|So we hug our babies tight and spread the love we can.|
It was clear where the election was going, but I refused to believe it. Nick, usually the voice of moderation in the house, was gone. I rely on him to stop me from binge-watching a show until 4 am and being a zombie the next day.
So I kept pouring more gin and more tonic and slicing more lime. And serving my friend Andrea more beer.
This wasn't really happening, was it?
And then at 1:30 am, we threw in the towel. It was actually happening.
I woke up with that sick feeling in my stomach. I looked at my phone. It really happened.
The kids were all excited when they asked who won. And I had to say, "Trump."
Their first question? "Where are we moving?"
And I had to explain that that had been idle talk. Because Daddy's job is here. It was easy for us to say, because we never, never thought Trump would win.
Yesterday DC seemed like a post-apocalyptic town. It was strangely quiet. People were out, but very subdued.
At school drop off, everyone looked traumatized. India clung to me in her classroom.
I started talking to another mom who said they were going to move to Colombia. Her parents are Colombian, and her husband is black. They don't believe they are safe under the new regime.
I started to cry.
I stopped to talk to a couple moms out front. They'd been crying. One friend, who is Turkish by birth, joined us. She feels particularly vulnerable as a Muslim woman.
We got a letter yesterday from the principal saying that they had assured the kids that they are safe, and that the adults in their lives will protect them. That all students regardless of religion and documentation status have the right to an education and protection within a school.
What. The. Actual. Fuck?
When have we ever needed language like that after an election?
I certainly joked about fleeing to Canada if McCain or Romney won. But I had not been made to feel unsafe during the election just for being a woman.
I am a blond haired, blue eyed white woman. I am not a person of color. Nobody's eye stops on me for racial profiling. I don't wear a hijab and fear that someone will threaten me for it.
I'm married to a WASPy white man. We have white kids. We don't fear that someone will bully them, or worse, for the color of their skin or their religion.
Nobody is telling us to go home. Although for me, born in India, I am tempted.
(Actually, though I was not, all four of my grandparents were born in the U.S. So I'm a legitimate voter in that evil Anne Coulter's fantasy world.)
Friends are saying we need to dig in and work hard in our communities and promote kindness. We need to volunteer for the social services we think are so important.
We need to stand up to bigotry. We need to point out racism, even if it makes us uncomfortable. We need to be on the lookout for bullying and stand strong against it.
But I also think, hell, let's just walk away. I get that it's an elitist viewpoint to consider this option, because most people can't just walk away even when there's a hurricane approaching.
And the truth is, Nick's work is here. It is not portable. He supports our entire family.
But in my fantasy world, we all walk away. We take our talents and our brains to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, wherever else.
We leave the country to those who voted for Trump. They can have what they deserve.
In fact, he doesn't give a shit about the bulk of them. They will get what they deserve in voting for him.
But we'll be stuck with it as well.
For now, I hug my kids every chance I get. I remind them that everyone is equal. I tell them they are safe and loved.
I tell my daughter she can do anything, anything. We're not talking about a woman presidency right now, because when we talk about the presidency I feel sick to my stomach.
I feel like I should be looking for the good in the world, but right now I feel hopeless.
And I can't seem to help myself: I'm having arguments with creeps on Nick's FB wall. They've crawling out of his past, out of the basket of deplorables. They are white, male, and angry.
They refuse to acknowledge that white privilege exists. They work hard! They're not privileged!
And they are so rude. Hateful and rude. And this from people who are ostensibly old friends.
They're defensive. They call us the "liberal elites" who think we're smarter than them. One felt the need to point out that he got an MBA from Wharton. So don't tell him he's not smart.
(So I didn't. I just pointed out that he was white, privileged, angry, and rude.)
There's no grace from the winners.
And it says to me that, at least for the next four years, we are all losers.
And I am really fucking angry. And don't know quite what to do about it.