My only daughter, I love you, and I'm so sorry for what we've done. Two months ago, you turned 5, and today we have given you President Donald Trump.
I don't know what to say really. I tried. Many, many of us tried very hard to prevent this from happening, but the tide that came in was pretty strong this time, for whatever reason, and when it rolled back Donald Trump and 60 million Americans with the right to vote their mind, whatever that might be, were the only ones left standing. I disagree with them emphatically, Avery, but I will say this for them; they were very, very angry.
You know how mad you get when you get left out of games? Sometimes you're not old enough, or not tall enough, or you're not a boy, and you don't get to play. You know that deep angry sense of wrong you feel when you sit with daddy and we watch the boys race their bikes in France on TV, and there aren't any girls, save for the ones that have to kiss the boy who wins when he wins? I imagine, to a certain degree, that's how those people who voted for Donald Trump feel and have felt for a while now. Left out. Left behind. Wronged. I try to put myself in their shoes, and though I disagree, I think I understand - at least I understand where they started.
The hard part for me - and certainly the hard part for you, my daughter, is all the other things that their anger carries with it. I don't see how you'll have any way of not taking from this the hard lessons, that men are somehow better than women, that a girl can't be president, that if a man with enough money forces himself on you someday, you'll have to just take it. You have little choice but to accept the truth, the awful truth, that women are not yet equal to men in this country. We are not yet ready. We have not had enough strong, competent women lead us yet to vote one into the highest office in the world. Hidden behind all the veiled accusations that we hurled at Hillary Clinton, about her emails and her health and her wealth and her pantsuits, right there just below the surface, there was one word: woman. I am so sorry and ashamed that we have to raise you in a country and a world where that is true, but it is.
I promise you, my love, that we are wrong.
I promise that we will someday be better than this, and you'll be able to walk down the street with your head held high, confident, equal, and assured that no one, regardless of their social status or office, can ever touch you without your consent. I promise you that you can race bikes too. That you can run faster than the boys. That there is literally nothing, NOTHING, that they have a right to do that you can't do too, do better, do more, do however you want, and that someday - not today, but someday - no one will be able to take that away from you. I promise you that this is all a big mistake, that eventually cooler heads will prevail, that next time around the 100,000,000 Americans that had the right to vote, the responsibility to vote and send the right message to our daughters about right and wrong - but didn't - I promise you that they'll turn up and vote for you someday if you want them to.
Be strong, be tough my little one. You will need it.
On a 60 minute lunch break, it took me 40 minutes to ride my bike to the local elementary school, stand in line, vote the shit out of that place, and ride home. Leaving me only 20 minutes to shred the local goods along the way.
I made the sacrifice. The shredding, that is, not the voting. The voting part is not an option.
20 minutes of trail, though, and nothing mattered any more.
Puts me together every time. I even stretched it, took a bonus 10 minutes, just to savor the effect.
Slayer of Goats? Or slayer of Goat Trails? The truth is out there.
For those curious about such things, El Chupacabra fits in a Surly Karate Monkey fork with gobs of room to spare. I set it up on a Bontrager Rhythm PRO Scandium 29er rim, that rim being 28 mm, not the recommended 35mm, but it beaded up just fine on the first try using just a floor pump and not a drop of sealant. So if the set up process means anything, fat life is gonna be easy.