However, I've had a lot on my mind lately and I decided it was time to let it all out.
**warning - this is kind of long and ranty and mild profanity does appear in this post**
I'm going to vote tomorrow morning. I like voting. It makes me feel like I'm a part of something bigger than myself. Nevada, fortunately, has early voting, which means I can go to the mall, get a corndog, and vote with very little fuss. Voting on actual election day is kind of a pain, and I like this 21st century mall-based system I live in.
Like most people, I'm not shy about who I'm voting for in the election.
Over the past year, I've had mixed anxiety levels about a "President Trump" world. Fortunately, as of now, I feel I can safely pack my suitcase and put my passport away. At least I hope so. At one point, It was a legitimately frightening prospect, but now, it's more like an annoying itch.
So, I'm not longer afraid of a dystopian society ruled by a megalomaniac with all the compassion of Kanye West and none of the musical talent.
But I still have a lingering fear. I am truly upset by the world that I have come to live in over the past year -- and I fear it will only get worse.
During the past year, Donald Trump has shown America that it's okay to be a total asshole. Not even the likable "Uncle Joe had too much to drink and now he's trying to lick the cat again" asshole, but someone that speaks his mind all the time, and confuses opinion with fact, and shows the world that if you don't like someone, it's okay to mock and belittle them in a national forum.
None of that is ok with me - as a woman, as a mother, as a human being. How can we raise the next generation of children with respect and the courage to stand up to bullies when that is not what we are modeling. We want to be able to teach all the right things:
- We don't call names;
- we play fair;
- we don't yell and scream;
- we are kind to others;
- we don't interrupt;
- we don't quit when we don't get our way;
- we say "I'm sorry" when we hurt others.
That is the opposite of what we are seeing on the national stage.
And now in the past few weeks, the hits just keep on coming. He seems to have doubled down on the idea that women need to remain barefoot and pregnant, at home where they can't go around "thinking" or "talking". Not only that, but it seems that the person wanting to be in charge of our country is modeling that it is okay to treat women like second class citizens placed on this earth for the amusement of men. Again, not okay. A few months ago, we all got into an uproar about the Stanford Rapist - a young man who managed to admit to a horrible crime and serve three months in county jail. A few days ago, there was a similar case in Montana (it's worse, if you don't want to click on the link). But somehow, a fair portion of the country has no problem with someone using wealth and power to do what he wants, when he wants, with whoever he wants.
Donald Trump is telling everyone in America (and technically world-wide) that this is okay.
On Friday, a girl came into my class and immediately told her friend about some jerk that thought it was okay to grab her butt in science class - a random guy that thought her butt was cute. A boy sitting behind them told her "well, at least he didn't grab your p***." I immediately stopped everything I was doing to explain to a group of 8th graders that none of that was okay. You cannot touch another person without their permission.
I'm here to speak as a voice of sanity and remind us that it is NOT OKAY. Nothing about this is okay. I am not going to spend the next twenty years telling young women that they are probably going to be sexually assaulted, if not outright raped in their young lives and no one is going to do anything about it. And if someone does decide to play the hero and do something, the assailant will spend a few days in county jail, or just get a stern talking to. In Trump-land, these young women will be humiliated, denied healthcare at low cost clinics like Planned Parenthood, and forced to carry children to term because abortions will be abolished. They will be reminded every single day of the horror that they endured. That is not a world where I want young women to grow up.
But of course Trump and his supporters don't care all that much about the world I described, because they don't care all that much about women.
The Daily Telegraph has kept a running list of all of Trump's horrible sexist and demeaning statements towards women. Seeing them all in one place (many with video links or copies of Donald's Twitter feed), is sickening. He doesn't blink before calling out women for being (in his opinion) overweight, unattractive, sexually active, intelligent (which I guess is a bad thing), ambitious, or willing to speak their mind. Based on his statements, the only acceptable women are tall models that don't talk a lot.
The worst part of all of this is that it isn't going to end on November 8th. That's the part that makes me really upset and THAT is what I really blame Trump for. He has made all of these behaviors the new normal. If we don't collectively stand up and say "Nope, not in my house, Hombre," it's just going to continue.
For the past 8 years, we have allowed Trump and his comrades (yes, I used that word on purpose) to delegitimize our President for no reason other than he didn't like him. We hoped that it would go away during the next election cycle. We were SO wrong!
I am not going to listen to that nonsense for another 8 years. If you don't like Clinton, that's fine. Don't vote for her. If you want to protest-vote for a 3rd party, cool. But nothing about Donald Trump is presidential. Nothing about him will serve as a role model for our future generations. But, we need to agree as a country that we cannot allow people to act this way. It's not okay. It's not reasonable. It's not moral. And let's be honest. It's just wrong.