I’ve been meaning to write this for months. Really, ever since this joke of an election process started. I’m sorry I didn’t, because the letter I write now is going to strike a different tone than the one I would have written then.
Thank you. Thank you for being a role model, for being an inspiration. For being an educated, intelligent man without being a snob. Without looking down on those less fortunate. Thank you for being the kind of leader that made me proud. The kind of leader I was happy to have represent myself and our country to the world.
I cried tears of joy when you got elected, and on your inauguration day. I thought we had truly made it. And in your years as President I have felt the glow of progress – not nearly as fast as I would like – but there nonetheless. Gay marriage, healthcare reform, climate change initiatives, and so much more.
But yesterday I cried tears of a different kind: tears of fear, and pain, and confusion. Tears of anger. I don’t understand how we can go from YOU to HIM, how our country could have become so angry and hateful and misguided.
And the blame for this falls on the feet of a few different groups.
The media, for one. It’s a different world than it used to be, and no one is seen as balanced or trustworthy anymore. Liberals read one set of news, conservatives the other. There are few attempts to bridge the gap, and anyone with an opinion has the ability to start a blog and call what they do news. If we can’t even agree on which facts are true, then, of course, we’re never going to reach a deeper understanding with each other.
The corporations, and the status quo, for two. Manufacturing jobs have left the country in waves and it’s left rural America with little to do. Their quality of life goes down – and to them it seems like no one cares, that nothing is being done to stop it. All of our politicians appear to be/actually are deep in cahoots with industry and all manner of disgraceful human beings. It’s easy to see why everyone thinks politicians are corrupt: most of you are, and you all do very little to hide it.
And, yeah, manufacturing jobs are disappearing. But other jobs have appeared in their place. For the price of a cheap laptop, you can learn a relevant skill that can give you a salary upwards of 90k a year. Working remote. I keep saying this but no one cares. Because it takes work, and thought, and learning a new skill is painful. Becuase it’s not a ‘real’ job, a work yourself to death and ‘pull yourself up from the bootstraps’ kind of job.
Some of this is bound to happen – as we move forward there will be losers and lost industries. As technology advances more things will become automated. It’s a good thing. Our economy has long since stopped being about manufacturing, people just haven’t realized it yet.
But when people aren’t educated, when they don’t have the opportunity to travel and see the world and meet people who haven’t lived in the same town for generations, shit like this happens. They’re frustrated, and they’ve taken it out on the easiest targets. Immigrants, people of color, women. Those weaker than them. It’s not excusable but it’s not a shock that it’s happened. White men have never been the ones at a disadvantage before, of course they weren’t going to take it well. It’s the lashing out of a dying breed, a last desperate struggle as their father’s way of life disappears.
And then there’s you and the democratic party. As much as I like and respect you, YOU were the head of the party and effectively have been for eight years. Yes, you were busy with other things, but where were you when the Bernie situation was going down? Did you REALLY have no idea it was going on? When Hillary was polling low, when people were talking bout how much they hated her, where were you? How did you let this happen? How did you let the party you helped rejuvenate screw things up so royally that DONALD TRUMP got elected president? Did you think everyone was going to be so easily manipulated? The political machine is broken and this fact should have been clearest to you. You who promised hope and change and have struggled to achieve it for the past eight years.
So don’t fail us now. Don’t abandon us. Do something. Stand up. To your party, to the nay-sayers, to the racists. Trump was NOT given a mandate. He lost the popular vote. Do not gentle into that good night. Make sure something like this doesn’t happen again, help us fight for our country. For the next 10 weeks – and long after that – you will wield more power than any of us can hope to hold in a lifetime. Don’t stop yet, because we still need you.