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I’m really scared about this election – in a way I haven’t been ever before. I’ve been struggling to find the words for why it’s been so hard since the first Trump sign went up in my town. A lot of it has to do with his treatment of women and the reminder that I’m vulnerable because I’m female, yes.
But this photo, and Michael Rowe’s words with it, gets to the heart of the matter.
I have no doubt that the people in the photograph — like the man with his arm around his son — attend churches, love their families, love their country, and think of themselves as good, patriotic, decent Americans, but the facts are what they are, and that is occasionally one of the differences between photojournalism and posed portraiture.
The genius of Donald Trump’s campaign is that he has successfully channeled the worst aspects of the American psyche — greed, resentment, rage, intolerance, bigotry, misogyny, racism, xenophobia, and rancid nationalism — and repackaged them as patriotic virtues. He has done so in a way that opens infected wounds that have been festering for more than two centuries, calling it “making America great again.”
I have spent much of the past year alternately shaking my head at how people can believe in a man who actually seems delusional to me… and fighting an inutterable sadness that we keep buying into the story that keeps us on opposite sides of each other. It’s us or them, we think. They are trying to keep us down, and we need to put THEM down so we can win.
There is just so much hate right now.
Let me say something then.
(Actually, I’m screaming this, so loudly my throat hurts.)
IT NEVER EVER HAS BEEN US OR THEM. NEVER.
There is no “other.”
We are all human.
We love our children and want the best for them.
We’re all scared of the crazy fucking world out there.
In less than 48 hours, we will have a new President-elect.
Like Mel, I am scared and worried; I also don’t know if we’ve done enough to ensure that greed, resentment, rage, intolerance, bigotry, misogyny, racism, xenophobia, and rancid nationalism doesn’t win. I’m terrified of Trump’s America. With him at the helm, there’s no chance for us to bridge our distance and come together.
And I’m also scared and worried because even if Hillary Clinton does win the presidency, that greed, resentment, rage, intolerance, bigotry, misogyny, racism, xenophobia, and rancid nationalism will still exist.
No matter what happens tomorrow, please, please, PLEASE – let’s be kind to one another.
We have so much work to do, so many problems to tackle as a nation, and the only way we can do it is if we are together.