... if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I'm firmly parked on the liberal side of the political spectrum. I didn't choose to define myself as liberal. I choose to define myself as firmly on the side of all people and making sure that they have rights, and choices, and are treated fairly, so that makes me liberal.
Because of that, the results of the election hit me hard. I don't feel as though the president-elect is a person who sees people as people. I don't think he sees immigrants as people, I don't think he thinks of Muslims as people, I don't think he sees women as people, and to be honest, I don't even think he sees his supporters as people. It seems to me that he sees the world as a his personal playground, a chessboard, if you will, and the people who live in it are just pawns for him to toy with, move around, and discard at will.
I'm concerned because the president-elect has suggested that people who burn the American flag should be stripped of their citizenship and deported. America is more than its symbols; if the destruction of a single representation of one of our symbols causes someone to become so unhinged that they are willing to trump our fundamental constitutional rights in order to preserve that symbol, I become concerned about not only his understanding of the constitution but also of what it means to be American.
I'm concerned because he seems to have tapped into and released some of the ugliest parts of human nature. He has given people permission to be their worst selves at a time when we most need people to be their best selves. He has normalized sexual assault and sexism. He holds xenocentrism as a value. He doesn't have an issue with racism and is, in fact, racist. He uses language that is inflammatory, outrageous, and offensive.
I want to have empathy for the people who supported him in his run, because I very much believe that they will require that empathy when they realize that the president-elect doesn't actually have them and their interests in mind. He did not run for president to make America great. He ran for president for HIMSELF. He has no political experience, he has no ability to control his temper or his outbursts, and he reacts to criticism with less grace than my two year old niece.
The people who supported him are going to have a difficult time. And so are the rest of us, the ones who did not support him, the ones who were afraid of what his presidency might mean for this country. To me, that means being more liberal than ever because what we need now are MORE people who are deeply invested in people. We need more people who will reach out past ethnicity and religion and gender and sexuality and immigration status and offer love and help.
So that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to speak and hug and help as much as I possibly can, whoever I can, whenever I can. I will not hide. I will not be silent.
What will you do?