Somewhere along I-90 between the Cascade Mountains and Thorp, WA stands a magnificent white barn. Its broad side is quite noticeable as one travels east, and I, for one, never fail to admire it when passing by. It should be noted that east of the Cascades is Trumpp [sic] territory and traveling through in the summer of 2016, it was hard to ignore the many signs proclaiming the name of our soon-to-be president. That said, it should also be noted that it was equally as hard not to miss this enormous white barn with its “Hillary Clinton for America” painted larger than any billboard I have ever seen. The barn stood firm with her own lonely proclamation.
This year as my husband and I travelled east, there was an audible gasp (mine) when we saw the barn. While the “for America” read bright and clear replete with stars and stripes, the Hillary Clinton had been whitewashed over so that it barely showed. She had been ghosted.
The symbolism of a faded Hillary could not have been more poignant. For months now, the hope and dreams of Hillary voters have continued to fade. The aspirations of young girls hoping to shatter glass ceilings of their own have seemingly inched further and further away. The millennials who thought that whatever was broken in our government could be fixed by a dedicated public servant who understood the complexities of the system, a woman who would believe in them and would pull them into caring about the democratic process, a leader who would protect them and their future are now second guessing their own place in history. The barn was a glaring reminder of all that has slipped away from us, of all that has been covered up as though whitewashed.
I had 2,000 miles to think about that barn. I thought about how hard it must have been for the owners of that barn to cover up Hillary’s name. I thought about how sad it was to see not only the physical name painted over but also the metaphoric ghosting of all that Hillary stood for, of all that the 65 million of us believed in.
By the time we had less than 500 miles to go, I was thinking very differently about that barn. By then, I was thinking how wonderful it was that her name still showed albeit faintly. I was thinking how proud and resolute that barn looked despite the outcome of the election, how the “for America” stood out for all to see and give us hope. Hillary’s presidency may not have come to fruition but what she stood for, the inspiration she gave us, the causes she bequeathed us—those things are still very much alive and have given us resolve. No matter what is thrown at us, no matter how much the Trumpp [sic] agenda tries to cover us up, we stand proud of our vote.
Resist. For America.