This is a message to my friends, especially to pro-life Catholics, who voted for Trump.
First of all, we're still friends. I know that you're not ignorant, racist, misogynist fools, even though in my view you voted for one. I know you voted for him despite his faults, not because of them, with tears in your eyes, aghast that the future you've prayed so long for has come at this cost. And I sincerely hope that you get whatever goods you hoped for from this election, and that they are real and lasting goods.
But now is the time for you to own the secondary effects of your choice. You've held your nose at these festering facts, or simply denied them. I beg you to acknowledge now that electing Donald Trump will have many evil effects that you did not intend in voting for him. I beg you to pledge now to do all you can for the next four years to mitigate these effects.
First, there's a reason that the KKK officially endorsed Donald Trump and are celebrating. You're not a racist, but your ballot doesn't know that, the numbers don't show it, and white supremacists everywhere believe that your vote meant one thing: that this nation belongs to white Christians and everyone else can step aside. They will be emboldened, because they know now that in America, you don't have to suppress your hatred anymore. People of color are going to suffer, and though you didn't mean it, you did this to them. Please work actively to improve their lot. It's not enough for you "not to see race." You need to see it now. You need to assess with disciplined honesty the realities of racial injustice, and work in your own spheres of influence and in local elections to amend them. Call your representatives and demand that they make race issues a priority. You don't want this to be David Duke's country. Don't let him have it.
Second, it's not debatable whether Trump objectifies women. It's practically his brand. There is no way that his deep-seated disrespect for women will not manifest in his activities as a public servant. And the very fact of his presidency will not have a regressive impact on our culture. You're not a misogynist, but your ballot doesn't know that, the numbers don't show it, and misogynists everywhere believe that your vote meant one thing: that objectifying women is fine; they can say what they want about women; they can do what they want. Women are going to suffer, and though you didn't mean it, you did this to them. Please speak out against misogyny and rape culture, whether it marches proudly in the light of day or winks and signals and acts polite. Wherever you can, wherever you have an influence, make room for women.
Third, Muslims in America are rightly terrified about their future. America has elected a man who has called for a ban on Muslims entering the country, frequently employed inflammatory rhetoric against Islam (often not even bothering to hedge with the usual "radical" tag), and blamed Muslims for our country's failures in preventing terrorist actions. (To be fair, at the last debate, Clinton subsequently took the mic and did the same.) Even if he never implements any of these policies, his election will likely stoke an increase in violence and harassment against Muslims in America (just as the success of Brexit did in Britain.) You don't think "Islam hates us," but your ballot doesn't know that, the numbers don't show it, and Islamophobes everywhere believe your vote means one thing: Muslims don't belong here. Muslims are going to suffer, and though you didn't mean it, you did this to them. Please, work to spread understanding and quell ungrounded fear about Islam. Watch for and report anti-Muslim discrimination. Develop a sensitivity to Islamophobic language and tropes and call them out in media and in your social life.
(As a side note, here's something you can do if you are witnessing an act of harassment. The case described is Islamophobic harassment but the technique can apply as well to any case.)
Fourth, I'm sure everyone knows how much Trump's newfound enthusiasm for the rights of LGBTQ people is worth. It's a transparent extension of his antipathy to Islam. "I'll protect you from those bad Muslims" is his whole promise to them. He will do nothing for them when there is still so much more that has to be done. And his running mate openly regards homosexuality as a mental disorder. You have nothing but love for the LGBTQ community, but your ballot doesn't know that, the numbers don't show it, and actual homophobes everywhere believe your vote means one thing: queerness is criminal. LGBTQ people are going to suffer, and though you didn't mean it, you did this to them. Please, listen to the fears of your friends, family, and loved ones and fight to defend them.
Finally, there are all the matters of policy on which Donald Trump is inclined to blunder. Contact your representatives and urge them to pressure the president-elect on the many issues on which his policies are so flawed: police reform, stewardship of the environment, and immigration, to name the few that loom largest in my mind. You have less power on these issues than on the cultural concerns, but your voice matters.
If all of this sounds very "PC" to you, remember that the new political correctness in America is to sweep all these concerns under the rug and pretend they don't matter. Be better than the hateful culture you're unlucky enough to be stewing in. Please, you can't be indifferent to the evils that the Trump presidency, the one you chose, will cause. We need your help now to make America all right again.
Edited 2016-11-09 @ 8:04PM: the original version of this article neglected to address the effects of Trump/Pence on the LGBTQ community.