When I was small child of 7 or 8, I used to write letters to the President of the United States. I wrote to the President about everything from the environment to kidnapping. Hotheaded from birth, I was always oscillating between extreme joy and extreme frustration about the state of a planet I had yet to understand.
My teachers and parents told me to express my concern to the leader of our country, not only because he was in charge, but because we the people elected him specifically to represent and exemplify the morals and virtues that our nation stood for. No matter the party affiliation, I was told that the President was a venerable, kind, fair, and decent human.
This week, I learned that I cannot tell my own children that a President is any of these things.
Don’t get me wrong: I don’t look back at other Presidents with rose-colored glasses. I’m sure we’ve had liars and racists in the White House since our country’s inception. Hillary certainly had a laundry list of miserable baggage following her around as well. But never before has an American candidate run so openly on a platform of hate. In the months leading up to this past Tuesday’s election, Trump said more and more deplorable things. His threats increased. He verbally bullied millions of Americans. He attempted to strike fear into the hearts of already marginalized minorities. And then, when I thought it simply could get no worse, we all heard audio of him bragging about sexually assaulting women.
And then our diverse nation chose this braggart to represent and serve our land and its people.
My heart and mind ache.
And the more days that pass, the greater the ache. Because now is when many of my friends are choosing to just “get back to normal.”
For me, there is no “normal” to get back to. And to try to pretend as though the world is the same is to turn my back on the millions of my country-folk who now live in fear of the other millions of my country-folk whose vote put them in this state of despair.
Bottom line, Trump-supporters: you cannot have it both ways. You cannot say you stand for decency, all while casting your vote for an indecent leader. It’s nice and all that you perhaps volunteer at church, maybe donate to charitable organizations, or even foster a minority or two in your home. Those are nice things.
It’s good that you served in the military, Trump-supporting veteran. We appreciate your service. Perhaps you thought you were being patriotic in some fashion.
And you, Republican, who says that you will always vote Republican because you like small government and dislike abortion. That’s good as well; wouldn’t it be nice if the government could be run as you like, or that every conceived child could be delivered from a loving womb onto a loving planet.
Whatever your justification, if you voted for Trump, you did not vote for a loving planet. You enabled the rise to power of a man who delivered the worst hate speech an American Presidential candidate has ever spewed, speech which today leaves millions of your neighbors fearing for their safety. When push came to shove, you ditched the hearts of your fellow Americans to look out for you and yours. You parted ways with common decency. And if you want the other half of us living here to find you anything but reprehensible, you have your work cut out for you.
To be clear: if you supported Trump, I don’t hate you. I can love and respect you as a being. I'm sure you are perfectly nice, and we can have perfectly nice conversation. But your vote stood for intolerance, which cannot be fought with tolerance.
And so today I take a stand with those that the Trump-supporters voted against, those that were dismissed when their fellow Americans cast their vote for a racist, sexist, xenophobic bigot. And I will stand with them until the very end. I'd prefer to stand with them peacefully, but sometimes, my stance will mean I'll stand up firmly and fight hard against those of you who put our most vulnerable into a more vulnerable position.
The U.S. is a democracy; I must live with the choices made by my country-folk. But I will not embrace this “new normal.” For every child who is now going to school scared of their parents’ deportation, for every Muslim afraid to worship, for every black, for every LGBTQ person....hell, for every damn sentient animal that can perhaps sense their natural habitat is about to be robbed by fracking, KNOW THIS:
There is one very pregnant singer/songwriter that is standing—and ready to fight—for you.