Fight or flight instincts regarding America and the presidential election started kicking in practically the moment the outcome was announced.
Since I’m already an ocean away, flight had a distinct advantage. I wanted so badly to stay in Europe and wash my hands of this mess forever. People from a dozen different countries told me to stay here as long as I can. I knew I shouldn’t flee, that there are tens of millions of Americans who need my help and my fight.
Intellectually I understood this; emotionally I was not yet there.
From the safety of a thousand miles away, I had the privilege of being able to mourn for a bit longer.
I was — and am — so sad. It’s a simple word – sad – but the most fitting. I don’t know how to help a country where at least a third of people don’t see the problem. Surrounded by nearly 60 million people who voted on the side of hatred, reluctantly or not, I cannot feel safe. I am so disheartened.
But I am also angry. And in the long days we have had this new president-elect, this rage has fueled my fire and compelled me to take action.
In Ireland, I am somewhat limited. I still have a voice and have used it, signing and sharing petitions, expressing support for peaceful protests, and encouraging other working towards change. But I cannot be among my fellow Americans who are appalled, scared, and desperate to show solidarity. For that, I am sorry.
I applaud everyone in the States taking action now to show that love trumps hate. I promise you that when I am back, I will still be angry and passionate. I will be ready to take my place in this movement because I know we are stronger together.