Within 24 hours of the election, my social media feeds were filled with the crowing, chest-thumping, self-righteous rants of conservatives telling liberals that we need to “shut up and fall in line behind our President-elect.”
Obviously, that hypocrisy angered me, but I also expected it. What really pissed me off was seeing my fellow liberal/progressive/left-of-center allies spout crap like, “Stop posting about how sad you are, stop crying, get up and work.”
Who in the hell are any of you to tell me how to react to the results of this election? The last time I checked, I am an American citizen who reached her age of majority. It seems clear to me that not one of you has the right to tell me how to react.
Am I angered by the election’s results? You bet your ass I am. The fact that over half of all Americans didn’t give a shit about the results, don’t care about the future, and stayed home on Tuesday pisses me off.
Knowing that a hell of a lot of Americans COULDN’T vote because of voter ID laws, active voter suppression at the state level, and laws that disenfranchise them infuriates me.
But it’s even worse to learn that a lot of my fellow Americans think that a man who spouts racist, homophobic, misogynistic statements should be president. I was stunned to see that Americans supported a man who reneges on the terms of his contracts, sues anyone who disagrees with him, and mocks people with disabilities. A man who encouraged people at campaign events to threaten the lives of the sitting president and the other party’s nominee.
Truly, I thought Americans as a whole were better than that. Now, I see that we’re just as human, stupid, and dangerous as the most cynical people I know have said we are.
So yes, I am grief-stricken by the results of the election. If you think that sounds melodramatic, I don’t really give a rat’s ass. I am mourning the loss of the country I thought I lived in. I truly believed that, despite political differences and ideological lenses, most Americans were decent people who lifted one another up in times of trouble.
But for the left to attack one another because some of us aren’t ready to get back into the fight is horseshit.
And for the right to tell liberals that we have to behave in a more responsible manner than they did when President Obama was elected is hypocritical.
I’ve seen a lot of people say, “The election is over so stop with the political posts.”
You know what? If that’s what you want to say to me right now, then you can go to hell.
I intend to speak out MORE now. Because I can. Because I MUST.
My wife and I have a lot of advantages. We are in a fairly blue state, and she works for a company that is actively trying to improve its benefits for LGBTQ employees. We own a home and are fairly secure. We know a lot of people, around the U.S. and the world, who don’t have our advantages, who don’t have the safety net we do.
So I’m going to be vigilant about calling out bullshit that the President-elect and his administration do. I’m going to be vocal on all my social media about what I think when I see stuff. I am going to write and write and post and post because I am a writer. Words on a page or screen are how I interact with the world.
If you don’t want to see my posts, you have a lot of options. You can mute them. You can hide them. You can unfollow or unfriend me. I really don’t care. This is MY ONLINE SPACE, and I’ll use it however I see fit.
To the conservatives I know, I have one simple statement to make: I’ll toe your fucking line and fall in behind our President-elect with the same vigor, maturity, and restraint that you showed when the American people put President Obama in the White House. In other words, brace yourself to hear me critique your party’s candidate at every turn.
To my liberal/progressive/left-of-center allies: Stop eating your own! Some of us are still grieving. Some of us are still in shock. Each of us should take all the time needed to heal mentally and emotionally from this election. I trust that we will return to the fight when we can.
In the meantime, Jen and I are making new donations and increasing existing ones to a number of groups who will be fighting to stop any abuses by the President-elect and the Republican Congress. Because we can donate, we will. And, since I’m working only part-time, I will be more active in local groups.
I’m also going to write. A lot. You’ve been warned.