It has been one week.
One week since we learned who the president elect would be and even though the lump in my throat and the knots in my stomach have dissipated, there is still some poignancy lingering over me like a dark cloud.
For me this election has been personal especially as a woman. A Latina. A daughter of immigrants. It wasn't about Democrats vs. Republicans or Liberals vs. Conservatives. It was about doing the right thing. It was about not letting hate win. There is so much at stake for us that my heart is aching and I'm feeling scared.
No, not scared, petrified.
And no, I'm not just petrified that climate change will be put on the back burner or taken off the agenda altogether.
And I'm not just I'm petrified that members of the LGBTQ community may lose equality rights.
And I'm not just petrified that women may lose reproductive rights.
And I'm not just petrified of the uncertainty of the state of our economy.
It's just that I'm also petrified that the most vulnerable members of our society have been made even more susceptible to hate and mistreatment. It's also that the floodgates of hate have been opened and it seems that the racist, misogynistic, bigoted people of this country who perhaps were once closeted have been given permission to come out and openly spew hate towards Latinos and Hispanics, people of the LGBTQ community, Muslims, Black Americans, and people with disabilities, among other minority groups. Then there are the children. I cannot even fathom being a parent and having to explain this to your children or prepare them for what may come. I am petrified for the children and the parents. And while I remain hopeful that I'm wrong about a lot of these things and that the checks and balances in our government will work the way they're supposed to so we can keep some of the freedoms that are in effect today, I can't help but feel like we are taking a huge step backwards, but above all I am sickened at the thought of the most powerless people in our communities being attacked.
I am trying to see the other side of this and how people who feel let down by the system and are tired of career politicians feel, but frankly I'm having a very hard time justifying the outcome of this election solely on those things. I cannot wrap my head around why people feel that electing a person who was born into great wealth and privilege could possibly understand them, and worst of all, a person who not only condones, but also promotes hateful behavior. All I can say is that I'm glad my dad isn't alive today to see this, I know he would be heartbroken to see this happening in the country he loved so much.
My only consolation is that I know not everybody has this hate in their hearts. I know that the closest people in my life do not have this mindset, not even a little. I also try to remember that nothing in this life is permanent, nothing lasts forever. Worse things have happened before. Our ancestors have endured much worse and yet here we all are. We are the product of the most resilient of our predecessors. So I hope as we process and grieve this loss, which by the way we are allowed to do, that we also hold our heads up high and stand with each other and for each other.
These are just my thoughts.
P.S. I found Episode '602: The Sun Comes Up' of the This American Life Podcast helpful in processing the outcome of this election a little more. It has stories from different perspectives of this election and it may help you too.