This is the question many of us are currently asking ourselves. Ever since Donald Trump’s video depicting a smug boast of assaulting women surfaced, I’d felt comforted that Trump would never become president. In that footage, we Americans witnessed the real Donald–not that he differed very much from the public figure, let’s be honest–and his words were unforgivable, violent, and downright disturbing. I figured there was no way he’d beat a viable candidate like Hillary, and the facts seemed to back me up on this one. The polls shifted very much in Hillary’s favor, and they only seemed to backslide a little when the investigation into her emails reopened without warning. Statistics, research, and a belief in the American people comforted me enough to get through to the end of a long, grueling election.
I could agonize and try to figure out how the polls went oh-so-wrong, but I’m sure many news sites are accomplishing the same task with much greater accuracy (not to mention significantly more objectivity). So, I’ll table that issue for now.
Two days have passed since my hopes for a decent president died such a horrible, horrible death. I’ve had a little time to process. It’s time for a reality check.
1.) Donald Trump won the presidency. Electoral college might be stupid and our way to secure a voice for the more ruralized states, but it’s our laws. We must abide by them. Even if they are stupid.
2.) Everyone on the news seems strangely okay with this. Obama met with President Cheeto in the white house, Hillary’s already going on relaxing walks with her husband, the Republicans of Congress who’ve spent months trying to distance themselves from Trump are now congratulating him on a job well done, and the world already seems to be calming down. Other than the protesters and freefalling stockprices, you’d think it was any other election.
3.) Life for minorities is about to get really shitty. I say this as a minority. Not only am I a lesbian, I’m not a Christian. Plus, like many people in this country living paycheck-to-paycheck with no end in sight, I’m on Obamacare. President Cheeto’s already claimed that will be the first thing to go. Sigh. I finally have affordable health care while I attend grad school full-time and work part-time, and it’s about to go away forever. Thanks, America! Having said this, I know I have it cake compared to many others. I’m white, and I’m educated. That automatically places me in a very cushy position, society-wise. For instance, when I speak, others occasionally listen. I might be directly affected by whatever’s about to occur (such as repeals of same-sex marriage and Obamacare), but these are minuscule concerns compared to the other shit that’s about to get very, very real (deportations, trillions in spending on a stupid freaking wall that won’t solve anything, and an escalation of systemic racism that was already pretty substantial). Fortunately, the white working classes will have to pay higher taxes while simultaneously losing jobs as Trump tanks the economy. I suppose that’s how they wanted to “make America great again.” My point on this is–no one is the winner here. The difference is that it’s only the white folks who are deluding themselves otherwise. The rest of us know better.
4.) This isn’t the end of the world. It can’t be. As long as there are people out there who love others and are willing to fight, it isn’t over. Our country is founded on heroes with odd senses of humor, and we must carry on with this great tradition. So, go out there. Help your neighbors. Help your schools. Help the world get informed. There’s a reason that President Cheeto wants to suppress the media. Most of the people who voted for him are uneducated, and he wants you to stay that way. He banks on people’s ignorance. Rather than hate the people who supported Trump and (shudder) voted for him, befriend them. Don’t treat them like they’re stupid for reacting to fear that their white world is being invaded from all sides. They need to learn if we as a nation are going to grow up and kick out the biggest, most ignorant baby of them all when he comes up for reelection in four years. Those four years can’t pass by quickly enough.