Before Sagittarian season is upon us, I wanted to reflect a little bit. Originally I kinda felt like I had gotten sidetracked from the Scorpio theme, but on second thought, I guess the unexpected election results played into it in dramatic and horrifying ways.
In my First of the Season post, I wrote, "I think now more than ever, we need to pay attention to how we are responding to everyday tragedies." I said that I had made it a personal goal not to conflate glory and gore, and that we shouldn't mistake violence for heroism.
To end this particularly brutal stage of the zodiac cycle, let's take a moment to apply this vaguely intriguing sentiment to very real current events. Because Donald Trump will be the President of the United States and, arguably, the most powerful man in the world. Mike Pence will be behind him, pulling his grimy little puppet strings. His cabinet will fill up with Climate Change deniers, enemies of LGBTQ rights, people who probably revere the term 'reverse racism,' Harvard grads who put abortion rights and the Holocaust on the same playing field, guys who got rich on the backs of people made to crawl by the 2008 financial crisis, and, you know, just general deplorables who belong in a basket. A private email server is looking pretty good right now, eh Bernie Bros?
Perhaps worst of all—in this immediate moment, anyway—prejudice has become so emboldened by our favorite Rich White Guy Who Doesn't Believe In White Privilege But Just Got Hired For A High-Ranking Job With Literally Zero Experience that targets on the foreheads of women, muslims, black people, queer people, immigrants, etc. are growing at alarming rates.
It's disheartening to come to grips with just how many people voted for this man. Just how many people actively endorsed this kind of hatred.
But what what would be more than disheartening—unless by disheartening, we mean physically ripping one's heart out of their chest—would be normalizing this behavior. Trump isn't even president yet and I'm already guilty of this. Every time a new cabinet member is appointed, my New York Times app shoots me a notification and I barely even bat an eyelash anymore. Because I know it's going to be bad. Maybe worse than the last. And headlines will slide onto my screen throughout the day that read like variations of "Why Trump's New Appointee Is A Disaster" and I will sigh, because I've seen it before and I'll see it again.
But look, it's also worth remembering that liberation never comes easy. And our country has had its fair share of roadblocks to equality. And this is another, and it's immediate and threatening and we cannot allow ourselves to sit back and hope someone fixes it. The majority of voters wanted Hillary. The vast majority, in fact. And I can read one million think pieces on Why Liberals Got It Wrong and The Real Reason People Voted For Trump, but that won't change my (arguably foolish, but steadfast) belief that people are basically good. And that there's a reason why each successive generation is seen as out of touch by its grandchildren. Because we are getting more and more open-minded, more and more accepting. Progressivism will win, by definition.
When my grandchildren are in seventh grade, reading in their Social Studies textbooks about 2016's Descent into an Endless Pool of Hellfire, they'll ask me what I did to fight back. They'll look at the activists, like I did with the Civil Rights Movement, and wonder why everyone wasn't fighting back. And when they ask me about it, I want to be able to tell them that I did everything I could. That I didn't become complacent.
Links and infographic information updated on 12/6.