Given the results of yesterday’s presidential and congressional elections, there are several apologies we, as a country, need to make.
America has made a grave error, the impact of which may not be fully realized until long after all of us are dead and historians have the opportunity to sift through the rubble. We have committed a deed of terrible atrocity, which has no adequate comparison in the annals of time. We have endangered not only ourselves, but the entire world. As such, we need to start apologizing now to the many groups we have offended, endangered, marginalized, and disgraced.
We owe an apology to over 60 million men and women who gave their lives in WWII in an effort to save us from a fascist, racist, narcissistic, xenophobic, homophobic, power-hungry dictator. 25 million of those people were military, the rest were civilians, many of whom died in prisons or labor camps. We elected the very sort of person they bled and died to keep us from having to endure. For our actions yesterday, we have no choice but to apologize.
We must apologize to the millions of women now doomed to second-class personhood, who will quickly see their reproductive and healthcare rights taken away, who will have to continue enduring unwarranted sexual assault, who will continue earning less than men, and who are likely to see incidents of bullying and intimidation rise. To all the women about to be adversely affected by America’s most ridiculous decision, we have no choice but to apologize.
We must apologize to every person aged 50 and older who has been paying into the Social Security system since they were teenagers, trusting the government’s promise that the money would be there when they retire. With a Republican-controlled Congress, that money will soon be completely gone and will never return. As stock prices are already taking a considerable tumble, chances of finding solace in a 401K are severely diminished as well. They have just lost any hope of retirement. They will work until they fall over dead. To them, we have no choice but to apologize.
We must apologize to all the workers who will now either lose their jobs or see their wages diminish. Foreign-owned companies who have enjoyed relatively easy trade with the United States are waking up this morning to the promise of increased tariffs and trade restrictions. Some have already said that any increase in duty taxes will force them to leave the country. When they do, the jobs they create go with them. Similarly, a Republican-controlled Congress means that the federal minimum wage has no hope of increasing, unions will be busted, and wages for remaining jobs will go down. To everyone affected by this tragedy, we have no choice but to apologize.
We must apologize to every person of color who has just seen their personhood marginalized by a president-elect who finds them inferior, replaceable, and disposable. Civil rights have just been set back over 100 years. All the gains for which people such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Emmett Till, and thousands of others worked so hard and so long, some to the point of giving their lives, have all now been placed in danger of elimination, if not in actual deed at least in spirit. As a white man, I am ashamed. As a country, we have no choice but to apologize.
We owe an apology to the millions of immigrants who came to this country looking for a better opportunity and have found only hate, derision, and now full condemnation for even existing within the borders of this country. Our national ignorance to the value of immigrants is overwhelming and now that severe ignorance is what guides the creation and application of public policy. Without immigrants, we very quickly become a much, much poorer country. We have crushed their dreams and, for many, doomed their very lives. For such actions, we have no choice but to apologize.
We owe an apology to everyone who identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, or any other sexual orientation not deemed “straight enough” for those who, like our new vice-president-elect, believe that sexuality is ordained by their deity. The LGBTQ has fought long and hard to make even the most modest gains toward acceptance, but now they are faced with a clown in the Vice President’s office with a proven hatred toward all of them. All of the advances they have made are likely now thrown out the window. If the vice-president-elect has his way, their lifestyles will become criminalized. We could have prevented this tragedy, but we didn’t and for that we have no choice but to apologize.
We must also apologize to all our children whose futures have now been destroyed, whose dreams and hopes have been dashed to pieces. Our actions yesterday do not communicate our love to them, but rather our selfishness. Their lives will now be less safe as the Republican Congress removes regulation and oversight from corporations. They will be less informed as journalists are punished for telling the truth about this megalomaniacal administration. More of them will die from malnutrition and lack of affordable healthcare as the programs designed to protect them are eliminated. More of our children are now likely to experience homelessness. More of our children are likely to reach adulthood under-educated and unable to go to college. Fewer children are likely to have access to technology, to safe and appropriate child care, to appropriate housing, and even basic education. Of all the people ill-affected by yesterday’s election, our children, the ones we claim to cherish, are the ones who bear the brunt of our horrible actions. What we have done to them is nothing short of abuse. For our sins, we not only own them an apology, but our very lives.
Americans chose to elect hate yesterday. There can be no unity in hate. Great harm and great danger now stands ready to take the lead. Your deity cannot help you now. We owe the world an apology.