Letter to the Editor: Sick With Rage

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I called in sick the day after so that I could devote myself fully to wallowing. I avoided all news outlets. I was shell-shocked. I wanted to cry but lacked the energy for tears. It just didn’t seem possible. I was sad and disappointed. I’d cast my vote for Hillary Clinton with such joy and optimism. I smiled as the couple in front of me with their infant daughter signed in to vote. I got teary-eyed seeing the elderly black gentleman with the walker waiting patiently in line.

And then the returns rolled in.

I felt foolish that I thought my country was better than this. But this is how they feel about me as a woman and as a person of color.

The next day, I returned to work and made donations to progressive causes.

The following day (today), rage began.

F__k this whole “economic anxiety” bullshit. What has Trump ever done that indicates he gives a shit about helping the poor, the middle class or anyone not named Trump?

Half the country either agrees with the things he’s said about women, Muslims, Mexicans, immigrants, black people, the disabled…. or they think these things don’t matter. I suppose one explanation is worse than the other but neither is comforting.

The calls for us to come together and seeing things from the other side are premature, bullshit and insulting.

The most flattering version of people that voted for Trump is that they were frustrated people who wanted to be heard. But they’d damn the whole world to be heard. They’d choose a man who would do nothing to address their concerns.

Come together my ass. What has Donald Trump done to earn my respect? Or the benefit of the doubt? Nothing. What has he done to apologize or reach out? Nothing. No, they want us to fall in line behind an unqualified, bigoted man who didn’t even win the votes of a majority of the voters.

The hell I will.

The finger-pointing has begun. Black voters didn’t turn out at Obama levels. As though it’s surprising that black voters didn’t turn out at the same level they did for the first black president. As though it’s surprising black turnout was affected by the gutting of the Voting Rights Act. It’s Hillary Clinton’s fault for not responding to the concerns of disaffected voters… She did, but that’s no match for a demagogue enabled by the media and rogue elements in the FBI.

Ultimately, Donald Trump won because he saw the worst in people and appealed to their worst instincts. And he was right. And they voted for him. Over a flawed, imminently qualified woman who has endured 30 years of misogyny and attacks but who still wanted to work hard and serve her country.
I am sick with rage.

A. Russell

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