I stumbled upon CNN the other night and noticed the rallies that were happening all across the country and joked about attending; I checked Twitter and Facebook and joked, again, about attending.
It was when Don Lemon denounced an instance of violence of one protester’s acknowledgment that casualties were imminent on both sides, when historians began writing a new chapter for our children's history textbooks.
My facebook newsfeed is inundated with #NotMyPresident posts followed by comments reading, “get over it.” President-elect Trump’s divisive rhetoric is legitimately scaring many minorities, and we as Jews should be especially empathetic; a significant part of our history consists of leaders campaigning on ridding their countries of Jews. Trump called for a ban on Muslims, spoke down to a gold star family, mocked a disabled reporter, empowered white nationalists (note: KKK endorsement), and when nobody was listening, bragged about sexual assault.
Trump did those things. “But I still believe in America and I always will,” Secretary Clinton said, and “we must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”
I texted a few friends to join, but they were too tired and justifiably sick of this election, or as John Oliver put it, “The electoral equivalent of seeing someone puking so you start puking and then someone else is puking and pretty soon everyone is puking, 2016.” But I had to attend. Now hear me out (or read me out): I did not join the protesters in their protest, I observed. President Obama stood in the Rose Garden on November 9th and told us not to give up; that our fight is not over. But, he noted, Donald Trump won fair and square, and we should respect him as our President-elect. It does not mean I agree with President-elect Trump or that I will go gently into that good night, but I sure as hell am rooting for him.
“Our darkest days have always—always—been followed by our finest hours,” wrote Aaron Sorkin in a letter to his daughter. “If [Trump] does manage to be a [expletive] without breaking the law for four years, we’ll make it through those four years. And three years from now we’ll fight like hell for our candidate and we’ll win and they’ll lose…The battle isn’t over, it’s just begun.”
Peacefully protest, sign petitions on change.org, send a message to the KKK that their endorsement of Donald Trump for President is a bad thing and let’s make sure that regardless of race or religion, people around the world know that America is still everyone’s home! but the longer we protest the legitimacy of this election and prolong the peaceful transition of power that the world looks to us for, the less we’ll recognize the country President Obama worked too damn hard to push forward.
There are elections more often than every four years, and if you're curious as to when or who’s running: google it. “Don’t boo, vote!”
Dave Chappelle noted during his monologue on Saturday Night Live, that the country has elected an “internet troll.” But he continued “wishing Donald Trump luck,” and offering him a chance; Chappelle also noted that he, as “the historically disenfranchised, demand that he give us one, too.” President-elect Trump owes it to the American people to rid himself of the hateful rhetoric, and similarly, we owe it to him, and our country, to give him a chance.
Protester: “What’s the solution?!”
Protesters: “A revolution!”
Protester: “What’s the problem?”
Protesters: “The whole damn system!”
In 2008, 2012, and campaigning for Hillary Clinton in 2016, President Obama would shout: “Fired up!” And the crowd would repeat. President Obama would then shout: “Ready to go!” And the crowd would again repeat. President Obama tells the origin story of this chant: he showed up in Middle-of-nowhere town, Virginia to a room of twenty people. An elderly woman behind him on stage began pumping up the small crowd by yelling, “Fired up! Ready to go!” He took that phrase on to win two national elections and inspire the nation yet again, four years later. “One voice can change a room. And if a voice can change a room, it can change a city. And if it can change a city, it can change a state. And if it can change a state, it can change a nation. And if it can change a nation, it can change the world!”
I’m fired up! You ready to go?