I’m writing this more for myself than for an audience, so feel free to not comment if you don’t want to. I feel like history is made and it passes us by and we forget about it–and this is particularly true of Americans, the country in which I was born, the country in which my father was born, the country where my mother immigrated; Americans are stereotypically not very good with geography, other countries, or history.
Just to note: November 9th, today, is the anniversary of Kristallnacht, which happened in 1938. And not to equate a democratic American election with the Night of Broken Glass which ushered in the Holocaust, but just a note there.
Nazi Germany started with an election, too. You think it can’t happen in America?
We’ve had an arduous election cycle–something on the order or two years of yammering, inane politicians, attack ads, ridiculous rhetoric, and far more disturbing, large rallies of rural, working class, not-terribly-well-educated, mostly white people gathering in large numbers to hear a blowhard asshole with no class talk about banning Muslims, building walls on the Mexican border, repealing Obamacare, stuffing the Supreme Court with heavily conservative–if not downright so-far-to-the-right judges that they might as well be living in 1930s Germany.
I’m a 30-year-old biracial New Yorker. I went to college in Boston. So yeah, I’m Northeast, East Coast liberal. I’m a registered independent who switched to Democrat this autumn. I have gone to school and interacted with people of all races, ethnicities, religions, and sexual orientations my entire life. Yes, sometimes it can be a mess, trying to harness people of disparate origins, but I strongly feel that my life experience has been the richer for it.
I’m sorry for those for who don’t feel that way: people who’ve never met people who don’t look like them, sound like them, go to church like them, or whose sexual orientations or gender expectations don’t fall precisely in line. I’m sorry for those who aren’t curious about the wider world or the past or who are clinging to outdated beliefs. Because this goes beyond a little sideye to the unfamiliar–this is unadulterated hatred for all the things I thought America stood for and was still developing and standing for.
We’re a nation of immigrants. I know where my family comes from. Do you? White people didn’t just spring up out of the ground in Carolina, you know. Y’all came from somewhere.
Freedom of religion. Apparently, that only applies to Christians. I’m afraid for the Muslims among my friends and acquaintances.
Cooperation and leadership in the world. NATO, everyone? How’s that going to go? How are our allies going to respond to this election? How are our cooperation skills going to work?
Basic human decency. How about not making fun of people with disabilities, people of different races, not trying to fucking “convert” LGBT kids, acknowledging that women are people capable of making decisions about our bodies and futures and that we deserve respect?
After 2008, when Barack Obama was elected, there was talk about a “post-racial America,” which was utter bullshit then and has been shattered in a million pieces now. The president-elect (I refuse to use his name. You know it. It’s written in giant gold letters on the sides of all his buildings) was endorsed by the KKK.
When John Kerry lost in 2004, I was disappointed. That was first election I voted it. I thought I abhorred McCain and Romney. But this? This has gone beyond disappointment, guys. This election and its result has acutally caused me to have real fears. It’s made me see my country in a completely different way and I’m so incredibly sad, depressed, disappointed, scared, and angry that this is where we are as a nation.
I’m actually devastated.
Some people are like, “Well–we still have Congress to block things. We have laws to block things he wants to do. And we can vote out a lot of Congress in 2018!”
That’s not making me feel better, guys. A lot of damage can be done in 2 years.
Still, to quote from “Hamilton”: “Rise up. Rise up. Eyes up.”