I know I said that I wouldn’t be writing to you this month, but I woke up this morning, after the election, to discover that Donald Trump will become president. I listened to his acceptance speech and was surprised by the shift in his tone to inclusiveness. But I was agog.
I have no pictures for today’s post because I actually have been diligently writing and because today I am a wreck. I have had to, and will have to, talk to Spaniards whom were seriously concerned that Trump would become president. “Is that a real possibility?”
“No,” I had said. So. Many. Times. The person they feared is now going to be in office and Jazmin and I have to be cultural ambassadors to these people. Now a man who has run on not just policy, which is easier to get over, but ideologies that are completely different from my own is about to be in one of the most powerful positions in the world. A man who has bragged about sexually assaulting women, mocked the disabled, called for a ban on a people because of their religion, and so many things that brought this election down to a baser level than I would’ve ever believed of a presidential race.
Some of the posts I’ve seen call people who vote for Trump bigots or racists– which is not necessarily true. I’m sure there are a lot of reasons that someone would vote for him, though I’m not sure what they are exactly considering almost every expert and economist has said that his plans would go worse for the US. Regardless of why else a person voted for him, they had to look at all the stuff that he has done and say, “I’m okay with that.”
I literally wept this morning because a man whose primary platform has been built on hate, regardless of whether the people who voted for him also hate. It’s true, we don’t know what he’ll really do or get try to do. We can wait and see. But if he manages to complete even 60% of the things he has said, he will be reshaping America into a place I don’t know I would feel safe raising my kids, who will have Latin American heritage, in. What will happen to my Dads and their marriage? This is the worst news I have gotten since my mom died because bigotry won, because Christians like myself will be blamed for what he does, because my country stopped looking like home. I truly pray that I am wrong, that Trump won’t be as bad as it has seemed, but I fear that I am not.
I have found comfort in hearing Clinton’s speech, Obama’s speech, Trump’s speech, and particularly the speech of Stephen Colbert while he was trying to wrap his head around this too. I’m not sure if he has. I haven’t. In each of those speeches there was a message of hope and solidarity. While I don’t have hope, I do miss times when democrats and republicans didn’t talk like they were from different planets.
If you opted for Trump, congrats, you won. Use the power wisely and don’t kick people while they’re down. Prove people wrong by acting like men and women of honor, by doing what is right. There are citizens literally terrified because of what he has promised to do to their families, to their neighborhoods. I am proud of those of you who have been respectful this whole time. You know who you are.
If you chose Clinton, I imagine you look and feel like I do: a wreck. So many of you have apologized because of what the country is turning into– which I don’t get because we lost. It’s absolutely not our fault what happens from here on out. You did your duty, your part in democracy. You also should act like men and women of honor, who are willing to fight to keep the powers in check.
Christians: love your neighbor. Each and every one. That’s the best way we can show Christ right now.
I hope that the next time I write to you I have found hope again.