As we all wake up this morning to the news that the unimaginable has actually happened, I am afraid. I am afraid for people of color. I am afraid for non-Christians. I am afraid for the GLBTA community. I am afraid for the immigrants. I am afraid for those countries who rely on assistance from the United States. I am afraid for my friends. I am afraid for my daughter. I am afraid for myself.
This election and the winning candidate brought to light the rampant racism and misogyny that exists in this country, and it is scary. White men, especially educated and middle to upper middle class white men, deny its existence. They do not see it because it does not impact them. Even white women in that same category do not experience it to the same degree as others. I know this, and I recognize my good fortune in that regard. However, my twelve-year-old daughter asked me this morning why so many people hate women, and I had no answer to give her. There is no denying the fact of the matter is that it does exist, and this election did away with the moderating forces of political correctness and made it acceptable to spew hatred at anyone and about everyone. This was an election about fear and hatred versus love and tolerance, and fear and hatred ruled the day.
I want to take comfort in the idea that our country was set up with three separate but equal bodies of government to check the balance of power. However, there is the fact that Republicans own all of DC and soon the Supreme Court. Can we rely on them to moderate the President when, not if, his policies are too extreme? I honestly do not know.
There is going to be a period of mourning in this country and rightly so. The President-Elect is a man who could not be trusted with his own Twitter account, who discussed his penis in a nationalized debate, who admitted to being a sexual predator, and who is facing a rape trial in December. This is the man who is supposed to be the shining beacon of our country, and it is absolutely shameful.
There will be a point in time where we will stop mourning, when the righteous anger that this has happened will kick in, when we need to stand up and let our voices be heard. That will be the time where we contact our Congressmen and Senators to make sure they are fairly representing their constituents. That will be the time to protest, to donate time and money to the causes most likely to undergo attack. It is not the time to sit back and hope that those in Washington will select the correct form of action. We need to do everything we can to ensure they do so.
In his Gettysburg Address, Lincoln said the following:
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure….
…It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Now more than ever, his words ring true, for we are facing a civil war the likes of which we have not yet seen. Millions of men and women have died to create our country, and we owe it to them to make sure their sacrifice is not in vain. Stand up, speak out, and let’s do everything we can to minimize the damage of the 2016 election results and protect those voices most in peril.