I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this post for some time. Honestly, I’m still not entirely sure what to say.
I’m one of the 60 million or so Americans that voted for Hillary Clinton. Did I think she’s the perfect candidate? No, but I’ve never found such a person. She’s amazingly experienced and quite competent, and the Bernie Sanders candidacy pushed her a bit more to the left. Which I’m fine with. We can quibble over economics details, but on social issues, this would have been a fine presidency.
That’s not what we are facing now.
Now we’re facing education being in the hands of a woman who is rich thanks to Amway and donates to far-right causes. She’s also a major proponent of school vouchers, and it doesn’t take much reading between the lines to see the funneling of tax dollars to religious schools in that.
Now we’re facing an EPA transition headed by a non-scientist who believes that climate change is a hoax.
And we’re facing an attorney general who has openly expressed anti-LGBT points of view.
That’s just the start of it. Look up what Mike Pence pushed as governor of Indiana some time. Or what Breitbart actually is and pushes. We are indeed in a post-truth society.
Me? Admittedly, I’m troubled. I know there are a great number of Amercians for whom the economy wasn’t working. But that means a radical change in job training, not trying to walk back to the past. Coal is an energy of the past, and automation has taken away far more jobs than free trade. I also prefer slow and steady progress rather than the reckless boom-and-bust approach that doesn’t take a genius to recognize in proposed future legislation.
But I’m a tenure-track faculty member. I’m secure. These are things that are easy for me to say.
What isn’t easy is that base prejudice and hatred was so easily whipped up, especially when people like my parents start citing affirmative action as a source of rage amongst the disgruntled working class. My mother even tried to cite my own path to getting a full-time faculty position (and every applicant can tell you of the jobs they didn’t get) as an example of it not being about merit, but rather about identity.
You know what, Mom? I’m not the majority white male. I’m not a Christian. And I’m not identifying as male. I’m non-binary. I should be an X instead of an M or F, and if push comes to shove, I’m more F. And now I have to look over my shoulder when I’m out and wearing a scarf or have my nails painted and wonder what the emboldened social conservatives are going to say and do to me. That’s what I’m worried about.
We could have had a future where we addressed these issues. Where we came together and found answers that looked ahead, not back. But instead we picked a lying Cheeto with a hairpiece who never came close to making a policy statement and put him in charge. And wish him comes all of the social conservative baggage throughout government.
Now we have to resist. Now we have to keep our own dreams alive. Now we have to band together, hopefully not pushed to the shadows.
Now we’re the Browncoats. And I’m not about to celebrate any kind of Unification with those who would vilify me.