I've spent three days now responding to readers' many, many reactions to my TLS essay. On the one hand, I'm glad to know that the essay has gotten people to talk to each other and to share their own stories and struggles. On the other hand, I feel a certain despair, which I can't quite put into words. I know, now, that some progressives see me as an apologist or a sell-out. I know many people are judging my essay on the title alone (which, as I noted in yesterday's post, was not even my choice). I'm trying to stay patient and civil and honest. I'm trying to respond to all skeptics and to acknowledge my own weaknesses. But I'm weary. Doing this work makes me very, very uncomfortable. It also makes me feel pretty lonely. In the blare of a progressive Facebook feed, there aren't many other posts like mine. Lots of people want me to sign petitions against Trump's cabinet appointees and the electoral college. Lots of people share links about the Trump University lawsuit, Clinton's popular victory, and dire incidents of racism and xenophobia. All of this is vital and horrifying information. It is also repetitive information, cycled again and again among the same group of people.
Some of us are writers, and some of us are not. But if you are a writer, I urge you to consider how your specific situation and history might expand this conversation, open up these repetitions, clarify the complications. I know that individual perspectives are being lost and overlooked. I fear for those lost voices.