My moods during the last six months have see-sawed, as has my conviction that in January The United States of America will inaugurate its first female President. I’ve gone through heartbreak, confusion, anger, rage, grief. I’ve been horrified, delighted, uplifted. I’ve cried, both in joy and frustration.
If life is like a box of chocolates, during this election I’ve eaten everything from the caramel to the nasty candied cherry. I feel sticky, nauseated, and like I need to brush my teeth and eat nothing but salad for a week.
But…instead of watching the polls fluctuate and my anxiety escalate in this, the final stretch, I”ll be carousing around a foreign city with some fabulous females. I’m not bringing my laptop. I’m not checking the news. (Ok, I won’t be checking the new obsessively.)
I’m still worried, but this morning as I was packing, I had a sudden moment of calm. Perhaps I’ve entered the eye of Hurricane Election because suddenly I realized it was all going to be ok.
Because even if Donald Trump wins the election, the people who voted for him aren’t going to win.
I don’t mean their candidate isn’t going to win. I mean the reasons why they chose to fill in the ballot circle next to his name aren’t going to win.
You can’t make people disappear. You can’t choose simply declare you don’t ‘believe’ in homosexuality or marriage equality like you choose to ‘believe’ in the Tooth Fairy. LGBTQ human beings exist. They take up space and other dimensions. Marriage equality is a thing. Transgender citizens and same-sex spouses are not going to suddenly disappear just because a bunch of people chose to elect a vice-president who wants to shift federal money to ‘gay conversion’ programs.
You think millions of women are going to lay down and allow themselves to be groped and degraded and discriminated against because a bunch of people chose to elect a party which, for all intents and purposes, want women to just go away and bleed quietly from their wherevers? You can spout all you want about the ‘myths’ of systematic oppression or the wage gap. But they exist and they’re not going to disappear in a cloud of magical smoke. Women aren’t just going to suddenly go away and stop demanding equality.
Those who are voting for Trump on the basis of religion can pray on pious knees until they are bloody for God to smote their enemy. It’s not going to happen. They can prayer circle around women who seek out birth control and abortion. It’s not going to stop them.
They can deny climate change. It’s not going to stop it. They can deny evolution. It doesn’t make it go away.
The reasons so many Trump voters are voting for Trump? Those reasons are NEVER GOING TO WIN.
The people who’ve been checking off the ‘other’ the box next to their identity don’t need to have their existence legitimized or FDA approved. Do you think they’re going to let you take their rights and stuff them back into some fundamentalist homophobic misogynistic cupboard and lock the door?
Women aren’t going to suddenly develop the urge to dig out their grandmother’s aprons and start mixing martinis for their husbands. Life is not going to magically revert back to some black and white television version of bucolic happiness which was only pleasant and happy if you closed your eyes and ignored the lynchings and the back alley abortions and the men and women being imprisoned for being gay.
You can build a thousand walls and they will still be breached.
You can build a thousand prisons and they will still be dismantled.
You can think of a thousand ways to hate and people will still love.
The United States has been moving forward for decades. Sometimes quickly, sometimes tortuously slow. It will continue to do so, even if it takes a backward step next Tuesday.
Once I figured all that out, I felt better. I finished packing and dug out my passport and tomorrow, I’ll be off.
Oh, and Donald? CU next Tuesday.