Months have passed since the country elected Donald Trump the next President of the United States of America. For some of us, it still feels like the world’s longest nightmare; for others, a reason for jubilant celebration.
Attempting to elect a woman president is risky business. It does not matter how overwhelmingly qualified she may be for the job. It makes no difference that she had good ideas and the influence and know-how to actually turn those ideas into action. It mattered not that she ran on a platform of equality and acceptance and generosity and personal responsibility. All that mattered was that she had a vagina, and people thought she was prickly.
Despite being cleared of all perceived “crimes” (grievances), the Fox News crowd decided that the lies were easier to swallow than the idea of a woman POTUS. How DARE she have the audacity to assume that she could run that sacred highest office. How DARE she try and assert her capable, willing power and get. shit. done.
Hillary lost because of sexism, pure and simple. She is not a criminal. She is not a deviant. She is a woman who has dedicated her life to public service and has helped countless people in that time. Most importantly, she is a person. Flawed and imperfect and capable of making mistakes and errors in judgment, just like the rest of us. She handled the mudslinging, and even threw some of her own, with grace and dignity. Qualities of which Donald Trump does not possess.
Millions and millions of people in this country believed that this fraud was going to build a wall along the lowermost US border and make Mexico pay for it (lol). Millions and millions and millions of people believed that Donald Trump was going to imprison Hillary Clinton for her crimes– except she didn’t commit any. Millions and millions and millions and millions of people believed that he was going to “drain the swamp,” and rid Capital Hill of lobbyists and pay-for-play politicians; instead, he has filled it to the brim with the biggest swamp monsters known to man.
He ran on a campaign of hate and divisiveness and bigotry, and millions and millions and millions and millions of people voted for it. Many of those millions own up to their hatred. They wear their racism and homophobia and misogyny and xenophobia on their sleeves and make no apologies. I can almost-ALMOST-respect that at least they have the courage of their convictions to keep them going. The closeted ones, though… the ones that say they aren’t racist, or homophobic, or misogynistic, or xenophobic, because it’s not good manners, and they don’t want to recognize that in themselves– those are the most dangerous.
At the end of the day, a vote for Donald Trump was a vote for hate. Period. End of story. There is absolutely no argument you could make against Hillary Clinton, no matter how valid or factual you believe it to be, that could justify the fact that you voted for Donald Trump. The only possibly explanation is that you, too, are racist, homophobic, misogynistic, and xenophobic.
Despite all of that…
I believe that the democrats are really what lost this election. Between the absolute disaster that was the DNC scandal under Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Hillary Clinton being viewed as just another establishment puppet, we doomed ourselves. It started long before that, though.
Look, I get it. We’re liberals. We are the party of “attachment parenting”, the ones that want to “make love, not war.” That’s all well and good, but it does not negate the fact that we are currently at war, whether we want to be or not. It is time we start acting like it. It is time for the party as a whole to woman the fuck up and get on the Right’s level. They have bazookas and AK47s, and we have clubs and bows and arrows. [Also, for those who do not pick up on more subtle nuances, that was a metaphor. I’m a democrat, I want to take all your guns and burn them, remember?]
The point I am trying to make is this: we have lost our way. We have become ‘republican-light.’ We may stand up for different causes and pretend to care about equality on the House floor, but at the end of the day, elected democrats have turned into business-as-usual politicians. They have been corrupted by money and the prospect of reelection just like republicans– no one is safe from it. We have lost sight of what our party stands for, and we are just as responsible for the current state of the country as the republicans are. They may have thrown the first punch, but we have never recovered from it, and we never will, if we fail to listen to the actual voices of the people.
It’s easy to blame the opposing side for all of the world’s problems. But that doesn’t make it right, and it certainly isn’t productive. I will NEVER ever tell anyone that they need to accept the results and Donald Trump as the leader of the free world. He’s not my president, just like Obama wasn’t their president for eight years. I may have thought Bush was a bumbling idiot, but I respected his role as the figurehead of our country. He was a republican, yes, but overall, he was a decent human being at his core, I truly believe that. A terrible president, yes– I would never go so far as to say that anything Bush did benefited the country as a whole; but I don’t believe him to be an intentionally malicious person; just a weak one.
Donald Trump is not a good man. He will plunge our country back into the dark ages, and has already fueled a record number of hate crimes with his dangerous rhetoric. And while I believe the birth of the Tea Party was the beginning of the end of America as we know it, we democrats are as complicit in its conception as the republicans. We sat back and laughed at their utter ignorance and their ridiculous ideas, secure in the knowledge that it wouldn’t amount to anything. So instead of identifying their movement for the hate-filled, backward bullshit that it was, we patted them on the heads and corrected their grammar, and they grew stronger
It’s time we own up to our role in the results.
It’s time to stop being complicit in our “rightness.” Just because we believe in equality and civil rights and everyone having a fair shot doesn’t mean everyone sees eye-to-eye with us. We sit on our high horses of education and literacy and fail to realize how utterly pretentious and out of touch we come off to others. Did I agree with every word Meryl Streep said at the Golden Globes? Yes. Did I cringe while she was saying them, because I knew the “other guys” would perceive her as just another Hollywood elite who has absolutely no clue what it’s like to be a citizen of the Rust Belt and living under the poverty line?
It is time to put our money where our mouths are. We need someone to rise up and lead our movement. We need someone like Cory Booker or Elizabeth Warren to declare themselves the leader of our revolution and actually lead. We need to remember what and who we are actually fighting for, and stop bringing knives to gun fights. We need to pull up our big girl and boy pants and be ready to fight at their level.
While I can appreciate Michelle Obama’s, “When they go low, we go high” rhetoric, and understand where she’s coming from, it’s dangerous ideology; and it is why we will continue to lose. It’s time to put ourselves on an even playing field, and show some teeth. The way we’ve been gumming every obstacle has clearly failed us.
Dani Strehle, Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder, is hoping to reshape the narrative to leave behind a better world for her daughters, so that they may sustain, rather than battle and rebuild.