It's been over four years since I typed a word on this blog.
Part of it was that I had started a chronicle of my diagnosis and treatment of ocular melanoma; yes, that's a thing. And having eye cancer seemed like it deserved its own blog. Happily, there's not much to write about on that front these days, though I invite you to read about my experience if you're interested.
You'd think having a rare, potentially life-threatening disease would make a Nervous Girl more nervous, not less, wouldn't you? I would have thought so, too. But a funny thing happened on the way to remission: I realized that a lot of the things that seemed super-scary before cancer seemed like much less of a big deal in its wake. I won't say I was relaxed, but, grading on a curve, I was much more so.
Then the 2016 election cycle happened.
At first I thought Donald Trump was a joke. A lot of people did. Then I started to watch in disbelief as he said offensive things about prisoners of war, women, Mexicans, Muslims, the disabled, and more. As his previous statements about individuals and various groups came out. As he doubled down on hate-filled comments and actions, any ONE of which would have had a previous nominee backpedaling and apologizing, and probably would have tanked their campaign anyway. As he refused to release his taxes. "Surely he won't win the primary," I thought. And then, "Surely he won't win the general election." Even so, I donated to his opponent, registered voters, made phone calls to get out the vote. I didn't think he could win, but I wanted to do everything I could to make sure.
I believed that other Americans would take note of the fact that Hillary Clinton received over 240 endorsements from newspapers and major publications, many of which hadn't endorsed a Democrat in over a half-century or longer. That Trump received only 19, one of which was from the official newspaper of the KKK. For reference, there were nearly as many newspapers, including USA Today, which essentially said, "This guy is unfit. Vote for anybody but him."
And yet here we are.
Yes, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by a margin that, as of this date, keeps increasing. But that doesn't matter, because it's Donald Trump who will take the oath of office and become the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017.
I know that there are obviously many people who voted for Donald Trump. I know a fair number of them. Most of the ones I know are not ignorant; some are among the most intelligent people I have ever met. Most of the ones I know are not hate-filled; some are among the most humble, generous, and faithful Christians I know. And yet they chose to vote for a clearly unqualified man who repeatedly espoused bigotry and xenophobia. I'm struggling to understand their choice. I hope that someday soon, we'll be able to discuss it. calmly and openly. I don't think I'm there yet.
Only after the election did I learn of a "time capsule" of Trump's words and actions during the campaign, captured not in retrospect but as they happened. It's what we knew, when we knew it. I'm hoping this blog will be a similar record for the time afterward. Not as well written, because, hey, I don't work for the Atlantic. Not as comprehensive, because I'm guessing there's going to be more coming down the pike than I'll have time to record. But when I stand in that voting booth in November 2020, I want to have put, all in one place, the things he did, the things I'm nervous about now. And hopefully, some good things that surprised me.
Here's how it's going to go: I'm going to keep things respectful, in the words of Michelle Obama, to "go high." I'm not going to name-call. I'm not going to insult. I'm going to rely on facts, and, where possible, the man's own words. But I'm also going to speak up.
I didn't ask for this president, but I'm going to hold him to account. And if you did ask for him, I'm going to document exactly what you signed on for.