Dear Mr.Trump and Mr. Pence,
I have one thing to thank you for – you’ve made me uncomfortable. Under Obama’s calm, steady and mostly well-intended hand I became lackadaisical in thought and lethargic in action. I took for granted what having a President who respected his people and in turn was respected by the world felt like. I took for granted the progress this country was making towards meeting the rest of the world in health reform and other social programs. I misinterpreted my circle of progressive liberal friends to be indicative of the rest of the country. I was comfortable in thinking our country was moving towards a better and brighter day.
Both of you have taken that sense of contentment away. You’ve replaced my sense of hope with trepidation. You’ve taken my love for this country and made me question if that affection is warranted. My sense of optimism has wilted, and I fear for the future. The results of this election have shown me that a vast number of Americans will accept racism, misogyny, rape culture, misinformation, hate, fear, ignorance, and the possibility of war if it comes from the biggest bully in the yard.
I saw this coming on Super Tuesday when the Democratic Party failed to nominate the one man (Bernie Sanders) that might have had a chance to stop you, and I wept. I wept again on November 8th and well into the next night. I fear for my future children, and indeed, now question if I ever want to raise children in America. The reasons for your rise are numerous and terrifying. It reminds me far too much of another time, when a nation feeling the economic pinch decided to blame large groups of minorities for their problems. If we follow that pattern our future is grim, and the thought keeps me up at night.
The ugly parts of this country that I thought were receding are instead, clearly, going to be front and center for the next four years. I don’t know what damage you’ll do in that time; I only hope whatever damage is done is reversible.
You might think that this complete collapse of my sense of faith and security in the USA would be disheartening, and it is. But I have to thank you for the new sense of dismay, because it’s lit a fire in me.
I can’t control what you will do, but I do know what I can do. I can become the most educated, vocal, and civically engaged citizen I can be. I can hold you accountable for every action. I can use my freedom of speech to express my discontent. I will not stand for a government that promotes white supremacy, denies climate change, has questionable ties to foreign dictators, and continues to seek the removal of citizen’s access to healthcare (among many, many other issues). Neither of you represent my America, nor do you represent the majority of this country’s America (popular vote, ahem). We haven’t even reached the inauguration yet and you have already made me ashamed of my own skin, flirted with nuclear war and continued to action like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum through your narcissistic tweets.
You have done nothing to earn my respect and you will not have it. My respect, admiration and hope will rest with all the groups you have marginalized. It will remain with people like the Standing Rock protesters who fought peacefully for the betterment of this land.
I’ll say it again – I can’t control what you will do, but I’m done letting you control me. I won’t shed anymore tears because of you. I will educate and mobilize myself. I consider it my duty to be a thorn in your sides for however long you remain in power. So congratulations gentlemen you may have taken my comfort, hope and progress – but you’ve made an activist out of me, and I intend to be damn good at it. This begins on January 21st where I will march on D.C with hundreds of thousands of my fellow women. Our voices will be heard. We will stand with all those you have attacked, and we will fight for a better tomorrow,
See you there,
P.S – Featured image taken from BuzzFeed article ’24 Signs from Trump Protests that will make you feel a little better’ (https://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/yes-to-pancakes?utm_term=.osKRvA62oW#.bqpmYL6AdX)