I’ve been working up to this blog for some time now. It’s not an easy one to put down on paper, purely because currently, I’m not only submersed in the five stages of grief but I’m bouncing between them with such maniacal ferocity that I feel like a steel ball in a pinball machine. At the moment, I’m wedged somewhere between anger and… well, anger. And to be honest, denial at this point would be a luxury. In fact, if I could somehow master denial, perhaps none of what took place on November 8th would hurt so damn badly.
Like many, I’m awash in such profound misunderstanding, confusion, anger and frustration that it’s hard to know what to delve into first. Firstly, let’s take the anger. Like many out there, who voted for that man (I refuse to call him President elect, call that what you may), I’m viciously angry.. but perhaps for different reasons. I'm angry that people bought what he was selling, that they were duped, and fooled into thinking he spoke for anything but their worst selves. Do I understand that a large part of our population feels disenfranchised? Of course I do. Do I feel like they are fearful of being able to put food on their table, feel like they've been robbed, and that no one hears them? Again, yes, yes and yes. I have those same fears believe it or not (yes, us liberals have money worries too), but do I feel like Trump is their answer? Of course not. Do I feel like they were sold a bill of such bullshit that they’re going to wake up in four years, choking on it? Definitely.
But moreover, instead of that man, simply saying, 'I hear you, and I’m going to change things because I fancy myself as outside of the establishment' (um, folks, anyone that lives in a palace made of gold is NOT anti-establishment. He's the 1% like it or not) he had to steep his entire platform in hate and inspire people to bring out the most deplorable parts of themselves. In fact, he made hate and bigotry in all forms, the engine for his entire campaign. He used fear, fear of the man or woman down the street who is a different colour than you to galvanize his fan base, and not only is that flat out dangerous, but it’s an egregious smokescreen from the truth. The fact is, the man or woman that lives next door, (but perhaps doesn’t look like you) is in fact, just as disenfranchised as you are. In fact, probably more so. They too are trying to put food on their table. They too are trying to figure out when we as a people lost control so profoundly. They too are trying to get from sun up to sun down without losing their dignity and life savings to the tax man. They too share your pain, frustration and disillusionment.
Herein lies the other problem for me, I get the anger, I do. But the anger is misplaced. The anger should be at your government, not your fellow citizen. It should be at the 1% who rule this planet and covet their wealth like a baby with a new toy. It should be at the banks, the drug companies and those that sit in congress fighting like children and literally bend us citizens over a table time and time again and ask us to just take it. And we do. That’s the sad part. We take it, and we blame all the wrong people and things for what ails us. We've become complacent and uneducated and misinformed and we then wonder why one man at the helm can't fix everything (cause, well, the man isn't a woman. A woman would get in their and sort this shit out. But we've seen that people are way too fearful of that idea if the woman doesn't smile and wear the right outfit).
The reality is, that man is not going to fix what ails you. He is not going to put more food on the table (you can tell yourself he is by bringing your jobs back and building walls, but let’s see how the next four years go, shall we) and he is definitely not going to be anti-establishment. In fact, he’s already aligning his cabinet with ‘establishment.’ Old guards that play politics and have a PhD in screwing over the little guy. He is also going to learn very quickly how the game is played and that if he doesn’t play along, he’s going to get tied to a chair in the Oval Office.
And all that is expected. For anyone that understands how politics, and our government (really) work. And hence, why we should be really and truly angry. Because nothing gets done, the infighting stumps progress and we the citizens are the casualties, time and time again.
But here is what I can’t (and won’t do). I won’t accept that this is now the new normal. I won’t accept that he is my President. Call it what you want, (sour grapes, sour loser, bleeding liberal), but for me, from where I sit, the day we as a nation accept a leader that engages in bigotry, racism, sexism and misogyny in such an overt manner, and furthermore, incites his fan base to do the same (and then conveniently wants us to forget as soon as he hits the White House gates) well, I simply won’t do it. I will hold you accountable. I will demand you apologize if you want me to give you a fraction of my time or respect. I will demand you do and be better.
At the moment, I am relishing the hurt. As much as I want to scream from the rooftops that the world has literally rolled off its axis into a pit of black, cancerous tar, I’m too consumed with the feeling of impending action. Must ACT NOW. I’ve never felt the feeling stronger to act, to educate, and to get involved. It has turned me into a feminist and political animal (let’s be frank, I was never not a feminist). Will I reach across the proverbial aisle and try to listen to the opposing viewpoints, always. There is always something to learn from those that think differently and as my friend says, no one should live in an echo chamber (I live with my husband, all he and I do is fight about politics because we don't always agree). But what I don’t do is fool myself. If someone wants to tell me how much they love their assault rifle and that Obama started racism and that Muslims should be deported, well, he/she and I will have NO common ground. And I’m fine with that. As far as educating or trying to reach someone that is that steeped in bigotry, there is simply no point. Me and the Klansman from Kentucky are never breaking bread, let's just forget that notion.
But what I will do is try to my utmost to stand my ground (this is not the acceptance stage, in fact, I hope I never reach the acceptance stage again), to spread the word, to get involved and put the message out there that we as humans can do better. That fear is what separates us, not our skin colour, religion or economic background, that the planet needs us now more than ever, that hate only drains us of energy. And we need that energy more than ever, to bring about change.
As for that man, appoint who you want, pass what you want, tweet what you want, you will never speak for me. And I hope in time, we as a country realize that such speech is not only dangerous, but it is only there to divide us further. And a divided people are much less powerful than a citizenry that works together to take back what is rightfully theirs.