Wow. So, here we are. The beginning of the end.
Last night, when I left work, I walked right over to the local liquor store and bought a case of beer. I then went to the local supermarket and bought a chimichanga. When I got home, I flipped on CNN, took a deep breath, and let the madness wash over me for the following few hours. The combination of shredded beef, Spanish rice, refried beans and all the fixings, along with beer after beer after beer, could do nothing to properly prepare me for the horror that would unfold.
In fact, in my half-drunk, very-full state, I ended up going to bed before it was all made official.
I’ve made it clear in the past that I’m not a huge fan of Hillary Clinton. I’ve made it clear that, once the nominees of both political parties were officially announced, that I felt we’d be screwed either way. But in different ways, in more subtle ways, depending on which side of that terrible coin we fell upon November 8th.
But make no mistake here, do not take me as a person who is unaware of what just happened to our country last night, we now face the worst possible outcome of this election. If Clinton had won, I would have sighed a sigh of relief and then been somewhat worried about where her policies were going to take us. But I would have had no real fear for the future, nor would I have felt the concern or fear for the people of color and LGBTQ community that are my friends and family. To me, this election was truly choosing the lesser of two evils. And the worst evil imaginable is who won.
Everyone has a voice. Everyone has a vote. Everyone deserves to have that voice/vote be heard and counted. This election was about what kind of steps we would take into the future, what face we want to present to the rest of the world, to let them know who we are as a nation and what we stand for.
I don’t even know what I think or what I feel, and it has already been nearly twenty four hours since the decision was made official.
I do know one thing: If you are a straight white male, I do not want to hear “It’s not that bad” or “it’ll be fine” or really any other kind of white bread optimism, because it’s not us I’m worried about. White straight men aren’t going to be targeted, white straight men don’t need to live in fear for the next four years, white straight men don’t need to fear harassment or assault or denial of basic human rights. White straight men don’t need to fear, not for the next four years.
I’m afraid for all of the Muslim Americans who are going to be targeted by idiot racists who feel justified in treating them horribly, simply because our new President feels the same way.
I’m afraid for any woman who has ever faced sexual assault on any level, because now the President of the United States is on the same level as the assailants they fell victim to.
I’m afraid for members of the LGBTQ community, including my own son, who will spend the next four years living in fear and uncertainty while a President and Vice President who have vocally expressed an anti-LGBTQ mentality in the past are in power.
I’m afraid of the message all of this is sending to the young impressionable minds of this country.
I’m afraid of all of that and nothing another straight white man says to me will alleviate a single bit of it.
I’m still processing everything. I’m still figuring things out. I’m still wondering where we’ll all be after January 20th, 2017.
In the meantime, I leave you with one of the few things I’ve found comfort in since last night: Stephen Colbert.