Or rather, he “won”, because I can’t believe that the polls were not actually rigged in his favor. I can’t wrap my head around the hate, bigotry, white supremacy and narrow mindedness that has won out in our country, nor can I believe that the majority of Americans feel that way.
However, things have been simmering for a long time here. Racial and economic divides are real. Schools are in terrible shape. Government systems are archaic and do not function well. We are desensitized to violence and our gun culture is strong. We are drowning in materialism and debt. Religion and spirituality are weak, or if they exist, they are intolerant of others.
It feels like the foundation upon which America was built is crumbling, has decayed. The floorboards are rotten, the walls are infested.
Trump is now President
Trump has a long history of mocking the disabled, being disrespectful and uncaring of issues related to the disability community (good pieces on this are “As a Disabled Person, I Implore You Not to Vote for Donald Trump“, and the “Crip the Vote” project ). With him, we are getting a man who feels comfortable calling people “retarded” (as he did with deaf actress Marlee Matlin on Celebrity Apprentice), who cares so little about access that his properties have been sued “at least eight times” for disability violations. I mean, this, in addition to his rampant misogyny and uneducated, uninformed, unprepared, ignorant self – and we know we are in for a royal treat for the next 4 years.
I want to give us hope though. You see, most of you know that my brother just died. I’ve been walking this path of grief for the past two months and I know a little bit about it.
One thing I know is that it can be an opportunity. Grief can be a gateway to change, it can propel and move you in radical ways to new avenues.
Now, you can sit on grief. You can mull and stew in it. You can let it consume you – and it would be happy to do that, because grief can be a hungry beast.
Or you can channel it.
The government is screwed. But guess what? So are disability systems. The whole piece on Social Security, medical benefits, work? It’s completely messed up. Going along with the system if Hillary won might actually not have been our best long-term option, because we wouldn’t be forced to try and actually rebuild the broken house that is our political and policy system. But now, with Trump, we are forced to work through all of the problems. We know we are absolutely shafted if we sit back and do nothing now, or allow various bandaid approaches, like we would have with Hillary.
So what I’m saying here is that I think that all of us who are feeling the grief now should be talking to each other, and starting to band together to organize.
This video was great in helping me understand the history of the Republican Party:
I feel like this information, coupled with Bernie’s message that,
we need a new generation of people actively involved in public service who are prepared to provide the quality of life the American people deserve
Is crucial now. Those of who are grieving, we need to be those people. We need to rise up and become active, NOW. We need to educate ourselves on our systems, how they work, and we need to become a part of the change.
We can channel our grief and start a revolution.
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.