Let them eat cake.
I’ve spent the last few days since Election-geddon in a vodka-induced coma. I know, really productive, Am. Ok, I’m being a little dramatic. I’ve also been hugging people… a lot. And sending sad memes to friends.
On election Tuesday I was skipping around my natural grocers in my blue city, tucked in the center of my blue state, requesting a blue cake with rainbow sprinkles, emblazoned with “Happy History Making Hillary.” The baker was wearing an “I’m with her” button. I leaned down to peer through the glass case, admiring all the beautiful delicacies. “I should have been baking more election cakes for today,” she scolded herself, boxing up my treats. We exchanged a few sweet words about how exciting it was to be witnessing history in the making. That night, as I prepared to host dozens of progressives for a friend’s birthday party/election celebration, I was nervous, but optimistic enough to buy a fucking cake for the occasion, and dust off my photo with Hillary Clinton from my mid-2000’s interning days on Cap Hill. Yes, I was a Clintern for the Senator from the great state of New York.
We all know how Tuesday turned out.
Sufficed to say the evening started off with a bang, and ended up with drunk bodies strewn across my living room. Some people had to leave early to sob in solitude, the rest of us curled into balls listening to the somber voices of the media reporting results. We all felt as terrified as the expressions on our faces represented.
The next day I huddled at my kitchen counter with my buddy Ryann. She flew in from her new home in Boston to monitor the polls alongside a few friends that work in Colorado politics. The woman has dedicated a large portion of her life to GOTV efforts and community organizing: she’s an inspiration. “Ryann,” I started my confession, “I got complacent. I thought we had it. The last eight years we’ve made so much progress,” I spooned some crusty old cake into my mouth and chugged a beer. “I could have done more. Many of us could have.”
A common phrase in pop culture to demonstrate just how out of touch the [elite, wealthy, privileged, establishment etc.] can be is to say: “let them eat cake!” When the French were starving under King Louis XVI’s rule, his wife, Marie Antoinette — decked in her lavish heavy Victorian dresses and tucked away in her palace — suggested the people eat cake when it was reported to her that they ran out of bread. She was executed by very justified, very angry mob of revolutionaries. Take this as a little history lesson on what happens when you’re out of touch with the people. This applies to ALL.
Look, I was a Clinton supporter and am still proud of my vote. I think she would have made an excellent President, and I’m mourning the loss of that opportunity for us all. In the days since the election, I’m reading every opinion piece I can get my hands on, and so many are talking about a large portion of very disenfranchised citizens, hungry for change at any cost. The leftist voices fed up with corporate greed were not as loud (and didn’t turn out at the polls) in the same numbers as Tea party — fed up with the last eight years of policy that favored women, queers, and people of color (oh my!). The Republicans went with a message of Change this round, and they got it. My neighbor Tim, a lifelong Dem, pointed out this morning as I set out for a walk with my dog, “The DNC just wasn’t listening to what the Sanders supporters had to say and it cost them…us… the election.”
Unfortunately, progressive voters have to live with the results of the 2016 election to learn a very hard lesson: being out of touch can get land you under the guillotine (thank our lucky stars that in our republic it’s a figurative guillotine, and not a literal one). Unfortunately for the masses that elected Donald Trump, I suspect he knows very little about baking bread. We’re all about to find out.
I didn’t do enough. I gave money to the DNC. I voted Clinton. I spoke to my friends and family and posted things on social media that supported my party. But I didn’t do enough and I’m woman enough to admit that. I’m not doing enough to protect my people and the diversity of this country that I love so much, and can’t fathom letting go of.
So what next?
Rally: Do it. It’s American and how we build solidarity and community. I missed the one in Denver last week for work, and I am sad I missed it. It’s a way to show our voices and support each other. It’s a way to be witnessed opposing the hate many Trump supporters are spewing. Moving to some exotic location is tempting and all, but let’s be real… and brave, and remind him that we aren’t going anywhere. There is a Million Woman Rally planned for D.C. around his inauguration. Book a flight. Anyone in Denver interested in planning one here in Denver for those who are unable to make it to DC?
Anchor Light: A writer, speaker, spiritual activist I love is Matt Kahn. In response to dealing with tragedy, he says we need to “anchor the white light in this world.” It’s not always about shouting in town squares; it’s about what we do in our inner life too. Mediate, walk, do yoga, hug your dog. Love yourself. Do things that anchor positivity inside yourself, so you are fueled and capable of taking on bigger challenges.
Sober Up: We had our little pitty party, now let’s mobilize bigger, better, wiser. Volunteer, write, raise your hand, come out of pocket and donate if you’re able (Check out this awesome post of places to give your hard-earned dollars and love: http://jezebel.com/a-list-of-pro-women-pro-immigrant-pro-earth-anti-big-1788752078 ). Now is not the time to numb it out. Feel it in your bones.
In the fury of anxiety and stressing this Sunday night, I got a text from a family member: Go drink some tea and howl at the moon.
We aren’t done yet. Like the super moon filling the sky tonight and tomorrow, a sign of the sacred feminine, we’re just rising brighter than we have in a long time. It’s all about getting as big and bright as we can…especially now that we’re moving into a period of darkness.
Onward and Upward, Strange One…