I have thought all day about whether I should write about my reaction to the U.S. Presidential election results. After all, this is a horse blog, right? Well. The tagline is, “On horseback as in life: Stay centered for best results.” And I think part of staying centered, mentally and emotionally, is purging some of this emotion in the best way I know: By writing about it.
If you don’t want to read this, I understand. I hope you will come back soon, when I return to regularly scheduled programing about ponies and fun stuff. This post, though, will not be so fun. Please, keep any negative comments to yourself. That’s not what this is about.
I’m a bit of a politics junkie. I wasn’t always interested in politics but in the last few years I have become more interested and educated. The discovery of politics podcasts just made it easier for me to get my information and stay up to date, especially on the election of 2016. Fivethirtyeight was (and remains) my favorite source; even with their model projecting about a 30% chance of a Trump win, I went into last night feeling calm and at peace. I thought Hillary was a lock.
Let me be perfectly honest. I did not see this election as a difficult choice between “the lesser of two evils.” I have been a supporter of Hillary Clinton since the start. I submit as evidence the time when I tried to vote for her in the primaries despite being home with what turned out to be food poisoning. (Note the word “tried.” I puked in a storm drain outside the elementary school polling place before I could actually cast my vote and dragged my shaky, clammy self home instead of going back inside.)
The Hillary campaign was the first one I ever volunteered for, and the first I actually donated to. Not much, but a little. I believed.
I believed that intelligence, hard work, preparedness, experience and that unbelievable ability to consistently, unfailingly “go high.” Because so, so often, they went low.
I watched the results come in and thought to myself, what is happening. It soon turned into, this can’t be happening. I think some of what made it so horrifying was the look on the faces of the anchors on ABC, CBS and The Daily Show. They looked shell-shocked. Defeated. Uncertain. As if they, too, were thinking, this can’t be happening.
But it was happening. And it did happen. President-elect Donald Trump is now our collective reality.
I think it truly set in for me as I watched Ana Marie Cox on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. The things she said resonated powerfully with my own feelings. Click to watch below.
While she was talking, my tears started. Slowly at first and then more quickly. I took refuge under the arm of my boyfriend and started the process of coming to terms with a country I don’t recognize.
I don’t recognize a country that turned its back on arguably the most qualified candidate for the presidency in favor of an unqualified man simply because some people think she “seems untrustworthy.”
I don’t recognize a country that affirms the words of the man who speaks openly, hatefully and shamelessly against every group of people except white men.
I don’t recognize a country where some 53% of white women still voted for Trump.
I remember when Trump first announced his candidacy. I regarded him as a joke. That has slowly morphed into horror. It’s like the world’s unfunniest practical joke. Ha, ha. President Trump.
This morning, I woke up with the song, Seriously, from This American Life, stuck in my head. Particularly the part that says, “Angry? Am I angry? You ask me, am I angry? And I am at a loss for words.”
In my more centered moments, I remember to have faith. I truly do not understand why this result is God’s plan, but it is and that brings me moments of peace. So, too, does the line from Hillary’s concession speech: “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.” (Galatians, 6:9)
I suppose my way forward is clear. Do good. Do not lose heart.