I got my hopes up, because of course I did. I think most of us got our hopes up when it came to this election and I’m sure most of us are feeling similar feelings right now. We don’t know the results, and we might not know the results of the presidential election until many days from now; but the fact that there are still Americans voting in favor of racism, transphobia, white supremacy, homophobia and every other hateful piece of rhetoric that has been spewed from the mouth, and fingers of our deplorable “leader” is disheartening at best, and making us consider sneaking into Canada at worst.
The disheartening thing isn’t even that the tangerine toddler sitting in the White House with twitter at his fingertips continues to lie to, deceive and belittle disenfranchised groups at large, it’s that our friends, families and neighbors support him, and God forbid in some cases even agree with him. We can feel our efforts and hard work slipping from our fingertips as our friends and neighbors rally around and cheer for a man who called members of white supremacy groups “very fine people.” We cry for future generations of women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community and every other person affected by the complete disdain for the value of their lives. We want to scream because our friends and neighbors aren’t listening, or worse, they don’t care. They tell us they respect our “political opinions” and ask why we can’t or won’t respect theirs. But what they seem to misunderstand is that this goes beyond political opinions, that this administration has for the last 4 years worked to dismantle the rights and protections of so many of us and will continue to do so if they somehow win this election. This goes beyond a political opinion, this is a question of ethics, of morals, of the very character of the people that surround us.
This has been a historical election no matter how you look at it, and many of us are exhausted from lack of sleep, from anxiety, from gluing ourselves to news sources and watching the map turn red before gradually pulling back blue as mail in votes began to be counted. We may feel hopeless, discouraged and angry, and we should be. But no matter the outcome of the election, let this be a lesson to us, the very people who claim to be on our side, our husbands, our bosses, our children’s soccer coaches, our neighbors and our great uncle Joe, need us. They need our education, they need our statistics and our explanation, and we need them, because hopefully deep down they ARE good people. We need to work twice as hard, yell twice as loud and rally twice as many of our allies to turn the rhetoric of this country around. We need them, whether we like it or not, to change their minds and their votes, to ensure that this never happens again.
Don’t give up, don’t get discouraged, and don’t stop doing the work on as small or as large of a scale as you can manage.
We can do it, we just need their help.