… I also didn’t throw my vote away by casting it for a third party
I need the world to know that there are plenty people in the US like me, who did everything in her power to stop an oligarch from repeating the despicable histories of corrupt leaders before him.
I called registered Democrats and urged them to vote for Hillary Clinton. I encouraged my friends who were die hard Bernie Bros to not write in his name or file a protest vote with a third party. I leveled with them, having voted for Bernie in the primaries. I tried to appeal to their sensibility and explain how logically if they supported Bernie, their ideologies would be more aligned with Hillary Clinton than Gary Johnson’s.
I did this all because I saw the potential of positive change Hillary had to offer the country. We just finished off two terms with our nation’s first black president; we had to keep on progressing.
But as I stared hopefully at the TV screen as red colored in the states on the map, I hadn’t considered that the US’ sexism runs deeper than it’s racism. And America’s racism runs deep. I hadn’t considered that a few hiccups in Hillary’s performance as Secretary of State would matter more than the billion and one things wrong with the evil campaign that Trump used to divide America.
I hadn’t realized that men that I dated would much rather vote for a man who brags about assaulting women than a woman who was over-prepared for US presidency. I never even considered that the guy I drove to the polling place for the primaries that was adamant about Bernie would vote for Trump yesterday. It never crossed my mind that so many white women would vote for a sexist and deny their deep rooted, internalized sexism.
Some white, cis, straight, able bodied men are penchant about reminding me that they are also unhappy with the election results. But what they don’t realize is that they won’t have to directly deal with the consequences of this country moving backwards. They can sit back and look down on us from their tower of privilege. But they won’t have their rights to their bodies repealed. They won’t be forced to go through conversion therapy. They also won’t be banned from using the bathroom that matches up with their gender identity. Their family members won’t be deported. And their religion will not leave them labeled as terrorists.
The beginning of the day started off with so much hope; people lining up to place “I voted” stickers on Susan B. Anthony’s grave to a dismal state of affairs. Tomorrow, I cannot face the immigrants I work with and explain that immigration reform is not at all what they expected. How can I look them in their eyes and tell them that their families may be deported? Would you like to explain that your vote was for change because you were feeling disenfranchised with Washington to women who will likely be victims of assault because the US president got away with it? Or would I have to remind you that Bill Clinton is not running for president when you bring up “but Bill did ____”?
Either way, me and millions of others can tell the future generations that we were on the right side of history and we didn’t stand by idly, even when an American travesty was elected to become the president.
Please leave with this takeaway: This is not who we all are. This is not what we stand for. We will fight for the rights of the people who are different than us and remain on the path to progress. We will fight to restore back progress to this broken country. The world may be mourning for us, but know that we are still here protesting sexism, racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, transphobia, and homophobia.