The Golden Rule
I’ve tried to keep quiet the past 4 days.
I don’t like carrying hatred in my heart and I firmly believe that every human is entitled to their own opinion.
That’s the beauty of a democracy after all.
But I cannot keep quiet anymore.
The world turned upside down on Tuesday, November 8th.
And, ever since, I’ve been forced to work through every uncomfortable emotion possible:
I’ll never forget how eerily and uncharacteristically quiet the streets were that evening as I walked home alone.
The walk was just a few blocks.
It felt more like miles.
The results had yet to be officially announced, but I left because I knew.
We all knew.
I let myself into my dark apartment, sat down on my couch and weeped like a coward.
I shut off my cell phone. I couldn’t bear to see the inevitable New York Times breaking news alert come through without warning once it was official. I wanted to hold on to my naivety for as long as I could.
I knew that dawn would bring a terrible reality and I wasn’t ready to face it.
But dawn came and the nightmare began.
In the coming days, I think many of us were forced to work through our own various stages of grief.
For me, it began with sadness.
I had to fly out of town for work the morning of the 9th.
No one spoke in the car on the way to the airport. The absence of noise was painful.
The air was just as thick with silence once we got to JFK.
It was evident we weren’t the only ones in mourning.
On the plane, the flight attendant attempted to hand out newspapers to the passengers. Not a single one of us accepted. We weren’t brave enough to face the headline on the front page.
The next morning, I woke up angry.
I was angry at every person celebrating this “victory”.
I was angry at every person laughing it off, not understanding what it truly meant for our country.
I was angry at every person in my life who I learned had voted red.
I was angry at every person and every media outlet (ahem) that was already normalizing this evil man.
I was just angry.
Day three and the sadness returned.
It was gutting and disappointing to continue learning that many people I love and admire played a part in making this man our President-Elect. Mothers. Fathers. Friends. Family. Teachers. So-called Christians.
The frustration came in waves and weighed so heavily on my heart that it brought me to tears. On multiple occasions.
And, though it almost killed me, I TRIED to see it from their side. I really did. But their argument was that they voted for this man DESPITE his flaws and, quite frankly, that’s an unacceptable answer.
When you vote for a Presidential candidate, you are backing their beliefs by default. ALL of them. You can’t pick and choose which causes you’d like to support. It’s an all-or-nothing scenario, especially when this candidate holds the potential to single-handedly serve as the voice for an entire nation.
A vote for Trump was a vote for racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia and bullying, no matter which way you spin it. Even if that wasn’t your intent, it is now your impact. You may not be these things yourself, but you’ve CONSCIOUSLY decided that these beliefs aren’t deal-breakers. Think about that. Your actions have given this monster a NATIONAL platform to spew his hatred. And you don’t get to take that back.
A vote for Trump was a giant “fuck you” to your neighbor of color, your gay best friend and every woman in your life. A vote for Trump was the most hypocritical move that any parent could EVER make if they’re trying to raise their children to be DECENT HUMANS. What does electing a bully teach them? That you can have a temper, mock a person with a disability, grab a woman by her p*ssy and still come out on top? You’ve just failed them. You’ve failed us all.
Ladies and gentlemen, Donald Trump named Stephen Bannon, an OPEN AND AGGRESSIVE RACIST AND ANTI-SEMITIC PROPAGANDIST AND WHITE SUPREMACIST, as his Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor. Guess what? We will all be paying this man’s salary. That makes me sick.
Mike Pence, our Vice President-Elect, believes that we should DEFUND HIV RESEARCH and instead use the money to fund GAY CONVERSION THERAPY. Yes, you heard that right. Our new VP believes that SHOCK THERAPY WILL “CURE THE GAYS”.
Please let that sink in. I’ll wait.
For all of you who think we’re just being dramatic liberals, rest assured.
We are simply Americans coming to the horrific realization that we’ve just been set back decades and that our beloved country is suddenly a terrifying place to call home.
I have tried so hard to not stereotype the other side.
As I stated earlier, I do understand that we live in a democracy and that everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
But this election has felt very personal for me. It affects so many people I love. It affects our children and their futures. It affects our families. It affects our neighbors. It affects our safety and our national security. (Reminder: this man will soon hold our nuclear codes. Reminder #2: he has the temperament of a 6-year-old. Reminder #3: he has NEVER held a political position but did once star in a reality television show called Celebrity Apprentice.)
Guys, this is a Presidential Candidate who is being PUBLICLY ENDORSED BY THE KKK. I cannot reason with ANYONE who isn’t terrified by this fact. I can only pray for them.
So, where do we go from here?
We fight for the causes we believe in.
We fight for equality.
We fight for freedom of speech.
We fight for our brothers and sisters who are being told they no longer matter. The ones who are being told in no uncertain terms that they’re no longer welcome here.
And we hold this man accountable every step of the way.
If you feel desperate, please know you’re not alone.
If you feel angry, you’re not alone.
If you feel enraged, you’re not alone.
If you feel scared – nay, terrified – you’re not alone.
It’s okay to feel this way.
And for as long as you need to.
I was raised to follow the Golden Rule:
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Donald Trump goes against everything this rule stands for. And, even worse, he relishes in that fact.
This bully may have conned his way into winning the Presidential election, but he will never be MY President.
And you know what?
America was already great.
Back from a 2.5 year hiatus to blow off some steam,