What just happened in America is beyond anything I could have ever imagined. The soul of this country was torn apart at the very moment when we had a chance to rise above the hateful rhetoric we have been forced to listen to for months and to unite with a compassion for those who are different, a love for our country beyond measure and an acceptance of opinion and ideals that makes this country great….Not Great Again … GREAT!
Instead we watched a wild witch-hunt supported by a predominantly white male force incessantly run after our first female candidate as if she was the most horrendous human being alive. The emails, the emails, and the emails….must I say more.
We have allowed a man to escape the same trials beset on a woman and skate free through a remarkable path of no consequence for things that otherwise make us gasp in disbelief. Corruption? Has anyone, especially the media, given any of the women who accused Donald Trump of mishandling them more than a story or two, or a conversation sparking protests and demands for the truth within their own circles? Does anyone who voted for Donald Trump even understand how many lies he told during the campaign and how many facts he got wrong, all proven in written form by fact-checkers, historians and other leaders? Does anyone who voted for Donald Trump really think he is going to be honest with anyone when he takes the Oval Office?
What do I tell my teenage daughter when she asks why a man who has obviously done so much wrong in his life doesn’t get held to the same standard as a woman? In this case, one who devoted her life to public service and the betterment of the lives of children and women? What do I tell my teenage daughter when she asks me “how an election can be won by a man who has proven to be unfit? Donald Trump fed into the weaknesses of this group just like the schoolyard bully. He surrounded himself with people who feed negative and unfair propaganda to the masses each and every day. He has been fed by a silver spoon all his life and has never known what it feels like to mine for coal, live in rural America on a fixed income or work all day every day for minimum wage barely making ends meet. I do. How can anyone expect him to understand? What do I tell my daughter?
This president-elect has admittedly, and in his own words, grabbed women by their “pussy” and let’s not forget had extra-marital affairs. A man who has bankrupted companies more than I like to count at the risk it puts such great fear in my heart for our country that I can’t even keep my head up. A man who openly made fun of a disabled person on national television with the world watching. A man who couldn’t even bring his ego in long enough to pay respect to a gold-star father who lost his son fighting for our country. A man who has no military experience whatsoever and had the fortune of money behind him when he escaped serving our country because of a spur in his foot, a spur he cannot even remember correctly. A man who has made clear he has no tolerance for immigrants, minorities, gay people and the like. Is this really what my America looks like? What do I tell my daughter?
I am old enough to remember several elections and while my candidate of choice didn’t always win, I don’t remember our country protesting with such fervor at the prospect of an individual not fit to run our country ever before. How can this be? Why didn’t the majority of people who voted for this man understand this? How can a narcissistic egomaniacal liar make it to the oval office? How can bad behavior continue to be awarded in a country that was to represent “strength, power and honesty?” What do I tell my daughter?
He fed into the uneducated and the displaced, allowing them to believe he will save them. That’s what bullies do. They find the most disenfranchised weak individual on the playground and pick on them. Does anyone not see this and how this played out for someone who has the world in dismay and our allies bewildered? Does anyone not notice that headlines across the globe are using such words as “W.T.F” and “Are you Kidding Me?. While those headlines circulate, can we not sit here and really ask ourselves if that is OK, if it is OK for a man to allow our country to now be a joke, a misfit, a low-lying power that doesn’t take all the risks involved with letting this man through the front door seriously. What do I tell my daughter?
I worked for someone who bears the exact same traits and behavior of Donald Trump. They don’t change my friends, but they keep on winning despite their arrogance, lies and ugly behavioral traits. I worked for a narcissistic man who treats women horribly, depletes the human spirit as a game of fun and thrives on power he exerts to make the “little person” feel even smaller. The day I was able to leave that horrendous work situation was the best day of my professional life. It is because of that and why I anxiously wait for four years to fly by faster than anything imaginable. I am ashamed our country has gotten to the point where decency didn’t outweigh ignorance.
When I woke this morning I was hopeful to feel a bit of anxiety leaving my body, a sense of “we shall overcome” and a certain bit of optimism that would take me through the next four years. It didn’t happen. The tears keep flowing and the idea of uncertainty and embarrassment override any sense of understanding I can possibly relate to what just happened in this country…my country.
We have an Electoral College system that I believe is flawed and antiquated. We have a process that doesn’t allow for certain standards of conduct to be upheld for the highest office in the world. We have people who still believe that black Americans and women have only defined places in their lives. Yet none of that thought process, none of that diabolical way of life compares to the remarkable and unprecedented statement on humanity in which the election of Donald J. Trump leads to. And that is the purpose of why I write today.
As of this morning Hillary Clinton continues to win the popular vote. I now know how Al Gore felt. Our electoral college process which Donald Trump, in his own words and in his own tweet said “our electoral college process is a disaster, it is not democracy” proves once again to not honor the real power of our people. I am hopeful that enough Americans join in to petition for this process to be reviewed, refined and changed so the people do speak in our next election and that the process is changed. I know that I will do what I can to encourage and persuade those I come in contact with or know to support this change. “We the People” is exactly what we should be thinking!
I will close with recognizing that people wanted change. They wanted change in Washington and they wanted change in policy and for this, I can agree. There were so many better choices for change throughout the entire election process. There were so many candidates who could have brought about change while keeping our country’s reputation alive with our allies, protected our country from the threat of all kinds of evil, changed our education, health system and environment for the good and protected our children. But yet the hate-filled people who couldn’t get past their own simple way of thinking that someone who has billions will also make them billions have a very rude awakening coming their way. It is hard to try to determine how change will be brought on by someone contemplating putting the same “old white men” in his cabinet and some who have questionable pasts…Giuliani, Gingrich, Christie. Is that an example of the change this country was looking for?
When the DOW drops 700 points in one night everyone needs to pay attention. When social media trends with #notmypresident in a democratic society, everyone needs to pay attention. When women are asking “why have we not come any further?” everyone needs to pay attention. When immigrants who are the very fabric of our nation, and black Americans who gave more than they should have ever had to so we could build this country, ask am I safe, everyone needs to pay attention and when gays and transgender people ask if they can walk the streets and be free anymore, everyone needs to pay attention. I simply ask “What will I tell my daughter?” And what will my daughter tell her daughter?
Open your eyes and ears America. Be a voice stronger than you ever expected. Please bring about change and force yourself to not tire in this fight and trying to make a difference, blocking hatred in any way or form possible. Be proud of who you are and for who will become. Take a stand and be a force for those who need to be held up. Don’t let this get away from you over time, don’t become complacent and don’t ever stop making sure your path to greatness is an important opportunity for all of us! This is what you can tell your daughter.
Caroline Galloway is a PR specialist with 23 years experience in Entertainment and Consumer Brand Marketing & PR. She is based in Cleveland, Ohio and is a working mother of two, who has published numerous announcements and articles on a variety of topics.