Thursday, October 27, 2016

America's Sad Year

If you know me at all, you know I love the fall season. I mean LOVE it. I love the colors and smells; the boots, sweaters and scarves. Oh, and Halloween? Halloween is my jam, ya'll! I shamelessly use my son's late-October birthday party for my own creative, spooky outlet. This time of year, I usually post Pinterest-y photos of my fall creations and decor, gush about all things autumn, and reiterate my disdain for anything pumpkin flavored that is not a pumpkin. 

But this year is different. Yes, my house was all spook-ified for Halloween, and my fall mantle makes me smile, but I haven't been as excited as I normally am. This year, it just seems frivolous. Like, yay, fall is here! Except who cares because a fascist dictator could become president, rapists are being slapped on the wrists, and police are shooting unarmed black citizens in the streets. So.... yay for fall...???

I wish I could separate myself from all of this. I wish I could just think, "oh, that's too bad," and go on with my day. But I can't. I feel all the feelings (I refuse to say "feels" - that's not a noun), and I can't turn them off. I've been sad, angry, depressed, infuriated, disappointed, appalled, and just completely f**king baffled over and over again. Even before we get over the shock of one thing, another thing happens. Do you feel emotionally drained, too? 

I'm hesitantly confident that Hillary Clinton will be our next president, and I pray that Trump has dug himself into a hole that no Gettysburg speech can lift him out of. But when we wake up in the morning on November 9th, we won't simply go back to normal. Trump may gone, but his followers will remain. Too many awful things have been said and done; things we can't un-see or un-hear. 

The Trump campaign has normalized hatred, anger, violence, aggression, fear, ignorance and flat-out lies. Trump has fooled his followers into believing that their inner darkness has actually been the light all along, and they are proudly letting their darkness shine over our country. Leave it to Trump to find a way to make the darkness shine. 

Since I have expressed my repulsion for Trump, his cult-like followers have called me some foul names on social media. A bitch, a c*nt, an idiot, a f**king moron, a fool, a terrible mother, a mindless imbecile, retarded, and a closet lesbian - just to name a few. (That last one isn't actually foul, but it's also not true, and it's definitely a huge insult in the minds of the ignorant and homophobic.) 

In my recent Facebook profile picture, I'm wearing a witch's hat, so some eloquent* Trumpsters called me a witch, satanist, and Wiccan. One actually damned me to hell. Yep, umm hmm, really. Yeah, so sure, all those things could be true, or... OR... more likely, it's was just Halloween, people, and I love Halloween. Duh. See above. 

The Trump trolls have come out of the woodwork to bully, threaten, and antagonize. Everything from harassing Hillary supporters online to burning down churches. Because that's what bullies do when they can't articulate logic or reason. The meanness and hate Trump has unleashed upon us is not going to disappear on Wednesday, November 9th. When Hillary wins and our first Madame President is named, Trump will proclaim the election was rigged, and his zombie-ish followers will demand a re-vote. So instead of a nightmare that ends abruptly when you sit straight up in bed in a sweaty panic, this nightmare will be the kind we know we're in, but from which we cannot wake up. 

I hate Trump for showing me things I didn't want to know. A few weeks from now when he slowly slinks away with his tail between his legs (a tail that I'm quite certain is forked at the end), we will still have to live with each other. Our friends and family who have participated in the hate will still be there, and those relationships will never be the same. Our perceptions of them eternally altered. We will continue to look at them with fresh, sad eyes.

The Pandora's Box of hate has been opened, and Hillary winning the election will not be enough to put it all back inside. American democracy will never be the same.

*We need a sarcasm font. Or emoji. Something.