Like most of the people I come in contact with on a daily basis, I’ve been in a pretty rough place since the election results were announced. I spent a few days crying and throwing up and gradually came to feel stronger. Then the anger really set it. I’m still pretty angry and I imagine anger and fear will be high on my list of emotions for at least the next four years.
I’ve been pretty vocal on various social media sites about how I feel about people who voted for anyone other than Clinton or who willingly didn’t vote. I don’t see my views changing on that. If you chose to protest vote, you are just as responsible for the outcome as if you had cast your vote for Trump. That’s it. You helped to put a man in power who will set back social justice and equal rights in ways that I don’t even want to think about. If that doesn’t bother you, I’m guessing you either are a straight white guy or someone who buys into conspiracy theories, has no class consciousness, or is an incredibly low information voter who doesn’t go beyond the headline or sound bite to do your own research. No matter which category you may fall into, I don’t want you in my life. Your vote, or lack of vote, speaks louder than any words you can offer in explanation. You voted directly against the safety and security of my family and there’s no way I can forgive you for that. You have demonstrated that your hate for a woman who could have, at the very least, be reasoned with and worked with was stronger and more important than the health and safety of anyone who falls into any of many minority group living in this country – as well as the effects that a Trump (or Pence after Trump is impeached and/or imprisoned) presidency will have globally.
But my intention here isn’t to rehash my feelings, just to give a little recap there for anyone who cares and may have missed my thoughts elsewhere. The purpose of this post is to share information about what we can do now because the days of not participating actively in our democracy are over. While we still have something resembling a democracy, anyway. There aren’t many steps to get started. First, stay informed. Stop relying on the vast majority of mainstream US news outlets. They failed our country in their lack of actual reporting and investigating and are currently working to normalize Trump’s behaviors and actions. While no news outlet is perfect, a few to put on your list to read are: Washington Post, Democracy Now!, Al Jazeera English, The Economist, Mother Jones, and The Nation. The second thing that we have to do is call our senators and house representatives. And putting Paul Ryan on your list is also a good thing. I’ve made calls and, even though the first time can be a little intimidating, it’s fast and easy and no one will yell at you. Here’s an article that will give you some pointers and there’s also a link in there that will help you get the phone numbers you need. Even if your legislators don’t act in the way you want them to, they will know that more people are paying attention and are likely to hold them accountable come election time. They are representing you, make sure they know what you think.
It’s time to get to work. We have a lot to do. Maybe some of those non-Clinton voters will realize the very real damage that their votes helped to cause and they’ll get busy working with the rest of us. I’m sure there are many who are already regretting their choice. We’re going to need everyone we can get to take our country back and to continue to move forward instead of backward. I want to increase my emotional range to include hopeful.