***political post: if you don’t care to read about politics or my opinion on politics, kindly skip this post. And don’t worry, there’s plenty of non-political content coming. See you again soon :)***
This election is reaching its due date. At less than three weeks out, all we can do is practice our breathing and hope they’ve got the good drugs if this goes sideways.
There’s a lot on the table this election and I’ll admit, there is no perfect candidate. There is no Obama ’16. Oh how things would be different.
Politically I’m pretty liberal, but I try to stay close enough to moderate that I can still see the line. I try to think from varying perspectives because I know I have an enormous amount of privilege. I don’t vote with my gut, I seek out facts. I’ll also note that I’ve been a Clinton supporter for years, though Bernie was my top pick in this election for a while there. I’m guilty of laughing off Trump as a fool and ignoring him.
I teach government and history to high schoolers so while I know that I’m never entirely unbiased, I try to show them every side of an issue and force them to justify their own thoughts with evidence. In my classroom, saying “yes” or “no” or “that’s dumb” isn’t good enough, you have to give me a “why.”
But all that aside, the end of this sh**storm is getting close now and I’m scared.
I’m terrified of the racist and sexist comments I’m hearing from not just Trump but his supporters. Of slurs I’ve been lucky to miss throughout much of my life. I’m terrified that this election is becoming the pinnacle of “boys will be boys.”
I won’t even go into what might happen if he’s elected because I honestly don’t know. I don’t want to know.
What I can tell you is that I’m not on the fence about Trump being a threat to the American people. There is no fence. There is no saying that he’s fair or kind or empathetic to all of the people of this country. That’s just a bald faced lie.
There is no covering all of his ignorant hate up with applause for his honesty. You know what honesty is when it delivers unnecessary pain to specific populations? It’s hate speech.
What really makes the bile rise in my throat every time I think about this election is what I hear from my students.
I teach at a school in Brooklyn that is almost entirely black and Latino. My students have all been held back at least twice before ninth grade, that’s the requirement to attend our school. (The overlap of race and grade retention should also tell you something about racism in the school system and our country).
I teach topics that easily lend themselves to the election. And yet every day I fear talking about it. I fear the pain in my students eyes, the distress that they express at the possibility of this man becoming president.
On Monday a student said he wasn’t concerned about Trump’s policies on education because “if he wins we’ll all be slaves again anyway.” Comments like that come up every day and while students try to laugh them off, they’re too true to be brushed off that easily.
This man, this sexual harassing, bullying, bullsh**ting, lying monster of a man cannot become president. He can’t.
I get it if you don’t like Hillary Clinton. Ok. She’s got some flaws, she will not be perfect. She is a politician and I know a lot of us are tired of politicians. I’m not even standing for her right now, that is no longer what this is about.
If you decide not to vote because you don’t like Clinton, it’s a vote for Trump. I wish our system didn’t work like that, but it does. In not letting your voice count, you’re letting it shout “Trump!”
That’s my final word on this: go vote, take down the monster.
Best of luck. To us all.