After tonight, everything is different.
It’s 11:48 PM on Tuesday, November 8th, 2016. All signs point to an inevitable, if unbelievable, conclusion: Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States. Let me say that slightly differently. The former host of the Apprentice, a man who has publicly stated that has he sexually assaulted women, that Muslims should be banned from entering the country, that he will prosecute his political opponent, that Mexicans are rapists, that women should be distrusted when they are on their periods; a candidate who hasn’t released his tax returns, who praises Vladimir Putin, who disagrees with his Vice President, who called his opponent a “nasty woman” and claimed that there are some “bad hombres” in this country, who criticizes the freedom of the press, who has bankrupted several companies despite not paying contracted workers and threatening to sue them if they protest, who has divorced his first two wives before landing on a supermodel immigrant – despite his notable and avowed hatred for all those who are not American – and who now inevitably accepts and will praise the electoral system that he previously considered “rigged”: this narcissist is about to become the leader of the free world, and one third of the most powerful government on the face of the Earth.
(The previous paragraph is only moderately catastrophizing. You’ll notice that I didn’t mention the fact that this man – who is provoked to vehemence at all hours of the night by tweets from Rosie O’Donnell – will now have control over the United States’ nuclear arsenal. I refuse to believe that someone could start a nuclear war. But, also, I now know that what I believe or refuse to believe has absolutely no hold over reality.)
It’s now 12:03 AM, November 9th. It’s my mother’s birthday. Yesterday, she posted a picture of herself in a navy pantsuit on Facebook – a celebratory gesture, paying homage to the preferred garb of our then presumptive future Madam President. But today, we know the truth: that America is not what we thought it was, and that hate has trumped love.
Evil has conquered good. Division has conquered unity. And in a very real way, straight, Christian, white, and male has trumped gay, Muslim, black, and female. It feels like that’s the case, doesn’t it? And on some level, it is – no matter how hard we try to erase this night from the history of our great nation. But no matter what the truth is tonight, the beauty of America is that we can change tomorrow.
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