The Blogger Refuted
To the Revolution

Spark and Fire

This will probably be the last thing I'll post here about He Who Should Not Be Tweeting, as I know we're all desperate to change the subject and move on. But since the comment section has been especially passionate this week...I want to at least acknowledge everybody's input and thank you for all the myriad of perspectives you provided. It was uniquely helpful to see such a lively mix of both people who I'm on the same damn depressed page with and from those of you on the other side of the aisle. Thank you for sharing, truly. 

I did take a bit of offence at the accusations that it was entirely my own "fault" that my children were upset at the results and have a deeply negative view of the president-elect. That obviously I alone shaped and planted that opinion via carelessness or brainwashing. So lemme address that. 

A quick look at how many websites have featured some kind of "What Do I Tell My Children?" article, or perspectives from teachers with classrooms full of children either terrified for their friends/families (or chanting "Build That Wall" in the lunchroom), pretty quickly shows how difficult it was to shield children from this election. I mean, it lasted forever, it dominated the media and Internet, it made all of us feel like we were living in some endless Truman Show-type reality experiment with each scandal, each leak, each Twitter feud, each HE SAID WHAT ABOUT WHO NOW?? frenzy.

Kids are perceptive. They don't exist in an alternate reality bubble where they'll never read a headline over your shoulder or hear the TV on in the other room. They eavesdrop in restaurants, on the other side of your bedroom door, they page through magazines in the doctor's office. And of course, they go to school. They have civics and social studies classes where democracy and presidential elections are part of the curriculum. They talk to other people who are not their parents. 

Our children attend a school where white students are not the majority population. Our area has a very large immigrant population, and many are immigrants from the very countries Trump has targeted for a ban or mass deportations (or "a closer look" or "extreme vetting" or whatever other shit he's dog-whistled about).  They also know kids from gay and lesbian families, and some adopted internationally. So our boys actually got most of their initial impressions of Trump from other kids at school. And I can't even be a little bit mad about that: These families HAVE to talk about Trump with their children because he's talking about their family. 

Sure, we technically had the luxury -- the privilege-- of never talking about Trump to our white, male children, out here in a Blue State suburb. Because sweeping all this shit under the rug and pretending it doesn't exist has worked out so well for this country, you know? 

Yeah, no thanks. I'm thrilled to be raising them in this diverse community, but even that can be its own sort of bubble against the ugly realities of racism and xenophobia. When there are trucks driving around saying TRUMP: DO THE WHITE THING and billboards that read TRUMP: MAKE AMERICA WHITE AGAIN...you guys. Vote how you want but acknowledge that it's happening, at least.

For our family, that (among many other things...although y'all know we were both raised to be hardcore Republicans, right?) was simply a dealbreaker. We encourage our kids to ask questions and think critically about politics, religion, science, etc. but we do not lie or withhold our own opinions when asked directly. They know they are allowed to hold different views. But I do not regret telling my children that peddling in conspiracy theories, racism, sexism, and bigotry are dealbreakers, and that I could not in good conscience vote for Trump.

If I did make a mistake with my children, it was the same mistake pretty much every Democrat made: I trusted the polls. I used the polls to calm my children's fears because look, there's no way he'll win. There is no way America will elect this...this...oh my God. My brain still can't comprehend that we did. But I should have better prepared them for the possibility. I definitely own that. 

Most of our conversations with them since Wednesday have been focused on acceptance, tolerance, and moving forward. Be gracious in defeat, like Hillary was in her speech.  Don't get angry at people who voted for Trump or argue with kids at school about it -- people will always have different opinions and are entitled to express them with their vote. (And this is why it's important to always vote, even if you think it's 100% for-sure settled. Also: MIDTERMS GODDAMMIT.)

But still, just like before: Speak up when you see bullying. Don't call people names. (I deleted an awful lot of choice names for Trump from this entry, BTW, while trying to follow my own advice.) Think before you speak. Always tell the truth. Respect other people and their bodies. Be a good, kind person. 

Yesterday after school, Ezra once again expressed his disappointment over the election. "Jenny told me that Donald Trump is going to make life harder for women."

I was unsure what aspect of a woman's life this Jenny was referring to directly -- overturning Roe? marriage equality? access to birth control? equal pay? not having our pussies grabbed on the regular? so many to choose from! -- so I didn't say anything. Ezra went on.

"Why would he want to make life harder for women? He has a wife! And daughters! It doesn't make any sense."

Well...yeah.

 I want to make sense of it. I've heard from Trump voters and while I hear you, I just don't believe he's really going to do a damn thing for you, or me, or anyone other than his fellow billionaires (though how about those tax returns, Mr. President-Elect? any day now, right?) and the big business/establishment concerns where he's made his fortune. I don't think his movement is about anything other than his own raging ego, and he simply isn't up to the job in any way, shape or form, and will outsource the duties of the office to some truly terrible people. I worry everything he does manage to do is going to have catastrophic effects on the economy, the environment, and the civil rights of many, many of our fellow Americans. 

I will continue to try to make sense of it, though, to hear and to listen. Maybe I'll be proven wrong, which would be great. But until that happens, I will fight like hell to protect the social progress we've made, and for the rights and safety of everyone who feels threatened and marginalized by this administration. Because it's not just about me. 

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Because our children are watching. 

Comments

Stacy McNally

Well, said!

Claire

Precisely. I'm glad I'm not alone.

Cait

MIDTERMS GODDAMMIT.

THIS, this is NOT over guys. This is America, quit taking an outcome you oppose as a way to disengage and start taking it as a message to fight that much harder. Do something, give something, support something, believe something, fight for something. NEVER stop pushing for what you believe is right.

Jesabes

Mic drop. This was perfect. And not as a smack down of anyone who disagrees, but as a thoughtful, specific answer to a concern.

Lorrian Ippoliti

I'm so glad you have all the words, as I'm still quite empty of them. This is EVERYTHING I feel and cannot yet express. Thank you Amy. xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Ryah

I've never commented before, but I've read your blog for years. Thank you. You said a lot that I have been thinking. I thank God my kids are too young to know what's going on. But my daughter is 3. She's going to grow up with this man as President. My son is a baby, so he'll likely be still too young over the next 4 years to really know what's going on. I hope that's true. And I hope I know what to say to my daughter as she becomes more and more aware of the world. She helped me fill in my bubble for Hillary and I was so looking forward to telling her we had elected our first female President, although I know she doesn't get it. There are two years until midterm elections and four years until we can vote him out of office. In the meantime, I'll be fighting with you.

Terrsa

I agree you are not to blame for all your boy's perceptions. In my opinion the media caused a lot of this extreme hysteria. It was beat into them on all channels and I am very tuned in to media bias even on the more conservative side. Only time will show the good Trump will do. Even then I don't expect many people will change their minds because it would mess with their mindset. It is good you are being positive with them now. If I could see more people saying they see all the hypocrisy with both candidates then I would be more likely to listen.

Kristen

Could not agree more. I've had a lot of friends pleading for unity and love and acceptance.

I've said to them, okay, that's all well and good, but the reason people are having a hard time with that stance is because of all the words that came out of Trump's mouth. This starts with him, and he's got a lot of responsibility for trying to end it--if he chooses. And, it's up to those of us who didn't want him for president to call him on this, and to call others who say hateful things on it, so that they see we're SERIOUS about not accepting it. I'm not saying to name-call, or be condescending. If that's unity, I'm in.

But, if unity is saying, "Okay, I'll just be quiet and let him say and do what he wants without holding him accountable," well, I guess I'm going to be labeled a rabble-rouser. So be it.

AmyH

Yes! This is the perfect response to the comment blaming you. Blaming you that Trump is a bigot who likes to grab pussies. I laughed out loud at that comment. You showed a great deal of grace in your response because mine was much more along the lines of "are you fucking kidding me?!"

Midterms--we're coming for you.

georgia

Yes!!!! Thank you!!!!! Please, please, please never stop blogging- please, really.

aimee

Oh god, the calls for unity make me feel ill. I don't care if you voted for trump because jobs or political outsider or whatever reason you use to justify it. Accepting this fascist rhetoric because we're all on the same "team" is wrong. Not speaking out about the bullshit that is happening already, not three days after the election, is extremely harmful because it just serves to isolate people who are already threatened by a large part of the population.

One thing that might be helpful--instead of telling kids not to get angry with people about their support of trump or racism or sexism etc, maybe teach them they can convert that anger into energy to fight for justice? Energy to be the change in the world they'd like to see? Convert this breathtaking unfairness into something fair and better.

I know that because I'm white I have a huge amount of privilege. And I have spent the last few days researching and reaching out to find opportunities to use that privilege to help combat this creeping miasma of bullshit, because otherwise my fury would completely consume me. Knowing that there are tens of thousands of people (at least! hopefully more!) doing the same thing is what's keeping my head above water.

And a really really really important point--the American people did not elect trump. He lost the election. He won the electoral college because for some reason we still use that antiquated system to our overall detriment. I've heard too much about this "decisive victory" trump had even though he didn't; I am not ok with letting people rewrite history to artificially boost their narrative.

Heather

Yeah, the "build a wall" chant also happened in a Middle School 20 miles from my door step! That is what upsets me the most. That is not okay, and any child chanting that in school should be expelled from the walls of that school.

My kid was disappointed that he won too, but I told him, don't be angry, be motivated. In the next election, you will have the right to vote. Use that right. I told him, now more then ever, I want to be wrong. I want this president-elect to prove to me that I was wrong and he will be a great president. I hope that he will bring our nation together and not divide us.

As a single mother raising a boy on my own, I want him to know, it's not okay to be the kind of man that our president-elect is. It's not okay to make fun of the disabled, it's not okay to judge people on their race, gender or identity and it is not okay to grab anyone by the p***y.

Elizabeth

Long time reader, first time commenter.
Well said, Amy. Thank you!

Amy

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.
With the exception of long, civil emails with my Republican Mother-In-Law, I am purposefully putting myself in a liberal echo chamber. Because I need to hear over and over again that I'm not crazy for worrying about basically everyone in this country with a different skin tone and religion. The only Trump hate list I'm on is Women, so, you know- yay??
I also really appreciated that you explained how this affected your children, and where their information came from. Some kids are fed lines, but your intelligent children clearly have not. I have been grateful time and again that my oldest is not even 3. Not old enough to understand at all what is happening, so I didn't have to explain it to him. I will, in a couple years. But not right now. My baby daughter is 3 months old though, and I feel like our country failed her, and for 2 days straight, I couldn't look at her without crying and apologizing.
I echo Cait: MIDTERMS. HERE WE F'ING COME.

Heather

Thank you, Amy, for responding to that nonsense with sense. Much love.

Katie

Be good and kind. I mean, that's it. . . . Right? I've been disappointed before at election outcomes, but I never thought that be good and kind would be what we need to reassure our kids after a preaendential election.

I found your blog because my 9 year old son was diagnosed with apraxia of speech at 2. And I was desperate foe hope and to connect. I really enjoy reading your posts - although I've only posted once or twice.

And so back to the topic on hand, when Trump mocked the disabled reporter I was out. To be fair I would have probabaly always supported Hillary, but that incident still makes me cry. Because that disabled reporter was once a little boy and his mother could never imagined that a man running for president of our county would mock him, not for his opinion, but for the way he came. The way that God made him, if you will. And that people would still flock to that candidate and make him president. I. Cannot. Understand. And I cannot stop crying about it.
I hope that I am proven wrong. And that this man will somewhere fun kindness and be good to people. I really do.

My boys, 10 & 9 voted in school for president. They are exposed to national politics. And they are being raised by parents who care about the least among us. No one is perfect. But we were not going to sugarcoat what Trump
Over and over showed us he was.

Ashley

Yes. This. All of this. I knew I loved you for a reason. Don't take that the wrong way, I just wish we were friends in real life. :)

Kristina

I can't YES to this enough. We are cord cutters and my kids are young so there is very little news in my house except for the 10 minutes of NPR they get on the car ride to school. Still, a few months ago my son came home and asked me if Donald Trump wants to build a wall. He had heard it at school. He wanted to know why, he wanted to know why Mexicans want to come here, he wanted to know why some people want them out. I tried to explain as neutrally as I could while also telling him what I think is right because that's what we, as parents, do; we teach our kids right from wrong based on what we think is right and wrong. There is no other way to do it.

The Trump supporters on your last post who were essentially telling us liberals to buck up and get over it since they had Obama for 8 years don't understand where the fear is coming from. For me, the fear is not so much what Trump will do, but what his rhetoric has unleashed. The vile racism, xenophobia, homophobia, islamaphobia and every other kind of phobia that has been normalized in this election is what is scary. I do not believe all Trump supporters are racists - not even close - but the ones that are have been validated and emboldened, whether purposefully or not, and that is terrifying.

Stephanie

I hate seeing all these comments from Trump supporters saying they're not racists, sexists, bigots, etc. You may not be, but you voted for one. It's not from the media, it's FROM HIS OWN MOUTH. And when he doesn't condemn those that are now emboldened to hurl racial epithets at people, that tells you something.

I will still fight and teach my girls there is good in the world.

Christine

Well done. I'm in the same boat that you are and I'm getting tired of being angry after unfriending/blocking people on my list who were disrespectful Trump supporters. I truly believe that Trump supporters in general think that he will help them, or at least he is not more of the same. I get that. I believe most of them when they say they are not actually racist, or xenophobic, for the most part - or I'm trying to. So anytime I see a Trump supporter from here on out, and they go to defend their choice this is what I'm asking them to do: I'm asking them to write to the man himself and demand that he apologize for the terrible things he's said, and that he ask his supporters to cease and desist with the flares of racist/homophobic/etc incidents that have been happening. A friend of mine had to intervene when a man tried to rip a woman's hijab off on the NYC subway. Another friend's black daughter had KKK written on her arm in the SF Bay area. It's everywhere and it seems to be getting uglier. I want to make nice, but then they need to demand that Trump be the president for us all, as he claims he now wants to be.

(Also, can someone send that man a pocket Constitution, he needs to read the First Amendment like whoa)

https://medium.com/@jessicashortall/voted-for-trump-i-have-only-one-plea-7d5994c7a3d1#.39zdnybod

Brooks

Trumps misogyny, racism and disregard for civil rights turned me against him long ago. His massive ego is what drives his every waking moment, and will lead us into trouble sooner rather than later. His dismissal of a persons value due to visible or perceived handicaps is reprehensible, and calls for support because we are "all in this together" make me physically ill. I'm a child of the age of protest, 60's and 70's and cutting my eyeteeth on dissent over government outreach. I too was raised and practiced and voted as a Republican until I could no longer take the hate and vitriol that caused me to abandon a party that had long earlier abandoned me. The past eight years of the party of no support for any policy of Obama's makes me SMH in wonder at the calls for bipartisan support for this overblown Cheeto. Please, please please continue to offer your sage guidance to your children, and above all challenge them to think for themselves, to cherish science, and to question that which causes affront to their sensibilities. Cookie cutter solutions, blind loyalty to a party, a religion or a cause has brought us to the sorry state of affairs we find ourselves in today. Continue to be a voice in the wilderness and a light in the darkness. We have your back.

Brooke

The fact that people feel that young children should have been shielded from politics this election cycle is a reflection on politics, not parenting.

I know there are good people who voted for Trump, and whose reasons for doing so had nothing to do with racism or sexism. My problem with this is that whatever end those people hoped to achieve through the means of a Trump presidency, they had to believe that their implicit support of racism and sexism would be worth it.

I can't wrap my head around that.

Fraulein N

Thank you for this. People can't chime in with "I voted for him, but IIIIIII'm not like that and now everyone's being so meeeeean?" No. No, they voted for ALL of that man, and they need to own that shit. Maybe they don't ALL have hate in their hearts, I don't know, but these people claiming to be middle-of-the-road need to own the fact that they voted for a loudmouth racist bully and probable rapist, and think about what that says about them as people.

And as a person without kids who thinks a lot of parents need to watch what their kids are up to more, even I am not out of touch enough to think anyone can completely shield their kids from the realities of this interminable, ugly election cycle. Because little pitchers have big ears, etc. How rude of people to come onto your blog and basically tell you that you have failed as a parent because your children are having a perfectly REASONABLE reaction to the crazy, scary world in which they live. So rude.

Rebecca Davis-Nord

Yes. Thank you.

Tamara

Amy - I have been reading your blog for a long time (11+ years) and this is the BEST thing you have ever written. I'm personally having such a hard time with these results not because a Republican won, but because THIS guy won. To vote for him, don't you have to have a little hatred in your heart? And these are the people I live with (Texas girl), work with, and (Lord help me) am related to?

And while I am at it... I feel like I've been lied to my whole life. Women clearly can't be anything they want, certainly not president. Say what you want about Hillary, but the rabid hatred and calls for her imprisonment would simply not be there if she was a man. She is a woman who possesses the fatal quality of being ambitious, and that is apparently just too much.

Brandi

Well said Amy! I'm so glad you responded to that comment. I read it the other day and it just stuck with me because are you serious? You would never deliberately upset your kids first off. And second anyone who has ever been around kids knows they're sponges and pick up everything! So I'm glad to see you shut that nonsense down.

Linda

"I've had a lot of friends pleading for unity and love and acceptance." - Kristen
I have relatives asking for prayers for the president-EC-elect, asking me to honor, support, and accept him. Funny how not one ever asked for the same acceptance for Persident Obama.

Don't ever stop blogging about this, Amy.

Molly

Thank you. Thank you for saying all of this. I am a married lesbian raising a little girl and this election feels like a sucker punch. What helps is hearing people like you say that you care about families like mine.

Amanda

Your past two posts have summed up my feelings exactly. I do not think I have ever commented on your blog, but just want to add to your defense regarding your children's exposure to the election. I attempted to avoid exposing my children - ages 4, 6, & 8 from the negativity of the campaign. My husband and I really tried not to discuss politics in front of the kids. We both voted for Clinton b/c we could not fathom voting for Trump. However, we live in NC (and maybe it was different in other states), but the political ads were nonstop on both the tv & radio. My 6 & 8 year old boys are extreme sports fanatics and watching football was unavoidable. Unfortunately, they were exposed to the commercial that compiled Trump's most egregious and heinous comments - where he was making fun of the handicapped, calling a woman a fat pig, bleeping over the pu**y grab comment, among others. My husband and I even argued after they were in bed one night b/c I thought we should mute the tv during commercials while he said they should see what's going on. Of course, my kids were horrified. Of course, my kids could not believe this man might be president. Of course, they saw the negative Clinton ads too. And, of course, after seeing both negative sides they still thought Trump was a monster. So, to any Trump supporter who thinks we just sit around bad mouthing your candidate, no we don't all do that. Trump has done the badmouthing without any help from us. And, if your child saw the ads my children were exposed to and then decided on there own that Trump was the guy for the job, that almost scares me for the future even more than the next four years.

Emily

Right on, Amy. It's a whole lot of work we've got ahead of us, but we're pretty tough mothers.

KImtoo

I don't raise my children in a vacuum. They aren't magically hit some age where boom, they'll understand and think critically about all this stuff. We talk about what's happening, and I share my political and religious views because I feel my views are right, and I can articulate down to the bone why I feel that way, and I can back it up with cold, hard evidence. If I didn't, if I couldn't, why would I believe them?
I am 3rd generation Mexican-American on my mother's side. My whole life, people have been telling me how lucky I am that I look like my father's Anglo-Celtic ancestors. I get white privilege on a different level than most people, because I am a POC, even if I pass. My kids... well, they aren't. But my oldest said, "Mom, he wants to deport Mexican people, right? Aren't our family Mexican?" My friend's middleschooler was told she better watch out, because Trump was rounding everyone who has brown eyes up.
This isn't hysteria. This is the way kids interpreted the vitriol that has been coming out of this man's mouth since day 1, and if you voted for him, you voted for the normalization of racism. And in my mind, you are a racist, and this country will reap what the your minority vote has sown.

Rebecca

Amen

Michele

Yes. Yes to all of this. And to those who think we should have shielded the children better, now the 7-8 year old children at school are playing "Trump Tag", where all the girls have to get by two boys without getting "grabbed". And no, that's not a story from my cousin's wife's babysitter's aunt. It's the story straight out of the mouths of my own nieces. No one taught them this and they don't have any idea of what they're doing, but it's there. And we must, must do better, which involves explaining, not pretending it's not happening.

Jen

Thank you Amy! I'm a Canadian reader (cancer survivor who'd be dead or bankrupt without universal healthcare and no I didn't have to wait in line for treatment) in dire need of a bit of reassurance that all my good neighbours to the south haven't gone completely insane. Please please please choose a tolerant, sensitive and forward thinking president next time round- those are traits that can be found in true leaders regardless of political affiliation.

Phyllis

Trump is going to be so much a better president than Hillary could ever be. She would have sucked, as did her husband. Go Donald.

Phyllis

Brittany

You just don't get it. YOU are intolerant -the people VOTED! Get over it! I can't stand Obama-he's phony & an overrated product of affirmative action. If he hadn't gone to Punahou he'd be in PRISON. He pretty much golfs at my country club every weekend. He has 4 suburbans running for 6 hours at least while he golfs 18 holes. Then he caravans back to the White House with an ambulance, multiple police cars, and various other support vehicles. The gas & pollution are unbelievable! I come from a family that were major democratic party players from LBJ to Tip to McAuliffe to Biden & they didn't even vote for HRC bc the Democrats are out of control! You pretend to be cool , hip & tolerant but you are not based on your most current post. I didn't protest when Obama took office. I woke up & put it behind me bc the people voted. TWO times. You live in a bubble of your making and fail to be tolerant. Trump isn't perfect but at least he has actually had a real job & tells it like it is. Obama is a dictator using Executive Orders. HRC is just a criminal. Phyllis is right.

Rebecca S.

One of your best posts, ever. And I've read them all (I found you about six years ago, fell in love with your writing, and then started at the beginning).

In twenty years of teaching high school English, I have had two days that filled me with indescribable pain, because I spent them watching my students weep or walk around numb with fear: 9/11 and this past Wednesday. The kids are watching, they are learning, they are enraged and despairing, and somehow we have to keep their fire and their hope alive. We have to teach them to have civil discourse, to find and learn others' stories, and be critical readers of the world around them. NONE of that happens by attempting to shield them from reality.

Thank you, as always, for your honesty, your irrepressible spirit, and your wonderful writing.

Miss Dawn

Thank you Amy for saying all the things I can't without using the F word so many times. My children are older (girls 22 and 24) and voted in this election. I didn't try to influence their votes in any way. They saw Ttump for what he is all by themselves. God knows he had enough media coverage. They were terrified that he would win the election. Their father is more conservative and the girls begged me to make sure he voted for Hillary because they were that afraid to have Trump as president. Needless to say they were devastated by the results. They are very dissolutioned and afraid and I am struggling to help them understand something I can't understand myself. So thank you for putting it into words for me.

Angela

Thank you Amy for expressing exactly what I have been feeling and thinking. As a Canadian reading on the outside looking in, I 100% agree with everything you have said. I was completely flabbergasted by the result and have gone through my own grieving and mourning over these past few days. Stay strong, support each other. Love will Trump ALL.

Lisa Ann

Thank you Amy + all the commenters (well, all but one) for your articulate, passionate + compassionate words. Y'all have made me feel a little bit better about the world today; this post is a great example of what a wonderful community the world wide web can be.

Lisa

You are the best.

Chip

I don't comment often, but I know that you'll get a lot of hate and pushback on this post from Trump supporters and I want to let you know that you are absolutely right. You are on the right side of history. Don't let anyone tell you any different.

Julie

Slow Clap!
I've been following your blog for a long time now, since you were pregnant with Noah, have never missed a post in all these years, and I could not be more impressed with you than I am at this moment. I KNOW that is not the point, but just thank you. THANK YOU for speaking your truth, my truth, so eloquently. I know the gut wrenching fear and disgust you are feeling, because I feel it too. Together we will be stronger and if just keep vocalizing our outrage, we will make America "good again",just like Hillary stated in the debates.

Margaret

GO, AMY! Seriously, go you.

I'm a Canadian and all (except perhaps one) of my friends and all (except perhaps one) of my colleagues and all (ALL!) of my family were/are devastated about Trump. We are all shocked and grieving, fearful and tearful. One of my colleagues said that it felt as though someone had died. Society isn't as far along as we thought. People aren't as educated as we thought. I just can't grasp it. I can't think too much about the ramifications because it will immobilize me. I'm telling myself, get mad, or rather, get madder. Get active, get more active, and make change happen. We don't have the luxury of waiting, none of us; we can't wait for someone else to do something, we all have to act now.

Anyone who voted for Trump is not smart. Wait, wait, let me say it...is dumb. I respect that everyone has the choice to make dumb choices. I will fight for your right to make dumb choices. But I will not respect human rights abuses, and I will fight to stop human rights abuses. Racism, homophobia, sexism, ableism -- all human rights abuses.

Trump is an idiot and is making an international laughingstock of America. Just sayin'. He's not going to make America great, he's actually going to drag it waaaaaaay down in terms of being a world superpower, and his election has confirmed in many people's minds the negative stereotypes of Americans that exist.

And, speaking as a female, I AM GODDAMN TIRED OF TRUMP/MISOGYNIST SHIT AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY GODDAMN MORE.

Mobilize, people. MOBILIZE!

Ann

Yes, Thank you. It hard to protect our children. My kids don't know or understand hate and exclusion. They are listening to and watching those closest to them. They will learn it's okay to have different opinions and yet remain friends with one another. Working together, be kind and understanding. Also, just because if they work hard for something they believe in, and may not have the results they wanted. Hopefully, they will learn to deal with the disappointments and move on to the next one. Be open, be learning and don't be a troll.

Elise

Thank you for this post. I'm a long time reader, with girls the same age as your three boys. I want my children to care about politics, news, current events, and the world around them. Even if I could shield them (which I can't -they are curious-- and crafty - And that's good!!) I don't think I should. Even if that means that my 10 year old crawled into bed with me and sobbed on Wednesday morning. And my 8 year old has asked at least a dozen times if Mohamed, who sits next to her in her 3rd grade class, will get to stay here, and reasons that surely he can because he's really smart and just won a chess tournament. As much as I want their world to be perfect and easy and happy, they do live in the real, confusing world and I guess it's time they start to know that they may need to do something to keep it decent. It's heartbreaking, but inevitable. I'm so grateful to hear from other moms right now and so appreciate you sharing your experience. And seriously, MIDTERMS.

R Robicheaux

Neither candidate was what I would call "admirable" or "honorable". It was making a choice between the lesser of two evils, really. So in the end, I chose to vote for the candidate who has NOT caused (some would say PURPOSEFULLY) anyone's death - United States servicemen included. Someone who needs to learn to hold his tongue wins out for me over someone who doesn't mind seeing our country's heroes killed on her watch.

Meredith

Sack up ho's! We did 8 years of dubya! We can do this. I honestly think most of the rhetoric was a scam. The usual dog whistles to trick the uneducated working poor. I don't think he'll get us into any additional conflicts given his isolationist tendencies. And I don't think he'll be cowed into doing such......he thinks he knows everything. I upped my 401k contribution today and purchased separate growth mutual funds. Wall Street seems to like this guy. Will he sink us further into debt? Yes. Will he undo all kinds of well established banking regulations? Yes. Make hay while the sun shines ladies. What's done is done. Cushion your family if you have the means.

Clara

My 3 yr old watched a few minutes of one of the debates and asked "Why is that man being mean to the lady." I never told her Trump was a bully, she saw it on her own! Kids are smart.

Secondly, Trump doesn't "tell it like it is" he just makes the shit up. People, coal is NOT coming back, science is real, climate change is real, undocumented people do the craptastic jobs white people dont want- if you want to go work in a slaughterhouse or as a dishwasher, no ones gonna' stop you.

Finally, healthcare costs are going to go up no matter what the president does. I paid my family's premiums in full for 5 years before Obamacare was created and it was always double digit increases every year. Healthcare is freakin' expensive that is the reality of a for-profit system.

Meredith

Yes, Hillary went over there to Benghazi and shot those soldiers herself. PURPOSEFULLY (sic). Wtf? How many taxpayer dollars need to be wasted on investigations before conservatives just accept that it was a terrible thing that happened that nobody could have prevented?

Sarah

Amy I read every blog post you write. I've grown to love your kids and laugh with them (in a non-stalkery way haha). However, I struggled with this election as most people did. This was my first year to legally vote and I did. It was a bit disappointing to have to choose between Trump and Hillary I'll admit. I felt as though the attitude in our country was entirely divided. "They're not happy if you vote for Trump because then you're a racist AND you hate women. If you vote for Hillary they're pissed because she's dishonest. You want to vote for a third party and you're wasting your vote. Finally if you don't vote at all, you're worthless! ITS YOUR RIGHT AND DUTY AS AN AMERICAN CITIZEN!" I suppose in the end what I'm trying to say is that you're never going to make everyone happy. Someone will always be upset because we all have differing opinions and values. The best thing I could do was pray about it and know that in the end, I will survive. No matter who wins, I place my faith and hope in the Lord. Presidents will come and go, but he is the constant. God bless you and your family as you move forward.

Stephanie Mewborn

Yes. All of it.

A.L

This is probably not the best way to deal with the election and it's fallout, but I have deleted all my social media accounts, removed the talk radio stations from my car's presets, removed all news apps from my phone, and have not taken my TV off Netflix in months. I'm closing my eyes, covering my ears, and holding my breath through all this. All those news stories and 'open letters,' and social media posts only create anxiety, anger, sadness, worry, and fear, in me so I'm just going to remove myself from all of it.

I've loved your posts throughout the election-- you've written very elegantly and put words to feelings I've had but was unable to verbalize. Reading your words and the words of the commenters (most of them) have reassured me that there are still kind, compassionate, people in this country who see what I do and that has been incredibly helpful. You've also given me good ideas about talking with my own children about what's happening in our world. But I'm VERY much looking forward to more posts about cats and dogs and adorable children and no more about all this nonsense that has dominated our lives for so long. :)

Lynn

So true. I said very little to my kids about the election. We don't have a tv, I changed the radio when any of that came on, and still, my four-year-old was nearly hysterical about it. FWIW, all that they knew from me was I was voting for Hillary and that no, I don't like Trump. I never told them why, because honestly, most of what he said was not fit for children's ears.

Children do not live in a vacuum. They hear things randomly on the Metro. They hear things from other kids. They probably even hear things from teachers. They feel the mood. They feel our fear, even when we don't put it in words.

J

I'm not American (though I lived there for six years). I'm politically savvy in the places where I can vote, but have only a layman's understanding of the American system. But I'm confused about all of these posters who are telling you to "suck it up" because "the people voted." Am I understanding it wrong? Because I thought the popular vote went to Hillary Clinton, but something something electoral college Donald Trump gets to be president anyway. So... didn't "the people" technically vote for Clinton?

(Please don't pile on me. I'm not trying to be impolite, or expressing a preference for either candidate, or saying that what happened was right or wrong. I'm just genuinely trying to understand why commenters keep saying "the people voted for Trump" when as far as I know, they actually voted for Clinton.)

Cindy

So very well said!! I'm with ya sister!

Fraulein N

Yes, J. You are correct that "the people" voted for Clinton, and that if things made sense, she would be President. Those people are just saying "suck it up" because they don't want people to complain about something that should not have come to pass. The electoral college is ridiculous and outdated and unnecessary, and it results in bullshit like this, where the candidate "the people" DID NOT overwhelmingly select somehow gets to be President.

Dawn

I disagree, Fraulein N. Without the electoral college, the voices of those in flyover states would not be heard.

Tamara

I would also like to add, that with ANY other republican president-elect, I would be disappointed but accepting. Not devastated.

Kyle

@Dawn: Without the electoral college the voices of those in flyover states would be heard exactly as much as the voices of people everywhere else. I come from the state of Washington, and since we vote Democratic in every election, our votes pretty much don't matter to national politics. On the other hands, the votes of people in a small number of swing states have disproportionate influence.

Christine

Great post. Everything I wanted to say only more eloquently put. Thank you.

Amy A

Sing it, sister! I've spent the past few days in a FB war with people who I assumed were my friends, but who lambasted me when I posted that I had to console my 19-year-old daughter who was devastated with the election results. I'm appalled at the lack of empathy coming from these people, who basically said these millenials needed to get over it, that they were being coddled, that 'the people have spoken' (ugh) and that 'these special snowflakes need a reality check'. Seriously.
What I've tried to state and tried to make them see ad nauseum is exactly what you wrote--it's about the people who now have to fight even harder to have a say, to be accepted, and who are now scared that whatever ground has been gained may be taken away. And that is what I and my daughter and countless others are so upset about.
So that's what I've been up against, and I just can't deal. But I will, because I have to, and I won't shut up and I will expose it for what it is--intolerance--no matter how it's spun. Just because someone does not personally experience it does not give them the right to dismiss it or deny it.

Justagirl

From Michael Moore's 5 point plan:'
"4. Everyone must stop saying they are “stunned” and “shocked.” What you mean to say is that you were in a bubble and weren’t paying attention to your fellow Americans and their despair. YEARS of being neglected by both parties, the anger and the need for revenge against the system only grew. Along came a TV star they liked whose plan was to destroy both parties and tell them all “You're fired!” Trump’s victory is no surprise. He was never a joke. Treating him as one only strengthened him. He is both a creature and a creation of the media and the media will never own that."

Yep..all of the jokes, tweets, posts, etc. just made it worse. This is a long but good article too. (says an "uneducated rual voter" with 2 college degrees...BA and a Masters ;) )


Justagirl

Link to the article...didn't go through on my other comment:

http://www.vox.com/2016/4/21/11451378/smug-american-liberalism

Jill

I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens. We survived 8 years of Obama, we can survive Trump. The tide shifts back and forth every few years. We'll all be okay. As a Republican, Trump wouldn't have been my first pick. Hell, he was last on my list. But at the end of the day, I would have voted for anyone but Hillary.

Sarah

A little late to the party here (or wake, more accurately I guess) ...but after listening to and reading comments from people who voted for Trump, so many of them say: "he's not that racist, misogynistic! It's the media making him look like that! He just wants more secure borders!"....which is mind boggling to me. I wasn't reading articles about him the last 5 years that say, like "an unknown source says Trump secretly said he wants to register ALL Muslims"...HE said that. He said it! To the media!!! I wasn't reading Slate articles that were like "what if Trump said there should be a religious test to enter the United States. That'd be crazy!" It wasn't implied! They were just reporting what he said! To the media!

No one made up that he spent YEARS questioning the legitimacy of Obama's birth certificate and implying he might be secretly a Muslim (as if being part of the largest religious group in the world automatically disqualifies you from being president of this country).

There is a REASON the KKK endorsed him. And then everyone comes back with..what..."well he didn't ASK them to!" What? He pandered and spouted this awful shit for years. YEARS. I don't need the liberal media to tell me what he's like. I can just look at his twitter. HIS OWN TWITTER. That he writes. With his own fingers.

Which leads me to my conclusion. I don't think that everyone who voted for him is racist. Or misogynistic (although I think a hell of a lot them are which is pretty evident with what's been happening at campuses like Upenn and Villanova).

I am just coming to the conclusion that the supporters he has who aren't themselves racist don't know what Twitter is and they must only get their news through like, 3rd party news articles. That is the only conclusion that can make me okay with it. That when they heard NBC report "Donald Trump called
Fox News reporter Megyn Kelly a bimbo because she reported things he has said about women"; or that every news agency reported that Donald Trump said "look at her, she would not be my first choice" about a woman who claimed he sexually assaulted her. Or that he started his campaign by claiming that the vast majority of undocumented Mexican immigrants in the United States were rapists....that when they read all these things they were like "oh they must just be putting words in his mouth! That darn liberal media! No way any person could do or say these things and still run for Presidemt of the United States. Because that would be dangerous! I do like what he's saying about health insurance tho! He's got my vote"


gaia227

Great post, Amy. In addition to being concerned about women's rights, civil rights, the economy......I'm VERY concerned about our environmental policies. He's already stacking the EPA with rabid climate change deniers and big oil men and will undoubtedly do the same with the Dept. Of Interior. They're already talking about how to pull out of the Paris Accord, lifting the cap on factory emissions, opening up federally protected land for mining, reinvesting millions in coal production, getting the Keystone Pipeline built. The only thing they care about is making money. The Dems can't do much to stop them either. It's very scary and disheartening to see them disregard facts, years of data, the very obvious signs of climate change.

Andrea

Thank you so much for this post. In reading these comments, and the comments on the last post, it strikes me how many Trump voters say they aren't supportive of racism, xenophobia, misogyny, homophobia, etc. I know they are hurting; I'm just not sure how they can ignore that their vote endorsed these views, not only in the president himself, but in the voting block whose bigotry is now validated. People may have voted despite these views, but in doing so, they voted to support them.

I truly hope that these people are right and that everyone's rights will be protected. However, if the bigotry espoused by this campaign materializes (and it already is), it is everyone's responsibility, especially those who voted Trump while explaining away his intolerance, to stand up and advocate for those who are targeted.

As a white woman, it is clear to me how much work we have to do to understand each other. White Americans of all ages and genders voted decisively for Trump, and we are the only demographic to do so. We need to seriously consider why that is, ask hard question about the racial divides and systematic inequalities, and make strides to listen to others. Growth and change can only come through listening to those who are different from us, and this is true regarding geography, race, gender, and political views. We need to start dissolving the echo chambers that make us feel secure so that we can empathize with each other.

Thank you for letting me think through these ideas in your comment section. :)

Kirstie

Actions>intent. "Oh well I don't agree with his xenophobic, misogynistic, racist policies, I just like his policies on *mumble mumble mumble" um...okay but here's a thought--the fact that he said terrible things about literally everyone & has yet to denounce the fact that the GODDAMN KKK SUPPORTS HIM...you don't get to say you only voted for the good stuff. That stuff didn't bother you enough to not vote for him, and that's a problem.

Just---solidarity. Kindness and action will go a long way, and that's what I'm reminding myself. I'm going to try to use my privilege for good, & anyone who's on the hate list has a safe place in my home.

Anyway--this is kind of like spitting into the wind because I know the majority of us on here agree, & the few exceptions won't change their opinion anyway. Womp.

Sarah

Mic drop. Amen to this post. I don't think anybody could have put it better.

The thing that most worries me though is the sheer quantity of false information out there. There are people who believe that Fox News is fair and balanced, that all major news is hopelessly liberal (since facts have a liberal bias, apparently) and that get the "real" news from Macedonian basements. When real people stop talking to their neighbours and friends about politics, because that's just not polite, and avoid pointing out the dog shit stuck to the bottom of their shoes when they mention an obviously untrue conspiracy theory, this just leaves space for the misinformation to spread and take over.

I don't ask you to continue to mention any aspect of politics on your blog. Not even social issues, if you don't want to. This is a personal blog, and we come back again and again because you are a great writer, and also cats :-) I just hope that away from this internet thing, in our personal lives, we all continue to use truth in our daily conversations, we take all news with a pinch of salt, and a much larger pinch depending on where it comes from (hint: Macedonian basements don't hire journalists or fact-checkers) and actively fight against the real swamp. It is not just in Washington or Wall Street. It is also in Facebook feeds dripping with Breitbart and conspiracy theories and alt-right memes. And when the 1% use lobbyists and tax systems favoring the rich, we can fight back (not with Trump, btw, he is one of them, and his tax policies overwhelming benefit people like him) but when they use our own biases against us, and distract half the country with lies so they put a tax-avoiding, pussy-grabbing, con man with plans to give the country back to oil companies and healthcare companies and bankers into power, it is much harder to fight. Because now you're fighting against misinformation, and that is so much harder. Science (another liberal bias) shows that when people have a belief, and are shown facts contradicting that belief, they tend not to recognize facts. They tend to double down and cling on even tighter.

Facts are losing the battle for the soul of the USA. Actual facts with truth behind them. You know, reality. It is terrifying.

Stacy

Very well said. My 16 year old son and I have been having some very meaningful conversations about this election. He has two moms and has never before feared for his family. This election changed that, which I will forever regret. We've also talked about our obligations moving forward and that feels like concrete action we can take.

I am a historian who studies the constitution so the long view is also helpful: http://sassafrasmama.blogspot.com/2016/11/living-in-hope.html

Thanks, Amalah.

Kris

Well said Amy!

Paige

Hey, Brittany,

Just FYI but the running cars and entourage thing? That's Secret Service protocol. DJT and other members of the executive branch of government will be doing the same thing.

Jody

YES. Thank you for this. I've been feeling pretty alone in the very conservative area where I live. So happy to read your words and feel less alone.

Nanareenie

I'm already tired of trump voters who rationalize and insist their vote was not a vote for hate and misogyny. And calls for unity are just code for the majority of voters who cast their votes for Hillary to shut up and go along with an intolerable social and political agenda.
I had to spend my weekend socializing with trump backers (all relatives). And while everyone held back on politics I'm ending my weekend wondering if I can morally continue to even have superficial social contact with these people who voted for hate. I'm really struggling with wondering if I have ever really liked them.

Laura in Michigan

The lovely middle school chant came from the same middle school that my children attended in MY OWN CITY. We are a progressive city, so I don't get it. I'm ashamed. And I, who really never posts political posts or comments to those posts, have become an outspoken, obnoxious, fact checker. I am sure I have ticked off many of my conservative friends by calling out their inaccurate facts and insisting on truth when speaking publicly. I have been told to "look to god and stop whining". Um, no...... I'm even having a hard time with my religious grouping because I don't want to be part of a self righteous religious group that doesn't think ALL humans are equal and worthy. It's been a tough week and it will be tougher as time goes on. But I'm in it for the long haul.

reenie

Well said!
I want to mention that my disgust, distaste, and disbelief have nothing to do with the fact that "Not Obama", or "A Republican" or "The Man" won. This is not about politics. This is not about gender. This is not about "my candidate losing an election." This is about the fact that Trump himself has repeatedly shown himself to be a monster on a level I've never seen before outside of stories of serial killers.

This is not remotely like any election that has transpired previously. Trump is not a politician. He does not actually care about this country. He cares about being on top. He cares about being the most important. The richest, the most notorious. And he doesn't care how he gets there, or who he hurts along the way.

I'm not upset that a Republican won. I'm upset that half of this country could not see what a monster looks like.

I am upset that my children (10 and 12 year-old boys) are going to spend the next four years with the leader of the country inspiring games like "Trump Tag" (mentioned above - shudder!!) and inspiring phrases like the "Trump Handshake" (pussy grab).

I am upset that I have to explain this to anyone. The morning after the election I realized that my world had become unrecognizable to me, and my fellow humans strangers. I have never felt so bewildered.

So - being that I STILL feel like I'm tumbling through space without a safety net - I am glad there are people like you with a platform like Amalah dot com who are saying the things that need to be said...in a much kinder way that I am able to muster up right now. You are an amazing human being...and though I don't know much about Jason, from what you've written, he seems pretty amazing, too.

Judi Wofsy

great, great piece - loved this. thank you so much!

Donna P

I tiptoed back in here today to see if anything has changed. Nope. There is still a lot of hatred being espoused on both sides, even on your lovely blog. I can say this, if if this is going to become a political blog, I'll stop reading right now. I'll be sad to do this because I've been here waaay before Noah was born. Sorry you're feeling so lost and tormented and please know that you're not alone, but my take is we'll just wait to see how horrible it becomes. Only time will tell and if it becomes that bad, hey, four years from now isn't really that far away. In the meantime, stop listening to the media, they've become so biased it's a joke.

birdgal (another amy)

Thank you, Amy, this was a really well thought out response. I am in the same boat with an 11 and 8 year old. I mean, kids can smell bullshit from a mile away. It is confounding to them that a consummate bully like Donald Trump would be rewarded for the kind of behavior they would be punished for and have been told throughout their school years is wrong. They SEE this election happening with their own eyes--how on earth could we shield them from all of that?

Betsy

Three cheers for your boys' school! In my graduate program, we had an extremely diverse population. In fact, being a white American put me in the minority group in the class. Having classmates from all over the world with myriad perspectives was the absolute best experience I've ever had. Your boys are going to benefit from this experience for the rest of their lives. Good job, Mom and Dad!

erin

Love you, Amy. I'm too exhausted to write more than that, but I will not stop speaking up as we move forward. I won't accept DJT as normal, ever. (Frankly, I bet he'll outsource most of his duties to Pence. Which: OMFG.) And MIDTERMS: YES. I'll be there. And until then, I am praying and looking inside myself. All of the places in me that are raging and hurting and sad are the same as every American feels.... If I can quietly soothe and heal those parts, it will spread peace through all of us.

Leah

I am Canadian (don't get mad!). Yes, the election was everywhere up here too but it didn't really come in to play for my son (age 7) since we aren't the voters. Even he came home saying, "Why did Trump win? Why would they elect someone like that? I would have voted for Hilary." So I have no doubt that kids hear and learn from what is said at school since it did not come up in our home.
Also? We have no idea what ya'll are doing down there. Seriously. I am scared for my neighbours to the south.

Donna

I'm a child-free by choice white woman who lives in the biggest blue state so I consider myself damn lucky and I'm worried about all of the things us liberals are worried about but this actually keeps me awake at night:

"Jenny told me that Donald Trump is going to make life harder for women."
I was unsure what aspect of a woman's life this Jenny was referring to directly -- overturning Roe? marriage equality? access to birth control? equal pay? not having our pussies grabbed on the regular? so many to choose from!
"Why would he want to make life harder for women? He has a wife! And daughters! It doesn't make any sense."
Well...yeah.

Wonderful post, Amy. Very well done. I'm glad you have all the words. I'm having trouble with the words.

Christine

Waiting to see how horrible it gets suggests an appalling amount of privilege. Tell that to the people being threatened.

Melissa

Yes. Yes, yes, yes.

LD's Mom

Couldn't agree more!!!

stephanie

Thank you for this post. We are having the same conversations here at home with our three girls (ages 13, 10, and 7). We live in an area where most people voted for Trump and they've had trouble dealing with some of their friends because we support Hillary. The horrid little ditty about "building a wall" offends my kids and I told them they have every right to explain why it's offensive to them. Maybe their views will help that child who is singing it to think twice? Hope so. My 7 year old is afraid all the kids who supported Trump are going to turn into him though I've assured her that they won't (let's hope not!!!). I'm having trouble negotiating my friendships with women who voted for him because I JUST DON'T GET IT. This is hard. But the way forward is exactly what you said...stand up for what you believe in, say something...do something. And yes...MIDTERMS. They can't come soon enough.

Lindsay

I love you and this post. Thank you.

Lisa

Here in Vancouver, Canada, where we are very liberal, my 4 year old knows who Trump is, and that he is the "President of the United States". He does not know/recognize Hillary, nor our own Prime Minister. I feel that we didn't talk about/expose him to the U.S. Election much (although we followed the craziness and are now just as confused and terrified as you), yet as you say kids are very perceptive. So I don't feel you "brainwashed" your kids!!!! And I have slowly started conversations with my son about things like consent, being a nice person, etc as a result.

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