Keep America Great

Days before this election season came to an end, I shut people out who tried to talk to me about it. I voted, I have strong political opinions, but emotionally, I couldn’t handle the discussion—even though nearly everyone attempting to instigate opined the same beliefs. Anxiety washed over me.

And as the election results came in, and I watched, I broke down and cried. I’m not angry. I don’t like Donald Trump. I don’t like Hilary Clinton either. I don’t like Gary Johnson. I don’t like Jill Stein. I didn’t want any of them leading our country.

But I voted for one of them because I felt victimized by another, and there’s a lot of emotional weight that comes with that when you desperately are clinging to a dream of never allowing yourself to be a victim and when you’re doing so out of utter sadness that someone has established an entire campaign to make both you and people you love and respect feel that they don’t matter—that the country they live in is not “great” with them in it.

When Joel and I decided to try to have a child, a big part of my own reasoning for that was that I wanted more people like him in the world. He’s kind-hearted, patient, optimistic, calm, and loving. He rarely loses his temper and even though he can certainly get in funks, he tends to find good in most things and reframe his views when he can’t. I’m not so great at those things, but I am extremely passionate, compassionate, loyal and determined and those are my positive contributions to the world. I figured a good blend of all of those qualities in one person would be a gift. I wanted more positive people in the world.

But I was fearful because I kept thinking “How can I bring a life into the world on the verge of a political administration led by such a hateful, terrible person?” And how can I keep my head high, as an adult, in light of that?

These fears have been realized. And are now struggles I—you—we—he—will face.

My son will be born into a world where hatred sometimes wins and the outcome of it is harsh and dark. And I was born into a world where hatred sometimes won. And some of the people I admire most also lived and fought in a world where hatred dominated. They didn’t let that hatred paralyze them. They used their voice. They yelled. And I think that’s important to remember right now. This is not a dismissal that bad things have happened or a lie that it hasn’t made me cry or left me feeling bitter or saddened. It’s a reframing of an outlook, because honestly, that’s all we have right now.

This isn’t party affiliation vs. party affiliation. These words are spoken from a place of love vs. hate. Today I will spread love because that’s all I can do.

You’re still you. And you still matter. You will continue to matter. You don’t deserve to be “othered” or victimized. And if there’s ever a time to fight, it’s now. Fight to set an example, love each other to show that love is what matters. Don’t let hatred permeate inside of you and make you cold too. You’re loved and your love is honestly the thing making America great. Don’t let some jerk steal that sentiment.