What Hurts Most About the Election

I tend to skip past pain when discussing politics publicly. Anger feels safer. But I don’t want to forget that declaring war sometimes isn’t as important as declaring wounds.

So here are some of mine regarding this election, in simple terms:

It hurts to know that Donald Trump hesitated for days to denounce David Duke and the KKK. It hurts to know that Trump is so unconcerned for me, my safety, and my dignity, that he had to be publicly pressured into condemning a former Grand Wizard. It hurts to know that Republicans I love and respect will still vote for him despite this fact. It hurts to know they were not appalled enough to change course. It hurts to know they think so little of me.

It hurts to know that Trump selected Mike Pence as his running mate. It hurts to know that Pence has not walked back his support of conversion therapy for people like me. It hurts to know that Pence has tried to enable businesses to discriminate against me. It hurts to know that the official Republican platform enshrines his views. It hurts to know that Republicans I love and respect accept all this. It hurts to know how little I matter to them.

It hurts to hear Trump answer a debate question about racial tension with calls to “law and order.” It hurts to know what he means. It hurts that no amount of unarmed corpses will change his mind, or the minds of those in conservative police unions, or the minds of civilians who speak out against#BlackLivesMatter. It hurts to know how many people believe bullets belong in black bodies. It hurts to know that even people who don’t believe so will still vote for Trump. It hurts to know that my protection means so little to them.

It hurts to know that my Latino and disabled friends mean so little, too. That my Muslim neighbors mean so little. That the women in my life mean so little. It hurts to know that I’m just as forgotten. Just as insignificant. Just as acceptable a political casualty.

It hurts to know that an e-mail scandal outweighs me. It hurts to know that Benghazi outweighs me. It hurts that hearings have cleared Clinton of criminal wrongdoing in both cases, but that I am outweighed, as always, for any reason, for all possible reasons, for impossible reasons.

It hurts to know that hating Clinton is a higher priority than loving me.

It hurts so much.

It hurts all the time.