It’s been a week since election night in America. I’ve been cycling through the five stages of grief since Tuesday night. The first four anyway. Denial, anger, bargaining, and depression. I’ve been on a well balanced diet of all four lately. Is acceptance on the horizon? Should acceptance be on the horizon? I don’t know (no).
I was up until 2 AM that Tuesday night just watching the country drown in shades of red, state by state, like this tsunami washing across the country, propelled by millions and millions of people, fellow citizens, who backed this person. And it’s not about a republican being in office as some people have suggested to me. No, I am not sad that someone from the other end of the political spectrum got elected. I’m appalled that the nation elected this blatantly racist, sexist, hateful demagogue of a man, who made his way up by tearing others down. Nothing was off limits for this guy and that’s what millions of people liked, that’s what millions of people rewarded on election night. He fanned the flames that divided this country and it worked. It was death by a thousand hateful cuts.
I was a zombie at work last Wednesday. Many of us were. Silence was absolute for the first hour that morning. The phones didn’t ring, there was no laughter coming from the break room, no heavy footsteps down the hallway, maybe the occasional ping of the elevator opening, but that’s about it. It was like showing up at a funeral. I’m slowly coming back to life, back to myself.
I keep hearing that we need to accept it. That it is what it is. That we need to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Yeah, that’s what you say when a hurricane is about to hit, it shouldn’t be the outlook for the next president of the United States. I’ve been incapable of even writing anything at all since Tuesday. I’ve been all bottled up.
Am I being an overly sensitive millennial that is whining because something didn’t go his way? Umm no. And the rampant use of that dismissive mischaracterization in the days following the election is shortsighted and insulting (but unsurprising). Name calling is apparently an accepted and encouraged means of communication now, it will get you far in life, like the presidency. And by the way, the tide is with us. Millennials overwhelmingly denounced Trump and voted for Hillary, not in large enough numbers however. But we have a chance to re-balance the scale in two years, and the apathy needs to end now.
Someone I know, on hearing that universities were cancelling classes and offering support groups for students to cope with the results of the election, reacted by saying “God, these fucking kids are such pussies, get the fuck over it, you lost, it happens.” Right, let’s address that for a minute. Part of the reason we’re all up in arms about this, is precisely because that casual dismissiveness has now been validated on the national stage. Apparently its okay to insult and demean and abuse people to get what you want and it will be rewarded. Yes, I know not all Trump supporters are racists, or homophobes, or xenophobes, etc. I get that. But guess what? If you’re cool with the guy that questioned the legitimacy of Barack Obama’s presidency because of a conspiracy theory rooted in racism with no factual evidence to support it, and who openly bragged about being able to sexually assault women because he’s famous and they “let him do anything”, and called an entire set of people rapists and criminals with the off-handed caveat that “some” are good people, and made fun of people with disabilities, and said that women should be punished for having abortions, and has never served in the military, but has the audacity to shit on John McCain because he was captured in times of war, and proposed a ban of another group from entering the country on a religious basis, and insinuated that his supporters should “take care” of his political opponent, and repeatedly incited violence at his rallies, and cast doubt on the legitimacy of our electoral process, among countless other damning and dangerous statements, then yeah, you’re deplorable too. And us whinny millennials, and lots of other people, will continue to protest you, and stand in the way of your hate. We’re not going to just “get over it”. Why do we need to be tolerant of all your levels of hate? I’m not with the agenda.
I’m not going to pretend like he didn’t say all those things and that he will somehow transform into this other Donald Trump that people keep saying will show up once he’s in office. Newsflash, he’s not, he’s already tweeting that the protests are paid for and “unfair”. A) No, no sponsors necessary, we will protest you for free any day of the week. B) It’s not unfair, it’s a constitutionally protected right for people to peacefully assemble, it’s literally in the first amendment.
Also, he’s already looking to give his kids security clearances. You know, the same kids that make up the “blind” trust that will continue to run his business, but sure, who cares about blatant conflicts of interests. Oh yeah, everybody that said the Clinton Foundation behaved inappropriately while Hillary was Secretary of State. But that was then, this is now. Welcome to the new America. It already feels great, so great, doesn’t it?
So what does all this leave me with anyway? Will I wallow in self pity? Not planning on it. Right now I just needed to write some of the stuff out. Write anything really, this is the most I’ve written in a while, and that in itself is alarming to me. Lee Iacocca, a car guy from Ford Motors, said “The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen”. So today I’m writing it out. It’s mostly for me, it’s therapeutic. Not in it for the recommends right now, just in it for the therapy. Talking about it hasn’t really helped, but I’m hoping this will. If you’re actually reading this and find things a little out of place or kinda rambly, my apologies. It is what it is — just like the state of the Union.
I’m glad there’s been demonstrations across America, and I don’t mean the ones that turned violent. Even in red states like Texas there’s been protests. That gives me hope. We’re in this together. The #SubwayTherapy that’s happening in the New York subway walls were people are leaving sticky notes with words of encouragement for one another are helpful. I’m a particular fan of this petition on change.org:
On December 19, the Electors of the Electoral College will cast their ballots. If they all vote the way their states…www.change.org
It’s asking the electoral college to vote for Hillary on December 19th as opposed to Donald Trump. Do I actually think the electoral college will give any credence to it? I don’t know, but when I signed the petition, a little over 3 million people had signed. They’re almost at 4.5 million now. If nothing else, it’s a strong showing of unity in the digital age.
Thank God for Joe Biden memes, they are what keeps me going through the day, everything else is just a load of malarkey. I’m going to miss the shit out of this administration. I still can’t believe we’re going from one of the most well spoken, mild mannered, cool-headed presidents of the modern era to a total loose cannon, who can barely say anything above it’s going to be great, really great, believe me, great deals, the best, we’re going to build a wall, believe me, America great, great, great, great, great, again. FML.
I’m not even going to go into the potential cabinet picks that are lined up by the Trump administration, talk about a suicide squad. This has really been a nightmare before Christmas. 2016 has been so, so, strange. Positive takeaways: anything is possible. Let’s see what happens moving forward.