Funny enough, I had a gift guide scheduled to go out today. It’ll still go out, but I think it’s a little inappropriate to be shoveling out gift suggestions for female travelers when there’s so much somberness in the air right now. Sometimes writing comes easily to me, and sometimes it doesn’t. Usually I let it out in my private Facebook in the form of TL;DR statuses or if I’m feeling particularly argumentative, in comments on statuses. I avoid discussing more somber things on There She Goes Again, because this is a travel blog, not my personal diary. However, this is a pretty unprecedented election, so I think it calls for a bit of unprecedented blogging. Just some notes I’d like to address to my home country right now.
To Donald Trump,
You have said so many hateful things this election cycle, it’s mind boggling. The minute you announced your presidency, you became aggressive and hateful, targeting a specific group of people. You’ve lied way too many times and appealed to the basest parts of ourselves in your fear mongering tactics.
I think it’s more than fair to compare you to Hilter as he was trying to gain leadership in Germany. No, I don’t think you’re going to unleash concentration camps and murder millions of individuals while fighting WWIII. However, Hitler rose to power in Germany at a time when the country was suffering from a total economic collapse and harsh repercussions from WWI. He was masterful at frustrated emotional rhetoric. He took their basic fears and targeted it towards the Jewish population. Whether you meant to or not, you began doing this the moment you called Mexicans rapists.
I understand what you want to do– you want to save the middle class, bring jobs back to the US, fix our staggering debt, and make America great again. I agree to all of this, and I hope that you have a Congress willing to work with you. I don’t agree with doing any of it scapegoating minorities, immigrants, or anyone who’s “different.” I don’t agree doing it making women and children fearful. I sincerely hope you’re at least willing to listen to the people you’ve offended and even scared with your one-liners. There are people genuinely afraid whether it’s you or the anger you unleashed in people who can hurt them. You need to fix that.
Your success is our country’s success. I’m not petty enough to wish you failure. Please surround yourself with smart, logical, and capable advisors to help you understand what you don’t know. As the new president, it’s your job to lead, so lead our country to a road of healing.
I understand why you voted the way you did, even if I disagree. That’s democracy. All I ask is to be gracious winners. How did you feel in 2008 or 2012? Think about it. Be kind, be gentle, and keep your frustrations to yourself right now. You won, and you’re about to have control of all three branches of government. You have the upperhand, and it’s your job to at least weather the anger of those of us who did not want this presidency.
I know most of you aren’t bigots and racists just like you know most of us aren’t asking for free shit all the time. I know you voted the way you did because you valued certain things higher than we did. Our economy is pretty dire right now, and I can only imagine how much worse it is in rural areas. For you who may not directly experience racism, misogyny, or bigotry on a daily basis, but may be struggling with taxes and debt and fear for your job, I get it.
All I ask is grace in your win. Of course you may celebrate, but don’t sit there and get angry at a feed of frustrated statuses or write a pithy, “Why can’t we all be positive?” statuses. It’s insensitive, and it hasn’t even been a few days since this loss. Let people heal how they want and can.
*SIDE NOTE: If you are, however, suddenly celebrating with blackface, Confederate flags, and the need to tell any non-white, non-straight person to leave the country, you need to sit your ass down before someone makes you. I try to be as understanding as possible about people’s views, but I have no problem letting my anger unleash onto you dipshits.
I know you’re hurting. I’m hurting too. I started crying the minute Kaine got on stage and didn’t stop even after Clinton gave her beautiful speech. Do not let people tell you not to hurt. Take time and heal how you can, whether it’s through anger or tears. You can protest, take time for yourself, and vent your frustrations. Be wary of the consequences long term (i.e. let’s not set anything on fire or start calling everyone “white bitches”–that’s destructive and spewing the same hate we’re afraid of), but you’re validated in your feelings just like Trump supporters are validated in their celebrating.
But now is the time to unite. Contrary to popular belief we do have strong leadership in our party. Sanders and Warren are two of the realist, most well-spoken politicians out there, and they ain’t going anywhere. Plus last time I check Obama, Biden, and Clinton weren’t exactly jetting off to a deserted island either.
We must also be gracious losers. If you thought your Republican friends were annoyingly pessimistic about Obama winning, here’s your chance to show them how to lose and work together with the other side of the aisle. I don’t want our country to fail, just as I hope you don’t. Stand with those who feel marginalized by society and make sure they know they’re wanted and loved. Make sure they know that the moment they made this country their home, they became our fellow Americans.
To Third Party Votes,
Well, you wanted a revolution. Here’s your Day 1. Start campaigning for whichever third party candidate you want to have a real chance in the next election. Social media makes anything possible, so start getting their name out. Learn some basic PR and start fighting to dismantle the two party system. I look forward to learning about new candidates who don’t get the press they deserve.
To Bernie Sanders + Elizabeth Warren,
I luh ya, and keep fighting for the American people. Work with the Republicans, work against corruption and ignorance, and help our president truly make America great again. I look forward to all you and the new Congress will achieve. There’s some fresh blood in there, and anything is possible.
No, I don’t think you were the perfect president. But man, am I gonna miss you and Biden in office if only for the fantastic Bibama bromance. I’m really not thinking about it just yet.
To Anti-Abortion Voters,
I feel like I need to target you specifically. PRO-CHOICE DOES. NOT. MEAN. PRO-ABORTION. IT NEVER HAS AND IT NEVER WILL, AND YOU NEED TO WRAP YOUR HEAD AROUND THAT FACT. No candidate was ever “pro-abortion” because most people are not “pro-abortion.” It’s a very personal decision that belongs to the woman making it. Stop trying to make it unsafe. Did you not watch Dirty Dancing? Remember how painful and scarring that experience was for Penny? Now imagine how much worse it is for millions of women.
You are a great country, and I will always, ALWAYS be proud to call myself American. We will get through this rough election that has exposed some very deep divides and hatred. We will all learn and heal and grow stronger.
To women, minorities, disabled, and/or LGBTQ people,
I stand with you, I will always stand with you, and I swear to Lord Jesus in heaven if I witness hatred towards any of you, I will do my very best to protect you as I hope you do for me. You are not alone. This is a country that welcomes you. Forever and always, you will be Americans. Love will always trump hate.
And Finally, to the One and Only Hillary Rodham Clinton,
Oh man, there’s so much I want to say, but this post is already so long. No you weren’t my first Democratic choice, and yes I’m dismayed by the big mistakes you made when you had power. I will never understand your devotion to Bill or the apparent cruelty you showed to the women he was with or abused, but it’s not my place to understand. It’s your marriage, not mine. I don’t know what you went through to be able to stay with him, and I won’t pretend to know any growth or repentance he has done to still deserve you. I cringe at some of the stupid things you said this election cycle, but I know you did too.
Your life story is nothing short of inspiring. My heart breaks more out of thinking of your sadness than anything else. To get so close, to be so deserving… you will always be remembered as the woman who really and truly paved the road to our first female president. Yes, there have been a few candidates before you, but none with so much attention or influence. Our first female president will learn from your triumphs, your struggles, and even your mistakes. When she takes her oath, no doubt she will mention your name as an inspiration. I pray you’re there to witness it in person. I was honored to vote for you, and I was honored to passionately support you as the Democratic candidate.
It took me a while to understand this wasn’t a power grab for you. You really do care about America and its people and becoming president was merely the culmination of that. You loved America, and I know you’ll keep working for us after this loss. If you don’t that’s okay too, enjoy your accomplishments and your grandchildren! And I want you to know, it’s okay to unleash the badass, wholly authentic Hillary Rodham ;)
And with that, I close my political thoughts on this blog.
Photo by Michael Browning via Unsplash