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Laura

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Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 03:20 pm
First, I supported Bernie. Absent Bernie, I supported Clinton. I find Trump's win as worrisome at best, scary at worst. That said, he _is_ now President-elect, and I have to live in this reality and not another one.

That's my bias. This is not, however, going to be about that, but about what I hope we will all - regardless of how we voted - act _now_. If you'd like to skip over the rest of this post, feel free, but I hope you'll keep reading.

First, I hope I was wrong about how bad he'll be as President. Because hes going to be President, and I wouldn't wish a disaster for our country and possibly the world just so I can be right in my worries!

Second - there's no way I can keep from seeing him as a lousy role model. (I don't think he's a great person, either. He's not the only politician that's true of, but he's one of the most open and unashamed about any of it.) There are people who are taking his positions as license to be racist and sexist, to be rude and mean, to treat women as objects and people who don't look like them as evil. And this is America. That's not acceptable.*

Third - going forward, I hope we will all do at least some of the following (based on what is safe for us, what is applicable in our lives, and all that):


  • If you see someone mistreating another person or bullying them, whether it appears to be because of race/religion/gender or unrelated, please step in and say that's not okay, or do whatever you feel you can to safely help. Bear in mind that some of these people have cause to fear for their lives with this change. Help make the world safer for them, please.

  • If you hear someone speaking negatively of any of the marginalized groups that are feeling threatened by this change - please, call that person out. Tell them it's not okay. Maybe they'll think twice about spreading a view that it is okay to denigrate or hurt people who are different from the white-cis-het "standard".

  • Help when you can in -general-, not just when there's someone doing something actively wrong. The world would be a better place if we all did that.

  • Pay attention. If you're not a member of the group being targeted, it is easy to sail along and not have to realize what's happening around you. But please don't. We are a melting pot, and we benefit from helping each other. We can't do that if we haven't noticed it's needed.

  • Part of the previous: listen. Trump won on a lot of factors - for those who, like me, are on the liberal side, there are almost certainly things we need to hear from people who voted for him. There will be a subset of those voters whose position is based on fundamental opposition to things we hold to be important - but I don't think it's all of them, and if it's not, there's messages we need to hear. Ideally, two years ago, but better late than never.

  • Talk. Talk to your children, especially, in age-appropriate ways. They are hearing about this, and this is your chance to help them see the shades of grey and to understand which parts of what he's done you and your values don't support. The fact that he is going to be our President does not mean we have to hold him up as a perfect role model; no one is entitled to that on the basis of being elected or hired into any position.

    And help them understand what *they* can do - including reaching out to/continuing to be a good friend to their classmates who may especially need that now, if your children (like mine) aren't one of those children themselves.

  • Write. If you don't like something on Trump's agenda, write to your Congress-folk about it. (If you do like something on his agenda, write about it too, especially if you have concerns and want to see it implemented a specific way.)

  • Act at the local level. The President is a big office with a lot of news splash. Local races and measures and so on are not flashy. But they are important, often critical. By a series of little things do we build up our world. Please stay engaged, and please try to do what you can at the local level, in whatever way makes sense to you.



I don't know if there's anything I can do for you, specifically, but if you think there is - please reach out to me. If you want to talk to me about your hopes, your fears, your position, including pro-Trump views - please reach out to me. I can't promise anything, except that I will listen/read, and do my best to respond appropriately. (If, however, you are pro-Trump, you may wish to email or private message me. I have a lot of friends who are, in my opinion understandably, heartbroken and scared and angry. My goal is not to create a public debate forum on the topic.)

Please understand, when I make this list I'm also calling myself out. I have a lot of privilege (in the social justice sense, and please, if you want to argue the use of that word do it in your own space - I am willing to own it and use it here, I am not willing to host a debate on whether it's the best term or is confusing or has ever been used to shut you out of a conversation - mostly because I am tired from lack of sleep but also because it seems to be the same circular discussion). I want to use it, where I can, to help.

* This is actually my one sticking point. If you supported Trump to upend Washington DC, or because you liked other parts of what he said, or because you hated Clinton - I don't agree with you but I'm not going to argue it. At this point history will sort that out. But if you supported Trump or wanted to support Trump because you think people of another race, or of another religion, or of another gender, are less-than and should be treated as such?

If that's the case, please unfriend me. I'm not unfriending anyone over politics. I will unfriend over bigotry if it's there.

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