It’s safe to say the last week has been a little crazy. Protests from the elections are sweeping the country. Hate crimes are up. Children all across the country in school are being told that they should be deported. Chants of “Build That Wall” have erupted in schools and public places all around the country. The entire world is reeling from an election in which Donald J. Trump was elected President of the United States.
My interpretation of the last week is that there are two main themes going from each side: Fear and Hate.
The people who have been attacked by Trump, the minorities, the women, Muslims, the LBTGQ community, people with disabilities, immigrants (both legal and illegal) are afraid. They are afraid of their liberties being taken away, of all of the progress we’ve made over the last eight years being stripped from us.
And yes, I hear your fear. I validate it. I understand that these are scary times for all of us, especially the populations that were attacked during Trump’s campaign. I am afraid too.
I have been following along with the news (from reputable sites) and I wanted to make a couple points that might make some people feel more at ease.
- For those of spoonies with complex medical conditions, Trump has said (and also can’t) repeal the portions of the Affordable Care Act that prevent insurance companies from providing insurance to people with pre-existing conditions. Also, you will still be able to remain on your parent’s insurance. (Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-obamacare-pre-existing-conditions-26-2016-11)
- Trump cannot deport legal immigrants. His focus is on illegal immigrants. There are provisions in place, laws, procedures, rules, etc that prevent the deportation of LEGAL immigrants. (Source: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/grounds-deportability-when-legal-us-residents-can-be-removed.html)
- He has walked back on his stance about Muslims. He is not planning to deport or ban all Muslims from the country. (Source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/11/10/trumps-muslim-immigration-plan-not-clear/93608912/)
- States (including California), Senators (including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren) and Mayors of Los Angeles and New York City have announced they will stand against Trump in any of his efforts that promote racism, hate, and discrimination. (Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/new-york-los-angeles-sanctuary-trump_us_58265d74e4b0c4b63b0cc9c7; http://sd24.senate.ca.gov/news/2016-11-09-joint-statement-california-legislative-leaders-result-presidential-election)
- Trump called President Obama “a very good man.” It seems he has been somewhat humbled. (Source: http://www.npr.org/2016/11/10/501566466/in-surreal-moment-president-elect-donald-trump-meets-with-president-obama)
- His Twitter seems to be changing. Nine hours after tweeting about the “very unfair” protests, he tweeted “Love the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country. We will all come together and be proud!” Later he tweeted, “This will prove to be a great time in the lives of ALL Americans. We will unite and we will win, win, win!” (Source: Donald Trump’s Twitter) While these are not indicative of what his presidency will be like, the fact that he is controlling himself more on Twitter is a good sign.
- He is walking back on most of his campaign rhetoric. He is surrounding himself in his Cabinet with people who have been in politics, despite his promise to “Drain the Swamp.”
- Trump has now claimed that he does not plan to deport 11 million people without the proper documentation. (Source: http://www.univision.com/univision-news/politics/trump-now-says-he-plans-to-legalize-some-undocumented-immigrants)
Ok, so those are eight good things I can say about the days since the election.
Let me be clear: I am not a Trump supporter. I am horrified by everything he has said; I don’t support the hate he proliferates.
I am simply trying to see the bright side in what has otherwise been a very high anxiety provoking, stressful week.
There are terrible things going on: increases in hate crimes, political unrest, and widespread global fear.
He may not appoint the right people to the right positions. He is considering an anti-climate change believer for the Director of the EPA. Lord, help us.
But really, the message I want to deliver is this: We don’t know what the next four years will be like. Like most of you, I cried and was so disappointed in the election results. I am still terrified.
At the same time, I am trying to be hopeful. This is not the outcome most of us wanted. This is not the outcome the world wanted. But it’s what we got. And sometimes, life deals us a sh*t hand and we have to play it.
We can’t fold; we can’t back down.
We must unite. We must fight against discrimination, oppression and hate.
Our voices are strong. Our voices, united, are impossible to ignore.
Trump may have won the election, but we the people are the backbone of this nation. We have rights; we have laws to protect us. Trump cannot act unilaterally.
Worse comes to worst, we can always impeach him too. And if Pence becomes President and messes up, we can impeach him too. Keep impeaching until we find someone.
We will make it through the next four years. We will make it to 2020. There are also midterm elections, and I believe that ALL of the seats in the House of Representatives are up for re-election in 2018.
We all still have our voices. We have the right to peacefully assemble and protest. We have the Constitutional rights of freedom of speech, religion and assembly.
Trump can’t just come in and wipe out the Constitution. The Senate doesn’t have enough Republicans to override a filibuster from Democrats. If you were one of the ones who felt the Bern this election, then still have faith that Bernie is in our Senate right now, ready to do everything he can to make sure we don’t lose our progress.
These will be trying times. There will be bonds broken, relationships severed. There will be hate, and there will be violence.
But we will rise above. We have to.
The United States is a one of a kind country. We are a great nation, filled with a melting pot of amazing people with amazing stories who represent the greatest things the world has to offer.
Hillary Clinton said in her concession speech, “I count my blessings every single day that I am an American, and I still believe as deeply as I ever have that if we stand together and work together with respect for our differences, strength in our convictions and love for this nation, our best days are still ahead of us. Because, you know, I believe we are stronger together, and we will go forward together. And you should never, ever regret fighting for that.”
I understand you are afraid. I am afraid, too. I fear for myself, a disabled woman. I fear for my friends and family who are of Latino/Hispanic origin and their families. I fear for my LGBTQ friends and family members. I fear for people I don’t know, people who have been targeted by Trump. I am afraid. I am very, very afraid.
But I have hope. I have hope in the people of this country, the 26% who voted for Hillary, the millions who voted for Bernie, the 45% who didn’t vote (although I’m mad you didn’t vote). I have hope that all of us come together and overcome the hate. I have hope we can unify ourselves against everything Trump stands for and has said.
And with hope, anything is possible.
If you are experiencing serious anxiety and stress right now, please reach out to someone. You can text the Crisis Line at 741741. The Suicide Hotline number is 1-800-273-8255. The LGBTQ/Trans hotline is 1-877-565-8860.
You can also check out my tips for anxiety here.
Stay mighty, Warriors.
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