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November 11, 2016


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I'm struggling to find a place that

-- does not normalize this president-elect

-- does not further marginalize the poor and rural voters who chose him

-- respects the free and fair election process

-- sees clearly the reality of this new political order and acts rightly within it

-- distinguishes between the things the president will want to do that are bad ideas because they are, you know, normal wrong political policies I would normally oppose, and the things that come out of his narcissistic cruelty or that would cause structural damage to the republic that transcend politics

-- finds common ground among the many people with disparate political philosophies who are dismayed at the character of the president so we can work together and speak together to limit damage to the republic from the latter example above

A tough place to be.

I know you haven't been on Facebook, so you haven't seen my grief over this election. There are a thousand things to lament here: civil rights, women's rights, the environment, climate change, and our standing in the international community (to name only a few).

The thing that is bothering me the most is the false equivalency. Trump supporters (and Republicans in general) are comparing this to how they felt when Obama was elected and then using that "comparison" to argue that we should get over it. There is NO comparison here.

Obama had experience with governance, a great education and comported himself professionally and respectfully throughout his entire 2008 (and 2012) campaigns. While there are people who may have disagreed with him on policy, he didn't deliberately alienate vast swathes of people in order to get elected. And although we heard a lot about how he was going to "take our guns", it clearly did not happen.

By contrast, Trump deliberately used fear, racism, xenophobia, and outright manipulation and lies to get elected. There is no comparison between these men. While Republicans/Independents may have disagreed with Obama on policy issues, I doubt they feared for their citizenship or lives if he was elected. Here, however, because Trump made alienation and "othering" a major piece of his campaign and deliberately threatened to do certain things to certain groups, I think it is entirely reasonable for those groups to be scared.

I mentioned in a previous comment that we are probably going to start trying for a child in the near future. I am really struggling with that decision. Climate change is the most important thing to the WORLD right now, and we have a bunch of leaders in the US who believe it is a liberal hoax. The science denial is terrifying to me.

The last thing I will say is this: many Republicans are saying, "Well, I didn't vote for him" while simultaneously thrilling at his election and a Republican majority in the Senate and House. Fine, you didn't vote for him, but that doesn't mean you're not responsible for what your party does while it's in office. Unfortunately, many people are playing hot potato here and I doubt anyone will take responsibility. And when it all falls apart? I am sure that will somehow be the democrats' fault.

I am still having a really hard time concentrating on my work. I've found it interesting that the only people who have told me some version of "You've got to get back to work, what else can you do?" are white men. White men who supported Hillary, to be sure, but it is an interesting observation.

I'm trying to get back to work but I don't know that I'm ready.

I've been struggling all week to explain my fears to people. Cruz or Rubio would have tried to gut Obama's legacy, too, but they weren't a threat to our democracy. Trump doesn't believe in a free press. He talked about jailing his opponent after her defeat. He embraced white supremacists. He has given comfort to Russia. If I'm Lithuanian, Latvian, or Estonian, I'm 100% preparing myself for an invasion.

This is not within the bounds of the acceptable in our Republic. This is new, and scary. I'm not going to get used to it.

Thank you for expressing it all so well.

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