How Will You Make Sure This Nightmare Election Never Happens Again?
We’re almost at the end of this nightmare election.
I hope Trump loses, it’s one of the few hopes I have left for the presidential election. I hope Trump loses, I hope his supporters lose. I hope they all cry. But that’s all I have, because I know that, no matter who wins, it won’t be me. And it won’t be people like me. I know that whoever wins, the losers will be either Muslims here at home, or Muslims overseas. I know that there is no victory to be found for black Americans when even a black president saw our bodies laid in the streets at the hands of cops. I know there is no victory to be found for the poor, for the pacifist, for the people of color.
We have been pawns in this election, our names trotted out to scare white America or wound white racists. Our anger and desperation has been used to drum up hate and lies. And in a few more days, we will go back to not mattering. To not existing to those who couldn’t stop invoking us for the last year.
And so for all my fellow progressives I ask: What’s next?
To those who yelled that they would never vote for a candidate who would authorize drone strikes I ask, what will you do now to stop it? What money will you give to relief organizations instead of campaigns? Will you yell in the streets as loudly as you yelled on Twitter? Will you still forward articles about what’s going on overseas if they don’t also provide you with the opportunity to attack a candidate? Will you pressure local and state officials to take the same stance that only seemed to matter to you on a national level? And in two years, when you have the chance to decide who will check the president’s power in the House and Senate, will you even vote at all?
To those who reluctantly voted for the “lesser of two evils” I ask, what will you do in the name of good? What will you do to make sure that the vote you felt forced to make doesn’t become the complacency you choose to keep? What will you do to push for future candidates who actually support your ideals? At what level will you demand more than a party line? How closely will you watch and pressure the officials you reluctantly voted for in the coming months and years?
Will your fatigue turn back into fire when this election is over? Or will you sleep for the next four years?
To those who happily, proudly voted for Hillary I ask, will you be with us as much as you were with her? Will you with as much joy and gusto support justice reform, increases in minimum wages, and environmental protections? Will you cheer for the election to local and state offices of people of color, queer people, and disabled people as loudly as you cheered for the election of a wealthy, straight, cis white woman?
I ask these questions not to make you feel bad, nor to make myself seem morally superior. I, like you, have a choice to make this election — and honestly, I feel horrible about it. It makes me feel sick to my stomach. But I also know that, no matter what, when this election is over we are going to be a country where a large portion of our population chose to openly vote for a violent, unapologetic white supremacist, and where a large portion of our population chose to vote for someone who is far too morally comfortable with murderous drone strikes and the thought of rigging overseas elections, and where a small minority of impassioned progressives couldn’t come up with a candidate whom anyone with real policy knowledge could respect.
No matter what you think of your candidates, no matter who wins, that is the world we will wake up to on November 9th.
And it’s the world that people of color, poor people, LGBT people, and disabled people have been waking up to for a very long time. While we watch everyone spend so much time and energy fighting this election I can’t help but wonder: What a difference it would make if some of this energy was used to fight for us?
So the question is, come November 9, when there isn’t a sexy national office at stake, just the lives of everyday Americans — what are we going to do about it?
Lead image: Picserver