I have voted in elections where the candidate I did not choose has won. I was disappointed, or annoyed, or frustrated. I gave a deep sigh, thought “Well, that’s how it is, then.” And I moved on.
Not this time.
This time, I’m scared. This time, I’m angry. This time I want to do something.
Over the last several years I have grown into someone who identifies as a feminist. I think and care about issues that don’t affect me personally, but which I know are so, so important. I have cared about the environment I think since I knew what the phrase “endangered species” meant. With this election, all of that is threatened.
So, what to do?
I’m going to talk to people. I’m not going to be afraid to speak up, to have a discussion with someone I disagree with. I won’t be mean. I will try to convince them, or to at least get them to understand how I see things.
I’ll try to understand them. I may not like their choices, I may still find them entirely indefensible, and I’m not going to let anyone think that hateful bigoted speech is acceptable. But if I don’t know how they got to where they are, how can they listen to me?
I’ll fight. I’ll write senators, vote in midterm elections.
I’ll stay aware. Being white and straight, I don’t have nearly as much to worry about in the aftermath as others. Some have already had their personal safety fears confirmed and week has not even passed. And now a prominent racist is going to be on the staff, so this could just get worse. I’ll pay attention, for myself, and I’ll share, for people who didn’t think one person’s racist, sexist, homophobic viewpoints were any kind of a big deal.
I’ll have faith. David Wong points out that we’re still a progressive nation. And my generation voted overwhelmingly to keep this from happening. Some of the most popular media — Luke Cage, Steven Universe, Hamilton — is ludicrously, wonderfully inclusive. And loads of people are speaking up, that we need to speak up. That we need to pay attention.
And we will.
We can do this.
A few more links and videos:
To Friends and Family I Love Who Voted Trump by my good friend Rachel Heston-Davis
Mourn, Then Get Mad, Then Get Busy by Chuck Wendig