Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Loss of Innocence

Donald Trump has been named the 45th President of the United States.

This is a post about how that makes me feel.

I know political posts can be annoying at best, hurtful and divisive at worst, so I understand if you don't wish to read any further.

I had a hard time getting out of bed this morning. And it wasn't because the autumn air was crisp and my bed was so perfectly warm, with our two dogs snuggled beneath. And it wasn't a result of staying up until half past one, a glass of forgotten Merlot on the coffee table and a racing heart in my chest.

It was because I've never been so overwhelmingly sad.

I cried this morning as I read the official news of Donald Trump's victory. I cried harder when I thought about how his presidency could affect my friends, my family, and my country's future. Would gay couples now be denied the right to marry? What about refugees fleeing for their lives? Would they be sent away? Was rape culture not only going to continue but thrive in a country where the leader thinks it's perfectly acceptable to grab women by their pussies?

It's sickening.

For the record, I don't see Hillary Clinton with rose-colored glasses.

Deep down, I can't shake my moderate core. And I still identify as a practicing Catholic. I voted for John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. And while my political beliefs have admittedly started to lean left over the past four years, I know I would have considered voting Republican this election had the candidate been someone else.

But Hillary Clinton grew on me. Not just because she was "not as bad" as Donald Trump but because she's intelligent, brave, and tenacious. She somehow kept calm during those terrible debates. She showed grace and patience during this election. She inspired me.

This morning, I mourned something bigger than a Clinton defeat. I mourned the loss of America as I believed it to be.

As the electoral college results began to roll in, I watched in horror and disbelief.

And today, I had to face the heartbreaking realization that Americans are much more racist, sexist, selfish, and hateful than I could have ever imagined. Apparently "making America great again" was worth the price of so many minorities' rights and dignity. It was apparently worth blindly following a leader with no experience and no plans.

I'm an optimistic person who likes to believe the best of people, and today, I just couldn't. It felt like part of my being had been broken.

Tomorrow, Thursday, I hope to feel more like myself again and to have the energy to figure out an action plan for how I can help spread positivity and progress. I saw that a coworker of mine decided to donate to a bunch of charities that will benefit the groups threatened by Donald Trump. How awesome is that?

I know our country will continue marching forward. We won't be ruined by this tyrannical man.

But this evening, I need to do some grieving for my own loss of innocence.

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