It’s currently 1:47am; the senate has been won by the Republicans, the house has been won by the Republicans, and the remaining pathways to 270 electoral votes looks mostly closed for Hillary Rodham Clinton. I had once thought she would be our first woman president – our first President Mom, first President Grandma. Instead, I find myself in a state of fear and disgust – how do I face my classmates, some of whom will be wearing those red hats with smug faces tomorrow? How do I face my parents, those white working class Rust Belt folks who needed a hero who represented them, but whom I could only see as a symbol of hate? How do I face my Latino boyfriend and look him in the eyes as a white man with any emotion other than shame? So many educated, smug liberal whites were so sure of themselves – so many establishment democrats who I’d worked with while I interned in Congress, while I campaigned on a congressional race in Rochester. I can’t cry – I don’t deserve to. Instead, all I can do is be disappointed and feel as if I’ve let my country fall apart before my eyes. I fear a loss of gay marriage, i fear a Vice President who advocates for conversation therapy for people like me, and I fear the forcible removal of 11 million human beings. To put this into context, other famous mass expulsions and population transfers include when Nazi Germany moved millions of Poles out of Germany, when the Spanish kingdom pushed out hundreds of thousands of Jews and Muslims, and when we, the United States, moved hundreds of thousands of Native Americans on the Trail of Tears. Is this the legacy we will be the progenitors of? Is this how President Trump will make America great again? By working toward a white nationalist greatness? What am I to do but weep? As I said, I can’t cry, because I don’t deserve to. I have no other choice but to hold myself together and hold on to my friends who I know are truly terrified now. I have to be strong for others. Right now, nevertheless, that’s a prospect that seems truly difficult. America, welcome to our reckoning. Will we come out greater? And just whose definition of greater will that be? I’m afraid to find out.

David Zatyko