Miles since last time: 121
Total miles: 751
It’s extremely hard to run when you’re crying.
It’s nearly impossible to maintain a steady stream of inhaling and exhaling when your throat starts to get tight and your chest starts to hitch and you feel an unwanted but familiar sting behind your eyes.
It’s even more difficult when you’re the type of person who tries in vain to hold it all back until you’re not so much breathing as hyperventilating.
Nevertheless, this happened to me no less than four times during my run this morning while I tried to process the election news.
Instead of choosing tolerance and acceptance, we showed that a large portion of us are mad that we have to share the country with scary brown people and the gays. Instead of choosing a hopeful, inclusive future, we proved that an alarming number of us believe that non-white, non-Christian, non-male, non-cisgender, non-straight people don’t deserve a voice or an equal place in the United States. Instead of listening to logic, we chose to believe that a man who lies 70% of the time is simply “telling it like it is,” and that (somehow, inexplicably) that’s okay–even admirable.
Instead of Hillary Clinton, we elected Donald Trump.
We chose a bully who gets away with spewing hate because he is rich and white, and who, despite multiple bankruptcies, people continue to incorrectly believe is a good businessman and leader. For some reason, it is easier for 59,611,678 (at last count) to believe that Hillary Clinton is a liar, which is easy, I guess, if you cover your ears and start shouting so you can’t hear me when I tell you that she is one of the nation’s most honest politicians. No, seriously. People who believe otherwise are either misinformed, willfully ignorant, or gifted at blatantly ignoring facts.
Only in America can a man with no experience refuse to lay out any real policy, throw temper tantrums, threaten to sue people he doesn’t like, refuse to release his tax returns under provably false pretenses, refuse to pay people who work for him, and constantly say to “trust him” when he’s asked a hard question–and still be thought of as the transparent, honest candidate. Only in America can a woman be the most qualified and capable candidate we’ve possibly ever had, keep her cool while being interrupted 50 times in 90 minutes, rack up endorsements like they’re Halloween candy, dedicate her entire adult life to public service, be cleared of wrongdoing every single time she is accused of it, and win the majority of the popular vote–and it still isn’t enough.
I’ll say it again for those in the back.
Hillary Clinton got the most votes and it still wasn’t enough.
Now, instead of spending early, formative years in a country where women can lead the free world, my three-year-old niece and my almost two-year-old little cousin will spend those years with a president who would either a.) be disgusted by them because they are children (and GIRLS, nonetheless!), or b.) wonder if he could date them in a couple of decades. Instead, people I care about are legitimately scared for their well-being. We all deserve better.
I spent today feeling hurt and sad and scared and betrayed and angry and defeated. Quite frankly, I get to grieve for today. In Oklahoma, my vote didn’t count because I’m in the liberal minority. Nationwide, my vote didn’t count because of the Electoral College. In our culture, my voice and time and work count less because of my gender.
If an intelligent, exceedingly competent woman can win but still not be victorious, what does that mean for the rest of us? What more do we have to do? Will anything ever be enough?
So, yes, I cried during my jog this morning, despite it making the entire process so much harder.
But I kept going.
And I will keep going. And I will join the fight, despite learning today how much harder everything is going to be.