On the eve of the election, I felt so much uncertainty. The week after, that uncertainty is amplified many times over. I wanted to write a post-election blog the day after the election. But I decided to wait, to wait until the proverbial smoke has cleared. It is now a week later, not much has changed, and nothing is certain.
I didn’t know I loved this country so much, until now…I took so much for granted: my life, family, and friends I love, the freedom to express my thoughts, participate in political discourses and disagree. The right to be healthy and safe no matter my skin color, religion, sex, or ethnic group.
But I did not realize there was so much underlying bitterness, seething hatred, and enmity. There has been such a backlash at all the civil progress we have made, it seems as if so many have lost their minds.
I wish I could alter time. If I could actually go back in time, what would I change? What could I do to keep people from making the same mistakes? And how far back would I go? Back to those awful days in 1962 before Kennedy was shot? Back to the Gore-Bush election of 2000? Or back to when Hillary Clinton was just beginning her position as Secretary of State, before the media set fire to her reputation?
My worries accumulate. At night they lurk around the boundaries of approaching sleep . I worry about the immigration controversy, racism, sexism, bullying, and loss of reproductive rights. I see so much exuberant meanness and this meanness is going to prevail for a long, long time. It is what many of us are, we just did not know that until now.
I worry about freedom of speech. Narrowness of mind threatens self-expression. Will self-expression will be limited? What will be deemed offensive or felonious? Will the First Amendment be safe? What about the Bill of Rights? Or the Constitution? Will there be another election in 2020? Or will we have a “King”?
I worry for the children of this country. My daughter does not know dictatorship, tyranny, or genocide. She has not had to live through Aleppo. She only knows hope, democracy, and the right to control the direction of her life.
I worry about the students I have taught…that their love of Science has given them inquiring, discerning critical minds that may get them into trouble. They are of age now, old enough to walk in protest but too young to remember Kent State shootings and “Four Dead in Ohio”. Who will protect them?
I do not know where this election transition will go. I do not know what kind of oppression will result, how many futures will be destroyed, or if this planet will survive. But this much I do know, If you do not fight back against ignorance, hatred, oppression, and despair…you die.