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This is the Country We Live In

Dear Readers,

It’s been a couple of days since the election, and it’s still the nightmare we can’t wake up from.  You’re not going to hear me being upbeat and saying let’s all love each other, let’s work together and give more and do more.  I’m wallowing.  It’s not the right thing to do, but that’s where I am.

It hurts all the more because I was really, genuinely excited about a Hillary presidency.  Not just because she’s a woman, but because she’s smart, capable, and for years has stood up to the many people who would knock her down.  And maybe, a little bit, because she’s geeky and awkward like a lot of us.  I kept saying, she doesn’t have to be a great campaigner, she has to be a great President.  And she would have been.  But it wasn’t enough to get her there.

Hillary stood for the things I care about – health care, child welfare, civil rights, environmental protection, gun control.  Trump stands for the things I fear the most – hate, violence, and oppression.

So we’ve elected a racist, sexist idiot with the maturity of a five-year-old to run our country.  It helps a little that Hillary won the popular vote, but not much.  It doesn’t help that only 25 percent of this country’s adults voted for this horrible, horrible man.  They voted.  The 50 percent who sat this one out didn’t.  And sadly, the people of this country didn’t just vote for this horrible, horrible man, they voted for GOP governors, Representatives, and Senators.

So it’s no consolation that maybe Trump doesn’t really believe half the things he said on the campaign trail, and he’s not really a Republican.  Because the others running the country believe those things.  And from the looks of it, the people Trump will appoint to the highest positions in government believe those things.

I realize I don’t have as much to fear as others.  Muslim and Latino children are being beaten and harassed in their schools, immigrants may have members of their families deported, and we now have a Vice-President who champions conversion therapy.  I’m the daughter of an immigrant myself, but like our soon-to-be First Lady, my family are white immigrants, and not the target of people’s hate (although I’m a Jew, so we’re targets as well, just not in the same way).

Also, I now work for this deplorable man.  Next week the transition begins.  I worked for the George W. administration and it wasn’t terrible.  It meant you had little or no say in any policy decisions, but you still did your job.  And I’ll continue to do my job, as long as I have one.  But I’ll have to walk past pictures of Trump and Pence every day to do it.

What I can’t do right now is pretend things are okay.  I can’t write book reviews; I can barely read.  The Book Stop has been at half-strength for a while now, and I’m sorry about that.  I believed that after this election, things would go back to normal.  But they won’t.

I’m sure in a few weeks, just like when I was immersed in my thesis, I’ll need this blog.  I’ll need books, and writing about books, more than ever.  Books are what get me through tough times.  They are a reminder that there are bigger issues to confront, that we are all a part of patterns of history that repeat, again and again.  They are a way to escape, a way to learn.

But right now, I just don’t know.

I appreciate the folks out there who are trying to get energized, whether it’s about civil rights, tearing down the electoral college, or protecting reproductive freedoms.  I know we need to pick ourselves back up again. This has happened before and it will happen again.  But, just like it was during George W’s presidency, the potential for harm because of this one moment is absolutely real.  The people who will suffer are real.

Last night we had tickets to a concert.  It was a great show, and I was happy for the chance to pick up my head for a bit.  But halfway through I just wanted to cry.

I don’t want to try to unify. I’m angry at my country and the people who live here.  I’m full of hate, especially for the people who voted for Trump, or didn’t vote at all.  It’s not a good place to be.  I realize that.

But it’s where I am.

I didn’t want to bring politics into this blog, and maybe it’s too late to bring it in now, when I should have said some of this earlier.

If you’re still there, thanks for listening.

17 thoughts on “This is the Country We Live In

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I am, too, allowing myself time to mourn, to anguish, and to regroup. Hope you’ll recover your strength and spirit soon. We’ll still need to protect our children and the planet. Take care!

  2. Oh, Deb. It hurts us all so much. That is okay. We have to stand up for the people who will be targeted, and we have to care for ourselves too. Sending you hugs.

  3. You are certainly not alone. I’m old enough to be your Mother and I feel exactly the same way. As a reader of history, I’ve decided that it’s a hell of a lot easier to read about disasters than live through them. However, I’ll keep raising hell and donating money until we turn this around. The saddest thing for me, however, is that I don’t know how to reach people who didn’t get that t doesn’t care about them — only himself. Their lives will not improve, but in four years they will vote once again for the next con promoted by Fox.

    But you are young and resilient. Use that brilliant mind of yours to reach out and teach the young how to recognize the con. Believe the acts, not the words.

    • Thanks for the kind words and the encouragement — and I agree about having no idea how to reach people on the other side of the divide. I don’t even know why they think he somehow represents them.

    • I’ve been saying all year that if I have to work for him, the country’s got bigger problems than that. And it’s still true. Changing administrations is a fact of life in govt – this just feels so much worse. I can’t even put the two words together: President and Trump.

  4. *hugs*

    I’ve been trying to keep it together for the past few days. And I’m angry at myself, as well. During the Bush era, I was very political, and very outspoken about standing up for what I believed was right. And during the past eight years, I’ve become complacent. And now I’m very scared about what the future will bring.

    It’s hard, especially living in this city.

    • You make an interesting point about becoming complacent. I was never much of an activist, but I try to support the things I care about. Now, my little efforts feel kind of hopeless. It feels like we were moving slowly forward and now we’ve been pushed WAY back. I’ve seen a lot of good articles about things we can do, though.

  5. I am so sad
    I just don’t understand what people are feeling that they thought that he was competent to be President.
    I am thankful that I don’t have children-

  6. I am right there with you. I am scared, in a way I never was with Bush/Cheney. I am viscerally frightened for the affects this will have on our country and our world for a long time after DJT’s gone.

    I think it’s okay to let yourself be sad, and to let yourself be scared, and know that everyone’s timeline is different, so you may be stuck in it a little longer than it feels you “should” be. (Also, I think with people openly painting swastikas, you have absolutely as much right to be afraid as anyone else because of your religion).

    The sun comes up and the world still spins. That’s what I’m trying to focus on, one day at a time.

    Be kind to yourself and be kind to others. That, ultimately, before activism, before anger, before fighting the power, is all that we can be held accountable for.

  7. Pingback: Figuring out what to do next | The Book Stop

  8. Pingback: Farewell, November: My Reading Wrap-Up | The Book Stop

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