While I know this isn’t a literary-motivated post, I just needed a place to sort through some of the feelings about what happened last night.
Donald J. Trump will be the President of the United States come January 2017. It’s something I never thought would happen, something I am still stunned is going to happen, something I don’t know if I am ready to witness. Despite the popular vote going to Hillary Rodham Clinton, the electoral threshold was surpassed by Mr. Trump at around 2:30 a.m. EST late last night.
I have a lot of feelings.
I don’t quite know what to say. Fear, Pain, Shock, Disappointment, Anger. All of these are some things I’m feeling. I’m mostly upset and I want to be really angry but I somehow cannot find it in me to yell and yell and yell any longer.
Today, I hurt. I’m confused because I don’t know what happens next for me — whether I try and seek refuge elsewhere for graduate studies, whether I just try and teach abroad after graduation, or whether I stay here and bite the bullet and do what I can to help.
Love. That’s what I think we can do.
No, this isn’t a post about how we should come together and unite for unity’s sake or for some American nationalist whatever, no. As my professor put it, I think the division in our country comes down to a very fundamental difference in the way we view humanity.
Do we think people are naturally flawed, naturally horrible people (in which case Trump is just a more openly truthful human)? Or do we think people are capable of miraculous strength, love, compassion, and empathy (in which case Trump is indeed a horrible manipulative sociopath)?
These questions have haunted us for a long time — and if you believe the former, you truly have a long historical and theological tradition to support your case. But I belong to the latter: I think we are capable of such beautiful love. And so I try to hold onto that, yea?
So where do we go from here?
I feel like growing up in a predominantly conservative community and family, I’ve heard a lot “Oh you’re just too young to be conservative. All young people are liberal. Then, you grow up and you see that conservatives have it right.” So what changes? It would appear this mantra has some truth to it, given the exit polls data. I think where we go from here is trying to pursue some change in the midterms.
Millennials, we are the future. We have to make sure our future is ours. That means in 2018, we have to take back congress. In 2020, we have to make sure President Trump is a one-term president. And we cannot lose sight of this goal, folks.
In the mean time, we have to be there for our fellow Americans. As a queer person, I’m afraid — of course I am. But I also recognize my own privilege as a white male. We have to be there for each other, our fellow peoples — women, queer people, people of color, and people of all different faiths. Unity not as a token, a check off the list of to-dos. A real, loving, compassionate, human unity.
Donald J. Trump is the president-elect. But the fight for equity, justice, and peace isn’t over. A lot of shit is about to go down. We have to be strong and we have to stay woke af. Read. Do your research. Vote. Love.