Wednesday, November 9, 2016
It's Okay to Panic
Given that Grab Them by the P*ssy and Conversion Therapy—which is what I plan to call them—just won the White House I certainly feel and think that a moment of panic, or disbelief, or shock, or what have you, is understandable by those who stand to lose the most, because our future president and vice-president have repeatedly and expressly stated they intend to do harm to immigrants, Muslims, gays, women, and transsexuals. Worse, they will probably be supported in that agenda by Congress and most likely by the appointment of Federal judges. My wife, a cancer survivor, for example, has very good reason to be scared because one of their first goals is to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would prevent her going forward from being discriminated against by insurance companies for such a past condition.
Really, if you perceive the results of this election in a personal way at all, this win by the conservative right doesn't seem like anything irrelevant, distant, or temporary. It's worse than a swinging back of the pendulum, a la the Reagan or Bush years. It's more than a mere reaction against Obama's popularity and successes. It's deeper than a flailing or final gasp of a cis straight white male demographic majority group. After all, it’s basically the ascension to power of a group of blatantly misogynistic, xenophobic, and unqualified men who campaigned that they want to use political power to hurt certain peoples economically, socially, physically, and morally, and not because those target people are dangerous in any real sense but rather purely because they are “different”.
So, we should try to be kind and not tell anyone not to be upset, or panicky, or shocked by the events of last night. Yes, a lot of work still needs to be done; that was always the case, and it remains the case. Obviously, though, for those of us inclined to be liberal and progressive our expectations were not nearly met this election cycle, and so our expectations for our own personal futures, for the futures of folks we love, and for the future of our culture and world in general are suddenly being drastically adjusted, too, and that's a very difficult process to endure. It’s a grieving one, actually.
I therefore understand the panic and the crying, the jaw-dropping and the fright. My tears have come, as well. What exactly will take place I don’t know. As my wiser dad likes to say, no matter what you think will happen, the reality will undoubtedly be different. For now, however, I’ll hold my wife as she cries, and I will look at my son and wonder what kind of civilization we will be giving him. Today, for right now anyway, I still hope for the best, but at once I fear the worst.