I don’t really want to talk about the election, and I am sure that no one wants to read about it, but because this is my journal, I have to use it to help myself sort out my feelings. And Facebook is an absolute suck ass minefield these days, it feels like a den of vipers waiting to bite your heel. Feel free to read on or stop, it’s up to you, Dear Reader, but I warn ya, this is a RANT. This is everything I’ve wanted to say, and haven’t.
On Wednesday I had to wake my daughter up and tell her that someone that she considers to be a bad person was just elected president. I watched her turn over and bury her face in the pillow. I’d warned her, and tried to explain the voting process when we were walking down to the voting booths on Tuesday, but I explained to her (again) that this is part of living in America; sometimes we get to see the candidates we vote for take office, and sometimes we don’t. I explained (again) that sometimes the president-elect says things and does things that are not acceptable, and that just because he says and does them doesn’t mean that she or anyone else should. I said that if anyone says anything to her that she doesn’t understand, she should ask me, but I explained that we will continue to do what we do – respect each other and our neighbors and friends, be kind, stand up to bullies, protect and love and look after each other.
I said that she would probably hear some things at school today, and that everyone would have an opinion. Everyone gets a vote, I said, and that vote is private. No one has to justify their vote to anyone – that is the beauty of America. I told her that no matter who people voted for, that was their business. We were just going to do what we do and that it was all going to be okay, that her family loves and will protect her, and that if she has any questions, concerns, or fears, that she could talk to me about anything.
I know that she will be digesting this for awhile, and processing it as she does, and we will have more discussions. But for the moment, she was okay. I held her hand when we walked into school and the kids in Y-care were having a dance party and everything felt normal.
Those are the things that I needed to say to my child, and she needed to hear.
The minute I left, though, I could drop my mask, and sit in my car feeling all of the feelings. I pounded on the steering wheel. I cried. I screamed. I wanted to punch the world. I wanted to punch myself for feeling this so deeply.
I need someone to explain this to me, because I don’t understand.
And I am enraged.
I watched Van Jones in a CNN clip and it made me cry. “You try to teach your kids not to be bigots,” he said. “You try to teach your kids not to be bullies. How do I explain this to my kids?”
So many people in this country thrown away by our president-elect, our lazy, corrupt, hateful president-elect. People with disabilities mocked. People beaten and abused at his rallies. Women disrespected. Sexual assault approved of and dismissed as a joke. Nonstop bigotry and intolerance. I’ve had presidents I didn’t agree with before (“W”) but I’ve never dreamed that someone who didn’t respect huge swathes of the American population could ever become its leader. And the most baffling thing to me, the thing I feel the most betrayed by, are the women who voted for him. I had several female friends on FB who proudly said that they were voting for Trump because Hillary is “evil” and voting for Trump is their “Christian duty”. Can someone please explain that to me? How can anyone who calls themselves a Christian vote for someone with so much hatred in his heart?
I understand that both the candidates were deeply flawed, but we have a president-elect who believes that he could walk in and grab a woman “by the pussy” and that’s okay. Even if that’s dismissed as locker room talk – and that’s a big IF in my mind, because I believe firmly that he believes it, has done it, and will do it again – what about the crazies out there who are listening to him? What about the unbalanced population just looking to pop off at an immigrant, or rape a woman, or punch a dissenter? Suddenly, this world seems a lot less safe to me.
There will be violence, and there has been already. There are already swastikas and racial epithets and mobs and women being abused for wearing hijabs. I’ve seen on Facebook people telling “whiny pussy liberals” to quit their crying and acting like we’re crazy for sharing articles about these abuses already being perpetrated. “It’s probably not real and even if it is, it’s not a Trump supporter,” someone said on one post today. Um. Yeah. Because it’s TOTALLY OUT OF THE REALM OF FEASIBILITY that someone would take Donald Trump’s hate speech over this election to heart. Let’s see – in case anyone has forgotten – the last time I checked the running list that the NYTimes was keeping – 281 people our oh-so-respectable president elect has insulted, denigrated, or abused. Actual quotes from his mouth:
“I’d like to punch him in the face.” – about a dissenting protester
“I’ll beat the crap out of you.” – about a dissenting protester
He’d “love to fight” 74-year old Joe Biden
He called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas”, mocking her Native American blood.
He said Mexican immigrants were “rapists” and “sexual assaulters” – never mind his own glorification of his own sexual assaults on women.
He has said that he would force American soldiers to kill the families of terrorists – including children – and when former National Security Agency and CIA director Michael Hayden indicated that they may refuse – since those are war crimes, Trump’s response was: “They won’t refuse. They’re not going to refuse me. If I say it, they’re going to do it.”
He has called women pigs, dogs, disgusting animals, and slobs. Someone said that about me? No problem. Been called worse. Someone says that in front of my daughter because “President Trump” says it and it must be okay? Game over. Someone grabs me by the pussy because Trump said to do it, that you have to treat women like shit, that we like it? Game over.
All of these things are documented. They’re not made up. He said them. And I know, I know – I hear it all the time. “He’s putting on an act.” “It’s a SHOW. He won’t be like that in office!” “It’s locker room talk!” Eye roll. “Whiny libtard, you are overreacting. Settle down. Don’t take it to heart. Here’s your head pat.” *pat* *pat* *pat*
Yet it’s so unthinkable to red America that his supporters might take that hate speech to heart and do terrible things in its name. It is gobsmacking to me to see anyone say anywhere that they doubt a Trump supporter is responsible for an act of violence. No one should be surprised. It’s going to be happening all the time now. Keep telling yourself that he isn’t really like that, red America, it might make you feel better but no one else believes it.
I don’t know what else to say. None of this is organized or makes any sense. I wish I could put myself together to write a more coherent, data-driven post. But right now all I can feel is sad and outraged. I just really don’t understand it.