Donald Trump is President
Donald Trump’s use of racism and xenophobia is unprecedented in my lifetime. Is it fair to say he is the most overtly racist candidate since George Wallace? Putting religious restrictions on immigration, demonizing minorities, and failing to denounce racist white nationalists should be the stuff of lazy caricature. Instead the Republican nominee for president reintroduced these ideas to the mainstream and won the presidency in part because of them. If you can't see that as a major part of what happened then I question if you think racism plays a part in daily life or politics.

The takeaway here is that these ideas need to be stood up to. You’re not moving to Canada. If descendants of slaves stuck around, so can you. The time for letting these ideas slide passed a long time ago and this is what we got for letting them slide. Those friends or relatives you said "oh that's just X" to have to be confronted. Letting those ideas out into the open unchallenged makes it more likely that someone will propose them as law, or that people will act on them in their own lives. Flat out, this has to be resisted.

I know when online you’re supposed to act like stuff doesn’t phase you, like you’re unflappable. I'm an optimist but a cynic as well so that's never been hard for me. I’ll admit though that the night of the election I could not sleep. I felt legitimate anxiety about the future of our country. Plenty of elections have made me feel like the country was going to be worse off, but I’ve never felt anything like this before. This wasn’t “oh shit 4 more years of war with George W Bush”.

I got out of bed the next morning having not slept at all. It hit me that I could mope around or do something. I decided to pay extra attention to my kids that morning. Just soak them in and be extra patient with them. (As I’m writing this I notice I’m completely ignoring my wife, which is another thing.) I got to work and refocused on a particularly frustrating thing I happened to be mired in that week. I thought about the kids I coached in U8 soccer. Then I thought about all the things the people I know do to build and maintain my community. And finally I thought about what needs to be done beyond everything that is immediately adjacent to me. I certainly don’t do the latter. I talk a lot, less so since I had kids. I try to stay informed. I’ve never made the leap to much action though. I feel like I have to do that now.

This isn't the only takeaway from the election but it's the most immediate and visceral. There's a reason I waited a week to write this. I wanted to think about it beyond that feeling I had the night of the election. After some thought I really believe this is a dangerous time. It’s difficult but you have to make a commitment to make a difference.
 
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