Yeah, this is another Editor's Note about my kid. Well, kind of. You know how I love him and I'm amazed that he's doing well despite his parents, especially his mother.
It's because of his parents, however, that he's a teenager who happens to know a lot about politics and the world and probably more about the weird corners of Tucson goings-on than most 15-year-olds should.
Driving to school after Election Day, I realized I hadn't told him what it feels like to lose, so we finally had that talk. It went something like there's this pendulum in politics, especially the presidency, and goes back and forth between these two parties for different reasons. Sometimes one party gets to have the seat for two terms and then other gets it for two terms, and yada yada.
He was with his father at the Democratic Party event the night Obama won his second term. He was taken by the festivities and what it felt like to see the person he supported win. He loved it. Not so much Election Night this year.
I told him about how I was at the Republican Party event that night for work, as I have been for almost every major election event the past nine years I've been with the Weekly. I watched as a jubilant crowd happily cheered as the numbers rolled in proclaiming Trump had won. Clinton lost.
The pendulum, I thought then, thinking about the last two presidential elections I watched at the Republican event and a despondent crowd walking out the door. Obviously the talk with the kid ended up being about more than just the mighty pendulum of democracy. It also reflected the same conversation I had with my boyfriend when I got home late that evening.
There is a sadness, but a sadness that goes beyond being disappointed a candidate I wanted lost. It's more than that because in this election we saw someone win who ran a campaign charged with racism, misogyny, and brushing away sexual assault charges. We saw some of his supporters threaten and injure those who disagreed with him at campaign rallies across the country. We saw an electorate who didn't care that his businesses fail, that he was facing dozens of lawsuits, or hadn't paid taxes in years and didn't seem to care about sharing those forms or facts with the public.
Trump didn't win the popular vote. Yes, I get that. The Electoral College and all that. Yep. I get that people didn't feel that the Democratic Party was addressing the shrinking middle class and loss of income and jobs that many felt they were/are still experiencing. I get that, being a Bernie supporter, I got that from the start.
But now, as I explain to my kid, that friends of ours are scared at what's to come, seeing Trump supporters act out in violence post election. Our friends are scared, especially those who are undocumented and our LGBT friends and family. People are scared as Trump announces the people he's recruited to help bring his administration together. This isn't just a loss. Hell, I'd bring Bush Jr. back in a heartbeat if we could. This isn't a normal loss to a normal Republican Party candidate. Yes, let's see what he does and let's see if "stop it," is enough to keep some of his emboldened followers in line. But let's be real, which means being vigilant and every once in a while praying that the Democratic Party finally gets it in the midterm elections and that organizers are getting ready. The pendulum swung, I tell the kid, but this time it went too far and we have to speak out for our friends. Correcting it takes work.
— Mari Herreras, firstname.lastname@example.org