What do you do when the worst—that outside possibility that you’ve always been told was just a spectre of anxious thinking—actually happens?
I’ve written and deleted this article several times. There’s plenty to say, but there doesn’t seem to be a right thing. That’s the condition of grief.
The loss of the hope Hillary Clinton gave me—that we lived in a society that would allow a competent, intelligent woman to lead it (i.e. that would allow a woman power, period)—is pain enough in itself. It’s hard for me to see a future for myself now, as a woman of ambition.
And the rise to power of Donald Trump, our very own twenty-first-century fascist, is pain enough in itself.
I’m not throwing around the word “fascist” lightly here; that chill in your spine? That’s because you’ve walked through the ghost of the Weimar Republic. We’re retreading dangerous a known, dangerous path. This is a victory for hate, make no mistake.
Talking to other people my age (mid-twenties), I find that we have no room for rage. Our futures have seemed to be eroding since we were children, and we have lost hope. The universal note is despair. We should rise up, we should try to forge ahead, to change things. Sure, I believe in all that, I want that. But not tonight.
This is a time for mourning. I have so many fears, I don’t which ones to prioritize. I have so many shattered friends, I don’t know who to comfort first. And I have these two weights of grief, each crushing on its own, to bear.
I know I’m not alone.
As Lin-Manuel Miranda writes, “there are moments that the words don’t reach.” And so I’ll say no more, at least until tomorrow.