I am 50 years old.
In all my life, I've never felt as demoralized as I have for the last 23 days and change. I look at my kids, and I wonder "what kind of world will I leave for you?" And when I ask that question I mean: what will the world look like? Will it continue to be a place of biological beauty and diversity? Will there be polar bears? Will there be places of wild beauty, open to everyone through the National Park Service? Will the world continue to be a place where, as it has been said, "the arc of history may be long, but it bends towards justice." When I die, will the world be safer for people of color? Will there be less, not more, inequality? Will it be a world where the number of children who die of starvation is getting smaller instead of bigger.
For my whole life - my whole goddamned fucking apparently misguided life - I believed that human beings wanted what was good to win. Even with my job, which regularly throws me into contact with the literal dregs of society - child molesters, murderers, child molesters who murder children, I believed in the inherent and reliable sense of progress towards something better. The election of an elitist motherfucker who lives in a golden palace and sits on a golden throne and regularly tosses shit out of his window onto the plebeians and serfs who reside below him in the streets has thrown me, not just for a loop, but into a state of existential crisis.
I am trying to rebuild. I don't know how I do this. I know that this sounds melodramatic, but I don't know who I am anymore, and I sure as hell don't understand the country I live in.
So, every day, I take three steps forward. I perk up. I retreat into my cocoon, and I think to myself: "I'll be okay. My family, the people I love, I can protect them. There's money enough for my security, and the security of my children. If worse comes to worse, I can pretend it hasn't happened. I can wrap myself in my personal institutional and economic security, and I'll be fine. And fuck those morons who voted for Trump, because he is going to Trump that Bitch. They just didn't know that they're the bitch who is going to get Trumped."
And then, I take two steps backwards, and I realize that these people - the ones he is going to harm. The ones that his policies are going to devastate. The ones that Paul Ryan - that lying, sociopathic douchebag who was educated on the taxpayer dime after his father passed away and who now wants to rip that safety net away from everyone whose name isn't "Paul Ryan" - is advocating for, that will cause elderly people to suffer and die, and women to suffer and die, and impoverished people to suffer and die, and children to, you guessed it, suffer and die. These are my people, too, and they don't deserve this and how can I pretend that it isn't going to happen.
We are in the last days of Rome, Nero is fiddling while it burns, and the people are consumed with bread and circuses.
So, that's why I'm not around. I am still trying to process how I am going to live my life for the next four years as the safety net disintegrates for the people who need it most desperately, and yet I will be fine.