I promise this blog will not always be political, in fact this may be the most I ever discuss national politics that don’t involve weed. However, I wouldn’t be true to this whole experience if I didn’t get this off of my chest.
On November 15th I will be taking two exams that determine whether or not I will receive the Masters degree I have been pursuing, this is my final attempt. For anyone not familiar with what a comprehensive exam is I offer this brief summary of what is required. I have two hours per exam to answer one question on any historical topic that spans the last 160 years using a list of 80 books and academic articles, a list that I cannot have with me when I take the exam. I have to do this twice in one day. I have already failed once, if I fail again I am out on my ear, thousands of dollars in debt without the degree I have been pursuing for the last two years.
Now add to this immense pile of stress the recent tumult over the election. It was a nail biter, it was painful, and I can tell you right now that between these two things I am surviving on cannabis and coffee. After getting to celebrate at the Leafly Yes on 2 party that my state voted to approve recreational marijuana use I went home to smoke a bowl to help with my anxiety that was clawing at me like a wild animal as the election results came in. I smoked a strain called Sunset Dream, it seemed oddly fitting for a day where a campaign I supported won while the candidate I had chosen lost.
If you are someone who voted for the current President Elect and don’t understand why people like me are so upset then let me clarify at least why I am. My anxiety and depression are a disability, my bisexuality has always left me in a grey area where I never fully belong, my gender handicaps me in the profession I have always wanted to be in (academia), I am a rape survivor and have been a victim of sexual harassment too often to count, and as an outspoken, college educated woman I have been told that I need to mask who I am and temper my words to get along. The person so many of our fellow citizens have chosen to hold the most powerful office in the land personifies the bigotry, misogyny, and racist views so many of us thought our country was moving past. In choosing him I feel like a despised outsider in every way imaginable. So many of us, while acknowledging that we have so far still to go as a country to live up to our promise as a people, had thought we were at least beyond embracing someone who embodies so much of what is wrong with us as a people. Liberals aren’t protesting and rioting because our candidate lost, this is happening because the message that was sent by over half of the country was that they were okay with the leader of the free world publicly humiliating women, bragging about sexual assault, banning religious groups, and treating minority communities as a threat rather than as productive members of our society. Many feel human decency lost, I feel that so many people were hurting economically that they couldn’t see past their own pain, anger, and frustration when they voted.
As a whole nation we are crying out to be heard, tired of being treated like we don’t matter. Industrialization, globalization, and new technologies have eliminated jobs that once existed, jobs that we can’t bring back. Wall Street speculators have gambled on the housing market and average citizens paid the price. I understand it is easier to choose a voice that shouts all of the things you want to hear. And though I have considerable doubts about what our future holds I do have one request: if you are someone who voted for Donald Trump because you believe he can fix what is broken in Washington but are fundamentally opposed to the anti-muslim, racist, ableist, sexist, predatory views and actions of this man, then prove it. Hold your president accountable. Stop expecting liberals to just get over it, you voted in the embodiment of everything we hold dear to make a statement and not every person who voted against the President Elect is a liberal.
The bright spot in all of this ugliness is that more and more states are letting the voters decide whether or not their state should allow marijuana and its an issue that crosses party lines. Nevada, California, Maine, and Massachusetts all voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana. Other states legalized medical marijuana. More and more states are acknowledging that prohibition on marijuana is wrong, that criminalizing something that is less dangerous than alcohol is a waste of taxpayer money and just fosters a blackmarket for marijuana. Good people are tired of being criminalized for using weed and at least this is one reform that isn’t a red or blue issue, it’s all about the green. So I am going to continue my delicate balance of coffee and cannabis to get through this stressful time and I am going to continue to push for a better world, because we all deserve that.