Tuesday evening, I sat in the living room with my parents, glued to Fox News as our nation’s votes were tallied. For hours, we watched the back and forth tug-of-war between key swing states like Florida and Pennsylvania. Trump…Clinton…Trump…Clinton.
At 8:30 PM, like the lightweight that I am, I went to bed. I couldn’t take it anymore. At midnight, I woke up from a conservative’s nightmare. Hillary Clinton won the presidency. I realized it was a dream and forced myself to go back to sleep. At 4:30 AM, I had the same dream.
So, I googled the results…
Donald Trump won the presidency. I blinked at my screen in the darkness. Not only that, the Republican Party maintained control of both the House and the Senate. I blinked again.
Was this the dream?
At last, I thought, we were in a position to fix this economic hell-hole. It was what I wanted.
As a die-hard conservative, I was so ready for this political shift in power. But then, just as quickly as I became excited, suddenly I became very nervous. And that made me feel very guilty. And for the last 48 hours, I’ve reflected on why.
As a die-hard environmentalist, I at last…begrudgingly…acknowledged that it was because this new power shift threatened everything I’ve been working so hard to preserve. No, environmentalism is not at the top of President Elect Trump’s priority list.
But if this year and election cycle has taught me anything, it’s that anything can happen. This is the year. This is the term we stop politicizing our planet.
Years ago, our natural, human love for the environment became political. “Reduce, reuse, recycle” somehow became liberal propaganda. It slowly became uncool for us chicks on the right to hug trees. Later, alternative energy became laughable. Unrealistic. A dream. Likewise, “rabid” climate change advocates suddenly threatened the American Dream.
The conservative in me was ashamed to acknowledge that this Republican administration scared me. But, at last, I’ve come to terms that it’s not me.
I refuse to feel shame for my environmental passion…
Call it what you may. Environmentalism was never an issue that deserved or warranted this partisanship.
To the Trump Administration, I say this is the year. No longer can we allow ourselves to say that the preservation of this planet is the result of some left-wing, extremist agenda. No longer can we ignore the science, the melting, the droughts, the fires, the earthquakes, the growing frequency of natural disasters worldwide, the deterioration of our country’s history and landscape.
President Elect Trump has stated that he will invest in our nation’s infrastructure. To that, I say YES! Protect our national monuments, historic buildings, memorials, parks, forests, seashores and World Heritage Sites.
Grow this economy! And Dammit…Give our National Park Service the funding it deserves.
This land is our legacy. It’s not some liberal ideology to save this planet. It’s our civic duty.
Stop politicizing my planet.
This affects us all.
It’s time to act like it.