The past week is a blur.
I have wept more in the last seven days than I have in the seven years previously.
This blog is about to get political AF. Probably also as profane as fuck because that’s where my brain goes when I’m scared and horrified. If this offends you, I still hope you keep reading. Engage with me, let’s talk about this shit that’s going down.
This is a dark time. The darkest time I can imagine–hell, I think this lack of ability to imagine how bad it could really get is at the heart of what the real problem is. The country’s problem isn’t that a megalomaniac took the presidency somehow–it’s that he was voted in every step of the way by my fellow Americans. By people I know and love.
This is the hardest for me to accept. That people I know and love are willing to vote for someone who has promised to curtail the rights of people whose only crime is that they don’t look or think like them, in exchange for some nebulous ’change’ they think will better their lives. This is obviously (I thought) bullshit. Enough people will obviously (I thought) reject any promises made by a would-be tyrant as unacceptable.
I was so wrong.
I am so scared.
But I’m also encouraged by the fact that at the time of this writing, Clinton is projected to win the popular vote by more than 1.7 million votes. This changes nothing officially. These uncounted ballots are almost all in states whose electoral votes she already won handily. But it’s a good reminder. We are not so alone as it feels, sometimes.
I turned 47 this week. Leonard Cohen died this week. The world changed utterly this week, and while I don’t know yet exactly how I will resist, I know with every fiber of my being that I will.
Ground rules for anyone playing along on this blog. Respectful comments are welcomed, but this is my house, my rules. If anyone–anyone–attacks anyone else on the basis of race, religion, sexual or political orientation, ANYTHING, they’re outta here. If I don’t like your tone, I’m deleting your comment. If you make threats to anyone, I’ll report your ass. That shit’s not happening on my page. Also, please resist the urge to name-call. Resist the urge to lay blame at anyone’s feet.
Because at this point, we’re fucked and we’re all in this together. The ship’s gone down and we’re paddling with our hands in a lifeboat, maybe. A lifeboat with a big tear in the side. Let’s fix that rip that’s wheezing air out almost faster than we can re-inflate it. Because if our lifeboat goes down, we’re all going with it. Righteousness won’t make you float any more than being right will, so stop pointing fingers and do the work. And yeah, maybe learn to swim. (Try not to think about sharks, it’s not doing you any good at this point.)
Less metaphoricially, here’s what I’m starting with.
- Call your representatives. Call your senators. Call your governor and your mayor and your city’s or town’s representatives. I’ll get a link in here soon to help you find their contact info if you don’t already know it.
- Try to register your displeasure with specific issues. You can only tell your senator so many times that you really wish the democrat had won. Sadly, I suspect we’re going to have the chance to speak out about a lot of specific things. This week, I’m talking to anyone who’ll listen about the inappropriateness of appointing a white supremacist to a position of influence in the transition team. By next week I suspect I’ll have something new to talk about.
- Write to newspapers’ editorial boards. Cancel subscriptions. Initiate subscriptions–Washington Post won me over during the election, and I continue to be impressed with their coverage. Pay attention to the source of your news. High quality journalism is important and worth paying for. Feel free to sign a change.org petition when they pass by, but please don’t let that be the extent of your activism!
- Donate money and time to organizations providing services that will be impacted by the next administration. People are going to need real, concrete help. Be there for them.
- Also try to be there emotionally for people who may be more impacted than you are. This is terrifying for me–a white, straight, middle-aged, well-educated, woman who’s in no danger of losing her health insurance–so how must others be feeling? Don’t let your angst be the center of every conversation.
- Talk to people who disagree with you. Don’t unfriend them on social media. Speak with them–this is hard for me, too. But most people don’t see themselves as villains. Explain why we are scared. Try to get through. Keep trying.
- Organize. Pantsuit Nation is proving to be a force for good. Meet other people nearby who feel the same way you do. It helps. Get together with others and go hold signs in front of your city hall or march in a protest. (See you in WA DC in January?) As long as the protests are peaceful, there’s everything to be said for being seen by the eyes of the world to be opposing this.
- Stand up for anyone you see being harassed or intimidated in public, in private, or online. Hate crimes have spiked and people are legitimately frightened. Be there for them. Don’t make a victim ask you for help, just do the right thing and speak out, even if your voice shakes.
- Remind your friends that you love them and that you’ve got their backs. Remind your Trump-voting family that you love them too–we’re fighting for their rights, as well as everyone else’s. Bless their hearts.
- When they go low, we go high. Michelle Obama’s words are words to live by. Be gentle with everyone you meet. Don’t assume you know their struggles, but assume they’re struggling. Most everyone is, one way or another.
And finally, if you haven’t seen it yet, this video below is well worth the watch. And when you’re done weeping, go out and do something.