Originally posted November 2016
Sometimes, life is all about those hard turns.
I am, by nature, a little impulsive. (Cue my husband, cheering wildly, “She admits it! SHE ADMITS IT!”) Yeah, whatever, pfft. One of those impulsive moves was to agree to marry him when I was still a baby. You’re welcome.
So, when blindsided by Trump’s win almost two weeks ago, I had a physics-based reaction. In response to a YUUUGE “WTF?!?!” kind of moment, I volleyed back with an equally large “WTF?!?!” kind of action. I told my husband I needed a dog.
My reasoning? How can I hyperfocus on the impending apocalypse when I have a dog insisting I take him out for walks at all times of the day?
So off to the shelter I went with my kids in tow — backup in case I came to my senses before the papers were signed. And we brought home Gus.
To a degree, the plan has worked. Gus has sucked up all my time. Hence, the lack of a recent book review. I love him and even though I have no blessed idea what I am doing, he’s here to stay. I can’t save the world, but I can save a pound pup.
That said, I’m still beside myself about the state of the country. And while I still yearn for the day I can say “Madame President,” it’s not even about Hillary losing. It’s about feeling like fear and hate won. It’s about that damn skit on SNL that spoofed all of us that thought the country was in a better place than it really is.
Funny. But not really.
It’s about recognizing and grappling with your friends that voted Trump, not because they are thrilled with him either, but they hated Hillary that much. And recognizing and grappling with the fact that racism, misogyny and mocking of people with special needs just aren’t big enough of a dealbreaker. I’m still working on that. I love that I have friends across the spectrum. This one just really stings.
It’s about not knowing how to really explain it when those same people tell me I need to “get over it” and “move on” and “accept it” and that my unwillingness to do so means I’m not “giving him a chance.” That I “want him to fail.” My favorite is when Trump supporters suggest they didn’t act like such whiny babies when Obama was elected.
So let’s be clear about something. I do not want Trump to fail. That’s ridiculous. The only thing I really actively root for to fail is Duke college basketball. Because, Duke. Nothing would make me happier than Trump uniting the world under one sunshiney rainbow flag of love and respect and fruitful economies. Cupcakes and butterflies for everyone!
This isn’t about my “unwillingness” to give him a chance. It’s about my inability. Them’s two different things. Asking me to look past his campaign behavior to offer him the benefit of the doubt is like asking me to run a 4-minute mile. I am a woman that’s been sexually harassed and marginalized. I have a son with special needs. I have conservative friends. I have liberal friends. I have straight friends. But I also have gay and lesbian friends. I have atheist friends, Christian friends, Jewish friends and Muslim friends.
With every passing day and another dismal appointment to another sector of government that’ll face the wrath of the uninformed (or worse, paid for) opinion, the wet cement that surrounds my inability to give him a chance dries a little more. I don’t want to become complacent to what feels inevitable. I don’t want to be stuck. So, I am placing my trust in Gus to keep me distracted.
And, rather than give Trump a chance, I’d rather expend that energy in placing faith in my friends who see this election outcome differently. Who say they aren’t racist homophobes. I believe you. I know that you aren’t those things. And because maybe you sit on the same end of the political spectrum as our next president, maybe your faith in his ability can help guide him to make choices that protect and benefit all and not just some.
Gus is calling. Time for a walk.