At 2:24 am on election night, my father texted me; “President Trump!!! Unbelievable!!!” My dad does not often text, he also does not often talk politics with me. This night was strange for many reasons. Like many people on my generation, I do not agree with my parents’ political views. I have been described many times as an extreme liberal, my father on the other hand has been called a right wing, racist bigot. I try to call him out when his bigotry shows, but I was raised to respect my elders, even when they’re blatantly wrong. That practice, however, stops today.
My father personified the Donald Trump voter base. He is working class, white and male. He told me on many occasions that he did not think Trump was qualified to be President, but he thought he was better than Hillary Clinton. My father never expressly admitted it, but this was obviously because of her gender. He made excuses; he claimed she was corrupt; her voice is shrill and that she was too emotional, but no one bought it. The rest of the family agreed, he was just uncomfortable with a woman being President. Now, after the election, we realize that allowing this these people’s bigotry to transpire is one of the reasons we have to blame for being in this situation. For the sake of compassion to those who are racial minorities, people of the LGTBQ+ community, women and the many other groups who Trump disregarded their worth, we must step up to those who supported Trump.
This election, despite what any Trump supporter may say was between one qualified woman, and one racist, bigoted, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic maniac. The maniac won last night, and my father gloated. He attempted to claim that he called it, but he did not. He attempted to claim that Donald Trump will make America great again, but he will not. Worst of all though, my father tried to claim that he was not a sexist, nor a racist, he is both. Maybe to an outside observer he can manage to make that claim, but to me he can not. I have been in the car with him while he claimed that “these blacks are just lazy, if they tried harder they wouldn’t be living in these slums.” I have been at the dinner table with him when he claimed that “Trump’s ‘locker room banter’ is just the way it is. Women are expected to offer up their bodies in order to advance in the business world. While I never agreed with him, I did not do enough to try and educate him, and explain to him the misfortune of others.
My father tried to justify his vote to me explaining “Hillary was too corrupt. She played the woman, Hispanic, and black card. She called the rest of us names for supporting Trump. I guess we showed her that she was leaving out a voting group. She is a POS in my opinion.”
We can point fingers at numerous incidents and groups for the tragic result of Hillary Clinton losing the Presidency. The Democratic National Committee could have given Bernie a fair shot, but no one predicted that Clinton would lose this race. The Republican National Committee should have nominated a less deplorable candidate. Third party voters who were disgusted by Trump should have voted for Clinton just to avoid the catastrophe we are in today. But, the group I’d like to focus on currently, are people like me.
If we are in a position where we can speak our minds, and live our lives without the fear of this new administration acting in a horrendous manner, we should use that privilege to dispel the hatred and bigotry from those we know. The disgust and hatred we feel, we must use that. We have to organize, and fight this hatred, we must use our privilege to dismantle the hatred of our peers. This battle was lost, most of us feel tired and defeated. I did everything I could think of in order to elect HRC. That does not excuse complacency now. The hill ahead of us is steeper than we imagined, but it must be climbed in order to ever have progress again.