It’s Done, It’s Over

… that’s what I said to Kamel after I watched President Obama’s final speech. I know he meant to inspire action and civic duty, but this was my imperfect Camelot. And we’ve been defeated by the troll army. I’m watching a poised and graceful leader bow out to make way for a genuinely bad person who will represent us all.

“Why are you crying, Lauren?” Kamel said to me, with concern. Because how could I shed anymore tears? (How am I welling up just writing this?) How could I be holding my hands to my face and really crying, yet again?

“Because…” I stammered, choking back sobs, “…because this is it. It’s done.”

“No it’s not,” he said.

Sometimes I just want to scream at him that he doesn’t get it. YOU DON’T GET IT. How do you not see?

“Yes it is. It’s over. That was it. And now… and now it really is going to happen and it’s all bad things.”

“It won’t be that bad,” he says to reassure me.

“Yes it will,” I say as I walk to the bathroom to get my toilet paper because we’re all out of kleenex in our bedroom.

“It will be that bad,” I reiterated as a fresh wave of tears sweeps over me.

Because somehow, even if I don’t agree, even if he never had my vote and never will have my vote, we have ALL allowed him to be the leader of this country. He will represent us in foreign affairs, he will hold the pen that signs new laws, that takes away freedoms, that declares war. His stupid little fingers will spew nonsense on the internet that will mean more because he will very soon have the title of President of the United States behind his name. And everything he says and everything he has ever said will be immortalized because he will hold that office.

I know that President Obama wanted to inspire hope and action with his final speech, but I do not feel hopeful. I feel sad and tired.

There is a game being played and the players are too far away for me to reach. The outcome happens and I can’t change it or stop it or influence it. I’m not rich enough, I’m not powerful enough, I’m not important enough. My dissension is an annoying gnat on a hot summer day. I am David and the giant is so big that I am squashed by his giant foot before I can even load my sling shot.

I want to be proven wrong. I want to prove myself wrong. But the run away train seems too far ahead for me to catch.

I am the lone woman screaming in the gallery of Congress while they drag her away. The conversation pauses on the hearing floor. And Senator Graham chuckles under his breath before saying, “At least we’re clearing the room for you…” before continuing with his buddy-buddy questions to Sessions. Because they’ve known each other for years and who the fuck am I?

6 thoughts on “It’s Done, It’s Over”

  1. I am right there with you, and after a return of post-election awful, awful nightmares this week, I finally realized what’s dragging me down most is that sense of powerlessness. I’ve taken to calling my senators and representatives, and found a group of super-local people doing the same. It helps, because we’re a swarm of gnats and we’re having a teeny tiny effect, but it still feels like we’re no match for people who openly deny climate change, and openly put their religious values on me and my family, etc., etc. Meanwhile my husband is a Kamel, who is ever-optimistic and thinks that checks and balances will protect us. I just don’t see that.

  2. Yep. Yep yep yep. Fuck. This sucks. Also because I’m here barely handling raising the two tiny citizens in my house plus working and life. Now that world is measurably uglier and more vile. And I want so much to be in it-making it brighter and hopeful like Obama said but the hill we have to climb just became Everest and I have no available oxygen.

    How did we let this happen? Who are we? I’ve always been cheesily proud to be an American and now I feel like an absolute fool. I’m so disgusted.

  3. Oof. Same. I know I need to fight the fatigue and hopelessness and keep at it but I’m just so deflated.

    My husband does the same thing when we talk about it: “It will be ok, though, because xyz.” He’s opened his eyes so much lately to his privilege and I’m so proud of him for that, but when he says it will all be ok I know he doesn’t truly get it.

    I haven’t had the heart to watch Obama’s speech yet – I’m saving it for this weekend when I can lock myself in a room and ugly cry.

  4. This feeling is why I don’t want to watch the President’s farewell address. Just from twitter responses I am annoyed and angry that he is ending on a note of “Be a good citizen and fight for change.” As if this is just politics and not facism walking into the oval office.

    Also, I don’t have the energy for hope. I have the energy to resist, to protest, to call my reps. But hope feels like such a performance right now. And a performance that lets people off the hook, lets them say, “It’ll be ok.” IT IS NOT OK. I’m not going to say it is to make you feel better.

    This feels like when someone has cancer, and everyone around them wants that person to smile and grit their teeth and talk about fighting and never giving up. But it is fucking cancer and A LOT OF THE TIME THE CANCER FUCKING WINS. And it is awful and scary and we should all be able to say it without also having to pretend to be hopeful.

    1. Just two cents, but what I took from the farewell address was actually more of a “The call is coming from inside the house” kind of message – that we have been so afraid of terrorism from external forces, but we have to wake up that democracy is threatened by fascists in the oval office. (The last part was implied, but clearly, I think) Not just, go do the good work, chin up, but more of a – THIS IS A REAL THREAT PEOPLE. FREAK OUT NOW. kind of thing.

  5. So Very, Sadly with you. Also, two thoughts.

    1) True, they carried her out. But if we all lined up and went in one after another, so when one got carried out the next one followed her in and started making noise, it COULD shut it down. Or at least, make a serious dent in their ability to have productive conversation for a half hour or so. Small things add up if enough of us believe in them.

    2) One of my big fears for long-term implications is that this kills our belief that our democracy, our government, and most of all our Presidency means anything. I do not want to let Him win the fight that makes a mockery of that great position. I want to continue to believe that the right person in that office makes a huge difference. I don’t know how we do that. Especially when there is so much else to figure out/fight/etc.

    <3 <3 Thanks for being a voice of reason and passion on the internet. That matters too.

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