Allow me to let you in a secret.
I hate politics. But then again, most common Americans do.
It is said with frustration, with animosity, with great offense, when someone says, “it’s all politics”.
But politics had NOTHING to do with how I spent my yesterday, curled up in the fetal position in bed with not only tear stained cheeks but a tear stained pillow. I hid for the majority of the day in that place, allowing the grief to consume me and succumbing to the realization that this was in fact, real life. I didn’t want to hear that it’d all be ok, that he can’t be allowed to run this country rampant, that “checks and balances” would temper his temper.
I wanted to wallow in the hate, to feel the weight of every racist and bigoted remark that seeped from his poisonous orifice. I wanted to cry, to sob for every student that has graced my life with their diversity, their humanity, and their optimism that they could someday breathe in a world of acceptance. I felt pain for my LGBTQ friends, and my months spent in a community of Turkish Muslims who believe that violence is NEVER the answer. I wanted to drown in my tears and my fears that this world cannot handle another minute without respect to climate change and the increasing threat to our environment.
And I can’t tell you how much anger welled, seeing post after post on social media reminding me that everyone should stop talking and feeling and expressing their opinions about what happened. It is entirely for that reason that I now feel like I can express mine. For what is wrong with feeling? For attempting to lighten the burden of a troubled conscience by voicing, in the smallest and most unobtrusive way, a status on a fucking Facebook wall?
Talk, friends. Emote. Yell. Scream. Laugh. Cry. Whatever it is that you need to do in order to relish in or reject the reality of this election.
And I’ll let you in on another secret: I, too, want change in Washington. I don’t want business as usual or corruption or lies. I, too, am tired of spending every dime I have paying for an education in education but not making enough money to pay for the degree that was required to do my job. I am tired of worrying about a future riddled with taxes and complicated healthcare and affording a decent life for the children I don’t have, but once thought about wanting.
But I didn’t want a voice that silenced others to represent that change. I want Jefferson Smith, the boy ranger who held pure American ideals to upset that balance at the top. I want someone who has a heart full of love for his or her country to shake it up. If only a character such as that could jump off the screen and into our lives.
I don’t need to hashtag anything. #notmypresident is a sentiment, not a statement. I seek understanding that can only come with time and progress. Do not lash out at those who have an opinion, but rather try to acknowledge the brutal truth that whether or not you are scared, others are. And for the love of all that is good in this world, put yourselves to work on things that you can change. Let not your only action be typing a message of anger on your feed, but physically getting involved where you live, work, and breathe.
I don’t pretend to know what is good for this country. I am not a politician and I hate politics. But I am a human and I have a heart and I know that love trumps hate. Always has, always will.