What To Say If Someone Tells You To Just Get Over The Election Already
The presidential election may be over but there is a long road ahead of us all as the country's leadership risks falling into the hands of fascism and autocracy. President-Elect Donald Trump ran a right-wing campaign that thrived on the fears and hate of white Americans. He started his campaign with the assertion that Mexicans are rapists and criminals, called for a total ban on Muslims, and likened the Black Lives Matter movement to "terror." He was caught on tape bragging about groping women without consent. So here's what to say if someone tells you to get over the election, because you don't have to and you shouldn't.
People felt various emotions on Nov. 8 as the polling results came in. Once Trump was favored as the winner of the election, some were afraid, sad, hopeless, angered, anxious, or even a combination. Those sentiments are absolutely valid, and whether you felt them before the election, on Nov. 8, the day after, the week after, or two weeks later, you are entitled to those sentiments because the threat that Trump represents is real. You don't have to get over the election, no matter what anyone else tells you.
For one thing, anyone who says to get over the results is coming from a place of privilege. If they are able to move on just like that, it's likely because there is less at stake in their immediate life. Attempts at normalizing this election result and resort back to the status quo, however, aren't helpful to anyone besides Trump and his administration. And there is nothing "normal" about this election.
You might suggest taking a look at Trump's recent cabinet picks. Trump has been championed as a leader of the "alt-right" movement, which we should all refer to as racist, white nationalism. One of Trump's most controversial cabinet picks is his Chief White House Strategist, Steve Bannon. Formerly a founding board member of the white nationalist digital news publication, Breitbart, Trump offering Bannon a seat in his administration is one step toward legitimizing and normalizing the white supremacist movement that backs him.
Since Trump's win, there have been over 700 instances of targeted harassment, specifically from people who have felt emboldened by his victory. And in recent weeks, the one time Trump told his supporters to stop was during a 60 Minutes interview in which he looked into the camera and said, "Cut it out." However, the President-Elect has been more outspoken when it comes to his opponents than when it comes to telling the white supremacists not to back him. For instance, after Vice President-Elect Mike Pence was lectured by the cast of Hamilton about the importance of representing all Americans, Trump called on the cast to apologize in a series of tweets. He was more vocal about this than he was about his violent backers.
There are plenty of reasons why you don't need to be over the election results and they are all important to vocalize when someone tells you to move on. One of the most important things to share with someone who says to get over it, is that you have both a right and an obligation to express your concern and your outrage and to fight for the changes that are necessary. This election was less about party politics than it was about electing a white supremacist regime. That's more than enough reason to not get over the election and to continue fighting.