I'm Still With Her
In the words of one of my favorite role models, Leslie Knope, “Everything hurts and I’m dying.”
That’s how I’ve felt since Election Night, when everyone at the party I was attending realized that Donald Trump was going to win. As the results kept rolling in, people left to mourn and continue getting drunk in private.
It was not the happy outcome we were hoping for, but it wasn’t a surprise either. In the last few days before the election when FBI director James Comey said Hillary’s e-mails might be investigated yet again, I had a sinking feeling. Donald Trump was recorded saying he likes to grab women by the pussy and it had no effect on his campaign, but Hillary was derailed by what people imagined she was writing in her deleted e-mails. She was the most qualified candidate we’ve had in my lifetime and would have been a great President, but instead we gave it to a racist, misogynist reality TV star with a history of failed businesses and no political experience.
I was ashamed of our country that night. We let fear and xenophobia win, and hate crimes have spiked since the election. Emboldened by the actions of our President-elect, the word “Trump” has become a sort of free pass that his supporters use to treat others like trash. It’s shorthand for hate.
I’ve been reading accounts of these crimes and preparing myself for when I’m confronted by a Trump supporter.
What will he say to me? Will he get in my face?
It’s always a “he” in these scenarios because it’s always angry men who shout the loudest.
I’ve been fighting back in small ways every day. I set up a monthly donation to Planned Parenthood in Mike Pence’s name. I also started a monthly contribution to the ACLU and subscribed to The New York Times, because we need good investigative journalism so badly right now. I’m reading as much as I can and listening to More Perfect, the Radiolab podcast about the Supreme Court. I want to arm myself with knowledge.
There’s still time to make changes before Trump’s inauguration. We can help Foster Campbell with his Senate campaign in Louisiana -- their election isn’t until December 10 and if he wins, Democrats will have one more seat in the Senate. We won’t have the majority, but it will help.
We can also call our representatives and sign petitions to voice our opposition to the people Trump is selecting for his cabinet. So far, they’ve all been terrible choices; men who will damage our country and instill fear in our citizens, and they should not be given any power.
This loss has inspired a change in me, and I hope it has made me a better person. I will not be complacent and quiet when it comes to politics anymore. Don’t get me wrong, if I could go back and make Hillary Clinton our President-elect, I would do it. During her campaign, I didn’t do enough to get her elected and I won’t make that mistake again. I owe it to her to be engaged and not give up. She showed us how to stand up to the bullies and the people who hate us.
We won’t always win, but we have to try.
Written by Cristina Sanza
Cristina is a New York City based writer. She currently writes for Maude Night at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and for various online publications. You can follow her on Twitter @cristinasanza for a few jokes and a lot of political trolling.