So it took me awhile to process recent events, but I wanted to take some time to put together my full response to the results of the 2016 election, though I haven’t previously used this blog as so personal an outlet. Those of you who are FB friends probably have an idea of how I feel about it all, but there’s a range of responses out there and I felt that I needed to express my own two cents – if for no other reason than to get it off my chest.
Let me start off by saying that I do not necessarily contest the results. Trump won.
The thing is, I honestly didn’t expect it. I mean, wasn’t it obvious that he would be terrible for the job? The blatant racism, sexism, bigotry, stupidity — not just of his platform, but of the people that he represents and empowers, I’m just so repulsed. Frankly, you had to be a moron if you thought he would do anything but reverse progress. And I mean, I knew there were a lot of stupid people out there, but come on.
So I was shocked. It took me a few days to recover.
In retrospect, I’m not entirely surprised. I knew how terrible people could be. I just didn’t think they were such a significant part of the population.
And that’s the thing.
Ok, we can probably survive this. Maybe not without a number of (major) casualties, but we can survive. I think. And I’m trying to look at the silver lining that this outcome has been somewhat of a galvanizing force, motivating people to pay more attention and maybe be more involved.
But my faith and identity have been damaged.
Those of you who know me know that I hate it when someone doubts my nationality. I was born and raised in America, and being an American was a major part of my identity. So when “Where are you from?” became “No. Where are you REALLY from?” I would get more than a little irritated. Why? I’m an American.
And I believed in America. I really did. For everything that I am and what my family has, a large part of that is due to the opportunities that my parents had by immigrating to the States. I mean, that was what America was, right? Land of opportunity? Freedom?
I don’t really want to go into how (ignorant? self-centered? stupid?) naive all of that is. I know that America is not all sunshine and streets paved with gold — far from it. I did not believe that America was number one, not in its current state. But I believed that it still could be. I mean, it was good to my family. For all the terrible, I believed that America was inherently good.
I… don’t know that I do anymore.
On Tuesday, I found myself repulsed by America. I couldn’t fathom how my people would (or could) vote for a man who spouted such misogynistic, racist, xenophobic and climate change-denying rhetoric. Who empowered, even encouraged, vile acts in his name. That’s who was chosen to represent America? I’m embarrassed and ashamed to be an American. Utterly disgusted, even now.
I genuinely deeply hated people for the first time, no holds barred. No benefit of the doubt. I hated people. I can’t stand that I hate people. I hate that I hate — it’s so toxic. And it’s not me versus them. We’re not separate parties, not really. We’re all Americans. I hate them, I hate me.
What I’m going to do from here I haven’t quite worked out. But that’s not the point of this post.
Yes, I’m fearful and worried about four years with this president and his supporters. The debilitating thing, however, was how it affected my faith. I believed most people were inherently good and deserved a chance. I don’t think I believe that anymore. I’m no better than they are.
Maybe it’s a good thing? In the end, maybe I was just silly (stupid?) for thinking that way. I’ve always been taken in so easily by dreams and fairytales. I don’t know.
The world seemed brighter then.
I mourn being grounded.