I try to remain as neutral as possible on this site and focus on music, but I don’t know how to handle this and the negative emotional impact is so deep that I’m left staring out my window and fumbling as I’m writing. I was raised to believe that my country represented equality for all, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual persuasion, or gender identity; the whole “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” thing. I never thought that I’d see the day when a presidential candidate endorsed by the KKK and other white supremacist groups would actually be voted into office. All candidates have their shortcomings, but this? One of my relatives was raised in Nazi Germany and has been horror stricken by the rhetoric of the new leader of our country because she recognized it from a very dark place in her past. She told me she never thought she would have to fear this in America. Now it is here and I’m in mourning for my country.
As someone who suffers from depression it’s sometimes difficult to tell whether an emotional response is appropriate to the situation. This might seem like a strange statement to people who don’t suffer from the malady but it’s one of the realities of the disease. We have to evaluate whether we’re going off the rails or if the response is in keeping with the occurrence. There is no doubt in my mind that the despair I am feeling today has nothing to do with my illness; instead it is a sickness in my soul because hate has prevailed and evidently my country is fine with that. Someone who has admitted to being a sexual predator and has bragged about assaulting women has just been elected to lead my country, despite it being made public knowledge through his own taped confession of not too many years ago. There have been so many proven points as to why this individual is not to be trusted handing out cotton candy at a carnival let alone running a government, that it’s inconceivable that he could get elected, and yet here we are. No, my despair is not linked to my illness; it is linked to my country’s.
How am I supposed to process this? How did we get to the point where someone who so obviously has no conceivable understanding of the “working man’s plight” or woman’s, and has a history of off-shoring jobs and cheating people who contracted with him in good faith can con a country into thinking he’s got their six when all he’s done his entire life is look out for his own personal interests at the expense of others? He’s deplorable, to borrow from another politico, yet enough people in this nation viewed him as their savior to put him in charge. How am I supposed to bow my knee? How can any person of conscience? He demonizes anyone who is different; derides, insults and threatens any who disagree, and incites his followers to meet anyone who dares to do so with violence. I can’t imagine that this is what the founding fathers of this country envisioned for their budding nation. I feel like I’m trapped in a nightmare that I can’t wake up from, and it’s just the previews. We haven’t even gotten to the main feature.
I went to bed late last night filled with foreboding and awoke early this morning to find that the nightmare had taken the absolutely worst turn that it could. He is to be the nation’s leader and the Republican Party controls the House and the Senate. This vacuous self-inflated puppet will be nominating the next Supreme Court justices and sending our country into the darkest times we’ve seen in decades. It would please me to be wrong on this, but it’s highly doubtful that I am. I was also faced with the dilemma of what to tell my 12 year old daughter who was expressing her fears just the day before and couldn’t watch the election results because she was so uncomfortable with the possibility of this happening. I had to tell her that a truly evil man had won the election, not in those words, and then pass on the white lie parents all too often have to resort to, “It’s going to be ok.” Then I told her the truth, “I love you very much,” as I thought about what a threat my country had just become to world peace and that a man with the emotional maturity of a four year old would possess the codes to our nuclear arsenal. A man who asked why not, when he was told we don’t use them.
The most important thing my daughter needs to know is that we do not give up in the face of adversity; even if the situation seems hopeless and we have been dealt what appears to be a fatal blow, we keep fighting for what we believe in. We do not hide from evil, and we do not abide by it. Even when the light fades from our lives, and all we see that surrounds us is darkness, we fight for what is right. We accept the struggle and the path we must take to come out on the other side in a brighter place. This IS something I have learned from depression: if you are determined, keep fighting, and never give in, at some point you will prevail. You will also lose again and have to do it all over again, but you owe it to yourself and the world around you to: Never. Give. Up. Our families need us, and so does the world because without us there can be no forward thinking change, nor future for our planet.