Rage doesn’t begin to cover it. Terror, fear. But more than anything, despair. I have a little PTSD coming in, memories of gaslighting from not one, but two past lovers. Memories of a man who made me feel worthless; who critiqued my stomach during intimate moments and said “You’ll have to work out later” when I ate scrambled eggs late one night, and then resented me when I lost weight faster than him. Who always, relentlessly, talked about himself, and then looked around in wonder when anyone expected a thing different.
The despair, however, does not come from these memories. I understand what happened, though I can’t always buffet the emotional recollections. I know what a narcissist is, and I understand sociopathy. I get Donald Trump, and how he could criticize how women look and switch out his current wife for a new one every so often, regardless of how he himself looks, eats or acts.
What triggers this sense of hopelessness is the people I love. My father saying that black people are “hood,” and that women who stay in abusive relationships deserve it because they choose to stay, even as he describes how he got my stepsister out of one such situation. I don’t understand that. I don’t understand how you can see a problem and attribute it to a whole “culture” (to use his euphemism), and also (by the way) ignore the fact that your own DAUGHTER chose to stay in an unhealthy place for two years because a) she wasn’t physically hit, and b) you didn’t give a fuck.
That’s not the worst, though. My father, for all his merciless talk and desperate desire to see Trump as an actual businessman who will help the economy, rather than the as the relentless charlatan that he is, does help his family. He himself is a decent man whom I’ve never heard describe a woman in the way Trump does, and whose own business practices are above reproach. He is compassionate, albeit uncomfortably so, in the fact of a person’s expressed pain. So what gives?
Today, I saw delusional people on social media praising God for the “right” outcome. A lot of slightly-more-sensitive others said that we should keep in mind that some people are upset, and be polite to them. And it’s all horseshit.
First of all, unless you are honest about your Bible, no Christian in their right mind would vote for Donald Trump. But it hasn’t been about the Bible as they claim to interpret it for some time, now, has it? My dear, beloved family members, loving parents and devoted believers, made an idol of abortion. Their entire reason for voting was for the Supreme Court. They are willing to damn millions of people to a more miserable existence to take a stand on an issue that doesn’t matter!
WHAT, you say?! How is that possible?! Well, as many progressives know, the abortion rate is the lowest it has been in more than forty years. Additionally, the rate is the same in countries where it is legal and illegal; the only difference is that more people die or get hurt where it’s not allowed.
Oh well. I can’t convince people who would be sure my words just now indicates approval for wanton murder of anything…but what about the rest?
I am grieved on a personal level because a man can be horrible towards women and minorities and make xenophobic, outlandish comments, even bragging about sexual assault, and people on Facebook will STILL yell that he’s NOT racist or sexist or any other thing. Because on the radio this morning, the host laughed and said “You’re using really big words!” to a woman who said she didn’t vote for Trump because he is a misogynist, and then added that her team should have “practiced harder” if they wanted to win. Because people in MY world, people I love and weep and bleed over in other periods, are so blinded by what their pundits and preachers and own lenses say that they can never just admit that
- misogyny exists, unless a man is physically beating a woman;
- wanting to deport all illegal immigrants and labeling them criminals is racist;
- a man who brags about sexually assaulting women on tape probably actually did it;
- that women who say he did what he said he did have no reason to lie;
- and that a man who was once a staunch Democrat and JUST PRAISED PLANNED PARENTHOOD A FEW MONTHS AGO is NOT their savior.
I have to work really hard at this point in my life to do it, but I can remember. I can get back into that mindset where a Clinton was not a person, but a force to be indiscriminately abhorred and destroyed. I remember when I cared far less for loving people already alive than a group of cells* with no sentient being. I can even remember, dimly, being sure that who another person chose to love** was a sign of the apocalypse, and that I could use the same Bible that told me it was okay to sacrifice a virgin daughter, to make a woman marry her rapist, to call a woman a dog, and that having babies is what saves women from hell to condemn those in same-sex relationships–even though mysteriously, none of those OTHER Scriptures were taken seriously.
Remembering, however, only makes me sick to my stomach. Because the majority of my family members STILL FEEL THIS EXACT SAME WAY, and I whether I remember or not, I just can’t buy it. I am at a loss as to how people who love me and their own children so deeply, who demonstrate patience and compassion all the time and dedicate their lives to serving others, just elected Donald Trump. And that misunderstanding makes me ill, because these people are the majority of Americans who showed up to vote, and I have to live for four more years knowing that the people I love most in the world helped it happen…and praised God while they did it.
Moments like these, the Scripture that comes to mind is none other than the one my family uses to explain why homosexuality is wrong. Verse 25 begins, “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator”(***).
If there is a God, I can’t imagine a better way to describe what Christians have done by electing Trump.
*I am not personally comfortable with late-term abortion, but wish that this article and this one were required reading for those who believed Trump’s representation of abortion in the last debate.
** Of course, the passage describes homosexual sex, not love, but the way I was raised, there is no difference.