Originally, I did not want to write about the results of the election. I pride myself on covering stories that I am passionate about and have experience with so that I can express myself in clarity. But this time is different. For the first time, I have been so passionate the past fews days, that my mind has been completely derailed in a fluster of confusion, anger, and pure fear. I am living with complete chaos within my mind, floating through my everyday life while every inch of me is occupied by a single topic. I found it inappropriate to write about anything else.
Being a straight, white woman who doesn’t practice any specific religion, I will not even attempt to understand how many of my fellow Americans are feeling at this moment. Considering I am already sick to my stomach in fear for my rights as a woman, I cannot even fathom the immense fear that must plague my friends and their families dealing with far greater threats to far more of their rights. I ache for them.
This country has gone through 56 elections, but this time is different. Thousands of people are taking to the streets to protest the hate that has just been welcomed into power because this time is different. We are well aware that there is always a winner and a loser, but this time is different. Love has lost and hate has won. Every morning since Tuesday, I have awoken blissfully forgetful of the nightmare I now live in for a few valuable moments, but as soon as I draw my curtains I am reminded of the haze of grief that has clouded so many. I am then greeted by a lump in my throat and a fire in my heart which last with me throughout my day until the cycle repeats.
Politics have always been distant to me. Freshly an adult, this was my first election; a rude awakening into this world where my parents are no longer what governs me, but instead our central government. It only recently hit me that this time is different and I am the one being affected by the changes within our government. It is me that will suffer unequal pay. It is me that won’t be able to get an abortion if Roe v. Wade is repealed. It is my college education that could become too expensive for me to afford. It is the fate of my body that will be decided for me.
The results of this election feel very personal to me because this time is different. I feel as though as a woman, I am being personally attacked by my country, including some members of my family who have unknowingly sided against my wellbeing. It is true that only time will tell how the next four years will play out, but for now, I have no choice but to fear the future. Even though I am perpetually surrounded by people, I feel isolated and alone, betrayed by my fellow Americans.
We all have to understand that this time is different. We all have to understand that from now on we are going to have to work so much harder to love everyone. Regardless of his policy, the figurehead of our country is setting a devastatingly poor example for the rest of us, misdirecting our youth and confusing the morals of the rest of us. His actions and words provide an example for so many of Americans, and now those words and actions are stained with misogyny, racism, islamophobia and xenophobia. It is crucial that we understand that just because America’s role model endorses hate, it is not okay for us to act it out, accept it, or lose sight of our love and compassion. Furthermore, let this be a warning to stay vigilant for not only yourself, but also for others. It is now that we need to be each other’s allies. It is now that we need to be ready to stand up for these allies who are subjected to discrimination that has already started tearing our country apart since the 8th. Uniting together against discrimination is our only option because this time is different.