Shane, Juliette, and I went over to Jack and La Verne’s last night to eat nachos and watch the election coverage, our moods hopeful as we pulled into their driveway. I donned my “I Voted” sticker and Juliette asked if we were going to watch Hillary on TV. The vibe was warm and cheery as we walked in, Jack uncorking a bottle of wine, Nance putting together a salad, the Rust boys giving us the NBC play-by-play from the den. La Verne was wearing her Hillary socks. Shane immediately popped open the laptop and glued himself to Nate Silver’s electoral map, but I paid little attention to the count until Shane announced with concern, “We’ve got a Michigan situation.” We watched Hillary’s chances of winning drop from 80% to 60% and continue to spiral downward. There was an enthusiastic cheer when the results from Colorado came in, but our joy was short-lived. By the time we left Jack and La Verne’s house at 8:00, things were bleak. Very bleak. I was anxious and frustrated and frankly, baffled. It occurred to me as we turned onto our street that come January, Juliette’s first inaugural experience would likely be watching Donald Trump take office as our president. And I started to sob.
I know, I know, Hillary was far from flawless, but I fiercely believed in her message of inclusion. And everything about Donald Trump’s message felt counter to the values we’ve tried so hard to instill in our daughter.
From the time she was a baby, we have told Juliette that she was wonderfully made, that she is strong and beautiful and capable. And now America has elected a man who says horrible, vulgar things about women, who has been caught time and again treating females like objects to be judged and/or conquered and/or disregarded.
We enrolled Juliette in her current bilingual preschool because we wanted her to be part of a diverse community, for her to revel in the ways God has created his people with a variety of skin colors and languages and rituals. And now America has elected a man who preaches that minorities should either be feared as thugs or terrorists, or should be disdained for taking advantage of an American “handout”.
We have reminded our daughter that she is blessed beyond measure, that it is her duty to speak kindly to others, to share her belongings openly, to offer a hug to a crying classmate or give up her swing to the little boy quietly standing by the playground. And now America has elected a man who shows little concern for the people on the margins, angrily silencing anyone who dares not share his views.
With more fervor than ever, we will speak messages of love and unity and generosity over our child. How it aches, though, to know our nation has elected a man that will not do the same.