I woke up Wednesday morning feeling like I was living a nightmare. I sobbed as I was getting ready for work, and I cried again when I got there. I spent the entire day feeling dirty, guilty, and deeply ashamed. And then I sulked home and crawled into bed.
This is the first time I’ve ever felt gutted by an election. But this is not a sore loser feeling. I’m not the kind of person who is deeply fearful of the other party, I’m not mad that my candidate lost, and I’m not being dramatic for effect. What I am is utterly revolted by the man who was just elected president. I am shocked that half of the people in this country either think his racist, sexist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, homophobic remarks are no big deal, or worse—agree with them. And I am terrified that he’s going to do irreversible damage to the world in the next four years.
I voted for Hillary on Tuesday, in case that wasn’t clear. Not because I was “with her,” necessarily, but because I was so adamantly, so forcefully, so disgustedly against him. Lest you think me naught but a sour grapes, bleeding heart, lily-livered liberal, you should know that I would’ve been very open to voting for a reasonable Republican like John Kasich or Mitt Romney this year. But they were not my options. My option was an unsympathetic boor who is totally uninterested in policy of any kind and completely unqualified for the job he now has to do.
Donald Trump is a bully who believes that insults and name-calling are effective debate strategies. Donald Trump wants to ban Muslims from our country—freedom of religion be damned. Donald Trump has suggested that our allies are freeloaders. Donald Trump flies off the handle at the tiniest slight. And now Donald Trump is in charge of the most powerful military in the world. Now Donald Trump has control of the nuclear codes.
What will he do if Angela Merkel holds the line against him? What will he do if Iran or Iraq won’t submit to his will? What will he do if North Korea becomes more aggressive? I don’t want to know.
What I would like to know, however, is what compelled people to vote for him. Because for the life of me, I cannot fathom it. Friends and family, I am curious to hear your reasoning.
If you’re a values voter who considers the Republican party to be more aligned with your beliefs, how do you reconcile Donald Trump’s sick comments about (and alleged violations of) women? If you’re concerned about the Supreme Court, consider the comments Donald Trump made about Latino judge Gonzalo Curiel: Do you think it’s possible for him to choose a justice based on his or her qualifications alone? If you don’t really like Donald Trump but could never bring yourself to vote for a Democrat, how were you able to overlook the fact that he is beloved by the former Grand Wizard of the KKK?
Please, tell me. Make me understand why he was the best choice above all others. Convince me that I should stop worrying about the future of this country. Help me believe that my Muslim, gay, African American, and Mexican friends are still welcome in this melting pot. Assure me that you and I and everyone we know are safe.
Because right now, I feel anything but. I feel like we have failed not only ourselves, but the world at large. We have let partisanship cloud our better judgment. We have put our future in the hands of an out-of-touch demagogue. I am incredibly embarrassed, and profoundly sorry.