On November 8th, 2016, a reality television star was elected to be the president of my country by losing the popular vote and wining the electoral. I also turned twenty-five. The disgust I feel for the anti-intellectualism, fear-mongering bigots I always knew existed - but hoped were limited to places like my hometown- reached a new apex and will surpass every other memory I have of my birthday.
Never in my life have I related so much to Lion Kings “Scar” who was surrounded by idiots as I do right now. People like the geniuses from my hometown who think this man is fighting for the common “work-boot American who ain’t got no food stamps like them lazy damn liberals” are going to eventually face the music when they realize he’s only concerned about smooth-handed men in pricey leather work-loafers and Rolex. An overwhelming number of liberals are actually wealthy and employed, by the way, good ole boys.
Violence is already breaking out against minorities, and people like me who are disabled don’t know how much longer we’ll have healthcare. People like me who are Jewish are seeing swastikas on storefronts along with the new presidents’ name – and they aren’t being ironic. Muslims who were born and raised here are worried to worship freely. Legal Mexican immigrants (and anyone who looks like they MIGHT be Hispanic) are being verbally attacked where they work. I hope they spit in your food and drug your margarita.
Last summer, gays were granted the right to marry nation-wide, and they are afraid to lose that. Women are concerned about losing access to birth control and reproductive rights in general while someone who has been inappropriate with and about his own daughter heads straight for the White House. This week we found out that most of white America doesn't care about women, including other women.
I listen to a police scanner at night and can hear scanners from all over the country; if you’re horrified, you should be. But what do we do now? The first thing, is accept that he won and people who agree with his rhetoric are on a power-trip. Who you voted for no longer matters. Start giving to charities like planned parenthood, LGBT+ crisis centers, and environmental protection agencies. Also important is to stop the idealistic thinking that “we are all in this together.” No, we are not. We are divided for a reason. These aren’t just people who “say mean things,” these are people are happy for the fear of other Americans. These are white nationalists pretending to be republicans. Stop falling for one-liners. And for all the “I hope he’s a good president, wanting him to fail is like sinking a ship we’re all on” nonsense is making me lose even more respect for the common mind. If he fails his supporters, the ship doesn’t sink. He’s failed a lot, so there’s hope. But his rhetoric is to fail- and I mean destroy - America. Because it would be entertaining.
Know your rights, and defend them. Defend others. Get a camera - not just your phone - and photograph. Write this story. It's one we're writing together. If you’re disabled, be sure your concerns are known to your doctor. If you take medication, see if you can get several months of refills incase the worst happens and we lose our health care or incomes. If you are any minority – especially racial or religious – and you trust yourself with a gun, BUY ONE. And ammunition. Go to firing ranges. Not only to protect yourself, but because when the NRA sees large groups of minorities stocking up, the avid hateful rednecks might calm down and stop threatening us.
The time to educate the people who elected and are defending this man is over. Believe me. They refused to be educated over the last eight years that they rejected Obama – who turned Yes We Can into Yes We Did – and they are demanding our unwavering friendships and to “respect their opinions.” We are not casting opinions about whether Lady Gaga’s new album sucks or not (it doesn’t.) We are casting opinions about whether human beings deserve to be treated like human beings, even if they are Hispanic, Black, Muslim, Jewish, Disabled, Female, Gay, Trans, or any form of Queer. You don’t threaten to take the right to marry away from someone and then tell them to “respect your opinion.” What you do, if you’re going to hold such a backward opinion, is accept that you are not entitled to friendship and people are entitled to see you for what you are and distance themselves. You don’t put someone in a cage for looking different from you and then tell them to “grow up and respect different opinions.”
That’s not how it works.
And remember, patriotism is loyalty to real-estate; you do not have to stay in America. I married a Canadian so while that would be the easiest option for MY family, there is a whole world out there and yet again, fools seem to think planes and passports are things of fiction.
Be vigilant and stick together, but do not feel like a bigot is entitled to your friendship or support. They have spoken. And now it’s our turn; not in four years. If we went from gay marriage being legalized to electing a homophobe in a little over a year, the next election is too late. So, come out of your panic, and think clearly always.
Dizzy - horror author, affiliated with neither political party, Autistic Jewish mother.