Election Series: Essay by Linda M. Crate

Election Thoughts

By Linda M. Crate
Pennsylvania

I woke up Wednesday feeling very sick to my stomach after hearing the news of who had won the election. I remember feeling foggy and emotionally drained as if I were stranded in some nightmare—there's a part of me that still feels as if I need to wake up, and someone is going to scream that this has all been a joke and that it's not true.

But the other part of me is filled with dread over what happened.

What has happened, has happened. There's really nothing much any of us can do about him being in office as much as I dislike the git. He may be the president, but he's not my president.

Not when he believes in what he believes in.

Still reeling from the shock that a hate mongering xenophobic racist sexist person against the LGBTQ, Black, Latino(a)s, Muslims, and women even got in office to begin with. It just blows my mind when I hear people say because he thought he was "the lesser of two evils" or because their stance is "pro-life".

Firstly, let me tackle the pro-life issue. If you're actually pro-life then you actually care what happens to the child after they are born. Otherwise you're just pro-birth. While I myself am pro-life I believe we should all be pro-choice because none of us have the right to look down on anyone else and judge them for their circumstances.

Honestly, has anyone thought of the situations of rape or incest? What if the mother is at risk of losing her life should she have this child? Or do women matter so little to other women and men that they simply don't care should this child be born? It really makes me sick to think about this situation existing in modern times.

Those who are so against abortion do little to nothing for sexual education and teaching people about birth-control, and yet they want the right to regulate people's bodies? We're living, breathing beings with hopes, dreams, and aspirations. We don't deserve to be treated like animals at breeding farms.

Secondly, let's focus on the exclusion of so many people. You can't honestly tell me that you support someone who is that hell bent against such a large group of people? Seriously?

 I think it's important to remember this quote: 

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.
 Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
 Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
 Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."

— Martin Niemöller

If we don't speak out against such evil then we are accomplices of the act. I have heard so many stories already about LGBTQ people either being attacked or taking their own lives out of fear for the future.

I have never seen a country so torn, angry, and divided. I am furious! This is my country. The place I have grown up and lived my entire life and while I may not have always liked the president—I have never felt this way about or after an election.

One of my friends from college said that the establishment wouldn't care if she were gone because she's a lesbian. Do you know how sad and angry that made me feel? That anyone should have to fear for their lives for being who they are? No one can choose their sexuality contrary to what the Vice President may believe, and whose business is it, anyway?! It doesn't make them any more or any less of a person than any of us.

I have heard people being told to go home to their own countries and being discriminated against and that infuriates me, too. We were all immigrants or descended from immigrants, and the Native Americans didn't kick us out or tell us "to go home".

I'm a bit saddened and disappointed in my fellow countrymen right now. Trump has proven that we don't need a wall to divide us from the world when we ourselves are so divided. I'm just hoping that the violence and the anger stops and somehow we can all heal from this.

But I know one thing. I will always fight against darkness if I find it happening, and I will always speak out for those who feel that they've been silenced. The world seems a scarier place than I ever remember it being—but I won't let it rule, consume, and dominate me. I will put on a brave face and I will be one of the lights in this world that we so desperately need. I refuse to give into bigotry and hatred. I will not let them destroy me or my country, either. 

We were all born with a purpose, and all of our lives matter no matter what anyone says. I refuse to let someone feel diminished if I have the power to stop it. I'm going to combat hate with love because I think Martin Luther King Jr. said my feelings best when he said,

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

I refuse to become the darkness and I refuse to become hate, but I will be watching and helping and healing whenever and wherever I can because it's the right thing to do. If humanity is to survive we need to help one another instead of ripping one another to shreds. We need to learn to agree to disagree without it becoming a full blown war. People should be able to think and feel and live their lives without fear, hatred, and condemnation. 


 

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