I went to bed Tuesday night with the full confidence that Hilary Clinton would be our next President of the United States.
Instead, I woke up on Wednesday morning to the horrifying news that Donald Trump was, in fact, the next President of the United States.
I was shocked. I am still in shock. I couldn’t and still can’t believe that it’s true.
And, yet, it is.
I can’t begin to explain the feelings of fear and sadness that overcame me.
The new leader of the most powerful nation in the world is a bigot, a misogynist and a sexist, a liar. He doesn’t care for diplomacy. He doesn’t value human decency. He incites hatred, racism and violence.
our new President of the United States
How do you like our new President of the United States? Do you feel proud?
I cried on Wednesday. I am still crying.
The children in Keira’s class talked about the election on Wednesday in school. My daughter . My eight-year-old daughter came home and asked me if there would be a world war. She asked me if the Russians were going to invade Norway and Europe. An eight-year old asked me these questions.
Eight-year-old children aren’t supposed to be asking questions like these.
And when she asked me, I couldn’t give her an answer.
There was a group play date over at a friend’s house that evening. One of her friends has a brother who is handicapped and in a wheelchair. He cried when he found out that Donald Trump won.
Why would a little boy living in Norway cry over the new President of the United States?
He said that if the new President of the United States, a man that the whole world looked up to, admired and emulated, could condone racism and bigotry, what would happen to him?
I cried. Again.
Where I once was so proud of being an American, I am now ashamed.
One thing is the man himself, Donald Trump. He’s different. I get that. The world is made up of all kinds of people. We are all different. We have different belief systems and different preferences. We don’t have to agree 100% of the time, nor do we have to like all people, but we can still co-exist together and live in peace.
But, my fear comes from the American people who actually voted for him. And by doing so, they have signaled that it is acceptable to hate. It is acceptable to step on the downtrodden. It is acceptable to treat women with disrespect. It is more than acceptable to be a bully.
Perhaps I’ve lived too long in Europe and it’s affected the way I see the world.
Perhaps it was naive of me to believe that everyone deserves a fair chance at a decent life. To believe that everyone deserves health care, an education, a roof over their heads. That women are equal to men. That we deserve these things regardless of color, race or sexual preference.
No, I am not naive and I am not wrong because I’m not talking about a political agenda here. It’s not about being a Republican or a Democrat.
I’m talking about common human decency.
What will i tell my daughter?
She’s going to ask me again about the US and about Donald Trump. But, this time, I will be prepared.
I will tell her that Donald Trump may be the President of the United States, but he does not represent our beliefs. Where he believes in hatred, violence and bigotry, we believe in kindness, equality, and tolerance.
It is not acceptable to sexually assault women, or call us fat, ugly and disgusting.
Women are not second rate to any man. We will not stand by and tolerate being treated unfairly and with disrespect.
I have a great fear for what happened in WWII where people stood by while the Nazis herded the Jews into concentration camps and killed hundreds of thousands of them.
I am afraid that this could happen again if we don’t watch ourselves.
My fear makes me want to stick my head in the sand. It makes me want to run away and hide. But, I guess that’s what they want. That’s what bullies do.
We can’t be the people that hide.
If we see that someone is being bullied or picked on, we will speak up. We will stand up for what is right because we have a voice.
I know that there are others who believe in the same things that we do. I see it on social media. I read it in the newspapers and I hear it on the news. We can’t give up hope.
There is strength in numbers. And if we can all have the courage to speak up and give a voice to injustice, we can fight the good fight.
We will yell. We will scream. We will stand and fight. For we will not go quietly in the night.