The Aftermath

I am truly terrified by the results of yesterday’s election. More than that, though, I am deeply, heart-wrenchingly saddened by them. I honestly thought our country was better than this. I thought we were moving in the right direction, toward a more equal, loving, kinder, welcoming society. Did we have a long way to go? Of course. But we were getting there. And now, in the blink of an eye, it appears we have suddenly been propelled backward. I’m waiting for someone to pop up and say “just kidding!” but, of course, that won’t happen. Instead we are left with the aftermath of electing a truly horrible person to a position of great power. Only time will tell what will happen now. I just hope it’s not as bad as I fear.

One of the hardest parts of this is knowing I have a very bright young son who is just starting to learn about the world. How do I explain to my loving, accepting, go-with-the-flow son that there are some people who hate others simply because they’re different? We’ve never discussed race or ethnicity or religion or gender equality. I’ve let my son be a child — and, as a child, he has accepted everyone for who they are. He has played with girls and boys, children of all races and ethnicities and religions. He has not judged them. He has not mocked or made fun of them. He has laughed and smiled and played with them. And I never want to destroy that acceptance. I certainly hope our country has not done it for him.

Through this whole ordeal I am reminded of an expression I’ve heard, something to the effect of: the best revenge is a successful life. Hating Trump and his supporters won’t fix the problem. If there are legal, moral ways to change things, by all means use them. But I think the most important way to fight back against the hatred and injustice is to rise above them. Be the best person you can be, show the world who you are, and break off the shackles that lesser people try to impose. Together we are stronger, more powerful than hatred.

I hope we can continue to move forward. I hope America can be great again — but not by the impositions placed by a fearful, hateful leader. I hope we can show the world that we’re not ignorant neanderthals who believe in crushing everyone who may be different. I’m scared, but I’m trying to retain that little bit of hope. And I know that, no matter what happens, I will continue to strive for a better life, for myself and my children. I can continue to be the best person I can be, and I can be accepting and loving and welcoming. No one else — certainly not an egotistical buffoon — can change that.

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