Today, we're electing a man who:
- Openly mocked a disabled person (and please, don't send me an article from Fox News claiming that's debunked. I have eyes. I could hear him. And he did it). As the mother of a son with a disability, this sickened and saddened me.
- Chose a vice-presidential candidate who openly opposes equal rights and protections for LGBT people, and believes in funding "conversion therapy" for people who aren't heterosexual. As the mother of a daughter with a girlfriend, this terrifies me.
- Chose a woman who has never stepped foot in a public school herself - nor ever sent a single one of her children there - as Secretary of Education. Furthermore, she replied under oath that she will not rule out the defunding of public schools. As a parent - and again, the mother of a special needs child who has to fight for every service offered to my kid - this frightens me. You can't know how much.
- Has pledged to repeal the Affordable Care Act with no replacement in sight. As a woman getting older, who may have the care of a disabled person for the rest of her life, this stresses me out in ways that keep me awake at night.
- Has pledged to remove the Single Head of Household exemption for income taxes, impacting single parents in a way that will be incredibly detrimental, causing my taxes to rise dramatically. I'm already barely treading water. If this goes through, I will likely lose my home.
- Openly bragged about the sexual assault of women, as though their bodies were his right to touch and not their right to defend. As a woman, and the mother of a daughter, this infuriates me.
- Selected a candidate for Attorney General who has ties to hate groups, a candidate who feels that lawyers and judges who are not Christian (as he defines it) may not be capable of discerning truth. As a person who embraces the multicultural inclusion of our country, and believes in upholding the very first words of the very first amendment to our constitution when it says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. . .This man alarms me.
I'm sure someone reading this will say "See! It says you can't prohibit religion either!" and you're right. But that doesn't mean just your religion. It means all of them. Or none of them, if you so choose. That separation of church and state is fundamental in keeping our nation - and it's freedoms - solidly grounded. It was so important, that the founding fathers put it first, before any other article of government.
And as damning and terrifying as all that is, it terrifies me far more that so many people think all of that is okay. Great, even. They're happy to look the other way at his Twitter tantrums and his locker room talk, his penchant for adultery and trading in his wives for younger replacements, his failure to pay vendors and employees, his business scams and bankruptcies, just because he wasn't the woman they loved to hate. Or the old guy who wants to give money to poor people.
So today, I'm not laughing. I'm not crying, either. What's done is done and it's time to move forward. That means calling my representatives, tweeting them, emailing them on every single thing that would have just made me roll my eyes and go on about my day in previous regimes. That means when they speak hate, we shout NO. YOU WILL NOT SPEAK THAT WAY ABOUT MY COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE.
I believe in America, fundamentally. I believe in everything this great nation dreamed of being when it began. We're not there yet, but we still have time to try.