We were all so hopeful. We thought we’d be electing our first female President. The polls showed her ahead of the opponent. Everyone I spoke to was excited to cast a vote for her, and mostly against him.
As the election returns rolled in, I felt more nervous. The gap widened and stayed broad the entire night. My friend and I tried to remain calm as we had hope for Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona and Nevada. We moved from drinking water to wine and eating salad then chocolate. As the night turned grim for us, we drifted to sleep and woke up a short while later to depressing and worrisome results. Our candidate had no chance.
The news outlets showed Trump supporters and Clinton supporters in their respective party centers. The Clinton people, diverse in gender and race, were crying and looked deflated in the same way I felt. The Trump people were all wearing red “Make America Great Again” golf hats and looked like a fraternity of Caucasian men. The crowd differences were surprising to say the least.
When I got home from my friend’s house, I felt a new type of fatigue and worry. I was stressed about women’s reproductive rights, racial relations in an already tense climate, bullying and of course the environment and fracking. I don’t want to be the laughing stock of the world. Will the new President be as impulsive and vitriolic as he’s always showed himself to be on The Apprentice and during the election? How is he going to unify this diverse and large country?
While he takes office, he will inherit half of the population who believes in marriage equality and does not want to overturn Roe v. Wade. Trump has pledged to build a “beautiful” wall separating the USA and Mexico, one of his early promises that galvanized many of his supporters. He has vowed to “lock her up,” hoping to carry on an investigation of Hillary Clinton. He wants nothing more than to unravel the US’ ties with NAFTA and the TPP. He wants to repeal Obamacare and leave millions stranded without healthcare. Finally, Trump has stated that he intends to place a ban on Muslims entering the country. These issues point to a reshaping of our country in a way that simply does not speak to me.
But I realize I live in a bubble in my cozy LA world. Watching the election returns with two dear friends who were equally despondent as the numbers trickled in, we kept praying for a miracle. But as the night dragged on, our hope turned into hopelessness and then worry and finally sadness. How could America have elected a racist, bigoted, separatist President?
I hear that this is how people felt when President Obama was elected in 2008. I could not have been happier and more hopeful. I wanted a president who united more people and offered working solutions for poverty and healthcare reform. Now I don’t want to live in a country that is so divided on race and general welfare for its populace. And now, I’m on the other side of this coin. I’m worried about living in a country where so few people voted and half of those who did vote, have felt underrepresented by the leaders we’ve had. Is this backlash? My big question is how will we all get along and feel seen? Who will represent my needs?
Naturally, the sun rose today and will again tomorrow. I don’t want a redux of the “good ol’ days” from 1950s America when gender and racial inequality was the norm. I thought we had been moving past this. It’s so disheartening to think we could be taking a major step backwards.
We need to reclaim the Democratic Party and find appropriate candidates who speak to us and can get elected. We need to fight for what we believe in and not make false promises. We have to support and love each other.
Here’s a post you might also like: Femininity? Feminism? Is there room for both?https://afterdefeat.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/modernfeminism/
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