[Tess Rafferty wrote and recorded the following essay, statement, warning, and cathartic release in the days following the 2016 election. Her words are heartfelt and true. Her observations are clear and true. Her course is the only way that we can again begin to move forward as enlightened human beings. She let us know that it is time to stop pussyfooting around, time to stop trying to bend over backwards to see the other side because when we bend, they break us, they laugh at us, and they view us as weak. It is time to give them back what they dish out. It is time! Thank you Tess for your words, may we heed them. At the end of Tess’s written words is a video of Tess giving voice to her words.
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“Aftermath” by Tess Rafferty
In my youth, as far too many of you remember, I saw politics as very black and white. I wanted nothing to do with you if you were Christian or Republican. “Don’t get personal” people (usually Christians or Republicans) always said. What was hard for me was that it was personal. The things I was passionate about were the things that these other two factions seemed intent on taking away from me and they affected me personally. It’s sort of hypocritical of someone to tell you to not take something personal when in fact what they want to do is take away one of your personal freedoms.
Over the years I’ve tried harder to find common ground. I’ve tried to focus on what we have in common more than what separates us. I’ve tried to see what I like about people as individuals and remember that we’re friends and that we have to all be friends when this is all over. And I’ve seen polite discussions change some perspectives. I know they’ve changed mine on issues.
After Tuesday I think my younger self had it right.
I am so damn tired of trying to see it from the “other side,” of trying to discuss nuance, while they paint us and our candidates with the broadest of hateful brushes instead. I’m tired of pretending like it’s somehow reasonable to teach Creationism in a public school with my tax dollars while you tell me that two same sex people who love each other getting married weakens your marriage. If you voted for Trump, I’m tired of trying to see things your way when you sit in your holier than thou churches/white power meet ups refusing to see mine. Am I lumping you in with white supremacists? No. You did that yourselves. You voted for a candidate endorsed by the KKK. For the rest of your lives you will know that you voted the same way as the KKK. Does that feel good to you? (Here’s a hint: it really shouldn’t, especially if you’re Christian.)
I’m tired of pussy footing around what offends your morals while couching what offends mine. Because racism and homophobia and misogyny and xenophobia offend mine. Let me say it here: if you voted for trump I do think you’re racist. I do think you’re homophobic. I do think you’re misogynist. Racism, homophobia and misogyny are all spectrums and you’re on it. You might not be ” cheering while a black man gets lynched racist” but boy did you just sell them the rope and look the other way.
Don’t like getting painted with the broad brush of racism? Now you know what it feels like when you get told you want to rip a baby out of a mother’s womb at 9 months when THAT’S NOT WHAT HAPPENS! THAT’S NEVER WHAT HAPPENS! You want to be Christian? Look inside yourself and try to find some compassion for the women who’ve been told in their third trimester their baby’s not going to live. They’ve had their shower. They’ve decorated the nursery. They know the sex and probably have a name picked out. But look at all that and keep screaming baby killers at them and voting against candidates who defend the biological necessity to have to do the unthinkable and I think I’m cool still calling you a racist.
I tried to be polite but now I just don’t give a damn because let’s be honest we don’t live in polite America anymore. We live in grab ‘em by the pussy America now. So thank you for that. Being polite was exhausting.
And don’t come at me with how you just didn’t like Hillary. This was bigger than Hillary. The whole free world knows it so don’t pretend like you don’t. This wasn’t your standard, “I want lower taxes and smaller government” Republican. We had Germans warning us that this guy was scary and still people cried emails or Benghazi or “that voice.” And the truth is there’s been mountains of evidence proving that none of this was a big deal; some of the finest minds in the world have drawn you charts and graphs pointing to why no crimes were committed and you were either too dumb or too willfully ignorant to care. And if you really cared about crimes, you might care about any of the 3 pending against your candidate. Take your pick. I’d start with the rape of the 13 year old girl, but again if you voted for Trump, you probably don’t care much what happens to women. Doesn’t matter anyway. She got so many death threats from your “political peers” she dropped the charges anyway. But ask me again why more victims don’t come forward.
And speaking of smaller government and lower taxes, enjoy not getting mine. If Trump actually does what he says, you and your petty backward states and your small angry towns can pay for your own schools to not educate your children. I live in California, the largest economy in the United States and number 6 in the world. We’ll be fine. Have fun affording all those children your health insurance won’t pay for your birth control to prevent. I’m just kidding. You won’t have health insurance. Won’t that just be great (again?!)
And while I’m done being polite, if you voted 3rd party, un-friend me. I don’t care how much we enjoy each other on every other level. I don’t care how much you want to make your 3rd party a viable option. Fuck you. You basically told women and the LGBTQ community and people of color to take a back seat to your need to have another option. Well done. Now, we’re not only in the back seat, we’re actually being dragged behind the car. But how’s that third party coming? What are you doing about it today, November 10th, by the way? Are you volunteering for your third party so you can get more of their candidates into state and local elections? Looking into how to help make them viable for the mid-term elections? I look forward to who you present to save us in 2020, if there’s anything left to save.
Also, while I am at it, if you are one of those people telling me this week how Bernie could have defeated Trump, un-friend me. But kudos to you for living in a world where you think being Jewish wouldn’t have mattered to Trump supporters. I wish I could buy property there. Tell me, what are the schools like that far up your own ass?
The truth is that for those of us on this side, there is no “when all this is over,” things are just getting started. We think yesterday was bad? We don’t know what bad is yet. This isn’t something you get over. This is something you endure. We are going to face attacks on every right we fought the last 60 years to gain. The deck is so stacked against us we may not win. The best we can hope for is gridlock. And that’s just nationally. Internationally, who the fuck knows what’s going to happen with this lunatic. And the scarier thought is that the only thing worse than him is the guy that’s one angry tweet away from the Presidency, Mike Pence, advocate for gay conversion therapy and mandatory funerals for fetuses.
So now’s the time you may want to see things from my side. Because if we’re all “going to have to be friends after this” imagine me having to be polite and respect your vote to take away these rights and freedoms of mine and my friends while we fight desperately to hold onto them. Because that is what you did.
And that all says nothing of what you just said about us as women. I haven’t gotten to that yet because I may scream when I do and if I start I may not stop. So let me just say, you told every woman that being sexually harassed does not matter. Being sexually assaulted does not matter. Working hard does not matter. You took the most qualified candidate we’ve had in decades—a woman—belittled her for every single mistake and misstep she’s ever made while you took the most unqualified candidate we’ve ever had—a man—and ignored every mistake he ever made. But you’re not sexist. No let me tell you: Yes. You. Are. And if you’re a woman, Girl, you got issues. And I say that as someone who crawled out of the bitter, self-hating womb of one of these women. I know that most of these women are damaged and that I should find the compassion for them but I am not there yet because I am so sick of damaged people damaging the rest of us.
And isn’t this somewhat an abusive relationship at this point? If you have friends or family like this, cut them off. I’m giving you permission. They didn’t give two shits about your rights or happiness on Tuesday. You don’t have to pretend like it’s all cool and pass them a plate of turkey two weeks from now. It’s like we’re all abused partners saying to each other, “But you don’t know what he’s like when he’s not racist.” Being racist isn’t the same as liking Dire Straits. It’s not like you just don’t like the same music. Being racist is always racist. And voting for Trump makes you a racist. Protect yourselves, Friends. Because those assholes always do.”