Trump’s America

I was born in Central America and lived there until I was five with my American mother and Panamanian father. When they divorced we moved to the U.S. to be closer to her family and friends. I became a Naturalized U.S. citizen when I was 7 years old. While I do have roots in Panama, and several relatives still there, I identify as an American much more than Latina. I grew up here…I was considered a Gringa when I lived in Panama because I look like my blonde haired green eyed mother. I have always been proud to be an American. Very proud, and count myself lucky that I have had the great fortune and privilege to have been raised and lived most of my life in this great country.

I remember, as a young teen, being in Panama visiting relatives when my sister and I decided to walk around parts of the city and look for our old house. I remember seeing armed soldiers walking the streets instead of police. I was struck by that because I wasn’t used to seeing that. During the reign of the despot, Manuel Noriega, I wasn’t there, but heard about some of my own relatives facing frightening situations with him as their leader. All of that seemed like a million miles from my typical middle class American life. I could never, in a million years, imagined anything like that….until Trump.

Since the election, I have been considering moving back to Panama after 50 years. What an irony–now, we are the ones facing a dictatorship and Panama has a stable government.

I have been struggling with feelings of rage since Trump got elected. Even after signing a dozen petitions, donating to the ACLU, calling many Senators and Congresspeople, making countless posts on Facebook –I feel totally powerless. Our voices are not only not being taken seriously right now, but also being mocked and laughed at. I know it’s going to get better eventually, but when?I just thought I would never see this day come in the U.S.

I am actually outraged that this happened..I felt like we were moving forward as a nation, that most people were pretty much on the same page with the direction we were going…and I believe most probably were. But it totally caught me off guard to see that there are THAT many people who are racist, misogynistic, ignorant, hateful…I’m shocked that Trump actually did awaken a huge segment of the population that was silent and angry–they hated our growing multiculturalism, tolerance , intellectualism, and basically liberal leaning society in general. I don’t why I’m shocked, though–seems pretty obvious now. I was just naive. I had no idea it was that many–I knew there were pockets of people all around that wanted to go back to a White man’s America..but I just didn’t get how many. It is making me re-think everything I have ever thought about this country.

I’m disappointed in America. I thought we had come so far. Our predecessors had to fight tooth and nail for all the wonderful freedoms and progress that has been made–from the Civil War to the Civil Rights movement, women’s equality, racial equality…we were still getting there, but look at the progress we made! We are one of the most socially advanced countries in the world. I am not trying to kid myself that Panama isn’t going to have plenty of its own prejudices. But at least they are not turning back their clock 50 years–75 years.

The most outrageous thing in the world happened.

It has been about a month since the election. The world is still reeling from the shock of Donald Trump being the President-Elect. What the fuck happened? I know I am not alone in feeling this: The night of the election, at first I watched, excited about Hillary being voted the first female President. The polls had been telling us that was sure to be the outcome, right? Not too far into the election results coverage, things started looking a little alarming. But I told myself, don’t worry, many of the blue states haven’t been counted yet. Then, things started looking really alarming. I started having the first thoughts of, Oh shit, what’s happening here?

I still have the text from my Mom from that night so I know what time it was when the reality of Trump winning was inevitable. Around midnight, she said that she couldn’t bear to watch any more, and that I was incredibly brave to keep watching. But less than an hour later, I went to bed too. I couldn’t bear to hear them announce that Trump had won the election. I went to sleep praying that maybe a miracle would happen while I was sleeping. The next morning, I woke up and turned on the TV and confirmed that the unthinkable had happened. I was so heartbroken, and shocked, and actually, devastated….that day, I didn’t get out of bed until 1 pm. I never, ever stay in bad past about 9 am.

For the first week, I remained in deep shock and despair and grief. How, HOW, HOW did this happen! It just can’t be true. How could this rude, offensive, uneducated, bigoted wind bag, ¬†pervert ¬†who I’m sure jerked off after every rally because he was so enamored with himself, become POTUS?

I took to Facebook to express my outrage and grief, and saw that hundreds of thousands, even millions of people are just as outraged as me. We all said it felt like 9-11. Somehow, it did. It was the day our country and Democracy died. I have received two serious and very scary death threats on FB since the election, for speaking my mind about Trump. A person that I have been friends with for 35 years unfriended me on FB when I wrote a post that I would never support Trump.

So I happen to be sitting on my couch this very moment watching a dictatorship in progress. Even as I’m writing this, I got a popup from the Washington Post that Trump picked yet ANOTHER Wall street exec for his Cabinet. I wonder when Trump supporters are going to figure out they got the biggest con of their lives–he is already flaunting it in their faces.

I plan to go and protest in Washington on Inauguration day. I have signed countless petitions, for recounts, for the Electoral College to not vote for Trump, which was an eye opener in itself. I actually got back several automated and one not automated responses from different Electors which all essentially said, fuck you, Hail Trump! I have expressed my anger and outrage as much as I can without just annoying the hell out of everyone.

Yet this morning, I woke up with an ever bigger feeling of outrage than ever. This is the most outrageous thing that has ever happened in my life. And I have seen plenty of outrageous things. I just can’t swallow the deep sense of anger, disgust, and fear that I live with every day now. I’m doing as much activism as I can. But it’s not stopping this horror movie in progress…I have heard a lot of people say they feel like it’s a nightmare and when they wake up maybe it will all be better. I feel the same.

I think Americans got much too complacent about freedom and democracy–so somehow this traitor to America slipped in the most powerful gate in the world. Everything I write online, like this, I think someday if Trump does manage to destroy our freedoms, these very words could come back to bite me. But like the White Rose society in Hitler’s Germany wrote in one of their famous leaflets, “We will not be silenced! We are your worst conscience! The White Rose will not leave you in peace!” I will continue to speak out. I don’t care if someone is offended by my words. I am offended that 40 million people voted for the biggest, stinking bag of feces named Donald Trump. Most likely I will be moving to Central America within a year or less. I was born there, and although I am a naturalized U.S. citizen, I have dual citizenship and I’m going to use it.

I won’t stop fighting once I’m there–I’ll fight even harder. But I just can’t stay here and watch Americans let Trump hijack our country and all of the good and right things we stand for. Hopefully someday I can come back to my beloved country. But I won’t as long as it is run by fascists.