Why the Fear, Why the Grief?

For almost 48 hours I have been numb.  Although the fear was always there, the media stated there was NO way that Trump could be elected and then the impossible happened.  As we drove home on election night, I had the Ipad in my lap so we could follow along as the polls were closing.  My stomach getting sicker and my heart aching.

I have voted in every election and never has the outcome scared me so.  Never before did I care who my friends were voting for.  That was their business.  But this time, I was shocked.  Shocked that they could consider Trump.  Not because he was a Republican but because they could agree with what he represented.  How could they?

I spent over 18 years in a male-dominated world (law enforcement) raising three children as a single Mom.  It was tough.   I experienced the bias in the workplace, but I fought it till I retired.  Woman and their looks and weight?  I fought eating disorders because I worried about my body image from the age of 17.   Just recently I spoke to someone I haven’t seen in a couple of years and he asked me if I have kept off all the weight I had lost.  Really?  But  that shame and poor body image came right back.

I have great friends who are minorities and lesbians and gays and have seen the discrimination that they have felt.  I have seen up close the horrors caused by guns.  I cannot and will not overlook the things that Trump has done and said.

I didn’t know if I should talk about this on my blog.  But you know what?  This is me.  This is my blog and this is too close to my heart not to.  If you still can’t understand why I am so upset, there is an article written by John Pavlovitz that hopefully will explain to you how I feel in a much more eloquent manner:

Here’s Why We Grieve Today

 

I don’t think you understand us right now.

I think you think this is about politics. 

I think you believe this is all just sour grapes; the crocodile tears of the losing locker room with the scoreboard going against us at the buzzer.

I can only tell you that you’re wrong. This is not about losing an election. This isn’t about not winning a contest. This is about two very different ways of seeing the world.

Hillary supporters believe in a diverse America; one where religion or skin color or sexual orientation or place of birth aren’t liabilities or deficiencies or moral defects. Her campaign was one of inclusion and connection and interdependency. It was about building bridges and breaking ceilings. It was about going high. 

Trump supporters believe in a very selective America; one that is largely white and straight and Christian, and the voting verified this. Donald Trump has never made any assertions otherwise. He ran a campaign of fear and exclusion and isolation—and that’s the vision of the world those who voted for him have endorsed.

They have aligned with the wall-builder and the professed p*ssy-grabber, and they have co-signed his body of work, regardless of the reasons they give for their vote:

Every horrible thing Donald Trump ever said about women or Muslims or people of color has now been validated.
Every profanity-laced press conference and every call to bully protestors and every ignorant diatribe has been endorsed.
Every piece of anti-LGBTQ legislation Mike Pence has championed has been signed-off on.

Half of our country has declared these things acceptable, noble, American. 

This is the disconnect and the source of our grief today. It isn’t a political defeat that we’re lamenting, it’s a defeat for Humanity.

We’re not angry that our candidate lost. We’re angry because our candidate’s losing means this country will be less safe, less kind, and less available to a huge segment of its population, and that’s just the truth.

Those who have always felt vulnerable are now left more so. Those whose voices have been silenced will be further quieted. Those who always felt marginalized will be pushed further to the periphery. Those who feared they were seen as inferior now have confirmation in actual percentages.

Those things have essentially been campaign promises of Donald Trump, and so many of our fellow citizens have said this is what they want too.  

This has never been about politics.
This is not about one candidate over the other.

It’s not about one’s ideas over another’s.
It is not blue vs. red.
It’s not her emails vs. his bad language.
It’s not her dishonesty vs. his 
indecency.

It’s about overt racism and hostility toward minorities.
It’s about religion being weaponized.
It’s about crassness and vulgarity and disregard for women.
It’s about a barricaded, militarized, bully nation.
It’s about an unapologetic, open-faced ugliness.

And it is not only that these things have been ratified by our nation that grieve us; all this hatred, fear, racism, bigotry, and intolerance—it’s knowing that these things have been amen-ed by our neighbors, our families, our friends, those we work with and worship alongside. That is the most horrific thing of all. We now know how close this is.

It feels like living in enemy territory being here now, and there’s no way around that. We wake up today in a home we no longer recognize. We are grieving the loss of a place we used to love but no longer do. This may be America today but it is not the America we believe in or recognize or want.

This is not about a difference of political opinion, as that’s far too small to mourn over. It’s about a fundamental difference in how we view the worth of all people—not just those who look or talk or think or vote the way we do.

Grief always laments what might have been, the future we were robbed of, the tomorrow that we won’t get to see, and that is what we walk through today. As a nation we had an opportunity to affirm the beauty of our diversity this day, to choose ideas over sound bytes, to let everyone know they had a place at the table, to be the beacon of goodness and decency we imagine that we are—and we said no.\

The Scriptures say that weeping endures for a night but joy comes in the morning. We can’t see that dawn coming any time soon.

And this is why we grieve.

We don’t stop and hide.  We gather together and continue the fight for decency, equality,  safety, and our happiness.

One step at a time,

Anne

 

3 thoughts on “Why the Fear, Why the Grief?

  1. I can’t even describe the awful feeling I had going to bed at 3 Wednesday morning knowing I would have to tell the kids. Having to tell 4 girls, 2 that are brown on top of that, was an awful moment. My heart broke a million times with the looks on th faces of my oldest two. They have heard more, learned more, and have started learning civil rights history. They understood what it meant. Explaining to them that some of my family are trump supporters before thanksgiving isn’t going to be easy.
    I really almost lost all faith in humanity when governor mccrory was winning too. Fingers crossed that cooper’s lead stays.

    1. I can’t imagine how you can explain to children what we, ourselves, don’t understand. We want to protect them and kept praying when the election was over, all would be ok. But remember that you are not alone and we must continue to keep our beliefs strong.

  2. Good job and well said!. I forwarded that letter to a friend of mine who also voted against Trump and she “sort’ of just said…well it’s over and we have to accept it. I have seen a great deal on FB…a lot of gloating (which I just pass) and some with the same idea of “move on, we can do our part to make this a better country”. I understand what they are saying, but this “dirt bag” will never be my president..he represents all that I despise. How can we “do our part to make it better” if the leader has no values or morals and no idea of what he is doing and cares little to learn from others.

    Love you, Marcia

    Life is precious, life is fragile and life is short. Live each day with kindness & mindfulness.

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