I said I was voting for Hillary Clinton because I believed my vote was more than exercising my right, it was standing up for all the freedoms and diversity that make this country great. Tolerance, equality, justice. Mine was an educated vote, but it was also a symbolic one. And what has followed is a symbolic loss. For just as Mrs. Clinton's candidacy made history, sending a message to my daughters--our country's daughters--that they too can seek the highest office in any profession, Trump's victory sends a message to all our nation's sons that predatory, bigoted, xenophobic behavior is acceptable, manly, and powerful. It's a crushing blow to the human spirit.
There is so much I cannot comprehend. I cannot comprehend that most white women like me voted against Mrs. Clinton. Instead they chose a white man who is accused of sexual assault by multiple women. I cannot comprehend that Mrs. Clinton apologized--apologized!!--in her concession speech for not winning. I cannot comprehend how choosing a climate change denier to head up the EPA transition team is acceptable in the hottest post-industrial year on record, or how a major magazine has already taken steps to normalize the president-elect with a flattering, fluff cover story. I feel like I'm riding an airplane in which everyone is coming back from a vacation and I'm returning from a funeral. Yes, the world continues to turn and the sun will come up each morning, but not over a land or country I recognize.
This week we have slowed down. I have held my young girls tight, brushed their wispy hair through my fingertips, kissed their cheeks. I have shared tears with other mothers I barely know. I have signed up for news alerts about upcoming local elections, and joined the email lists of nonprofit organizations I believe in. And I want to do more. I am looking inside myself for light and perseverance, and I have a renewed resolve to raise compassionate, big-hearted, open-minded children.
Because it remains to be seen if love truly does trump hate.