It is difficult to verbalize how heartbroken, disappointed, and frightened I am. I try desperately not to be political – I learned young that picking fights with my supposedly omniscient father was inadvisable. Somewhere, he is celebrating today.
I, personally, am not.
I am sitting at my desk in a room of like-minded people, people who I am grateful for – each and every one. I am afraid. I am trained as a historian, and I look at cause-and-effect. It is a well-known cliche and inevitable truth that history repeats itself. This is truest in history’s greatest blunders.
I am personally of the opinion that my fellow Americans made a great and terrible mistake today. Instead of beating down his supporters, instead of bearing the weight of a political tirade, I would like to talk about why I am afraid.
I am afraid because we have elected a man who has no tact or sense, and we have decided to send him to negotiate with foreign dignitaries on the behalf of our country. I am afraid of the inevitable offenses he will cause, the bridges he will burn, and fires he will light. I am afraid our allies will be snubbed and our enemies engaged. I am afraid of war.
I am afraid for our world. I am afraid for the land that will be irreversibly ruined because of an unhindered pipeline progress. I am afraid for the peoples who will lose what it theirs because of the fracking. I am afraid because of the permanent damage this will do to our beautiful planet. I am afraid because we will be withdrawing from the clean energy initiative. I am afraid because if we kill our Mother Earth, who will care for us?
I am afraid for the people who came to this place as political refugees, or even as dreamers – all looking for sanctuary and a better life. We are a country made of these people, even if our ancestors landed four-hundred years or more ago. We of all people have no right to raise a wall or send people away – it defies the construct of our very soul. We especially have no right to send those away who have been here for decades, and have their nests and homes.
I am afraid because the stock market shot down early this morning.
I am afraid because a man was killed at the polling booths in California.
I am afraid because we have elected a man who has no respect for women. I do not think I need to illustrate this point, but let it be said that for me, the sourest point of this election was the moment when his followers began campaigning on social media for the repeal of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote, because we might hinder his chances. As though we were not people, but padding to prop up the candidate of their choice. As though we did not have mind or opinions or a voice. And this is but one thing.
I am afraid, because this cannot end in peace.
And I am afraid because my state has voted multiple people in a position of power who stand strongly against my right to choose what to do with my body. I am surrounded with people who would prevent my choice to bear children, have a voice, and be a person. This may sound a bit dramatic, but it is enormously important to me to have a choice. And regardless of the choice I would make, I would defend to the death my right to choose.
These are my thoughts.
These are some of the reasons why I am afraid.
I wonder – will Nero play the fiddle as Rome burns to the ground?