Wednesday, November 08, 2017

What a Difference a Year Makes

I approach today with no small amount of dread. Today, the one-year anniversary of the 2016 presidential election. Today, the one-year anniversary of the most egregious electoral outcome in modern American history. Today, the one-year anniversary of the dream of seeing a 240-year-old barrier finally broken denied. Today, the one-year anniversary of Hillary Clinton not becoming the President of the United States of America.

When I look back at the hope, the optimism and the belief in a better America I had at the start of Nov. 8, 2016 versus the start of Election Day 2017 and, well. Let’s just go to the meme:

I remember, so vividly, the pride I felt going into the polling place to cast my ballot for history and Hillary. I remember the relief I felt at not having to see or care about Donald Fucking Trump anymore. And I still have nightmares remembering how it all, slowly but surely, went to shit.

It’s hard for me to read things I wrote before Nov. 8, 2016. There’s a hopefulness that hurts and a naïveté about the simmering resentfulness and flat-out ugliness of so many American voters that is still devastating. I believed in an America that does not exist.

But here’s the thing about this big, often unwieldy and too often unworthy American experiment – as many times as it breaks our hearts, if we pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and try even harder the next time we almost always find a way (however painfully slowly) forward.

And for proof, I give you Nov. 7, 2017. It was, quite possibly, the first good night for this democracy in 364 days. Democrats win the governorships in Virginia and New Jersey. Democrats poised to flip the Virginia legislature from red to blue. Virginia Democrat Danica Roem beat a virulently anti-LGBT Republican incumbent to become the first out transgender person elected to a state legislature in the United States. Virginia Democratic candidate Chris Hurst, whose TV reporter girlfriend was shot to death live on television, ran on a gun-control platform and beat an incumbent Republican. Lest we think all the good news is out of Virginia, in Minneapolis Democrat Andrea Jenkins became the first out transgender woman of color elected to public office in the U.S.

I could go on and on because it was really that good of a night.

But all I really want to say is to take the rage and disappointment and despair and fear you felt on the night of Nov. 8, 2016 and channel it into work. Channel it into action. Channel it into votes. And on Nov. 6, 2018 let’s have an even better night.


ald2106 said...

Everything you said Dorothy, everything.

CarmenSanDiego said...

A year ago I bought champagne and went to a party to watch the election returns with a group of lesbian friends... sigh
It was only one year ago but it feels like much longer

tlsintx said...


sk said...

Wow, you got quoted on Vox- guess they picked their favorites from the Buzzfeed article.