I’m furious this morning. Not because my candidate lost, but because I find it incomprehensible that so many Americans voted in support of hate, indecency, and inequality.
I’m a middle class white male and small business owner, a prototypical privileged American. Arguably, I probably have less to fear from a Trump presidency than just about any other constituency. And yet I’m trembling.
I’m disgusted that so many good human beings, in America and across the globe, will suffer legitimately warranted fear at the hands of a regressive political party and its new leader. These people are my friends. They are my coworkers. They are my children. And they have every reason to be fearful.
Conservatism can and should be defined as a resistance to rapid progress. There’s nothing wrong with moving forward slowly and cautiously.
Conservatism, sadly, is too often a resistance to any progress. At best, this is damaging to the human spirit. At worst, it does nothing to improve the circumstances and opportunities of all those who suffer daily.
Today’s Republican Party, however, practices a particularly nasty form of Conservatism, with a religious white nationalist streak that is the antithesis of all progress. It is a regressive throwback to days when feudalism thrived and theological institutions dictated law. It is hypocrisy in action, where the unborn are valued more highly than those of us walking the earth, where the poor and disenfranchised and disabled are mocked and ridiculed, where people are so beaten down by propaganda they vote into power their own oppressors and help enact laws dooming them to serfdom.
We’ve elected a Party whose platform calls for stripping away freedoms from women.
A Party that wants to make birth control illegal.
A Party that will destroy families by deporting hard working individuals whose only crime is crossing an imaginary border to find a job. Tell me… If your child was starving, if your spouse was starving, and you could save them by walking a few miles across a man-made line in the sand, what would you do?
We’ve elected a Party with a strong contingent that believes the color of your skin determines your value as a human being.
A Party that attempts to institute religious law in defiance of constitutional protections.
A Party with a strong contingent that vocally proclaims and believes government should serve only white, Christian, English-speaking Americans.
A Party that cloaks its racist fears and hateful discrimination behind outlandish phrases like “religious liberty”.
A Party that values mythology over science, ridicules public education, and mocks the very idea of intellectual pursuit.
I have Conservative friends who will try to dispute these things (yes, they’re all white males), but each of these points is indisputable. These votes occur every day in state and federal governments. These ideas have passed into law in numerous states and municipalities. Discrimination has been written into the Republican Party platform across the nation. And the backwards mentality, the very dismissal of historical precedent in favor of fear and mythological superstition, is devastating.
I do not hold the Democratic Party as some beacon of brilliance and progress. It is a flawed institution with its own corruption and elitism. But it does not promote hate. It does not attempt to dismantle our liberties. And it absolutely supports an inclusiveness that is foreign to today’s Republican Party.
I am baffled that so many Americans would trample on the rights of their fellow citizens, whose primary message pleads for peace and love and fairness and equality, by electing a President and Party that spews hatred, exclusivity, and discrimination.
I hope I’m wrong about what the future holds. I hope I’m wrong about fear. I hope I’m wrong about the hatred and division to come. And I hope everything I’ve said in this spontaneous post proves to be laughable hyperbole. Perhaps my fears are the absurd rantings of a cynic. Perhaps my daughters will not lose control of their bodies and their choices. Perhaps they will not have their futures limited by the actions of misogynistic bullies. There is always hope, but hope itself accomplishes nothing. We must act in support of our hope. We must give voice to those whose voices will be ignored. We must protect those whose rights will be forgotten. And we must ensure progress for all humanity.
It is a sad day for America. But it’s time to fight.
Also published on Medium.