I lay awake most of the night, wondering how I was going to explain to my daughter that not only would she not open her eyes to our first female president, but that most of the country had decided that it was okay to elect a man who thinks that sexual assault is a joke. And so in the end I decided to lie.
“I want you to know that you are safe,” I lied, knowing that no woman in this country is truly safe. And they never have been really, but I had hoped we were making progress. The misogyny was never gone, but at least it was unacceptable. When it popped up out of the bowels of the system, we were all outraged together. Bragging about sexual assault, even if it was a joke, was not something that respectable people did on television. Apparently that is no longer the case. Children look up to leaders. Boys emulate men. This disease of disrespect that leads to rape and death is only going to spread.
“And I want you to know that I’m going to protect you,” I said, completing the lie. I can’t protect her. I can’t protect me. Who can protect anyone from the death of a planet? With a Republican president, Republican Congress, and a probable conservative Supreme Court, all environmental protections are going to be lost. We literally don’t have four years to wait this out. We’re screwed. There will be no future for our children. I’ve never been so terrified of anything in my life.
Perhaps it will come back over the coming days, but for now I have no hope. We were presented with the most evil candidate that we have ever seen, and the country overwhelmingly elected him. He loves neither God nor his neighbor, consistently breaking the two highest commandments, and yet he won 81% of the Christian vote. He has repeatedly insulted and demeaned women, and yet he carried the female conservative vote anyway. There has never been anyone so unqualified to be human, let alone president, and yet here we are.
One sixth of our country voted against him. The rest either openly supported him, or decided that it didn’t matter enough to them whether he was elected or not, and so didn’t vote. Don’t try to tell me that this was only a small fraction of our people. This is America. This is what we want to be. I have said before that it is important not to leave when you’re in a struggle like this, because if all the good people are gone, who’s left? But there are exceptions to this. If you are in an abusive relationship, sometimes you just need to get out. I’m not saying that I’m applying for Canadian citizenship today, but I’m going to start looking at my options, considering my future, and doing whatever I have to do to protect my children as best as I can. I don’t know that that’s here anymore. Because I am definitely no longer proud to be an American. I’m embarrassed, and I’m scared. And when my daughter gets home from school today, I’m going to lie to her again and tell her that I am strong and that everything is going to be just fine.