Look who's still here, alive and (sort of) kicking!
I pretty much shut down after the election. And no, it wasn't a "Boo hoo, poor me, my candidate lost" thing. I've been there before and come out fine(ish) on the other end. It wasn't even "Boo hoo, poor me, my really smart and qualified candidate lost to a guy who doesn't seem all that bright and in fact is kind of a buffoon and also seems to surround himself with much smarter, much more evil people and also differs with me on most issues and in fact lost the popular vote" because of course I've done that one too. No, this is different. I've never felt quite so terrified down to my bones—and anyone who's ignoring or pooh-poohing the uptick in hate crimes since the election might want to brush up on their history. (Which part of the "First they came for..." poem didn't you get?) Every woman, every non-Christian, every person of color, every disabled person, every LGBTQ person knows what it's like to fear for your personal safety. It might be 30 heart-pounding seconds alone in an elevator with two creepy guys or it might be a "casual remark" tossed around when people didn't realize you were "other" or it might be just walking down the street and knowing that someone is making assumptions about who you are. But I feel certain now that this narrow-minded opposition to the "other" is gaining momentum, and I'm even hearing of alarming incidents of anti-semitism and racism right here at home, in the bluest of blue states (not one county went red on November 8!).
But listen, I don't want this to turn into a political post—and in fact I would very much appreciate it if you don't leave any political comments below (even if you agree with me!). I just want to say that at year's end, I'm counting up the things I feel thankful for and optimistic about, and one of them is all the wonderful people I've gotten to know online. It all started off with this blog, back when blogging was a thing, then spread to Twitter, where I am very active with editorial folks, foodies, political types, and lots of other interesting, warm, smart, funny people of all stripes. Please feel free to connect with me however you prefer—blog comments, email, Twitter, Facebook, smoke signals—but please, let's stay connected. On top of all the fear, I wouldn't be able to get by if I also felt all alone.
I wish everyone a Happy, Healthy, and Peaceful New Year! Let's see if we can't knock some sense into 2017 together, shall we?