At the time of this writing it’s been 39 hours since Donald Trump delivered his acceptance speech and officially became the President-elect of the United States. It’s been 39 hours since the House, the Senate, and the White House all fell under a tidal wave of red, diminishing the checks and balances system intended to ensure that far-flung, extremist, harmful ideals don’t turn into actual policy. It’s been 39 hours since less than half of the voting population in this country chose to elect Donald Trump to be the President and yet he still will become the President. 39 hours since reality hit and I broke down in disbelief, shock, sadness, anger, confusion, and despair at how far my country has shifted away from the place I was brought up to believe it to be. 39 hours.
And 39 hours is all that they will get from me.
39 hours is all the time I will allow myself to give to Donald Trump. To give to the Conservative agenda. To give to racism. To give to sexism. To give to homophobia. To give to Islamophobia. To give to xenophobia. To give to fear. To give to intolerance. To give to ignorance. To give to hate.
I gave you guys 39 hours of my life. You get no more.
From this moment forward, it’s different. Regardless of how helpless the last 39 hours have made me feel, the facts are this: I am an American, I am alive, and I am aware. And those facts afford me two things: a Choice and a Voice.
I have a Choice: I can choose to not accept what has happened here in America this week as a representation of fact, of the future. I can choose to use my emotions as springboard for action. I can choose to ensure that I do not live in a country that will accept the values put forth by the Trump campaign. I can choose to push past the disappointment, the heartbreak, the utter despair of this week and I can instead choose otherwise.
And this is where the Voice comes in.
Because since I have a voice, I can also choose to put my voice to use – and I can choose get pretty fucking loud with it. I can choose to volunteer, donate, write letters, protest, vote, and live my values. I can choose to speak the hell up and not be scared to offend someone just because I feel differently than they may. I can choose to talk and shout and help and cry and laugh and pray and donate and volunteer and shout some more on behalf of those who can’t. I can choose to KNOW that the country we saw on display during election night is not a true representation of the America I was taught to love.
39 hours, Mr. Trump. I gave you 39 hours which I can’t get ever get back. And that’s all you will ever get from me.
We all have a choice. And we all have a voice.