Cry babies, they say. Get over it, they urge. We must be one country now, they preach.
It occurred to me (albeit a little too late, if I can admit my own naivety) that people believe the outrage stems from people disappointed their side lost. Their team. They are likening a Trump/Pence victory to someone who made a bet in a coin toss and lost, resulting in some kind of tantrum. I can understand this feeling if this was a normal election, with normal candidates. I was terrified when Romney was running against my main man Obama during the 2012 election. I didn't want Romney to win! I didn't like his platform! I didn't like his politics! But I would have survived -- and, fine, maybe posted some sore loser memes and angry rants on social media. But this is different, because this isn't just politics. This is so, so much more. Sure, maybe you like Trump's policies and politics. Maybe you think he really is the guy to fix whatever it is you find wrong with America. I can respect that, as much as I don't understand it.
But to deny climate change? To pick someone as dangerous as Mike "electroshock conversion therapy" Pence as his running mate? To vow to punish women for having abortions? To promise to rid the country of gun-free zones? A man who has inspired so much hateful, racist rhetoric? The ticket that will undo my friends marriages? Take my reproductive rights away?
That's no longer politics. That's dangerous and downright scary. You see, nothing in this world is more important to me than people having access to their basic human rights and freedoms. Isn't that what America is all about? You can have your opinions (and your religion, if we're talking about my longtime nemesis Pence), but to make laws based on them that force everyone in this country to do as you believe? Dude, that's not America. That's not my America.
So, no, I'm not sad that Trump won. I'm sad that my friends marriages are in jeopardy. I'm scared of the increase in hate crimes and racist backlash facing terrified human beings. I'm sad that some day soon another woman will find herself pregnant with a dying baby just like I did, but her bodily autonomy will really be gone. No, Trump didn't tell his supporters to set out on day one and let the hate crimes fly -- but he emboldened the racists who always existed. He gave them a voice. He gave them their spines.
Maybe you can believe that there are other things more important than my liberties and freedoms, or those of my friends and their children. I don't believe this. I am scared for my children's future and not just because we have a President who wants to "grab 'em by the pussy." I think Trump is a vile, disgusting man who doesn't represent me or my America and, to be honest, I think Pence is 150 times worse -- but this isn't about their personalities (although I believe if Trump's remarks could get him banned from Macy's, they should also disqualify him for the Presidency) or their politics. This is about a promise to take away freedoms and rights from people -- and if that isn't worth outrage, what is the point of anything?
So, I am sad. I am sad because the country has become very murky. I am scared because my daughter is a person of color. I am scared because I am a woman of reproductive age who has stocked up on emergency contraception like a Pre-Roe V Wade doomsday prepper. I am scared because people I love are hurting, they're afraid -- and rightfully so. I'm scared that there are a few -- thankfully, only a few -- people I know who don't seem to find this very catastrophic at all. Do they share these views, or are they just that unimportant to them?
Are we really expected to say things like "oh, sure, void my marriage. We can still be friends!" or "well, they won -- so let's work together to become one unified country who will provide safe and legal access to electroshock conversion therapy?" Are we really hateful if we refuse to hug it out with someone who voted to take away our rights? Am I really supposed to not unfriend my longtime friend on social media when they say (quote): "I guess the black people will have to get out and get JOBS! #blacklivesdontmatterunlessyoumakesomethingofthem?"
There's so much conflict. There's so much pain and so much emotion because this isn't a regular election. We aren't pouting because our candidate lost. We're pouting because we are angry, because we are scared, because we are fearful of an America that sets us back 50 years. We are angry because while maybe you will scoot by unscathed, not all of us will. We're disappointed that all of the sudden, following a Trump/Pence win, we have friends who don't see the horror in someone ripping a woman's hijab off or grabbing another unsuspecting woman by the vagina at a gas station. What is more important than civil rights? What is more important than human rights and bodily autonomy and equality? It's sad to me that other people actually have an answer they feel is valid because I thought so much higher of society as a whole. (That's probably just my white privilege showing.)
My friends and I aren't sore losers. We aren't bitter. We don't have to "get over it." When someone tells you they promise to invalidate your basic human rights, you're not going to just shrug and say "well, that's life." Or maybe you would. But I won't. Pence can take back Roe V. Wade from my cold, dead ovaries. We see the racism and we're raising you some angry, strong activism.
And in my time of utmost disappointment in this country, that's my silver lining: I'm seeing the helpers. I'm seeing the fight and the spit and the strength and the fire in the bellies of the people around me. I'm seeing the camaraderie and the compassion and the spirit in those closest to me. No, it doesn't erase the punch-in-the-gut of seeing people you assumed you were normal suddenly fly off their racist handles on social media, but it gives me hope. And right now, hope is all we have.
Perhaps in four years, if we survive, our Trudeau will come.