To keep this post somewhat short and sweet, I’m refraining from posting the plethora of amusing and sometimes horrifying memes I’ve discovered as of late. Some are funny, some are sad, and some just aren’t worth mentioning. Let’s cut to the chase.
Was this election a shit show or what?! I told my husband earlier this year, when the DNC nominated Hillary Clinton as their candidate, “Well, that’s it. Trump’s won the presidency”. And Keegan didn’t believe me. A few other friends thought I was crazy, as well, but now here we are wondering how the fuck Donald Trump became the President of the United States.
To me it was very simple. We elected an African-American man to run our country for 8 years. What was the chances of a female president securing the White House for another 4 consecutive years? No, I’m not saying that people didn’t vote Hillary because she’s female, but the amount of hate geared towards Clinton, a career politician, compared to the uncertainty of embracing an unfamiliar candidate made the decision for some folks pretty clear. Some people would rather go with the devil they don’t know than the devil they know. Not everyone that voted for Trump is racist, sexist or homophobic. I know better than that. It’s unfair to sweepingly overgeneralize everyone who votes for someone. We all have our reasons and they’re very diverse. Some people, for lack of a better word, are tired of the establishment. And I don’t think Barack and Michelle touring with Hillary helped her suspicious image whatsoever.
What kills me is how some of my die-hard Christian acquaintenances voted for Trump. A few said things like “Trump that Bitch” while someone else literally said “WE WON! Start shipping the Mexicans back to Mexico!!!!” Sentiments such as these widen the gap between my former belief system and my recent Atheist views. I know that not all Christians voted Trump, but for certain assholes to post Bible quotes the same day they post racist remarks, I can’t even deal. Something else I’ve noticed is Republicans bitching about the protests. Memes like, “You can’t protest just because you didn’t get your way” really piss me off. If the Westboro Baptist Church can protest dead veteran’s funerals, why the fuck can’t Anti-Trump protestors express their frustrations, as well? I’m so sick of people trying to act like there should be certain restrictions on protests. As long as you’re not destroying government and personal property, who cares?
On an unrelated note, I was surprised by Trump polling better among African-Americans and Hispanics than Romney. Didn’t see that coming. I anticipated the democratic nominee trailing behind Obama’s successful run in 2012, but I never expected Trump to poll better than Romney among minorities groups.
The whining from the left threw me for a loop, as well. Yes, it is absolutely awful that Donald Trump will soon become our president, but our choices weren’t great, and no one was excited for this election. For so many white, straight people to go on and on about how upset they feel when people of color, non-Christians and the LGBT community legit feel threatened, this is not about us. This is about helping others process an unexpected turn of events, because we will never truly know what it’s like to live in fear to the extent that they do. I would rather Hillary have won the election, but truth be told, I couldn’t get on board with either candidate.
Several dems I know personally that voted for Hillary did so begrudgingly, not necessarily because they liked her. And I could care less that she’s pro-choice, pro-immigrants and pro-renewable energy. What I really couldn’t stand was her close ties to Wall Street and inability to empathize with poverty-striken communities. Her infamous All Lives Matter Misstep likely sealed the deal among some African Americans from the very beginning. We’ll never know, but at this point, it is what it is. Am I upset that Donald Trump is our President? Absolutely. Do I believe that he will follow-through with even half of his bullshit promises? No.
For anyone that’s wondering, I voted third-party. I knew Colorado would go blue, even if it’s touted as a swing state. With the influx of people flocking to this state in the last 5 years (including my husband and I), I’m confident our state will remain blue for the unforeseeable future. I didn’t feel the pressure to vote like I would have in Tennessee as a democrat in a very red state. If anything, my vote was more meaningful back then. But for the sake of maintaining a clean conscience, I went with a third-party candidate.
Keegan and I drove to Fort Collins yesterday and arrived around the same time a Peace and Solidarity Rally was set to begin. Christine and Jimmy met us at the Fort Collins Museum of Art for a free exhibit featuring none other than my girl, Frida Khalo (And yes, it was awesome). We couldn’t help but go take a peek at the rally, since it was only half a mile away. A small surge of anxiety filled my chest as I wondered, “Can I handle this event? How will I react if it’s nothing but a ton of white people down-playing their privilege, expressing their fears and frustrations in a community that doesn’t look kindly upon poor people?” I asked that we stay for 10 and leave, and everyone seemed to agree with this.
Luckily, the rally included a Muslim woman from Egypt calling for peace and stability and a few people of color. I shouldn’t be so negative and judgemental, but the irony is too difficult to ignore: Fort Collins lacks diversity, empathy and compassion. Everyone’s rich and smug as fuck. The Rescue Mission is tiny as to not attract more homeless people, and a recent behavioral health ballot initiative aimed at developing a new detox center in Fort Collins was recently shot down, because people didn’t want to pay a 25 cent tax on a $100 purchase for the next 25 years. That’s a drop in the fucking bucket! (Side note: Click this link to read more, and notice how the social detox center they reference is where I currently intern). I love the amenities and the night life Fort Collins has to offer, but the stench of classism smells worse than JBS in Greeley.
All that’s to say, the rally wasn’t terrible. We didn’t hear much talk of how to be an ally besides wearing a safety-pin, but that’s okay. I’ve enrolled in active bystander trainings, and my job revolves around advocating for marginalized individuals. The underlying message was unification, and that’s something I can get behind.
We saw some funny signs in the crowd. The rally was peaceful and relatively quiet compared to past events. We grabbed drinks afterwards at Social to cope with the Election Blues, as I lovingly refer to these feels. I don’t know that I’ll ever adjust to this new reality. I think I’m still in denial. Christine and I talked about calling Donald Trump President Trump, and it doesn’t sit right with me. The drinks numbed my feelings, and this was how I coped with the election. I didn’t whine about it on Facebook, I didn’t argue with anyone. I stayed clear of all the drama and am still taking a half-ass-Facebook-hiatus.
After we left Social, Keegan and I headed to their house for beer and pizza. Much like last weekend, this weekend was exactly what I needed–to be with my husband and friends and to just let it all hang out. I’ve been puttig out fires all week, tending to everyone around me with little time to process this for myself. So it’s nice to vent to friends and to finally sit down and blog. I managed to read Trump’s First 100 Days in Office Plan, but otherwise I’m still kinda floored that this is happening.
I could write about politics for days, but I’ll go ahead and stop bitching for now. I’m interesting to see what the next few years entail, but in the meantime let’s hope for the best.