This is probably a premature post to write, given how up in the air it all really still is. But, it’s getting late and I’m going to need to quit eating all the leftover Halloween candy and go to bed at some point and I’ll have a lot of explaining to do in the morning when The Who wakes up, eager to hear results that we may or may not have. I need to be prepared. There are no easy links online yet about how to explain a Trump win to kids. There’s a lot about how to explain a potential one, but not a real one — presumably because no one really believed it would ever happen. Alas, here we are on the brink. So in the absence of resources to make this shitshow a little less painful and difficult, I’m creating my own resource. A how-to for the morning for everyone who has some explaining to do.
Two steps forward, one step back.
That’s how I’m choosing to frame this situation for The Who if it does indeed come to that. I’ll tell him the story about the frog in the well and about how even though his journey was arduous, he still eventually made progress by taking two steps forward, one step back. Two steps forward, one step back.
With the election of Obama, our country took two steps forward. In the past eight years, we have earned marriage equality, created universal healthcare, elected our first African-American president, and nominated the first female for president. Two giant steps forward. And then we elected Trump (probably? maybe not?). One step back. We’ve taken two steps forward before. The 19th Amendment. The Civil Rights Movement. And we’ve taken one step back before. This is the cycle we find ourselves in over and over again.
Does taking a step back mean that all hope is lost? Does it mean that we all slide back down to start in what my brother cleverly referred to as a giant game of Chutes and Ladders? No. It means we take a step back. Maybe more than a step. Or maybe we’re strong enough together to hold our backs against the tsunami of racism and misogyny and fear and hatred and ignorance. Maybe we keep it to just one step. And when we’re given the chance again in four years, we take another two steps forward and net three.
I’m comforting myself with this tonight and clinging to it for my kid’s sake. For my family’s sake, for all of our sakes. We’re not all going to Canada (even though we all want to so much that their immigration site crashed tonight). We’re going to stay here. And we’re going to grieve what we thought would be two more steps forward, but then we’ll be ok. Because we have to.