Frightened enough to write a post on a blog I've neglected since August.
One thing that frightens me is the thought that if Donald Trump is elected next week (which Nate Silver says just became less of a long-shot), I will have to admit to myself I didn't do enough to speak out in protest.
I've posted on facebook, a lot, and to the dismay of some of my friends and family. I've listened to all the debates, read a lot of news and analysis, and kept informed on the issues.
At first, the Trump candidacy seemed so ridiculous and far-fetched to me that I laughed. Until, in summer 2015, I read about the crowds he was drawing and the way his supporters spoke of him. Then I became concerned, and that concern that has gradually bloomed into fright.
People a lot more intelligent and articulate than I have analyzed and reviewed the phenomenon that is the 2016 election process. I'm not a pundit, so I'll not try any of that. But I am an American and a woman and a writer who is passionate about social justice. And I have a voice.
If you're for Trump, nothing I can say will dissuade you from your position. If you're for Clinton, you'll agree with me and vote as you would have anyway. I'm not trying to change anyone's mind. Someone recently told me that "no one's mind gets changed on facebook."
But changing another's mind is not the point.
Speaking up, not remaining silent - that's the point.
I sincerely believe it would be a national tragedy if Trump, with his demagoguery and ego and blatant disregard for anything but his own well-being and wealth, were to be elected. I understand that the way he speaks and the things he says galvanize people who have felt left out of power and economic progress. I understand that those who feel they have had no voice might be relieved and overjoyed that someone speaks their language, or, as they say, "tells it like it is." Much has been written about the class divides in this country. I get that. It's the only thing I get about Trump's followers.
I'm furious that Hillary Clinton is experiencing unprecedented challenges to her candidacy, that she has faced such obstacles most of her career, and that much of it has to do with the fact that she is a strong woman.
I admire her more than I can say. She gets up every morning knowing what her political life has taught her - that she is a target - and yet she goes on fighting. I'm not saying she's perfect. That private email server was, as she has admitted, a bad decision, and I'm pissed off about it. It's distracting us all from her policies and experience and qualifications. Yet it also seems that no matter what she does, someone is going to shout about criminality, rabidly willing to ignore the fact that she has never been convicted of a crime, but always eager to claim there must be one there and embark upon years and years of investigations.
I admire her more than I can say. She has made children and families the focus of her career, staying the course, living and working out of a deep-seated compassion. Perhaps I don't always see evidence for that on her face or hear it in her tone, but that doesn't make me doubt her. I look at her record.
A lot of people seem to need some sort of sweet grandmotherly Hillary who makes them feel good, whose voice is more pleasant, who doesn't come across as so ... competent ... all the time.
I don't need warm fuzzies from Hillary Clinton. I need what she's given us: consistent, hard work and unwavering commitment to the social justice issues facing women and children, intelligent attention to issues, detailed plans for economic improvement, carefully thought-out policies on jobs and the environment and equality.
I'm voting for Hillary. If anyone reading this blog post is uncertain or undecided, I'll be happy to talk with you about why I think you should, too.