America, I am ready when you are

It’s amazing what a few hours of sleep can do. All last night I was trying to find the words, but this morning, after four hours of sleep, my mind feels at least a little bit clearer.

Still, this post is only a small part of the overflowing well inside me. I imagine this election will be a subject I will meditate on for a long time, and I will write it all down. But for now, here are my first thoughts:

I understand that people need to mourn and process and wonder what the hell happened, and I implore everyone to take the time they need.

But personally, I have decided that my mourning will not include casting aspersions onto anyone but, firstly, the people who voted for Trump, and, secondly, the political establishment as a whole.

The people who voted third party, who wrote in a candidate, or who didn’t vote at all can be important allies in the coming revolution. (And there will be a revolution in this century.) Hell, even Trump voters who are regretting their vote in the cold light of morning, I will welcome to the cause. I will allow them to begin the eternal process of repentance, of fixing what their actions have brought.

Another thing that I will not do: I will not reject the entire population of the states who went red. While yes, red states (obviously) have more Trump supporters, remember that a sizeable number of people in those states did not vote for him. Rather than abandon these people to fend for themselves in an environment that will likely damage them psychologically and physically, instead of telling them to flee the place they call home (whether voluntarily or involuntarily), I will tell them that I am here for them and will lend every support within my ability.

It is easy to joke about sawing away Florida, or not visiting any part of the South, or unfriend/unfollow people who support Trump on social media (jokingly or unjokingly), and I recognize that humor may be a temporary refuge for people when facing a grotesque future. But remember that there is strength in unity. For now, I will focus on standing with people who have been hurt by this election, who fear for their lives, and who fear for the future. I am there with you, and no one should have to go through this alone.

As of writing this, I have not yet left my apartment.

I have opened my browser, scrolled through feeds on my phone, and saw the same despair I saw last night, but I have no idea how the world outside look, if maybe it will look a little less rosy.

Maybe in a few days I will come back to this space and have a harrowing tale to tell. Maybe I will come back to this space and say that nothing has changed.

But I will come back to this space.

For now, my message is this: There are simple lessons for everyone to learn, and we must learn them. And we cannot let this election divide us. By being divided, the worst predictions of our impending bleak future will come to pass.

So America, I am ready when you are.

Published by Caroliena Cabada

Caroliena Cabada is a writer currently based in Lincoln, Nebraska. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing and Environment from Iowa State University, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing, Fiction, from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her writing has been published in online and print journals and anthologies, and has been selected for Best Small Fictions 2021.

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