Don't Hate

My mother, a lifelong Republican, is numb. My grandparents, also lifelongs, stunned. I cried last night along with many of you, trying to understand why people couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Hillary.

Was it really about emails? Was it really about periods? Was it really about hate?

I’m not anti-Republican, and I don’t honestly believe people vote for hate. But people do vote in fear. And that’s something we need to address.

Propagating fear is a problem because we’re all afraid — of the unknown, of change, of losing what we’ve worked hard to achieve. No matter your feelings on the election, I think if you looked yourself in the eye today you’d agree.

Last night we sat terrified of change, despite our frustrations with a broken, corrupt system. Today we’re afraid of handing over the rights to our bodies, our rights to practice this religion or that, of absolute tyranny. We’re scared that our nation is so divided, we won’t be able to find common ground.

And I’m concerned that we don’t want to. That we won’t accept the completely unacceptable, so we will stand divided. Angry. (Because what do we tell the girls?)

But we can’t just turn our backs on each other now. We can’t unfriend and disown each other based on a system we all know is flawed. Even if we’re fed up and furious, remember that disillusionment was the basis of Trumps platform, and why many didn’t bother to vote.

Disillusionment — despite the most polarizing, fear-mongering, pussy-grabbing, authoritarian, racist and inexperienced candidate we’ve seen... to date? Jesus. Plans are better than no plans, and Trump’s plans? Infrastructure reform, veteran support — with what tax money?

Unfit, yes. But elected. This is where we are, and spewing hate in the face of hate is not the answer.

Eventually, we need to find strength in frustration. In determination. In loss. All power comes from pain. Maybe we needed to feel it right now. (Or maybe I’m as confused as anyone.)

We can’t opt out of society, so please, don’t run. Don’t leave. Don’t hide from the pain, and do not let fear take over.

If you feel like you’re being tested, now is the time to rise to the challenge. If you really believe #LoveTrumpsHate, it’s time to fucking prove it. To expose inequality. To try to understand each other. To grow. And to get back to work.

This election was decided by 1/4 of our country. Nearly 50% of eligible voters did not vote. Maybe we start there.

It won’t be easy, and it may get worse before it gets better. But Hill said it best — The Good Fight is always worth it. And, shit, she won the popular vote. There’s hope for us yet.

 

Don’t Hate. Do Listen: I Can Only Stare