My heart remains heavy, my loves. Heavy for my country and the direction that we will head for the next four years, and honestly for years to come, as very few decisions made have only short term outcomes. News outlets online and half-assed internet sites are reporting so many conflicting stories about the President-elects transition team and first 100 day plans, that it is difficult to know what to believe. We do know that the backlash against intellectualism continues to grow, as names like Ben Carson are bantered about for Education Secretary or Sarah Palin for Interior Secretary. Is Trump toning down his rhetoric, suggesting that he said whatever he needed to say to rile up his base? Heaven forfend! Or is it all a ruse to make people believe that it won't be as bad as he promised, create a false sense of security before the all important holiday shopping season is upon us?
We know that more than half the eligible voters in the country didn't vote. Whatever their reasons or excuses, that's inexcusable. We know that there are still millions of votes left to count. We also know that Hillary Clinton is leading in the popular vote in counted ballots, and it only continues to grow. We also know that she has the 4th highest popular vote total in American history and could move into third place. He won the electoral college. He played the numbers the right way. She neglected the white vote in poorer parts of the country, assuming that they would naturally be in her camp. She and the DNC made a couple other mistakes, but that's better left to the pundits to debate. There is little comfort in knowing that really about a quarter of the registered voters in the country voted for him.
I don't want to argue with anyone about whether or not he was a better a choice. When you vote for someone, it's supposed to be based on the whole package. If you're a one issue kind of person, forsaking all other aspects of a personality or platform, that's like buying a house based on one room. You might dig your time in that room, but I guarantee you're going to have to move throughout that abode, and if you can't at least be mildly at ease in those other rooms, that's going to make for some uncomfortable living arrangements. To put my analogy into play, if you voted for Trump based on his stance on abortion - because that's your line in the sand - then you're at least mildly comfortable with the idea of registering Muslims, mass deportations of immigrants and discriminating against others based on religious preferences. If you disagree with me and say, Oh no Heather, I'm most certainly not for those things at all, but I am totally against abortion. Like I said, that's one room in the house.
That's why there are tens of thousands of Americans protesting in the streets throughout the country. They're not upset about an election. The're upset at the hate and vitriol that so many people just condoned and tacitly approved of. They're afraid and scared. They're not being petulant. Our country was built on the freedom of speech and the right to peaceably assemble, to protest. Donald Trump made his views on women, minorities, the LGBTQIA community, Muslims and veterans well known. His rallies showcased hate speech and violence against protesters. He is endorsed by the KKK. David Duke is beyond giddy on his twitter feed. Make no mistake, you ally yourself with evil by not outright rejecting it and all its trappings. If vendors outside your rallies are selling white power merchandise, if supporters inside your rallies are screaming epithets and racial slurs, if you re-tweet white supremacist memes and follow those people on twitter, if Anti-Semitism is thinly veiled in your messaging, you have made your true character well known. That's why people are protesting, and why we must not be silent.
An older well known male client was discussing the protests with me on Friday. We were being painfully polite with each other while in my office, as it was clear that our political choices were different. But at one point, he told me that the protesters really needed to be quiet, hunker down and "take the next 4 years." Do you know what that sounded like to me? It sounded an awful lot like something someone quite evil told me a very long time ago in a moment that I will never forget. Just be quiet and take it. Why are you crying? It's not that bad.
I will not be quiet.
I will not take it.
I will rage.
And I will never forget.