As I watched the returns come in last night, my heart continued to sink. I just couldn’t believe that my countrymen would allow this man, this mountebank, to have the reins of power to the most powerful nation on the earth.
And, yet, here we are.
Part of me is unsurprised. I live in a “red state” after all and there is a lot of anger here at liberals who are “gonna take our guns.” Not a lot of love for the Clintons or “Obamacare” here either. But I really hoped that my neighbors would see through this charlatan and recognize him for the narcissistic bully that he is.
But that didn’t appear to happen. Or, at least, it didn’t appear to matter.
Because people wanted a “big change” in Washington. Something different. And L’Orange represents that. In a big, bombastic way. Nevermind the sexism. Nevermind that he’s been endorsed by the KK-flippin-K. He’s different. He’s anti-establishment. He’ll “get things done.” What’ll he get done? Oh, never mind the details. We’ll get to that later. As long as he’s not an insider. Never mind that he’s the ultimate insider. He’s a billionaire for crissakes. He’s got to be an insider.
But part of me is utterly shocked. Appalled. How could we do this to ourselves? Can’t we see what path we’re taking? The highest executive of our fair land is a raging misogynist, a causal racist, and a habitual liar. He may even be a sexual predator. But that’s okay as long as he’s not a Clinton. As long as he’s not a liberal. That’s the message we’re sending?
I just don’t understand. I thought we were progressing in this country. Now it appears that we are regressing and in a big way. I am saddened, angry, ashamed, and confused. I have friends and family in marginalized communities that I literally fear for their quality of life. I have had my candidate lose elections before and have been disappointed. This candidate’s win frightens me. I have never been in this position before.
All I can do is wake up each morning with the willingness to do the best I can for my neighbor. And hope for the best. Be vigilant. Watch for the signs of tyranny that are sure to come and fight. Use my privilege to protect the underprivileged. Use my voice whenever possible to speak against the over-privileged. Use this as a lesson to make sure things don’t get worse.
Because no matter how bad I think this is, it could certainly be worse.