Close elections are tough. Close elections where the majority of people who voted actually lost are brutal. If you are like me and in the majority, you’re upset right now. I understand. You feel personally betrayed by every neighbor, friend, colleague, and relative who voted Donald Trump. You blame the media. You blame the DNC. You blame the RNC. You blame third party voters. You blame Bernie Sanders. You blame Hillary Clinton. You blame your racist uncle. I’m with you. You are genuinely fearful of a new era of discrimination against people based on their gender, their race, their religion, who they love, or where they pee. I think your fear is justified. You lay awake thinking about the nuclear codes in the hands of a man with the emotional maturity of a four year old. A period of mourning is appropriate. But let’s not be paralyzed by the apocalypse before it happens.
Look, I’m not here to tell you that everything is going to be ok. I’m not going to say it doesn’t matter who is president because that’s not true. Besides it’s nihilistic. The first order of the day is to fight back the existential dread of the dawn. Some of us do this every day anyway, but if you’re new, I’ll give you a minute to catch up. I’ll even wait until you finish that bottle of tequila.
I’m certainly not going to tell you it will be ok because you are a good person, and God is in control, and you are in his favor, and everything happens for a reason. That’s nihilism too. Dressed up like a big red poppy. If you are a person of faith, I hope your faith gives you enough strength to accept the hard truth that religion is, by design, the institutionalization of complacency. If it guides you to action, great. If you give away your personal responsibility to a higher power, then get out of my God Damn way.
It is perfectly ok to throw one hell of a tantrum. Scream, curse, drink, smoke, run, cry. You’ve got about 3 months to do it.
But you may not spend the next four years prostrate at the grave of your dreams. I guarantee you Hillary Clinton won’t be.
You may not renounce your citizenship. How dare you? The democratic process is not over because you got an I VOTED sticker. You don’t get to stop being an American because your candidate didn’t win.
And let’s just stop right here for a moment with the jokes about how we won’t need a wall because immigrants won’t come here under a Donald Trump presidency. It’s not funny to imply that watching your children die of starvation due to US trade policy is somehow a worse fate than a Donald Trump Presidency. It’s not. It’s not worse than living in a dictatorship either. The fact that you do live in a democracy is a privilege most people don’t have. So get a grip. You have duties.
And don’t say Trump is not your president. Because by doing that, you absolve him of accountability. It is only because he is your president that you have the opportunity to hold him accountable. And he must be held accountable for each and everything he does from here on out. Held accountable by you.
You don’t have the luxury of saying there is nothing more you can do. Do you know who your senators and congressional representatives are? They are your allies, no matter who elected them. They do represent you if you voted for them or not. Do you know their email addresses? Their phone numbers? Do they know you by name? If not, then you have plenty of work to do. You must demand that they mitigate the Tump presidency. That’s your job.
Everyone mourns at their own pace. Take some time. But then pick yourself up and pull yourself together. Be an American.