By: Emily Miller
Two days after the election, and I’m still crying. I’m in mourning for Hillary. I’m grieving for my country. I’m scared of what’s to come. I’m afraid of what will happen to me.
My father was a history teacher and a town councilman, and he instilled in me a love of this country, an understanding of our past and the ability to comprehend The West Wing at an absurdly young age. I grew up watching the elections with an awed sense of reverence. It was exciting to watch our democracy work and I couldn’t wait to vote myself.
I remember one day when I was quite little asking my father if I could grow up to be President of the United States. He said of course I could, and went out and bought me a t-shirt that “future president of the USA.” I believed him that day and every day that followed after that.
Until two days ago that is.
Hillary Clinton lost the presidency of the United States, and she lost it to a less qualified, racist, sexist monster.
Donald Trump ran under the idea that he was a successful businessman. In actuality, he declared bankruptcy 6 times. And that doesn’t include all his business projects that just failed and did not declare bankruptcy. I’m listing them here in entirety because it’s funny and sad at the same time. (Tour de Trump!)
GoTrump (online travel site)
Trump: The Game
Trump Ice (bottled water)
The New Jersey Generals (pro football team)
Tour de Trump (bicycle race)
Trump Network (nutritional supplements)
Trumped! (syndicated radio spot)
Recently, I’ve been thinking of getting involved in politics, and when I’ve told people, I’ve gotten pretty much the same response. People first respond with that’s so sweet, followed swiftly by ‘but you have no experience.’ I point out that neither did Trump. They just laugh and say it’s different.
But wait, how is it? Seriously I want to know.
How is it revolutionary when we want to give the highest office in the land to a man with no experience, but we continuously chastised a woman for ‘being too prepared.’
It sounds like blatant sexism to me, but when I’ve said this, a lot of people disagreed with me and said I’m exaggerating. So I held my tongue and anxiously awaited the results of the election. And now that they are in- I’ve learned a lot.
America is sexist. And it’s way more sexist than I ever imagined.
Was Hillary a perfect candidate? No.
But Donald Trump has had 10+ women come and out and say he sexually assaulted them, and recently had the Ku Klux Klan, one of the darkest parts of our history, come forward and endorse him because of his vision of the future.
This was when I started getting involved in her campaign. I broke past the lazy, uncaring millennial stereotype and did something. I donated time, effort and money. I campaigned for her, gave out signs, and called voters to get them to the polls. I felt incredible volunteering, and was more emotionally invested in this campaign then any other before this. I couldn’t wait to tell my kids that I worked on the campaign that helped elect the first woman president.
And yet on election night we still elected him as President.
I was broken. All I could think was how much does my country hate my sex that they could ignore everything about Trump? The White House was built by slaves. And the country elected a man repeatedly endorsed by the KKK. The White House was completed 216 years ago. How far have we really come in that time?
It’s sobering thoughts like that, that caused me to openly weep. I cried because for the first time in my life, I was truly disillusioned. I thought we were the greatest country in the world. I learned that we are not. And I haven’t been able to stop crying.
I’ve put up statuses across social media to share my grief with others. While most have been supportive, I’ve encountered a lot of negativity. I’ve had many people tell me that I have to “grow up” and “respect the decision of the country.” He’s “our president now and I need to learn to accept that.” I’ve been called a “millennial” “disrespectful” and a “spoiled fucking brat.”
I have shed many tears over this election, and I am not a spoiled fucking brat or some typical millennial. I wanted Hillary to win and I put my money where my mouth was. I put countless hours into her campaign. I got to know people on her staff and became emotionally invested in this campaign. And now, not only did my candidate lose, but she lost to the scariest human I have seen.
A candidate who said he likes to grab women by the pussy, and he can get away with it because he’s a star. He has referred to women as pigs and dogs and says he prefers us on our knees. He has said he is attracted to his daughter. He has been accused of rape. He has been married three times and cheated on all of his wives. And more than ten women have come forward and said he has sexually assaulted him. And he holds the highest office in the land.
I am a firm believer in representation and now men in this country can view this behavior as acceptable. As a 5’1, 100 pound blonde who has been harassed and attacked by men before, I am utterly terrified to exist in this new world. And I am not alone.
It’s not that I’m throwing a tantrum like a spoiled child because I didn’t get the toy I wanted. I am crying out of fear and anguish. I am upset and hurting, and I just need a few days to mourn. I cannot fathom how someone can’t comprehend that basic human need.
While Trump and his supporters are upset about protesters, I am upset that Ku Klux Klan will be marching in victory in a few day’s time. I am upset that people are trying to make me feel guilty for expressing my right to free speech. I am angry that our society was this stupid to fall for this racist, sexist con artist’s words. And I am mad at myself for being bullied into being afraid.
I’ve kept a lot of my opinions to myself because I was told I had to be a good girl. I didn’t want to argue about politics because it seemed petty and silly. Well I am done with that. I will never again be afraid to use my voice. My beliefs are too important to me.
So now I fight. Because three year old Emily believed she could be President. And I don’t want to tell her she’s wrong.