America, failure.

I have failed, America. I am sorry.

I have tried to pretend that I was making a difference.

I have written about women’s rights and I have written about white privilege and I have written about trying to make the best choices in a world that is full of compromise. I have written about my sadness and anger about Ferguson, about Brock Turner, about Orlando. If I change just one person’s mind, I thought, it is worth it. Even if change is slow.

I have not written much about this election. It just felt too hard. I was just so fucking sick of being told that Hillary was a crook, that Hillary was a criminal, that Hillary was a liar, when to answer “Hillary is a woman, and your charges have no evidence” became oppressive in its repetition, became frustrating because it was not heard. I stopped writing. I stopped arguing. I stopped advocating. I believed there were enough voices, better ones, who could persuade more effectively than I could. I believed that was enough.

I just thought everyone knew. That everyone knew that Trump is under investigation for defrauding citizens with Trump University. That he hasn’t paid federal income taxes in likely a decade. That he attacked a Gold Star family. That he threatened to build a wall to keep out immigrants, despite the fact that immigration has stagnated in this country. That he has been charged with rape and sexual assault. That he has mocked the disabled. That he has made a career out of declaring bankruptcy. That he has ruined the lives of low and middle-class workers who made the mistake of working for Trump enterprises. That everyone knew that he was a bombastic liar, a thrice-married adulterer, a serial misogynist, a racist xenophobe, an erratic con man. That so many prominent Republicans declared him a dangerous threat to our nation’s stability. That he has been endorsed by the KKK.

I thought everyone knew.

Maybe everyone does know. Maybe my fears about the death of journalism and the rise of internet hoax and meme culture are only partially to blame.

Maybe everyone knows, and just doesn’t care. And that’s the one that I don’t know how to fight.

I should have written more. That’s what I repeated to myself, as I curled in my bed last night, whispered to my partner who tried to tell me that this is bigger than any of us, which of course is true, but doesn’t help me. Doesn’t help me know what to do now. I should have done more. I should have spoken up more. I should have tried harder. I’m sorry.

America, I am sorry. To the world, I am sorry. To everyone who is afraid alongside me this morning, I am sorry that I did not do enough to stop this man. I am sorry that my voice was silenced by those who should have had to work harder to shut me up. I am sorry that I did not say, again and again and again and again and again, until my throat was horse from the shouting of it, that there was a candidate in this race who could keep us safe, who could keep us free, and whose imperfections so obviously paled in comparison to her opponents that to suggest otherwise was laughable.

America, I am sorry.

America, I threw up twice last night. I slept fitfully for about three hours. I have not stopped crying.

America, my white body is protected in a way that my friends’ bodies are not. I will shield your bodies of color as best as I can.
America, my love for a man is protected in a way that my gay friends’ love is not. I will treasure your love and fight to keep it safe in whatever way that I can.
America, our children are watching everything that we do. I do not know what that means yet. I do not know what that means. I will teach love as long as I live, even on days like today when I cannot believe in it with the same fervor.

America, I am so afraid of what is to come.

America, I wanted a nation of little girls to believe that they could be the president. I wanted that so fucking badly.

America, our president has said “Grab ’em by the pussy.” He said that you get away with it. He was right. America, our president has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women, and America, 59 million of you didn’t care.

Mark my words. In sixty years, those red Trump baseball caps will look to us like swastikas. They will look to us like armbands. Our grandchildren will look at the photos taken last night and wonder at how something like this could have happened. They will read books written about right now and wonder, if they were alive, if they would have done things differently. If they would have done more.

I can’t stop asking the same question.

America, I cannot stop shaking.
America, I cannot stop crying.
America, I do not know what to do next. Please help me.
America, I am so sorry.