The President

Today I'm hurting.  It's a hurt that I've never encountered before because it's something I can't control in any way.  A man who I am staunchly against has been elected the President of the United States.  

Now, I've been disappointed in the choices in the past.  There have been plenty of times that I haven't agreed with a President's ideals and values.  But never, NEVER, have I been scared of a President and what he might do to this country.

I am a Democrat and always have been whether registered or not.  I believe in letting a woman do what she chooses with her body, I believe in marriage equality, I believe in the middle class.  These things are built so deeply into my values that they are shown in anything that I do.  I don't often find common ground with Republicans over our values, but I do acknowledge our differences of opinion, and I respect them for that.

But Donald Trump is something completely different.  He is not like any of the Republicans I know.  He is a bully, in the clearest form of the word.  He does not seem to care or respect anyone that does not look like him.  He tells me, as a woman that I am inferior.  He tells the gay men and women of the world that I love so much that they are wrong for being in love with the same sex.  He mocks those that are disabled, calls women pigs and Mexicans rapists, and he has issued a blanket statement that all Muslims are not to be trusted.  This is horrifying to me.  How can we ever come together as a nation if this is who leads our country?

Last night before the poll numbers started rolling in, I was feeling confident in my vote for Hillary.  She may not have been my number one choice, but I felt confident in her ability to lead our nation.  I felt that there were so many others who were able to see through Trump.  To see that he didn't have any concrete plans, any ideas, any concept of how government is actually run.  All I had to do was wait to see that Hillary was going to shatter that glass ceiling, I could do a mini-celebration for women everywhere, and I'd go to bed.

But then the map started to light up red.  More and more states were being called for Trump.  I sat on the couch near my husband in disbelief.  But still, I didn't believe it.  My husband didn't believe it.  Was this really happening?  The early polls told us that Hillary had this in the bag.  At one point, Nate Silver gave Hillary at 98.5% chance of winning.  And that's what I expected.  I expected a clean sweep.  I was not prepared for this.  I had underestimated just how many were Team Trump.

And more than that, I had underestimated how much hate there was in this country.  And that is more disappointing to me than anything.  The hate spewed from one American to another is baffling to me.  How did we get here?  How did we let it become okay for a presidential candidate to spew hate leading others to believe it's okay as well?

I am thankful today that my son is not old enough to understand what is happening.  I feel for all of those parents out there who have to explain to their children how someone with so much hate in his heart has won.  How someone who flooded the campaign trail with lies and deceit and general unwillingness to acknowledge basic human decency has taken over the office of the greatest country in the world.

And mostly, I feel for us.  Americans.  We have a long, long road ahead of us to come together and remember that we're all one big American family.  It's going to take a lot of work and there will probably be so many stumbling blocks along the way that we will want to give up.  But we can't give up and give in.  We have to take what we're feeling today and stand up and say that LOVE TRUMPS HATE, even if it takes a different form than we expected.  

LIFESarah HartleyComment