I am carrying a baby due to be born on January 20, 2017.
In the future, when my kids ask me what I did in the months and weeks and days leading up to the election on November 8, I will tell them.
I’ll tell them how I lay awake most nights blinking at the ceiling. How I made phone calls to undecided voters and that I mostly listened to voicemail messages of people with Pennsylvania accents telling me that they weren’t available right now. I’ll tell them that I voiced my unwavering support for a presidential candidate worthy of the title. I’ll explain why I deleted emails and direct messages sent to my inboxes filled with hate and vitriol and aggression and why I saved many more of them filled with goodwill and support and compassion. I’ll tell them how I took my two-year-old into the woods to hunt acorns and asters. That I made pots of black beans and stored them in the freezer so there’d be something nutritious to eat when time and energy were otherwise zapped. I’ll tell them that in the fall of this election, I burned dinner, four times, but that their papa perfected a sourdough pizza recipe and that we ate it every Sunday night.
On the day of the election, their papa’s birthday, I’ll tell them how together we took our kid to Central Park. How we gathered fall leaves and found tiny burbling waterfalls. I’ll tell them that we voted. That we passed our two-year-old between us as we filled in our ballots at Brooklyn Borough Hall. I’ll tell them that we cast our votes for the only sane choice; that we were so very hopeful. I’ll tell them how I carried my daughter on my shoulders on our walk back home and listened to her chant: Hill-ary. Hill-ary. Hill-ary.
I’ll tell them that I tried to answer emails and draft essays that day but that I couldn’t focus on the tasks at hand. I’ll explain that I stopped trying to work so that I could make more phone calls. I’ll let them know that I listened to more answering machines and phone clicks and exasperated would-be voters and then that I switched tactics and tried calming my nerves by ironing tiny onesies I’d dyed dusty pink with avocado pits and skins. I’ll tell them that I drank four cups of lemon balm tea to calm my nerves. I’ll explain that some nerves can’t be calmed but that we lit candles on their papa’s birthday cake and blew them out anyway.
I’ll tell them that on the night of November 8, my pregnant belly seized into one long Braxton Hicks contraction that lasted for hours; that I finally turned off the light and quieted my phone and tried to get myself to breathe. I’ll explain that I woke up at three in the morning and that my sobs woke their papa; that I couldn’t speak to tell him what I was reading. I’ll explain that when I woke again at 6:30, my chest was still clamped shut. I’ll tell them that from her perch in her bed, our daughter called out to us, full of joy and boundless energy:
I’ll explain how my chest ripped open.
And then I will tell them that I fought. That I refused to let racism and sexism and xenophobia rule the day. That I would not be fooled into complacency. I’ll tell them that I knew we had incredible work to do and that it would require unprecedented bravery. I’ll tell them of my renewed resolve to raise thoughtful, compassionate, big-hearted children. I’ll tell them of my commitment to being an ally to people far more marginalized than I am.
I’ll tell them that in a moment when my very work was to share my opinions with readers, that I could not think of a single good reason to hide these ones.
I’ll tell them that on January 20, 2017, I refused to be afraid and that I refused to be silent.
Thank you so much for writing this Erin. I haven’t told my kids yet. They are older: my daughter is 11 and my son is 8, and my daughter especially understands what’s happening and I just don’t want to see her face when I tell her. But you are right, we need to be even stronger now and there is so much more work to do.
Thank you. As the mother of a young daughter, thank you.
I had a hard time telling my 7 year old. She cried and then said please don’t let him touch me there. Then I cried and said I’m sorry we failed you.
Oh that is so heartbreaking! I’m so glad she has you there to keep her safe and hopefully by the time she is 11, he will be gone from office.
I grew up in a very politically divided family where everyone kept politics at the periphery in order to get along. I have preferred to keep my politics private. But I feel like the curtain has been lifted and I can’t go back to thinking that keeping my opinion to myself isn’t dangerous. I voted, but I didn’t speak out. Too many good people sat on the sidelines this election. The horrible beauty of today is that I will speak louder and act with intention to support love, education, and equality for all.
Thank you, Erin, for these beautiful words and all the posts you have shared in the wake of this tragedy. Thank you for your wisdom and bravery and fierce, lovely soul. We will stand, and we will fight, and our spirit will never be overcome xxx
Absolutely beautifully written. You should be proud of what you’ve done and what you will continue to do. Be brave and not silent.
Erin, I’m a longtime reader and neighbor of yours (loved seeing all the moms with strollers at Borough Hall!). I can’t tell you what this post means to me, because I can’t quite get to the fighting stage yet. The tears haven’t stopped yet, but it encourages me hugely to see how the hearts of my white friends, family members and bloggers break with mine. We are together in this. Thank you.
I went searching the internet for respite. I found it with you, Erin (of course!). Thank you for writing this and posting this AM.
What a beautiful text, thank you. All the way from Lisbon, a Portuguese woman, woke up her 13 y old boy today with that same ripped open chest – America let us down?! How?
Sending peace to you and yours.
With you. Yes. YES. We need to be the light for our children. xx
This is a hard time to be a parent, especially of a daughter. I can’t shelter my children from this result, nor do I want to because I want to raise find upstanding and politically aware children. But it’s hard to stay positive on days like this. I think we’re all entitled to a little bit of wallowing sometimes. First Brexit, now this. I don’t know where we’ll all end up. Sending whatever hope we have left in Europe your way.
Thank you for writing. No words. xoxoxo
Thank you for this! #ImWithYoutoo!
What is there that is left to say? You’ve said it all so beautifully here. Love, peace, and calm nerves to you, and to us all. xo
Thanks for your thoughts. It helps, I think, to hear others in the same boat. Although this is feeling like a really crowded boat today…
Obviously, I’m struggling today to find my way to a positive outlook. I feel America has so much work to do. My kids wanted to know about the wall – will it be built today? Will Hillary Clinton go to jail today? I answered honestly – I don’t know anything.
Thanks for those béautiful and couragous words.
Also waiting for a little baby for this month, i really understand and Will send you my support from France , we also have élection next year and are already afraid of the way it could turn….
Love and support !
Thank you for this. I too sobbed through the night and am struggling today with how to explain this to my baby when he is old enough to ask, or to the children I work with now. We have to move forward together, and have more work to do now than ever before.
Beautifully written and everything I couldn’t find the words to say this morning. Thank you for saying this.
These are powerful, beautiful words. I live in Canada… and I wept for you this morning. I wept for what this means about our world. Thank you for continuing to fight. You have warriors alongside you up here. xo
I’m in Canada too, and never more thankful.
I’ve cried three days in a row now, but I guess it’s time to buck up and get back into the world to make sure we protect the vulnerable, and stand up for what’s right.
Thanks for writing this, Erin.
I am Canadian too. I am still numb. I am so supportive of the Americans taking to the street. Make sure your voice continues.
Well I thought my tears were finished but my face right now betrays me. Thank you for writing this, thank you even more for posting it. Sending good thoughts to everyone —
I really need to read that.
Thank you for writing this. Your words and emotion brought me to tears. May your family’s love and the knowledge that we’re with you, nourish you x
This post brought me to tears at my desk. The first tears I have shed since reading the devastating news this morning. I’ve tried to hold it in and process our new reality, but it’s too hard. Too much is at stake.
Thank you for you for your thoughtful response and reflections. I hope I find the strength that you’ve described. I too am scared for the future that awaits our unborn child. Hopefully as time passes I’ll be able to focus more on the future instead of questioning how we even got here.
Much love to you, James, and Faye from Minneapolis.
I’m in Minneapolis too, doing exactly the same thing as you from a coffee shop. Sending love and light, and thankful to you for using your voice, Erin. What lucky children you have!
I’m a spanish girl living in Germany and I’m afraid for all of us today, but I know we are many of us and we have to stay together and strong. Thank you for writting. We have to stay positive and shine, because we are the change in the future. Lots of love Erin.
Thank you for a little bit of light on a dark day.
I’m shocked and heartbroken. What have we done? Came to your blog looking for some respite, and this is just what I needed. Thank you for always sharing so beautifully.
And I am pledging with you– I refuse to be afraid and I refuse to be silent.
Thank you for this post, Erin. I feel numb this morning – shuffling between sadness, fear, and anger. This post helps. Thank you, thank you.
Thank you so much for this. I wish I could say more – or something more eloquent – but I just keep crying. I’ve been disappointed in election results before, but have never been moved to tears. It hurts so much. But I agree – we must use this pain and do good with it. I stand with you!
I have always found much beauty and inspiration on your blog. This election though I’m from India I was so very proud of Hillary and her progressive platform …yesterday my heart broke because i desperately wanted a landslide victory for her and a forward looking supreme court and climate change action! Sending you much love and best wishes and courage, we are not alone in our hopes and aspirations and out of this I do believe we will rise stronger.
Sending love and light, from a desk in DC where I’m still feeling numb.
I turned to you to read your thoughts this morning. No news feeds or radio or tv. I’m impressed you could put sentences together because I am speechless. How do we endure this bad feeling for all women and daughters ( I have four)? Tenacity and bravery is exactly what is needed now. What matters is what we do at home. And to take care of ourselves, our family, our little ones and to never give up the good fight. Please take care and know that you are not alone in the heavy weight bearing on hearts and chests. Good morning:)
It is upsetting that America found itself in a situation where it was forced to choose between the lesser of two evils, and the results even more aggravating. But saying that I don’t think it’s a completely desolate situation (the limit of a presidency’s term to mention one) and I think it’s important that we impart hope to future generations and equip them with the courage and confidence to change things.
A mentor shared with me that a lot of the best academics and policy analysts don’t go into politics because they have become disillusioned with actual politicians and don’t have the confidence that they will be able to successfully change things when they are in politics (in fear that they too will get caught up in the mess). In light of that, I’d say fill yourself with hope and impart self-confidence in your children (because they’re more likely to remember your words than Trump’s presidency).
I do not agree with this assessment of our choices but I am ever hopeful and ever self-confident.
Hi Erin, I love your blog and really appreciate that you are vocal politically. I am dismayed by how other bloggers have chosen to gloss over the horrific events of Tuesday. What I will say, however, is that we MUST acknowledge not only the white supremacy that allowed Trump to get this far, but also how Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party are complicit. There is no denying that she was the lesser of two evils, since she has played a role in the oppression of many people of color both domestically and abroad, through her foreign policy and neoliberalism. Now, more than ever, is the time to look inward and demand more from the politicians who claim to be the allies of the oppressed, not to continue to accept the crumbs of elitist mediocrity masquerading as progressivism.
Thanks so much, Tatiana. Agreed totally that it’s time for a real change. That said it horrifies me to think that the this rhetoric of Hillary Clinton being the lesser of two evils contributed to the election of a truly dangerous demagogue.
Thank you for grounding me with these words in a way nothing else has yet today. One foot in front of the other, in bravery, in compassion, in stubborn insistence upon moving forward. Marching into the woods (for acorns, asters, respite) when needed, and then, renewed, back out again.
When it’s their time, your children will march with wisdom and courage because you showed them how. Love to you all.
Thank you for this.
Thank you, Erin. Beautiful and heart-breaking words for this surreal morning. Together we need to do what we can in the face of all this darkness for the next generations. Sending love out into the world and to your little ones…
Thank you for taking the time to synthesize your thoughts and write such a heartfelt post.
I am shocked. Sitting here in Germany my heart goes out to those who could not stop “it”.
Thank you so much for this. Beautifully written. I was planning on having a child at some point in the next two years and one of the (many) thoughts I’ve had today is whether or not I want to bring a child into a world where this can happen. But thank you for the reminder that there are still good people out there (more than not, actually–Clinton won the popular vote!) and that all we can do now is dig in and continue to fight the good fight.
That being said, what can we do? What can we do now, as ordinary citizens, to make this world a better place? I know I’m going to get more involved in politics at my local level–but what else can we do?
Thank you so much for this today.
Tears. And love. Thank you for these honest words.
Thank you for sharing this; it brought tears to my eyes. I am an English woman living in the US. I happened to be visiting family in England when the Brexit vote took place and on the morning of the result I apologized to my 9 year old niece for what the country had decided for her generation. I guess another apology is in order now.
Thank you. Also expecting a January baby and these are many of the same thoughts and feelings I’ve been having. This was beautiful and hopeful and powerful. We’re still stronger together!
Thank you for sharing your beautiful words with us today. After a night of shock, disappointment and tears I needed to read this. I think there are so very many of us who feel the same. I too am with you.
Thank you, Erin. For all of your efforts and all of your words, and all that we will do against this.
I feel the same. And plan to make the same efforts with my family and for marginalized people. We have a responsibility to use our privilege to try to counter the hate and make the future better how ever we can. Thank you!
Thank you for speaking openly about politics here. Lifestyle blogs are wonderful but politics and who we give the power to run our countries are such a big part of those lives. It can’t be easy to open yourself to such hatred and criticism but it’s refreshing and brave.
All the same feelings.
Thank you Erin <3
Erin, thank you. I’m finding it very hard not to be afraid. I’m finding it very hard to be courageous. I’m trying very hard to not cry all day. All I can think about is my daughter and how she will grow up with so much hate all around her. The best we can do for our children and for the world is exactly what you’ve described. You’ve given me some hope and some energy to keep up the fight today.
I am so proud of you, my beautiful girl. I have cried with you–and I will fight on with you. I love you endlessly.
This was wonderful, but I need to say something as a heartbroken woman from Pennsylvania.
I went to bed as my state was still counting votes until the wee hours of the morning, keeping hope in the pale blue of the map on NYTimes. When I woke up, terrified because I knew that a miracle would have had to happen between midnight and 7am, I did have a shred of hope that Pennsylvania could be the swing state to count for Hillary, even if it didn’t matter overall. I also hoped that we could add a democrat to the senate, to help balance things a little bit, we failed at that also.
It is baffling to me, that once you leave the city limits, how much you are an outsider in this state- but I’m really, really trying to understand. I love how you handled your day, how you will have a beautiful story for your children- I will be able to tell my “to-be” child (due in May) that I too got to vote for a woman who is strong. We will all make a way. -Erika
Big hug from Canada. I too am saddend by this news, worried about the relations between our countries, worried that the world is somehow getting smaller and more insular. I envision a different world for our daughters, one that is hard to see today, but knowing that there are still people out there not willing to give up, willing to continue this fight we started for us and for our daughters, gives me great hope. We are in this together.
What a marvelous, wonderful, intelligent woman/mother you are. These are truly beautiful words and I thank you for this posting this early. I’m a Japanese mother of three, married to an American, living in the U.S. and am feeling lost this morning, in doubt of continuing to live in this country. But I still want to believe this is a great country to raise our children. Your words give me hope that we all want bright future.
Thank you so much for these words. My heart is broken. I am still unable to comprehend how (how?), let alone what it will mean for women, minorities, immigrants, our global relationships, the environment, LGBT folks, and all of the United States. The grief will not fade quickly. I keep trying to remind myself that now more than ever I can and must still work in support of all of the policies, human rights, and causes I care about — all of the things I thought America offered and supported. Your post helped.
As another Blogger wrote this morning: “Today we grieve. Tomorrow we fight.” Against the ones, who think, that hate is a solution. In your country or in Europe, where I live. We are shocked too.
Fight with love, right? Respond to hate and fear and protectionism with love and understanding and generosity. It’s not easy, I become overwhelmed sometimes and want to respond with anger. I’m so grateful that we can share our feelings like this and fortify each other.
Fight with love and courage, yes. With open hearts and clear thoughts – not becoming narrow-minded or bitter ourselves.
Hi Erin. Standing in solidarity with you from Ireland. We are wondering here in Ireland what the backlash that Brexit will have for our long and troubled history with Britain. But I was hopeful because it looked like the most powerful country in the world was finally ready to have a competent woman at the helm. I am gutted today. Thank you for your words.
Brave, Erin! Brave, Faye! Bravo, James! We will join you in the fight against hate, fear and isolationism, and we will likewise raise our son to think for himself, act civilly and civic-mindedly, and to respect ALL people! Thank you for your words, the painful, devastatingly beautiful words of hope you’ve given us! Hugs!
From one mama to another, thank you for this.
This was the post that broke the damn and caused my tears to erupt. Finally. Thank you.
I came looking for something to calm me and your writing worked. I just exhaled for the first time in 12 hours. We can do this.
This is the strength I need today. Thank you.
Beautiful words Erin. Here is to raising big-hearted children the world over. Much love from a Canadian neighbour whose heart is breaking with yours.
Feeling this. So ready to fight.
Beautifully said… felt very lost this morning and this is providing much needed comfort.
We’re getting together a cohort of teachers to volunteer at our local libraries–tutoring, helping apply to college, translating and interpreting. In my classes, students are research underserved people in their communities and how each kid can find one way to help. I encourage all of you here to take these steps–find ways that you can help the people our president elect will try to hurt. Thank you, Erin, for spreading the good word.
Thank you for this story. I’ll see if I can do something similar where I live.
Thank you for your thoughtful words. Yesterday my colleague told me that her 13-year-old daughter had said she was scared and asked her mom, “What will we do if he wins?” Her mom told her, “Well, we’re all going to have to work harder.” I woke up thinking about what she said: There is so much work to be done. Let’s all resolve to be activists every day.
A hug from Canada.
Up here, we are hoping Trudeau will be a balance to Trump. That their two different personalities will work together and all will not be lost.
Thank you, Erin. You’ve expressed how I feel as well. This was beautiful and your children will be proud to read it someday.
What a beautiful post. Your spirit really shines through – kind, ethical, exquisite, smart, tenacious, recklessly sensitive. I am happy to be on the same side as you. You are doing such good work little Mama.
Thank you for this post. I woke at 3:30 and sobbed, tried to sleep, cried more this morning…got it together, rode the bus to work with a somber crew, and cried when I ordered a coffee this morning. I appreciate your post so much….
Please keep me posted on what you’ll be doing to speak up and fight. I want to be a part of this.
Thank you (and Faye) for reminding me about hope, and the fight to come.
Because, I’m not there yet- I’m nursing my newborn daughter and tears keep rolling down my face and hitting her little head. i want to focus on positivity but all I am right now is afraid.
Tears are streaming down my cheeks. I cannot imagine the ache you feel as you hold your own and prepare to welcome new life into the world. But I am holding onto hope that we will rise. We will not fear, we will not be silenced. We will grow and bravely – we will rise.
This was so beautiful. Thank you.
I’m so sorry for all of you who wanted this election to turn out otherwise. I recognise all these feelings you describe when my fellow countrymen and women voted for Brexit. I’ve been so impressed by the graceful speeches from Hilary and Barack today.
Laura F: I love your colleagues comment. Inspiring to us all.
From one broken heart to another- thank you.
As HRC said, “And so we need you to keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives. And to all women, especially the young women who put their faith in this campaign and in me, I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.”
Love and Courage from Sweden!
Erin, thank you so much for writing this and finding a way to express what I cannot yet put into words. There are so many feelings inside of me, of anger, of fear, of sadness, of worry as I attempt to great this day with some semblance of hope; but I’m also finding that there’s a fight in me. A fight to not give in to this hatred and to continue fighting for women and equality and not to let hate win but compassion. Today I refuse to be silent and I refuse to be afraid. I refuse to waste my voice. Thank you for sharing this.
On this day that feels like a punch to the gut there are very few things that I am finding comfort in. When I held my sobbing wife, I had no words to offer her. We just found out we are officially in the “waiting pool” for domestic adoption and this is the world we are building our family in.
But I remembered these words and they offered a little bit of the hopeful fighter sentiment that we need to embrace.:
“The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come. You are fabulous creatures, each and every one. And I bless you: More Life. The Great Work Begins. ” Angels in America, Tony Kushner
Thank you for writing this. I am Canadian but there is so much to respect about your country but I am so saddened as a person, and most importantly as a woman, by the result of your election. Fortunately there are many people like you in the world .
From Canada, thank you so much for your words. My heart was broken today when I learned of the results. I had gone to bed hoping for a miracle, wanting to believe that in the end Trump could not be elected. I wanted so badly to see the first woman, so incredibly well qualified, be elected as president of the United States. My family and I are moving to the US for my husband’s job at the end of December and we are now seriously rethinking our plans. Its a sad day, but your message to continue to fight is inspiring. Thank you.
Thank you, Erin. I came here looking for some peace and found it. Hugs to all the world today.
Thank you for writing this. We’re in California and also couldn’t sleep last night and hoping we’d wake up to a miracle. I feel completely devastated but you’re right, the worst thing we can do is be silent and not do anything.
You go Erin! My office just had a meeting this morning to share our dissapointment and mourn for what could have been. We are with you. We plan to keep fighting–speak up when things aren’t right, do the best we can, support the good works of others, and vote. Take care everybody.
Brava! Bravely stated and beautifully written.
Thank you for giving the tiniest bit of balm for this awful day. Here’s to fighting the good fight, over and over, until we don’t need to fight anymore.
Sorry, Erin, I may have commented twice! I wrote one and wasn’t sure if I clicked post so roughly typed up the same and posted again. Feel free to delete either (or both) — just wanted to make sure I wrote in solidarity.
I am so appreciative of your words.
Thank you Erin. Your wonderful writing brought me to tears, but also filled me with hope for the future. This was the third presidential election I was eligible to vote in and the first in which I have felt afraid and heartbroken when the results did not go the way I expected. It is a scary thing to see that our country supports this kind of an individual to lead us, regardless of what side of the aisle we sit on. All we can do is move forward, take this as a learning lesson and continue to be kind and brave and fight for what we believe in.
Wow. Beautifully written. Sending love all the way from Canada.
I hope for a different outcome in four years, love from Finland.
Thank you, and yes, I will show my children my strength and courage and compassion, and use this as an opportunity to bring more good into this world. I was heartbroken, physically ill all night, but my two bright children in my bed this morning were a reminder of all there is to love and cherish out there. I voted for Hillary with my almost three-year-old daughter, hand over hand filling in the bubble, wearing our matching THE FUTURE IS FEMALE shirts, and we both proudly showed off our voting stickers all day. When she saw my shirt this morning, still on me, sticker stuck on there, she reminded me that the future is, indeed, still female, and it’s up to us to fight for it.
Thanks for those thoughtful words.
There’s so much to teach our girls and boys in order to build a fairer world. After a rough night and a difficult morning we have to put ourselves
together -our girls count with us.
Love from Spain.
Un abrazo y mucho ánimo desde España,aqui nuestras elecciones fueron terribles también!No se a donde se dirige esta sociedad y que mundo dejaremos a nuestros hijos!A veces pierdo la esperanza y creo que nada tiene solución.Luego leo a gente como tú y pienso que no estoy sola,asi que adelante!
Translation: “Sending a hug and a lot of encouragement from Spain . . . Our elections were awful, too. I don’t know where this society is heading and what Kind of world we will leave for our children! Sometimes I lose hope and think that there’s no solution for anything . Then I read someone like you and am aware that I’m not alone. So, onward!
Erin, thank you for this beautiful piece of writing, which gives me a little bit of strength on a day in which I cannot seem to stop weeping. I wrote to you when I was pregnant with my daughter and thanked you for your blog, which inspired me to be a little less afraid, and today, you’ve inspired the same in me again. Grateful for people like you and your deep convictions. xoxo
Beautiful and heartbreaking, Erin. When you are ready to fight, I’d love to see a post on causes/protests/organizations that you end up involving yourself in. I’m currently searching for resources and ways to help, would love your ideas 🙂
Thank you for this. I hope you can take tender care of yourself and your children today.
I cannot put any words together other than Thank You. My heart is beyond heavy today.
Thank you – for being willing to share these thoughts and tolerate the nastiness you receive as a result
Thank you for always knowing what to say. I too woke up in the middle of the night to learn the sad news, and my sobs woke my household. This morning, however, I woke up ready to fight. I have signed up to volunteer with a local sexual assault center and my local Planned Parenthood. I will never stop believing in the power of love!
Thank you, Erin. So we beat on.
Heart ripped open, yes. I managed through my morning routine as a zombie, unable to tell my three-year-old son what happened yesterday. I start crying every time I even think of explaining it. I’m still in the despondent phase, but I will revisit your beautifully written thoughts in the coming hours and days and try to harness the strength and resolve you have described here. xoxo
Like many others, I just want to say thank you.
Thank you for this Erin. I was so hopeful that you would write about this. I’m Canadian, also a mother of a “spunky” daughter, and I’ve been so upset all morning. I teared up on my commute to work listening to Hillary’s speech and feel my eyes welling up just now. Thank you.
Thank you for this post, Erin. Really needed it today.
your words, and your onesies, are beautiful. thank you.
Erin! We missed you today in the woods, but your little one’s sweet face and those of all the others were reason for hope and to never give up. Keep sharing your opinions…you do it beautifully. And thanks for all that you DID do. xoxo. Sofia (& Petra too)
Thank you for your commitment in your work, on this page today.
Michael Moore tweeted this:
However this ends, that’s where we begin.
Thank you, Erin. Thank you for what you did and thank you for sharing this with us. Sending you love and strength to keep fighting. <3
Thank you Erin. This post means so much to me. I am trying to focus at work but the tears keep clouding the view of my computer screen. I work with marginalized youth – Muslim, African American and Latino mostly. They keep expressing the same sentiments… “I didn’t realize my country hated me this much” – which breaks my heart. I need community today and you are bravely providing it here. Thank you so much for that. Love and peace to everyone <3
Not a single negative comment. You all give me hope. My daughter asked me this morning, “what do we do now?” We live.
And so it goes.
Thank you for this. Words are mostly failing me today, but yours are beautiful and inspiring.
The only light on this terrible day has been all of the women (and men) who have come together in tears and grief. I feel wounded by my country, but also like I standing arm in arm with wonderful people ready to fight for the right thing. I believe we can and will do better than this and with effort will see a woman take the Presidency. I can’t wait for that day to come.
Thank you for a beautiful post today. Your writing encapsulates a lot of what I have been pondering during this tumultuous time.
I teach at a high school and today, after a thoughtful and engaged discussion about the election results with my seniors and juniors, I shared the poem you posted on Instagram. Thank you for that good reminder about how to take care of ourselves during challenging times.
Thank you for a beautiful post today. Your writing encapsulates a lot of what I have been pondering during this tumultuous time.
I teach at a high school and today, after a thoughtful and engaged discussion about the election results with my seniors and juniors, I shared the poem you posted on Instagram. Thank you for that good reminder about how to take care of ourselves during challenging times.
Thank you for these strong words. I would like to start a family, we were hoping to next year. And with the outcome of this election, I was disappointed, and wondered if I should wait to have children when we know more about what our future looks like here, with him as president. Your hopeful and strong, wise words as a mama, and as a fellow woman, remind me and encourage me to make my decisions based on me.
Erin, I was born in the United States on January 20th. Every four years on my birthday, the U.S. completes a peaceful transition of power, something many other civilizations have struggled to achieve. I, too, have a daughter. She is 4, but she already views the world through a wide lens, and cried at the election news this morning. I do believe she will remember this moment, even if my memories will have to help lend clarity to the details. Our hearts are broken, made worse by the exhaustion of a long night, and the knowledge that so much is at stake in the next four years. So this coming January 20th, I will do what I have always done. I will gather with loved ones, light the darkness with a candle, make a wish, take a breath, and hope for the future.
Lauren, I share a birthday with you. I appreciate that you are able to look upon our upcoming one with more hope in your heart than I can at the moment. Even though it’s nearly two weeks later, and I’ve given money and made phone calls, I *still* want to run away and hide for my (our) birthday. I want it to still be a good day, and I’m not sure that I can believe it will be.
As I talked to my daughter this morning, both of us sobbing, I heard my two little granddaughters softly chanting , “Hillary, Hillary” in the background. It broke my heart even more. We need to all focus on raising kind and decent children, as you are, Erin. Thank you for the effort you put into your blog and making this a better world.
I’m absolutely sure that your kids will be very proud of you when you tell them all that.
And I thank you for telling us readers too. Thank you, thank you, thank you for always speaking your mind.
Thank you for your perseverance and wholeheartedness, Erin. Looking for the strength and light in this heavy hearted day.
Today is so incredibly hard but this is beautiful. Thank you for taking the time to set down your thoughts. Sending love. Because, what else is there left to do today?
Thank you Erin for your lovely words . I am shell shocked from last night.. Your words have helped clear the fog and kicked me back into action. To quote Ted Kennedy: “the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”
Thank you for these beautiful words and for all of the work you did campaigning. I feel like a miserable zombie, I just couldn’t get to sleep after midnight and part of me still hopes it was all a nightmare. But today I woke up and the sun was out and I have a tiny sliver of hope.
This graphic also made me feel much better https://twitter.com/EByard/status/796317753749729280
Erin, so beautifully written. Her speech this morning made me a feel a little better about everything, I hope it helped you too. She paved a path for the next woman and that is an achievement. Thank you for being so honest, approachable and always wearing your heart on your sleeve. Peace and love to you! Keep writing.
And will you also tell your children how fans of Hillary Clinton erupted in violence across America this morning after the presidential election results were announced? Will you tell them how theses fans also rallied together to burn our American Flag in our streets? Will you tell them how these same fans chanted vulgar speech towards the individual who was rightfully and properly elected to the highest political office in the world? Where is their patriotism now? This is not peaceful protesting. This is the most disgusting, shameful behavior I have ever seen towards a presidential election outcome. I am 57 years old and I have never seen anything like it.
I have not read any reports of violence erupting across America. Rest assured that as a student of history and a believer in truth I would weave a complete picture for my children. I hope you would do the same.
I can not find any information about this from credible news sites. Please, where are you seeing this? I live in one of the places they are saying had riots and there has been no such thing.
I can understand feeling saddened by demonstrations, but hyperbole is not helpful. I’ll let the very news report that you sent speak for itself: “The Los Angeles Police Department said there were about 20 students exercising their First Amendment rights…By 4 a.m., UCLA police said ‘all demonstrators (had) gone back to their dorms. No kind of damage or violence was reported near campus.'” “In downtown Los Angeles, anti-Trump protesters were more rowdy. People set a Trump pinata on fire before a man from the crowd lit an American flag and dropped it to the ground. Overall, official said the demonstrations were peaceful.”
Your words brought tears to my eyes. Forward we go. Well said and thank you.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. <3
Erin, this is written with such eloquence and grace. I think what’s been almost as frightening as the results we woke up to this morning, is the messages of pure hatred filling our news feeds. A mourning is certainly necessary however, as you said, we still have to fight. We have to live and love and raise children that put kindness above all else. Now more than ever we have to be strong and we have to be kind- thank you for putting to words exactly how I was feeling. <3
Thank you for this, Erin. It was a bright spot on a bleak day. I am a mother of three young children and this election has renewed my commitment to raising thinking, empathetic, and kind children while staying involved in ways that are valuable and relevant. I will live without fear and continue to strive for decency and honesty.
As a Canadian reader, I am so sorry for what this election has done. I never would have thought the US would take ten progressive steps backwards. Never let the haters win.
Thank you. Thank you. I am reminded of this quote:
“How we explain that when someone is cruel or acts like a bully you don’t stoop to their level. No, our moto is: when they go low, we go high.” – Michelle Obama, DNC speech 2016
Thank you, Erin. Love from a stranger to you and everyone here.
Beautiful; brought me to tears, again. I’ve never cried (from sorrow at least) at the results of a Presidential election and I remember some scary ones but this is just a whole different level. I’m heartbroken but also try to focus on the many positives in my life.
Congratulations on the new baby; one more enlightened soul to join us, which is clearly very needed!
What a long day this has been. Having woken up to the shocking and disappointing EU Referendum results in June I have a inkling of how you’re feeling right now. I sat at my desk in London with another case of post vote mean reds & spent a long time commiserating with & trying to comfort my NY colleague who was in tears at her desk.
I’m finding it hard to have hope for Europe with general elections being held in various countries next year but like you say we need to stand up, be positive and act.
Thank you for your beautiful words and may you sleep well tonight.
Beautifully expressed. Thank you!
Thank you for your words and for being you. I am still feeling so sad and fearful and teary. Big hugs to you.
Lovely post. I am so sad. This is what I needed.
Thinking of you all from Australia. Its shocked all of us here across the seas, and were feeling for you.
I find it sad that so many are depressed to the point of being debilitated by election results. He is just one person in a country of many, and your hope should not come from the government. The government has not and will never solve our problems, no matter who is in office. Our hope comes from God, and you can see that in the everyday moments when you love and serve your family, friends, and neighbors.
I’m very sure it’s the fact that so many Americans voted in support of a person who stands for bigotry and hatred that leaves folks feeling debilitated.
And also that the most qualified person in the history of our country won the popular vote and still won’t be our president. I felt my heart break at 3am Wednesday.
Both candidates were extremely flawed, as are all people, and of course the media twists them to look however they feel to add to that even more. People had to look past the flaws of both candidates to consider other issues and decide who to vote for. And maybe that is all you see that he stands for, but that’s not the whole picture. Many voted for him for other reasons, not because they are hateful bigots. Maybe try to consider that good can come from anything, and that all of us are doing the best we can.
These candidates were not equals. I cannot agree with you. I will not excuse racism or bigotry.
I didn’t say they were equals, but they do both have major flaws, however different they may be, and regardless of whether or not you see it. What I’m saying is, maybe try to see hope regardless of what is happening with the government. Try to see and understand the people around you and outside you and love on them. Put your hope in that and not one person.
Despite all odds, I am very hopeful. This whole essay was about hope. I was only responding to your note by saying that the despair that you see in so many comes not only from the fact that one person was elected president but from the fact that so many people worked to make that happen. We need to all find a way to be hopeful, but it’s okay that some people are having a hard time right now.
Thank you, Erin. It’s a hard, sad, scary day, and I’m sure there will be more in the years to come. My boys are too young to understand yet, but I am devastated that the first president they will know is one filled with such hatred. I know I will have to work even harder so they will know that our world is steeped in love and kindness.
That tight chest, it’s all too familiar today… Our daughter was dressed totally in blue, nobody was allowed to wear anything red (her wishes) it was hers and our small way of saying we are with her… Not being able to vote in America but freshly arrived to build our lives here, it made me truly sad… Thank you for writing this xx
YES! Thank you! I really appreciate you voicing your opinions on this blog and lettings us know none of us are alone on this.
I found out I’m pregnant two weeks ago. Today I cried nearly all day at the prospect of raising a child in the type of world where we would elect such a beast of a person. Then I had a realization that I have an awesome responsibility to raise a kid who will not be filled with hate, or think the world owes them anything but equality and love. Then I cried over that. Thank you for this post. It’s been a long day.
While I agree with (most of) your sentiments, I don’t understand why you make it seem as though you were fighting this fight alone and that no one wanted to listen. All? All were exasperated? All hung up on you? That just can’t be true. I did not vote for Trump, but I do live in Pennsylvania, and I did vote. (Also, what is a “Pennsylvania accent”? How was this even a necessary detail to include?) I cannot stand Trump as much as you, but certain sentiments of your post definitely rub me the wrong way and come off as holier-than-thou.
Please don’t. I’m writing about my personal experience. I’m sorry it rubbed you the wrong way.
Thank you for your post. ❤
“And then I will tell them that I fought. That I refused to let racism and sexism and xenophobia rule the day. That I would not be fooled into complacency. I’ll tell them that I knew we had incredible work to do and that it would require unprecedented bravery. I’ll tell them of my renewed resolve to raise thoughtful, compassionate, big-hearted children. I’ll tell them of my commitment to being an ally to people far more marginalized than I am.”
YES. Let this be our anthem, our path, our mission. I will walk with you, carrying light in my heart and compassion for my world. Erin, you will never know how much I admire the woman you are. Thank you. Just thank you.
Erin, thank you so much for writing such a beautiful piece and putting into words what a lot of us are feeling today. It has been a thoroughly bewildering day and other bloggers’ silence is so not what is needed today. Thank you for having the courage to not stay silent today.
Thank you so so much for this. And thank you for speaking up all along. I understand that keeping quiet would have been more politically correct and saved you from some hate mail.
I still cannot find the words…thank you for finding them for me.
Thank you for your beautiful words!
Beautifully written. Thank you.
Thank you, Erin. This election wasn’t just for us, it was for our kids and our daughters. I’m still in shock and disappointed in what I thought were American ideals and the face of America. XO
Your post today hit a nerve for me.This is the first time I’m replying to any blog post( although I’m a long time reader and admirer of your blog. As an American, parent of daughters, child of immigrants and minority in every way -race, religion, ethnicity, I feel saddened how my own country has marginalized so many like me just when we had begun to move away from the ugliness of racism, xenophobia, and sexism. But my family, friends, and many others like you remind me that we are resilient and this too shall pass. We underestimate the power of love over hatred. Thank you for all that you do and continue to do. I’m also surprised how many are indifferent to lack of humanity and basic decency! And I also experienced the gut wrenching agony that many here describe but I am heartened by your words. Thank you!!!
bless you. i regret that i didn’t do more for Hillary in the months leading up to the election. i regret that i haven’t done more for Black Lives Matter in the last two years. i regret that i haven’t stood up more for the rights and lands of indigenous peoples. i regret that i didn’t take Obama’s exhortations to community service and civic engagement and Run With Them. there is so little that i *did* do — because i thought it was enough, that i didn’t need to do more.
thank you for doing what you do, being who you are, and for shining a light. we need the inspiration more than ever. what you do for your little family touches your readers more than you can know.
me too. thank you for having the bravery to say this.
This article can clarify 2016 election outcome (for those who still believe that misogyny is to blame):
Another Londoner, devastated by the Brexit vote and similarly despairing after this one. Thank you Erin, for your words of honesty and hope.
Here in Switzerland (neutral and not part of the EU) we grieve with you and other countries whose future is politically uncertain.
Today, we encouraged our youngest, young adult daughter to give her vote in the upcoming referendum (a regular thing in Switzerland, a true democracy) even if the subject matter doesn’t much interest her at this time – just in an appreciation of the fact that we can and that she has a real say in what goes on, so that what happened to you can’t happen to us.
Thank you for being hopeful when we all feel desperate about the US and how this latest decision could impact the rest of the world.
What a great, articulate, moving post. It’s a hopeful post for me, a European woman, to read. It shows me how other Americans are thinking today. Thank you Madame.
Thank you so much for existing in the world, and participating and speaking!
I am over in The UK, and after the Brexit vote I could well believe that Trump could get in. I was also scared once I saw how many commenters of your blog posts were pro-Trump…. How can you share your interests and vote Trump?! I am so afraid for France, the Netherlands, Greece. A US president often feels like it is a president for the whole world. I’ll try to find my own role to play in fighting this racist, sexist, bigoted popularism that seems to be sweeping the west. Thank you for playing your part.
Exquisitely articulated Erin. Thank you. As I joined the Anti Trump movement today my hope for US is renewed as my brave country stands against his decisive evil. We rise, we fight, we demand to be heard. We Rise. I will tell my nieces I fought for the rights of Americans , women, minorities and the disabled. I will tell my nieces we as a Nation stand for all people. We rise. Power to the people against the alt right racist hate. I took today to mourn in repose for all we have lost but gain hope through rising in protest tonight for all my people.
Thank you, Erin, for your thoughtful words. In return, I will pass on this sentiment paraphrasing Jane (Mrs. Bernie) Sanders: Take time to be sad, then organize. They helped me. I hope they help you. For those of you looking for a place to put your energies, please consider Move to Amend or Wolf-Pac.com so we can get money out of politics. Be well.
Erin, thank you for your eloquent words at such a difficult time.
Thank you for this eloquent post. I think one silver lining from all of this is that it’s given a lot of people a reason to fight. It was the shock my friends and I needed to understand that we have to spend the next four years battling for what’s right. We can’t just vote. We need to donate money, volunteer our time and protest peacefully. We need to listen to Americans who voted the way they did out of desperation. But we need to show other Americans that we’re going to fight like hell against racism, sexism and xenophobia — and we’re going to win.
Your courage, strength and dedication is inspiring. We can’t afford to be complacent and I for one am ready to fight. Thanks for putting yourself out there and for this beautiful piece.
Thank you for writing this beautifully written post, it was exactly what I needed to read today. This is my first election as a mother, and the incredible pain of looking at my sleeping baby and worrying for his future is something I’ll never forget.
Thanks for this, Erin. I’ve always liked your blog, and now I like it even more. Not only because I agree and have, myself, been feeling a good deal of shock and grief over this turn of events. This was beautifully written and I’m so happy to see a blogger speak out about their feelings. Too many blogs I read have been silent and haven’t even mentioned the election and it’s disappointing. I want to talk, and I want the people I know to talk about it, too. So thank you, again. I see you’ve been getting a bit of pushback in these comments, and you’ve been handling it very gracefully, so thank you for that, as well.
A beautiful post. Exactly what I needed to see following a horrible day in America. I’m pregnant with my first baby, a girl, due February 11, 2017. I too spent Tuesday night and all day yesterday crying-on the train, walking to work and back home. I’ve been having braxton hicks so tight that I can barely catch my breath. I want so desperately to calm myself for the sake of my unborn daughter, for I’m sure she feels the stress and tension.
I am so deeply saddened by the outcome of this election and for the the direction the country is now headed. After 8 years of forward progress, I fear that it will be all undone in a matter of months. I also just moved to DC in May, and was so hoping to attend the inauguration of our first female president.
I woke up today feeling a little tiny flame in my heart that is not yet extinguished. We will persevere and organize to fight. We did it before after Bush threw the country and world into disarray. I have faith that people will realize (although too late) that this man is the wrong choice for our nation. That he has no plans to help the people of this country. We will rise again, so until then, let’s keep fighting the good fight for all of the people in this country and world who cannot fight for themselves.
Thank you for this, Erin.
Thank you. Thank you for using your voice. Many have noted how hard this is especially with daughters, but with two very young sons it seems doubly hard. For most women it is easy and obvious to see the damage of words and actions against women, but many men either don’t even recognize the problem or say, yeah sure, not appropriate but will not ever fully recognize the magnitude. My sons will grow in times when Trump is a male role model. Unacceptable.
Well this made the tears com all over again Erin! We wake our six month old daughter up with the same song every day “good morning my love, good morning my love, it’s going to be a beautiful day”. Yesterday my husband broke down when he tried to sing it to her. And wasn’t the weather in New York fitting? It’s like mother nature knew, and today, bright and beaming, she’s drawing us all out of hiding and priming us to fight. Yesterday we cried and today (well, we are crying a little still) we are planning where to donate, how to get involved and what we can do.
Also, the onesies look beautiful.
Congratulations on the joyful addition to your family! I hope what you’ve experienced instills in your child a willingness to fight for what’s right and believe in unfailing goodness, despite adversity, like mama. I am thankful that my daughter is too young to understand what’s happening, but am raising her strong to be prepared for what may come. Beautiful post. <3
Your words help. I was with her; am with you. I hope the nation, the sad, the crying, those strong enough with a platform to voice their opinions, that they do. That we can gather again in a few short years behind a strong candidate and move forward. And show up. Half the nation didn’t even show up. My heart hurts, and I’m scared, scared for our country. I’ll stand with you, louder, bigger than in 2016. I can do more. We all can; we have to.
Thank you so much for your beautiful words. As a fervent Hillary supporter and volunteer, an Ohioan, a women’s health nurse practitioner and a mother of 2 young girls, I was so excited about what was ahead for our country. While I suppose I knew this outcome was possible, I was shocked at the depth of the despair that settled over me yesterday. Your post, and the stream of texts and calls and tears from all the women I most respect, give me such hope that this will galvanize us to fight even harder. I know it’s not easy to put your heart out there as you did in this post, but my sincerest thanks for your eloquence and bravery.
I was thinking about your essay in the middle of the night. How well written it was; how poignant, how true. Thank you for putting yourself out there.
Feeling so sad too. Be strong
Probably the best quote I have seen so far comes from CNN political commentator Van Jones:
“Where’s the grace going to come from? Where’s the understanding, where’s the empathy going to come from? It’s going to have to come from ordinary people. Tomorrow at work, when we go and look at people who we don’t agree with, this can’t be the interaction. It’s going to have to be ordinary people reaching out to one another. If we can’t begin to treat each other in a human way, this thing will go from bad to worse.”
And the beauty of this thought process is that it goes both ways.
Erin — The complexity and beauty of your thoughts on this shock are a balm and help us to regain some hope (along with so many of the compelling comments here). I thank you, too, for the work you did on behalf of HRC – daunting work, work that shows your commitment.
The thing is — when you combine the extraordinary beauty of your piece with the time when you published it (i.e. SO shortly after we had come to realize this terrible electoral result), , it is nothing short of astounding. We are privileged that you share your intimate hopes and fears with us; it is something to be considered worthy of that trust. Thank you. And blessings to you and James and Faye and your January baby.
With love from north of the border. I cried yesterday at my desk, at the playground, making dinner and I sobbed on the bedroom floor of my sleeping sons while their Daddy held me. But I’m not crying today. Still getting my strength back and trying to understand a world I thought I understood. But thank you all for your strength and compassion and sharing your own heart break.
Beautifully said. I watched the results come in as an American living in the UK who had experienced a similar sense of panic and despair just a few months before with Brexit. In the early hours of the morning, British friends who had no business being awake sent me messages of support, then condolence. The last two days have been filled with so many small acts of kindness and reassurance from friends that the fight for a more just and equal and compassionate world has not been lost for good.
Thank you for all that you share!
<3 from Norway.
Thank you thank you thank you. And please continue to post your opinions as we move through the difficult months and years ahead.
Thank you, Erin, for your words and your experience. I’m a mental health provider, and my families are telling me (and have been for months) that they feel even more vulnerable, even more bruised. I need to walk into the woods with my own little ones and find a little grace myself, then pick myself up and work towards a kinder, more compassionate world.
My gosh, reading these comments I had no idea so many women were so vulnerable and fragile. It’s too bad that is the message being passed on to our children. We are literally creating a society of fragile little beings on the verge of collapse constantly when things don’t go our way.
Maybe what you should tell your children is that we are lucky enough to live in a country where we can vote in this thing we call democracy for our president, which is exactly what happened when Donald Trump won the election this past Tuesday. I am a mother and I have a 5 year old daughter and a baby on the way in February. The lesson to my children about this election or any other would be, when the person you had hoped would win the election doesn’t win, (or better yet in terms more fitting for a child, “when you don’t get your way”) you graciously accept the outcome of the vote the people of this country have chosen, for the sake of democracy.
I’m so sorry that you decided to leave such an uncharitable and ungracious note in this space and in response to so many who are hurting. I rarely publish comments of this nature because I don’t think they further discourse in a positive or helpful way. That said, in the event that there are other people reading who are feeling the same way, perhaps it is helpful to realize that there is a great difference between accepting the democratic process and being comfortable with the results. May we all teach our children to be resilient in the face of disappointment—whether that’s disappointment in our democratic leaders or our general capacity to be kind and understanding.
I appreciate this immensely. I’m due in early May and the prospect of bringing a child into this country, this world, at its current state has weighed heavily on me.
Thank you, Erin, from the bottom of my heart. I echo the sentiment of several other readers here that this election has been a wake up call. Voting alone is not enough. I’m with you in this fight for all that is good. I’m finding the silver lining in the awakening that I’m seeing all around me now. I so appreciate your firm line on the personal being political, and your willingness to share your thoughts here. Sending love to you and your family.
Grateful for your voice, and continually impressed with your capacity for grace in response to ungracious comments. Doing my best to channel the immense grief into the right kind of work–there is more today than there was Tuesday it seem–and grace and love, but so, so heartbroken this week.
Thank you so much, Erin.
I’m sorry you are sad. I hope your grace will continue to be met with grace on here. Thank you for such a vulnerable post.
I’ve no idea how I found your blog earlier this year, but I’m so glad I did. Your joy, your love for your family, your deep desire to be a good, decent, kind human being, plus the beauty of your photography, all inspire me. I’m a first-generation American woman, of Mexican descent, and I voted for Trump this Tuesday. Your post moved me to write because it saddened me that you sound so forlorn. I want to reassure you that yes, there is hope. There is every reason to be hopeful.
When President Obama was re-elected, my husband and I were stunned and sorry for our nation, but we repeated what we had previously told our children: that the president and his supporters were good people with good and noble intentions, who simply disagreed with us about how best to help our fellow man. None of our fellow Romney voters – in fact no one we knew – protested the re-election, insisted that Mr. Obama was not “our” president, or frightened their children regarding the outcome. Our young children were allowed to remain, for the most part, blissfully ignorant of the acrimony that preceded the election. We have done our best to teach our children that we are all, regardless of race, religion, orientation, etc., unique, deeply loved by God, infused with dignity, and worthy of being treated with respect.
Our oldest is now in middle school and cannot – indeed should no longer – be quite so sheltered from some of the uglier political realities. She has seen news coverage of the vulgar, violent protests against this election’s outcome. How can I square the stated belief in our political opponents’ goodness with the images of thousands of them behaving in less-than-noble ways? My daughter has heard that Hillary Clinton and others have railed against “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic…” and “misogynistic” voters such as her parents. How can SHE square this outcry from so many with what she sees every day from her mom and papa? Both she and her slightly younger brother have begun to see the incongruity. “Mom, you don’t want to say anything negative, do you?” is the latest question from my gently smirking son.
No, I don’t like negativity, but I have begun to prepare my older children for the negativity around them. I will remind them, again and again, that charity in our assessment of others is a must, and that we must always strive to know the truth. We must question what we believe and why we believe it , and reassess as needed, and we must do our best to walk in truth and love. We must do these things lest we fall into a darkness of mind that permits us to denigrate those who differ from us.
All of this is to say to you, Erin: Please hang on to your hope for better days, and please, please hang on to your beautiful joy. We mamas want only the good for our children and for each other’s children; we simply disagree on how best to get there.
Irma: Thanks for writing in a respectful and understanding way. I’m afraid that we find ourselves facing a very different reality today than we did four years ago. Donald Trump has pledged an agenda that would not only put a tremendous number of people and the planet at great risk, but that would dismantle the very kind of democracy that you cherish. I do think children will have to square the outcry of so many with the actions (or inactions) of their parents. I do not condone violence, but I do think that protesting can be a very noble act. I am very hopeful for better days and beautiful joy. I think we have incredible work to do to get there.
Thank you Erin. May others follow in your footsteps and realize that it is our civic and ethical responsibility to speak out and not hide behind the false dichotomy of personal-political , or professional and political-as separate entities. If things were that neat then we wouldn’t be rocked so hard by the repercussion of political processes. And Abby, it sounds like you are very surprised by how so many women are responding to this election, I wonder if you might consider if you or someone you knew was a survivor of sexual violence or other form of oppression or repression and what this means for them at their core. I invite you to visualize that, if just for a moment. This is so much bigger than my team or their team winning.
I waited a few days for this new reality to sink in before commenting. I saw your other post about receiving hate mail, and I am truly sorry that you had to go through that response. Know that I appreciate your post – it put into words things that I was feeling and unable to express at a time where I felt particularly helpless.
Thank you, and know that you are not alone in this struggle.
Thank you, Erin. I keep reading posts like these all over the internet and it makes me feel some sort of hope that things will be okay. My husband and I felt so much hope going to bed the night of the election. Then, at 2:30AM we found ourselves weeping together in the kitchen because I am 8 months pregnant and this is absolutely heartbreaking. I think mournful is a good way to describe the way we are feeling this week. I know it’s going to get better, but damn is it hard this week. Sending love your way. We all need some extra love this week.
Hi Erin, I am a long-time reader of your blog and instagram and I appreciate your honesty and boldness to stick up for what you believe is right. I did not vote for Trump. I was raised in a Republican family and tend to lean Republican when it comes to economic policies. I am against abortion but believe that the government does not have the right to get involved in that decision or regulate morals in that area. I am liberal when it comes to environmental policies. Even though I don’t agree with all of Hilary’s policies, I could not vote for Trump because to me, that would be saying that it is ok for someone who is so immoral and has so little self control to be the leader of our country. I do think it is important to try to understand why so many people did vote for him. My parents voted for him and they are not at all racist. They truly felt like financially, Republican policies are best for the growth of the country, not just best for themselves. It is sad that Trump was the Republican nominee and they felt like they had no choice but to vote for him. I am not condoning it, just saying we need to understand so that hopefully this will not happen four years from now. We cannot label all conservatives who voted for him as racists or hateful (not saying you are making this categorization, but some people are).
Thank you Erin, this brought tears to my eyes. I hope you are able to take some space and focus on yourself and your family. I deeply admire you and the others who were willing to use their platforms to speak up for your values and the rights of others, despite the disturbing hatred directed toward you for doing so. Please know that you have provided incredible support to so many through your writing.
I am an American, a woman, person of color, and most importantly to me – a mother to two young girls. I also recognize I live a very privileged life in a liberal city and my family wants for nothing. I see two paths ahead and I am going to do all that is in my power to turn my disappointment, sadness, and anger into something positive.
Trying not to think about the possible dark path ahead. That we plunge further into racial, class, and gender division. That in the upcoming years we do extensive damage to the environment, civil rights, and international relations – damage that will take generations to repair if it can be repaired at all. Trying to ignore the fact that for the first time in my life, I was called racial epithets and told to “go back to my country” by strangers on the street. Trying not to feel fear for my family’s safety and for my daughters’ futures.
Instead, I am trying my hardest to keep my mind open by focusing on the message, not the messenger. Trying to remember there are many in this country who have been left behind and they have spoken and it is way past time that we address the economic and social disparities in our country. Trying to remember there are many decent people among his supporters and we have much more in common than we realize. This is the path I will work towards – we move forward together.
I appreciate and enjoy your blog very much. I am sure I am one of your older readers, as I just turned 60 ! But I do so enjoy every word you write. I found this post to be so sad. I also did vote for ‘the only sane choice’ as you say, Hilary of course. But America has spoken, and we must listen. Our President Elect was voted into office by our fellow Americans, and we should respect that. I don’t believe it is time for protest – this is a democracy, and he was voted in, whether by popular or electoral vote, he is our next President and I firmly believe we should stand behind him – we can still pray and hope for the best, but come January, I do believe he should be supported by all of us. This was not a ‘coup’ – it was a fair vote. Let’s hope for the very best and hopefully be pleasantly surprised…
Patricia, Thanks so much for your kindness here. I am trying to be very hopeful and yet I do think though that we sincerely need to think about people who are legitimately concerned about their well-being and the well-being of the people who they love in the wake of this election. There have been promises made that would destabilize the lives of millions of Americans in very concrete ways. These are not abstractions. Protest is also a part of a democracy. And, most horrifyingly, history shows us that autocrats have also been elected democratically.
I’m so happy to read this article. Thank you <3
I want to add my thanks for this post. I feel so sad and so sorry too. I wanted a better world for my little granddaughter, and had so wanted to celebrate the triumph of kindness over bigotry and nastiness. I didn’t vote for Hillary because she is a woman, but because she would make the best president, but being a woman was part of that. Unfortunately, a deeply flawed man will always be preferable to a woman, no matter if she’s perfect for the job. I hope, someday in the future, for your girls and my granddaughters, things will be different. But thanks again. Let’s not give up.
What a beautiful, heartfelt post. Thank you.
Beautifully written. I am the mother of a two-month-old son, and he was my first thought upon learning the results of this election. I do believe we ultimately have to find a way to live with the outcome, but I have been so saddened by all the calls to “suck it up” and “get over it.” This was not a normal election, and Trump is not a normal candidate. Had Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush been the Republican candidate and won the election, people would not be in shock and mourning the world over. Whatever one’s reasons were for voting for him, Trump ran a campaign that overturned the time-honored tradition of showing basic respect and decency toward the opposing candidate as well as the entirety of the American people. It was full of hate speech and unabashed misogyny. Those of us, indeed the majority of voters, who are making an earnest attempt at acceptance should not be censured.
Agree, ten times over with the idea that this was not a normal election. Not at all just an issue of liberal vs. conservative or democrat vs. republican.
Thank you, Erin, for your dedication to fighting against injustice. As a 31-year-old mixed-race woman who has been on the receiving end of hate speech in some form at least once a year since I was 7 and who has white family members who voted for Trump despite his hateful rhetoric against their own flesh and blood, I know this fight cannot be won without allies like you. Silence in the face of injustice is complicity, and I thank you for using your blog as a platform. I’ve seen negative reactions from some of your readers in the comments over the past few months, and I’ve admired your graceful responses and refusal to shy away from expressing your views. I hope you continue the fight.
Beyond the immediate effects of Trump’s election, let’s hope that he does not follow through on his promises to pull out of the Paris climate agreement, build the keystone pipeline (and a wall), repeal the ACA, “bomb the shit out of” ISIS, bring back waterboarding, require Muslims to register, dismantle Dodd-Frank, etc.
Thanks Erin – have been a long time follower of your blog from Australia. Like many, I was caught between wanting to see real change – ie not just another candidate who represents vested interests – and being horrified by the alternative Trump represents. All I’d say to those who voted for him is – do you really think he has a solution to anything? Or even any interest in finding answers?
Keep protesting, organising and writing America, that’s democracy too.
Thank you so much for this. My brain and heart have been reeling since Tuesday night. I have hunkered down and stepped away from the internet because I couldn’t handle any more negativity and hate.
I am so grateful that you have carved out such a sweet, safe spot with your blog. I have been reading for more than a year and your words put much light into the world.
Let’s keep fighting for good.
I have felt so alone. So scared. So sad. I told my partner (i.e. we’re gay) that I now understand why grief rips marriages apart. The cycles of grief are never the same for two people: one is angry while the other is sobbing and in need of comfort. In grief, I feel alone. There is nothing anyone can say to me to ease the terror and sadness of what is to come as well as the nation’s bigotry being on display and somehow normalized. Yet, in reading that you had the same experience as I did – here in my southern state in my red county, I did find comfort. I worked tirelessly around the clock for the campaign in the weeks before the election. I did meet those rural americans who, previously voted for democrats, or previously didn’t vote at all -that were in fact supporting Trump in droves. Most moments I want to bring intelligent, unique and well thought out ideas to the table. Most moments I’m ready to fight the long hard fight with the only true weapons we have, vulnerability, listening, and communication. But some moments I find myself afraid that “racist” “sexist” “homophobic” and “bigot” are no longer words than many in America recoil from, but rather words they step into & react with defiance about. Some moments my terror grows as I watch swaths of America greet the world with suspicion instead of curiosity. I do not know how we inspire a thirst for knowledge and critical thinking. My father will boast of his love for me & my partner as he defends his vote for Trump. Just as he worked to send me to college, he acts to undermine the education I received. I am weary of people saying “the young will fix it” -that’s what they said about our generation. I have plans and I have ideas but most of it starts with building relationships with people I want to scream at right now. And it’s the long and hard road. Today I am in the anger part of my grief cycle as we read more about Trump’s cabinet members and relinquishment of the governing part mostly to Pence. It’s speeding up our plans for having a family, getting married and figuring out our monetary situation. We’re trying to ensure we get some modicum of rights in place before they are no longer available to us. We’re preparing for the storm. Your post reminded me of the various -not just allies – because as a woman with a daughter (and one on the way) you too have been made less safe – it reminds me that many see & react to this dark moment and the future ones to come as what they are. And in the face of being told how reactive, histrionic, and hysterically unreasonable I’m being, you helped. Thank you.
As a Canadian, watching your election unfold from afar (but not too far!), I felt a similar blow to the spirit due the outcome. It’s awful to feel like hate won.
I love that you recommend self care, and reaching out to be more caring to others as a way forward. Wise counsel.
My effort to lift your spirits: Remember, beautiful flowers can grow from shit!
Hugs from huge fan of your blog.
From across the miles, the oceans, in fact, #Iwaswithher, and with all of you. How I wish I could have voted for Hillary Clinton even though I am a South African. Her campaign was unique and even though defeated, she came out victorious in so many ways. Her concession speech was iconic, like Hillary herself. You can all be so proud. #Iamstillwithher. xx
As always Erin, thank you for your words. You have expressed a sentiment that I can assure you, extends north of the border and is shared by many of your Canadian neighbours, myself included. I went to bed Tuesday night and awoke Wednesday morning with a heavy pit in my stomach that stayed with me the rest of the day. I thought about your country, your people, and I thought about my own daughter and the world she will inherit.
I am hopeful however that the rational, tolerant, and good people will–I cannot even bring myself to use his name, even in this context–overcome any hatred that has been demonstrated thus far or may surface in the aftermath of last week’s results. Sending lots of positive thoughts and support your way.
What is so disheartening to me is just the level of anger and divide that has been growing in this country for the last few years even before this election cycle. And I fear this election will only justify more lack of empathy and understanding of others opinions. We all must do better.
Agreed. Starting with the President-elect.
Why not instead, starting with us mamas who so want our children to be kind, charitable, loving people? I agree with Laura: we all must do a better job of sincerely beginning the very difficult effort to understand each other. Maybe we could even assume the best about our political opponents, by and large?
Irma, I think we can teach our children to be kind, charitable, and loving without also excusing the blatant bigotry of our politicians. This is not about political opponents, it’s about a leadership who was elected despite running a divisive and uncharitable campaign and in spite of having plans for action that will make life for millions of people in this country less secure. We must take politicians at their word—words matter—and they make assuming the best feel naive and, indeed, dangerous. This is not my personal plan for moving forward.
I wasn’t talking about politicians, but about us, ordinary people, who must, as I said, “do a better job of sincerely beginning the very difficult effort to understand each other.”
This most certainly is about political opponents. I am no fan of Mr. Trump, but as passionately as you hold your political beliefs, I believe that a Hillary Clinton presidency and the Democratic platform are wrong for our nation; that Mr. Trump and voters like me have been unfairly and even untruthfully painted as vile caricatures; and that President Obama has already damaged and divided our nation. Now, so what? Why should that make us enemies instead of the neighbors that we truly are? I’ll say it again, we want only the good for our children and for each others’ children, we simply disagree on how best to get there. Our children do not benefit from efforts to terrify them regarding the outcome of an election, or to demonize half of their nation’s voters.
You’re absolutely right about something, though…words matter. We are now witnessing the fruits of the careless lobbing around of words such as “racist” and “homophobic”, that became so popular during the first Obama campaign. Those of us who opposed an Obama presidency were said to have done so not because we had studied his history and his voting record in the IL senate, not because we thoughtfully deemed the Democratic platform to be in opposition to our own deeply-held principles, but because we were racists. Once again, we who voted against the Democratic candidate last week are painted as racists, homophobes, xenophobes, misogynists, just plain ignorant, or at best, terribly naive. The ad nauseam repetition of this divisive rhetoric is what is truly dangerous.
I have tried to engage you here because I do believe you are a well-meaning, intelligent adult; because I believe we must bring light into darkness; because you sounded so grief-stricken. I’ll continue to look for the beautiful posts that give me a comforting, inspirational break from my hectic days. Responding charitably to persistent misinformed negativity and name calling, however, takes more out of me than I’m willing to give at this moment. My family is my first priority, and I owe them the very best I can give, without reservation. I won’t be bothering you again with responses to this post. Best wishes to you and your family.
I think the reason we’re having such a hard time finding common ground is actually precisely because these are *moral* arguments, not political ones. I could live with a Republican candidate. If the roles were reversed and Donald Trump had run on a democratic ticket, I would not have voted him. For me, he has made abundantly clear on a great many occasions that his moral principles did not align (to say nothing of his political ones.) Now, I think the imperative is to make sure that in a position of incredible power that he does not inflict harm on citizens, on the environment, on the greater world. I’m saddened that we don’t see eye to eye. I’m saddened that I don’t know how to bridge that divide. And I’m sorry if you feel personally attacked. I have no doubt that you too are well-meaning and intelligent and that this is also a difficult time for you. Agreed also that it’s difficult to be charitable in the face of persistent misinformation.
Thank you, Erin. I love your blog and have your book because of what it already was before this post, but both take on a new level of meaning after this eloquently written piece.
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