This morning, I got up and actively avoided checking my phone to see who won the election for at least an hour. I got dressed, brushed my teeth, did my makeup, fixed my hair, ate a banana for breakfast. And then I took the plunge… only to find that Donald Trump had swept up the necessary electoral votes to become President Elect.
I cannot celebrate.
I have friends and family who voted for Trump out of desperation not to have Hillary Clinton. I have friends and family who voted for Trump out of some crazy hope that he might live up to his newfound pro-life convictions and promises. I have friends and family who voted for Trump because the political left has made it more and more criminal to lead a lifestyle based on Christian morality. I understand that. And I love them dearly.
But I cannot celebrate.
The entire campaign season, I had people I know, love, and respect badger me – trying to get me to support this fake-tanned demagogue because he was the “lesser evil.” None of them ever actually tried to convince me how he was less evil than Clinton, other than the ever-present “He doesn’t kill babies.”
No, but he has said that he supported punishment for post-abortive women.
No, but his sexually predatory behavior is exactly the kind of behavior that puts women in situations that make them vulnerable to choosing abortion.
No, but he has openly said that pregnancy is a burden to companies.
No, but he has bragged about sexually assaulting women, and will be on trial next month accused of raping a 13-year-old girl.
No, but he has said, when asked whether he wanted kids, that sure he likes them but he won’t take care of them – that’s the woman’s job.
No, but he has threatened time after time to deport all undocumented immigrants – which means separating undocumented immigrant parents from their U.S. citizen children, and deporting adults who came here as children and don’t even remember the country where they were born.
No, but he has repeatedly promised to block victims of violence and war from coming to safety here simply because of their religion.
No, but he has mocked people with disabilities and promised to cut programs that exist to help them.
No, but he has accused thousands of people of being rapists, drug dealers, and criminals just because of their country of origin.
Those of you who voted for Trump thinking that he was “the pro-life candidate” bought into the hardcore propaganda that much of the pro-life movement was pushing. Anti-abortion legislation alone does not make someone “pro-life.” Deciding to run for President and magically becoming “pro-life” all of a sudden, after decades of being avidly “pro-choice,” does not mean you actually did have a change of heart. As a Catholic, I am obligated to fight not only for the unborn but also for others in our society who do not have a voice. The unborn, the poor, the disabled, the elderly, women, minorities, immigrants… if you only want to limit abortion and ignore everyone else who needs you, you are not truly pro-life. And you are not truly Christian, either.
Donald Trump’s entire life, entire career, has revolved around embracing the very culture that makes women feel that abortion is necessary. The majority of post-abortive women say that they felt they had no choice. They were cornered, pressured, coerced, abandoned – by men like Donald Trump. Men who used them for their bodies and didn’t want the natural consequence of their sexual gratification. Men who didn’t respect them, treated them like objects for their pleasure, and then dumped them in the street when presented with any kind of responsibility. Men who took what they wanted, and left when they were finished.
This election has divided our nation in ways I never thought possible. It has brought out the worst on both ends of the political spectrum, and left the moderates in the mud thinking “What in the actual hell is going on?”
I’ve heard the excuses. I’ve heard the rationalizations. They are as empty as Trump’s promises.
All I can do today is pray for our country, and for our President Elect. All I can do is hope that his bark is worse than his bite when it comes to everything he said during his campaign. All I can do is keep on going, because the people have spoken and whatever Trump does in the next four years is because our country gave him permission to do it. All I can do is keep voting, keep writing letters to our state representatives, keep putting pressure on our state government to help everyone who needs it, because President Trump sure as hell won’t help them.
Because I am a Catholic, mixed-race, pregnant, female sexual assault and abuse survivor whose in-laws are Middle Eastern immigrants… I cannot celebrate. All I can do is pray, and fight.