Thursday, November 10, 2016

And now what?

November 7th, I went to bed feeling confident and happy.  We would have a woman for president, my daughter would grow up in a world where a woman could really be anything she wanted to be.  And then, November 8th happened and I am...what?  I don't even know what to say.  I've never cried about an election before, but I shed some tears over this one.  I don't think even I realized how important it was to me to have a woman in the Oval Office.  As much as my disappointment at the loss of that, for now, what contributed, at least equally if not more so, was what kind of person we did vote into that office.

In the coming days, I will try to keep an open mind about his presidency and it's possible success. But, for now, I mourn.  I mourn the loss of a woman in the highest office, and I mourn the level of hatred and divisiveness this man has represented.  His campaign was run on hate.  Hatred and disdain for women, for minorities, for immigrants, for the disabled, for LGBTQ people.  This is not the America I thought I lived in.  This is not the Utah I thought I lived in.  But, it's our own fault, in many ways.  Maybe we think that the average white, cis, straight American male needs to quit being such a baby about their loss of position, because the new social order is bringing them to the level of everyone else, and they don't like that.  While it's hard to sympathize with someone who has been at the top forever and now has to join the ranks, we shouldn't have dismissed them.  We did so to our detriment.

I am sick at what he represents.  I am sick that good, moral people could overlook his utter disdain and nastiness towards anyone who doesn't fit his mold.  I am sick that policy comes before people.  I sorrow to see the real fear in the eyes of my LGBTQ friends, and my Muslim friends and my marginalized friends of every sort.  I don't know what to say to my friends who have children with autism.

What do we do?  I know, we need to try and unify and heal the country, but what do you do when one half of the country's "moral" values are antithetical to one's own?  How do I come together with someone who thinks "gays" can be "cured" by conversion therapy?  Cured of what? Loving someone you don't approve of?  How do I meet someone in the middle who says healthcare is a luxury and if you can't afford it, well, sucks to be you?  How do I meet someone in the middle who thinks "grabbing pussy" is ok?  How do I compromise with someone who thinks the government can and worse SHOULD control what I do with my body?  With someone who thinks that the needy don't deserve to be cared for?

The outcome of this election seems so antithetical to the Christian values that many in this country claim to believe in, that I cannot grasp how this happened.  Except, that I can.  Because it's how things have been for a long time.  I thought they had gotten better than this, but I am sorry to learn they haven't.

So, I will grieve for what I thought was, and then I will find a way to compromise with people. I will find a way to meet them in the middle, to understand why they wanted this and to find our common goals.  I will try to remember that most people are basically good and just want to work things out to our mutual benefit.  But, I am afraid that that isn't what they want.  But, I will hope that it is.  And I will not accept bullying or cruelty or misogyny or sexism or xenophobia or bigotry.  And I will work harder for what I believe to be right and good. And I will hope that in four years, we have figured something out and learned our lesson and move forward to where I thought we were.

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