Now What?

I don't even know where to begin today.

I've been staring at this screen for a while, wondering how to put into words the despair, sadness, and disgust that I'm feeling.

I can't even reconcile the words in my head right now: Donald Trump is our next president.

This seriously has to be some sort of sick, twisted alternate reality.
It can't be real.
This can't really be happening.

But then I remember - it really did happen. The country just elected a reality tv star with NO political experience - who also happens to be a sexist racist nationalist xenophobe - to the highest office in the land.

Today is the end of the Democratic party and the GOP. In one swift move both political parties have written their obituaries and now the American public is left wondering where in the hell do we go from here.

Sure, there are people who are happy that Trump won. I know a few of those people. I don't understand how anyone can be happy about this.

There is nothing to be joyous about.
There is no happiness.
Right now all I see is darkness and sadness and uncertainty and fear.

When I woke this morning to the nightmare realization that he had been elected I sat in my bed and cried. I am crying now as I type this.

I am sad.
And scared.
And fearful.
And worried.
And confused.

I fear for our country's future. And what this will mean for my daughters. And what this will mean for the world. I fear for the future of the Supreme Court and women's rights and LGBTQ rights and I am scared for Muslims, and blacks, and Latinos, and yes even white middle class women like myself.

I've been voting since 1992 and I've never felt so much despair after an election. I have been angry about results before (2000 I'm looking at you) but I've never felt such overwhelming sadness. 

And yet, I get it. People wanted change. They wanted something different. But this? This isn't the way to do it. Electing a man who wants to build a wall and ban an entire religion and take away women's rights and LGBTQ rights....that isn't change. That is taking our country back decades and that is not OK.

Beyond my sadness though is an anger toward the Democrats that I didn't think was possible for me to feel. My party has failed me and this country. They refused to listen to the millions of people who voted for Bernie Sanders - people who wanted change and voted for that change. I firmly believe that if Bernie had been on the ticket - even as a VP - we would be having a totally different conversation today.

And for that I am angry. 

So now what?

A friend posted on Facebook that now is the time to fight darkness with light. He said "we mourn and bury our dead and we fight." 

So, now we fight. We surround ourselves with our friends and neighbors and we vow to protect those who need protecting. We continue to fight for the rights of those who are targeted, for those who need protecting, and for those who are marginalized, and for those who fear their rights will be stripped away.

We fight for the America that we want to have.
We fight for civil rights and equality and love.

We fight with our words and our love of country and our determination to make this world a better place for our kids and grandkids. We fight with our votes whether that is on a local or national level. We fight in two years in the midterms.

And, we fight again in four years.

Today we find ourselves standing on the precipice, staring into the dark abyss of the next four years. As a country we've been on the brink before and somehow we make it through the darkness into the light. The only way to get through this is to stand together and stand for what is right and just and fair.

We need to channel our sadness and fear and anger into a fight for justice and equality and prosperity and love. That is the ONLY way we can set this country back on the right path. It might take some time but nothing that is worth it is ever easy.

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