May 9, 2017
On November 9th I lost hope.
Our country had elected a racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, Anti-Semitic, self-described sexual predator. I had truly believed that our country would elect Hillary, the only question was how much of a landslide she would get.
I mean, come ON, look what Barack Obama said about her, "I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States of America."
But, this is not a rant about Tr**p and the racists who support him ('economic insecurity' my ass), this is about the reclaiming of hope, when I thought it was gone forever.
I wore the shirt in the photo on a recent trip to Barcelona. I had ordered it for the trip, since I wanted to let the Europeans know that we did not all support this horrific administration (as we know, a MAJORITY of us do not).
The reactions were WONDERFUL!! I had women from all over the world taking pictures of the shirt, people thanking me for my vote, people defying my own stereotypical thoughts (although a couple fit stereotypes perfectly).
The first day I wore the shirt was to La Sagrada Familia and as we stood in line some young women (20 somethings) looked at my shirt and smiled and started talking to each other while looking at my shirt. Since I am very shy (you're welcome for the laugh), I smiled and said, "Do you like my shirt?" and they started chatting with me and asked if they could take photos.
Other women in line and at the entrance commented positively on my shirt. I said to many, "I get positive feedback from women, not so much from men." So, of course, within 30 seconds a young American man said, "I like your shirt." I smiled and told him he blew my statistics, but I was glad to have that happen. He was travelling with a group of grad students from Stanford and he said, "Yeah, one of the women in my group ADORES Hillary." (as do I, as do I).
About a minute after that, an older, white man made sure to catch my eye and glared at me as he walked past me (I smiled beatifically back, I find that pisses people off more). I heard him talking later, and he was definitely American.
I had such a great time meeting people and seeing their reactions to the shirt, that I wore it a second day (so 1/4 of the days we were there, I was 'repping' Hillary). On that day we went to a restaurant where across the room, I saw a young woman (just pretty much figure when I say young, I mean 20's) who looked at my shirt, smiled and then spoke to the man next to her. They both looked, made eye contact with me and smiled. I giggled and the spousal unit asked what I was giggling at, I said, "That woman and her friend like my shirt." A group of Spanish men who were sitting near us at the bar said, "So do we, so do we."
At the Picasso Museum I had a group of women come up to me and say, "WE voted for her too." They were white, wealthy and Southern and I would have put them in the Tr**p camp (yes, I am guilty of stereotyping). Were they liberal? Hell, no. But they hated Tr**p and everything he stands for. They were from Alabama and were incredibly angry at Sessions as well. I told them to keep making phone calls and speaking up, that was our only hope.
And, here we are, back at that word, hope.
And why do I feel hopeful now? The Democrats finally, FINALLY got a backbone and started speaking up. Grassroots campaigns, taking the playbook from the Tea Party, started calling, texting, e-mailing and, most importantly, SHOWING UP at meetings with elected officials.
It takes EVERY Who in Whoville (yes, that's where the title of this post came from) to speak up, to let them know that WE ARE HERE (and DAMMIT we ARE here!!)
And as long as we speak up, hope is alive.