Four years ago when I woke in the wee hours of the morning after the 2016 presidential election to find out Donald Trump had been called as the winner and the House and Senate both went red, I sobbed. I was not crying because the candidates I voted and hoped for did not win, I did not cry because I am a “sore loser” as so many conservatives in this country loved to say. I did not cry because politics is a game of numbers and colors and bragging rights to me. I cried for what was to come, for what it all meant. I cried as an American, for the loss of democracy and equality, and I cried as a woman.
Tonight I’m overwhelmed with such a similar grief. Another loss, different, but also the same.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a blessing to this country, and I do not use that word lightly. She was the thread by which so much hung. Now severed, my fear for what comes next is devastating. Our country has long been in the hands of men who are interested only in the power they can wield, but never so openly, so aggressively, so unapologetically as now. They demean, they suppress, they rape, they murder. They have always gotten away with it, but years ago I really believed we were overcoming an eternity of servitude and victimization, that equality was closer than it had ever been. Four years ago I cried because I’d seen the light, but for the first time it was not waxing but waning.
And tonight I cry for fear of that light being snuffed out entirely.