*First published by Wear Your Voice Magazine, November 10, 2016.*
It happened. We have an admitted sexual assaulter, racist, Islamophobe, white supremacist and homophobe as the president-elect of the United States — and his Vice President is even worse. Idiocracy is now a documentary. As a woman of words, I find myself at a loss of what to say, how to even begin putting this into some kind of context that makes sense outside The Upside Down. Because let’s face it: one night at some point in the past year we went to sleep in our world, and the next morning woke up in a parallel universe. The changeover was so subtle that only a few of us even noticed, and none of us ever thought that the new world would begin taking on all the subtleties of a Black Mirror episode. There is no more future dystopia. We are living right smack in the middle of it now.
And all because almost half of registered American voters decided to sit this election out.
Those who did vote are so steeped in white supremacy, misogyny and every other hatred under the sun that they chose the least qualified person to run this country because his rhetoric aligns with their beliefs and fears as America’s face threatens to evolve into an inclusive society. Make America Great Again, they said. What they meant was, make America the 1950s again. Where black people aren’t allowed to vote, where women don’t have the right to make their own choices, where partner rape is legal, but marrying a person of another race isn’t. The golden era of a certain segment of white America that represents the pinnacle of their supremacy in this nation. As Ijeoma Oluo eloquently wrote for The Establishment, yes, all Trump supporters are white supremacists.
I woke up yesterday and for a brief moment actually thought it had been a bad dream. I tend to have the most epic, detailed and horrific dreams (horror novelist in the house), and a Trump presidency would so be something that my alter-ego, Zuzu Grimm, would spin into a terrifying piece of flash fiction that would give you nightmares. No need, Ms. Grimm. The nightmare is real. And all us women, people of color, LGBTQ, immigrants and refugees will be living the nightmare on a daily basis as we watch our rights get stripped from us. Our right to our own bodies, our rights to live in America, our very right to exist is under threat.
Let’s not forget that President-Elect “Pussy Grabber” Trump was expected in court in early December for the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl at convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s parties. However, his reported victim has dropped her suit. He will also be on trial for several counts of fraud and racketeering after Thanksgiving. And since he has threatened to sue everyone who has said anything negative but true about him during the course of the campaign, including the women he has sexually assaulted and harassed, we can expect that he’s going to be seeing the inside of a courtroom regularly before he’s even sworn in to office. That’s if he isn’t impeached on those fraud and racketeering charges before then, a possibility that would be thrilling if it didn’t mean that Mike Pence — the man who forced women to have funerals for their miscarriages, put a woman in jail for miscarrying and believes in gay conversion therapy, to name just a few choice anecdotes — would become president-elect in Trump’s stead.
This horror show is real.
I’m trying to wrap my election-migraine head around the fact that America’s first black president will hand the reins over to a candidate who was endorsed by the KKK.
Seriously, y’all. We now live in the actual Twilight Zone.
The only thing that gives me any comfort and solace in this profound despair and disappointment is that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. This means that even though the race was so close, more people chose equal rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, higher minimum wage, affordable college and healthcare, and an inclusive America fitting with the ideals this country likes to promote abroad in its self-appointed role as human rights watchdog of the planet.
I’m with Michael Moore, who recently wrote:
“Any Democratic member of Congress who didn’t wake up this morning ready to fight, resist and obstruct in the way Republicans did against President Obama every day for eight full years must step out of the way and let those of us who know the score lead the way in stopping the meanness and the madness that’s about to begin.”
And more importantly, this:
“The only reason he’s president is because of an arcane, insane 18th-century idea called the Electoral College. Until we change that, we’ll continue to have presidents we didn’t elect and didn’t want. You live in a country where a majority of its citizens have said they believe there’s climate change, they believe women should be paid the same as men, they want a debt-free college education, they don’t want us invading countries, they want a raise in the minimum wage and they want a single-payer true universal health care system. None of that has changed. We live in a country where the majority agree with the “liberal” position. We just lack the liberal leadership to make that happen.”
If you are one of the 4,058,500 people who voted for Gary “What’s Alleppo?” Johnson, or one of the 1,213,103 who voted for Jill “Crystals Heal Diseases” Stein, or one of the 802,119 who voted for non-entity candidates — and, worse all, you 116,000,000 who didn’t bother to participate at all in our democracy by not casting a ballot: Trump is on you. Welcome to the next four years of hell for people of color, women, LGBTQs, immigrants and refugees that you helped assure. Thanks for nothing.
One more thing before I go. If you’re a woman, person of color, LGBTQ, immigrant, Muslim or refugee who voted for Trump, do us all a favor and get some therapy for that internalized self-hatred. For serious. You need professional help, and lots of it.