Lies. Not Fake News, not Alternative Facts.

First of all, the president of the United States is trying to pull off a coup. He is trying to cheat his way to another term by throwing out the legal and legitimate votes against him. He said that was what he planned to do. He said he would try. He is now doing exactly what he said he would do. He has consistently shown all of us what kind of person he is, and I have believed him from the start. I also believed his victims when they told us what he was. It is obvious. It is clear. It is not ambiguous. It isn’t debatable. If you disagree, you’re either mistaken or lying. This is not a matter of opinion.

Your friends and family who support him are bad people. If you supported him, you’re a bad person. You don’t have to be. You could stop. You could stop right this minute, and I am begging you to do so.

But I won’t sit around waiting for that, because no decent person currently has time to wait for you to grow a conscience.

I am a gentle person. I am a kind person. I hate making people angry. I hate making anyone feel bad. I know the sting and suffering of living with shame, and I do not wish it on anyone lightly.

If you enabled this, then you should be ashamed. It should eat at you. If you make it easier for your friends and family to enable this, then you share their shame. It should not be comfortable to enable an abuser to hurt people. It should be humiliating and isolating. If your father or uncle or neighbor can look you in the eye and say he supports the man who is currently clinging tooth and nail to the power to further harm all of us, then something has gone badly wrong between you.

Do not entertain any discussion of alternative facts. They are lies. Fake news is propaganda. Refusing to count all the legitimate votes in an election is a coup. The republican party stands in support of fascism today. That is reality. That is true.

Your vote is an ethical matter. If you support people who do harm, then you do harm. If you vote against marriage equality, then you act to steal the security and dignity of your neighbors. If you vote to end safe and legal abortion, then you are responsible for the excruciating deaths of living people. If you vote against the total reform of our policing and justice systems, then you are there when a cop murders a black woman in her own home or a black teenager is funneled into prison to be used as slave labor.

It is not always completely clear which way our individual political choices may take us, but it is not so murky as to be impossible or pointless to navigate. Doing the right thing is harder than remaining deliberately ignorant, but it is our responsibility as human beings living in a society to try. Any human being. Any society. No, we didn’t sign up for this. It doesn’t matter.