all so you could feel superior again.
I hope the momentary fix was worth it because, for the rest of us, it’s unacceptable.
To my fellow devasted souls out there, stay hopeful. But also stay angry. Use that anger to fuel the engine of change. Get out there and protest. Volunteer, write, act, sing, voice your opposition to hate in whatever medium you can. We have two years until the midterms. Do not stand idly by and let the winds of hate blow this country onto the rocks. We are all accountable for the outcome of this election, and it is our duty as Americans to right this great wrong.
I love you all, stay strong and stand up against injustice wherever it may raise its ugly head.
Semper Pugnare Tyrannis.