Words are hard to find: The 2016 Election

Courtney Jacquin
Nov 9, 2016 · 4 min read

I started my day yesterday by crying. I watched a video posted by Hillary Clinton’s campaign, recapping the past year and what she’s accomplished. I was inspired, and I was so, so excited to cast my vote and see our first woman president.

As a 24-year-old liberal, I broke with most Millennials in that I supported Clinton from the beginning. I believed in her. I respected Bernie’s message and, of course, would have supported him had he been the nominee.

But I believed in Hillary. I believed she was the candidate we needed right now. She was the most qualified person we’ve ever seen for the job. She was my president.

As the resident journalist in my circle of non-journalist friends, I’ve been the explainer of all things politics over the past couple months. I told my friends, I told my parents, I told my peers I was confident. Hillary Rodham Clinton would be our next president, I had no doubt in my mind.

But like many highly educated liberals living in a large city, I had wrapped myself in false hope. I trusted numbers and polls. I had hope that our country, a country I love, would persevere and push back against racism, misogyny and xenophobia. I was wrong.

I was covering a local congressman’s election party last night, which was a way to slightly get my mind off the presidential election.

I cried for a second time driving home later that night. I called my friend and explained to her what was happening. She asked, “What, really, is going to happen if Trump becomes president?”

“I don’t know,” I said. “And that’s the scariest part.”

I cried for a third time on my way home from work, thinking about how far again we are from having a woman hold the highest office. We were so, so close, but we couldn’t, as Clinton said in her concession speech this morning, break that highest glass ceiling. Will I see a woman lead our country in my lifetime?

I started my day this morning once again crying at a Hillary Clinton video. This time, it was watching her concession speech, hearing her say “And to all the women, and especially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and in me, I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bcck7hr9Su8

I’ve cried two more times today. I don’t think I’m done crying. I still haven’t processed this election. As a young woman, I am incredibly crushed and terrified. I cannot image what this must feel like for people of color, Latinos, Muslims, people in inner cities, members of the LGBT community, anyone who’s not in Trump’s vision of what makes America “great.” (Spoiler: it’s white men.)

I don’t know what’s going to happen to my reproductive rights. I don’t know what’s going to happen to marriage equality. I don’t know what’s going to happen to immigrants and refugees. I don’t know what’s going to happen to our foreign relations. I don’t know what going to happen. And I feel sick. The image of Barack Obama, the most inspiring politician of my lifetime, handing over the rights of the presidency to the man who gained political recognition on spouting racist lies about our president being born in Kenya, is one I am not ready to accept.

It is so, so, so incredibly hard to find a positive right now, because our country is torn, broken and ripped to shreds. But I will have to accept this outcome. Donald J. Trump, the pussy-grabbing racist who wants to build a wall between Mexico and deport Muslims and doesn’t give a goddamn shit about anyone but himself, is not my president, but we will have to move forward.

If you have the means, even if it is just $5, may I recommend donating to an organization today that is in jeopardy under a Trump presidency. Jezebel put together an expansive list, but here are some of my choices. If you can’t give, volunteer. Ideally, we can all do both.

Planned Parenthood
The Trevor Project
Center on Halsted
The Sierra Club
National Immigration Law Center
NAACP
Council on American-Islamic Relations
ACLU

May I also recommend subscribing to a newspaper. Journalism is the fourth estate, and it’s one of the hopes we have in keeping Trump in check. The Washington Post and The New York Times are great options. Subscribe to your local publications as well. They (we!) need you too. Good reporting holds politicians accountable. Horse race journalism is not the answer, and it’s failed us.

Let’s come together. Let’s hold each other up. Let’s hope for the best. I love you all. Stay strong.

Courtney Jacquin

Written by

Writer and editor living in Chicago. Likes include secretly petting dogs and overpriced workout classes.