Tuesday's election in the U.S. has devastated me like few other things have. 

Am I angry? Yeah, I'm angry.

The night before the election was also the night before I was getting on a plane to go to a week long conference.  I participated in early voting so I wouldn't miss my chance.  This has been a long and horrible process and we're all ready for it to be over. We have clear and strong opinions about the candidates and issues in our house but just the same, we have tried... very hard... to keep to civil discourse in discussing even those strong opinions in front of our children. We don't keep from talking about our thoughts about the political discourse within their earshot, but we also don't bad mouth opponents of candidates we like. I try to refer to them all by their full names or titles rather than just throwing around last names like they are curse words.  But as I was putting my youngest to bed the night before the election, she looked up and said to me, "Mom?"


"If Mr. Trump wins, are we going to have to move to Cuba?"

I made some joke about trading one fascist dictator for another and assured her that Mr. Trump would not be the President.  I reminded her that this is the same country that elected Barack Obama twice.  I had faith in us.

I was wrong.

Basically, we have an unqualified, racist, misogynist, homophobe who was endorsed by the Klu Klux Klan getting ready to take White House now.  And all because the other candidate, an extremely qualified and competent woman whom we've been brainwashed to hate for the last 30 years, who, despite the fact that large groups of people have spent decades and millions attempting to prove she did something illegal and failing to do so, simply rubs many people the wrong way.  Because where was the outrage when the Bush administration "lost" 20 million emails?  Were people chanting to lock him up? Why is this only a problem now?  Where was the outrage during Iran-Contra, one of the biggest presidential scandals ever? Or in this very election, what about when "he" refused to release the tax records for taxes that he most likely didn't pay for the last 20 years? But you're worried about "her" transparency? What about when "he" encouraged and downright asked for Russian hackers to commit espionage toward the United States in a public forum? What about the bankruptcies, the 3500 lawsuits, the hundreds of defaults on payments for services that he agreed to pay to hardworking service providers? Where was your outrage then? Was that somehow better? You say you don't trust her? Well of the two, whom do you think is more trustworthy? Do you really think that of the two, "she" is the crooked one?  No, this is far exceeding that. This is because it's "her."  This is because you don't like her pantsuits.  This is brainwashed misogyny, pure and simple.  Because even if you didn't feel comfortable voting for "him," when you voted against "her" or you didn't vote at all, you basically cast your vote for "him" and for what he stands for.

I had to explain to my youngest daughter what a "pussy" was this month.  Hint: not the cat kind.  And what it means to grab a woman by hers.  Because despite the fact that we watch literally zero news channel television in our house, that horrible tape of the man who will now be the President and will swear to protect the constitution of the United States that my daughters are growing up in was on TV 24 hours a day -- even on channels that have kids' programming.

They heard him say it.

They know what he meant.

They know that "all men" don't talk like that.  

No one they know talks like that.  

The first time they heard disgusting talk like that -- and I'm not talking just the words, I'm talking about the attitudes that women are objects to be fondled and used -- the first person in their lives that they heard express those sentiments?  He was an accepted candidate for the Presidency of the United States they live in.


I was sexually assaulted when I was about the age my older daughter is now.  A man literally did "grab me by the pussy."

My friends and I were at a wave pool, boogie boarding. It was crowded.  When the wave came, I - along with about a hundred others - flopped onto my board to surf to the beach side and in the commotion, someone I could not see behind me, stuck his hand between my legs and grabbed my genitals.  Hard.  He (I assume a he because the assumption is probable, but I admit that it could have been anyone) tried to put his finger where he had no right.  I kicked and wriggled and managed to get out of the grasp and when the commotion ended and we surfed to the beach and the wave was gone, he was lost in the crowd.  I had no idea who it was.  I never saw. 

I was humiliated. Mortified. I thought it was somehow my fault for prancing around in my modest, one piece bathing suit in public.  For even daring to be there in the first place. For not simply staying home and inside. I didn't know what to do about it.  I didn't have any tools for doing ANYthing.  So I went back to my beach towel on the sand I never. told. anyone.

The truth is I was not raped. I was not seriously hurt.  For that I am grateful.  But I was changed that day. 

I'd almost stopped thinking about that incident.  I pushed it down and put it behind me. Or so I thought... until I heard the man who would eventually become the Republican nominee for President of the United States, along with a cousin of two presidents, egging him on and then doing a little men's elbow-you-in-the-ribs inside joke later, encouraging an innocent bystander woman to give that same man who had denigrated and objectified her not five minutes prior, a hug... and laughing about it like little boys who got away with looking at a naked lady in a National Geographic magazine. It all came rushing back like a bad dream. And it sickened me. 

And that sickening feeling was added to the sickening feeling provided by a hundred other things he had said before that and the hundred other things he would continue to say after it.

That man/boy/child/person at the wave pool?  The person who did that to me was probably not a monster.  He was a regular person, enjoying a day at the fake beach just like me and my friends. It was probably some kid who got a feeling of titillation out of trying something and getting away with it.  A regular person who had been sent the message over and over that women and girls are objects to do with as you please. A kid, who wasn't told not to do that shit by his parents, his community... or his President.

And now, maybe that manchild is going to be the President of the United States some day too.  Maybe that manchild is the one who will be in January.  It could be; I never saw him.  

I'm angry because what we all said when we voted for "him" and even those who didn't vote for "him" but chose to vote against "her" because "she" rubs us the wrong way is that we know what "he" said.  We know what "he" did. To Jews, to Muslims, to gays, to Mexicans, to women...  We know what he thinks because he's told us... over and over.  For YEARS.  I am waaaay less bothered by the fact that this one man won an election than by the fact that 47.5% of the voters heard these things from that man's own mouth and said, "You know what? I'm okay with that."

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

And the worst part about it is this man, whom you elected, has no intention of representing you either.  He will use this position to line his own pockets and feed his own ego - the only two things that truly matter to him.  You think he'll find you a job? Doubtful.  You think he'll keep your access to healthcare? It's probably already gone.  You think he'll work to fix what's wrong in your community?  He couldn't care less about your community.  Do you think your children will be safer? He has already indicated his intention to remove gun-free school zones.  Even if he's not as bad as we all think, do you think he'll work to make the country a better place for your daughters and sons to grow up in and learn to be kind, equitable people in a functioning Democracy next to other people who are kind and equitable?  He has proven he has no intention of doing that.  

I already am hearing from my fellow therapists - some who provided services to kids after Newtown, after Orlando, after Columbine, and Sandy Hook, - that their clients are afraid because this has emboldened people who think that violence is an acceptable way to solve problems and they are not just afraid for their ease of living in this country; they are afraid for their lives.

This is not the country I want to live in.  And that's the most devastating part of an already really devastating year: we are not the people I believed we are.

I called my kids from my conference Wednesday morning, despite the fact that I could barely keep it together enough to keep from crying on the phone.   And I am not a cryer over presidential elections.

They are scared.

Let that sink in.  My kids are scared of the person who will be President.

Maybe I could have done a better job as a parent shielding my children from the things this man who will be President says, but to be honest, I don't think I should have to.

They are worried their friends at school will be deported.  They are worried that their gay friends' marriages will be dissolved and they will be forced into conversion therapy.  They are worried that as Mormons, they will somehow also be identified as "other" someday down the road and have to sign into the same registry that he said he would create for Muslims.  They are worried that we'll hate each other even more than we already do.

It was very hard not to agree with every one of those fears. I am worried too.

When I called them, I told them that I knew they were disappointed. I was disappointed too.  All because a little less than half the country and a whole lot of political gerrymandering decided to grab at all the power and good people couldn't vote against that because, "I don't like her.  I can't explain why. I just don't like her." 

I also told them that just like in Orlando, and Newtown, and on September 11, and so many other events we've witnessed together, that there are as many people running toward the flames as away. That people will still be there to keep us safe and work toward equality for everyone. That fortunately our governmental system has other checks and balances and while this man may have a lot of power, he doesn't have all the power.  And that people, as we spoke, were donating money in record numbers to organizations that work to protect the vulnerable and at risk from the statements and policies that he supports and that I was doing the same.  I told them that we would still stand up for people who are bullied, who are afraid, who are not treated fairly, and that we would work doubly hard to make sure this never happened again.  I told them that now more than ever, it's incumbent upon all of us to demonstrate kindness and equity for all... and I expect no less than that of them, of myself, of us all.  

I almost believe it.

What I learned from this, is that this country is way more sexist than it is racist... as Patton Oswald said, "...and it's pretty f***ing racist."

So am I angry?

Damn right I am.

I am livid.