The election of Donald Trump took me, as I think it did a large part of the nation, completly be surprise. I was sure, from the moment he anounced his candidacy with a rant about Mexican rapist, that he could never, ever win. I was sure that if he won one state it would be a miricle. I thougt that Republicans would be so disgusted with him that they would be unable to vote for him. I didn't think they would vote for Clinton; never that since the GOP has spent 30 years dragging her through the mud. I thought they would either leave the president line empty, or choose Gary Johnson, or better yet, write in a name that had policies that they agreed with. Maybe another Mitt Romney. That didn't happen though. What happened was me sobbing in my basement late Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning.
About half of the people eligable to vote did. About half of those people voted for Donald Trump. He was elected by a quarter of the elgiable voters. Voter turn out is a huge problem in this country, but it's something to be discussed at another time. Who were those voters? The were lower and middle class white workers, mostly male. They feel like their country is leaving them behind, they feel like the media has left them behind, and most importanlty, they feel like the esteblishment has left them behind. They turned out to be right. The Democrats took them for granted. Once champions of the working class, they over looked rurel America. The media, right up until it started to happen had Trump at 15% max, and then it tank, with him shooting up to 95%. Why? The media had left behind the Rust Belt and similer areas, counted them out and didn't have the data on them. This was supposed to be an easy win for Clinton. The most qualified person to probably run for President up against the person probably least qualified/suited to being President. It was a given, and everyone fucked up.
I do not think that all Trump supporters are racist, sexist, bigots. I know that many are, I have seen the interviews and I have read the comments on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. At least those that share or comment on artcles on social media are woefoely misinformed. "Hillary will take our guns.", "The Clinton Foundation only gives 6% to charity!", "Hillary atends satanic rituals!". Those are all true, and there are many many more. All easily debunked, either through the aplication of logic or the sourcing facts. Often, when confronted with facts, they would say that they do not trust the source. Snopes is out. Factcheck.com is out. Any mainstream reputable newpaper or news channel is out. Including Fox News. I was once told that Breitbart is mainstream media when I used an article from it to prove my claim. It's actually insane the things people will believe, that they won't question, and they will insulate themselves with. I realize that these are the vocal minority. The majority that elected Donald Trump, after three crazy debates, after admitting to sexual assault, running through a facist check list, after plans to violate the First Amedment, etc, etc..., they must have been desperate to be heard. I have to hope that is it.
To some degree I feel like a failed incredably in this election. I know this is huberis. I went to work on this election though. I took my engagment rules for Facebook that I crafted years ago and expanded them. Anyplace that there was a fact that was not true, that I could source the true fact, I had to engage. If there was racism, misygynony, bigotry, I had to engage. I spent countless hours, maybe days, engaging friends, strangers. I would try to write out clear, well thought out responses and provide a source. I never tried to convince any one to vote for Clinton. I figured if they were at Trump, it was one step to far. My only goal was to get them one step away. Get them to not voting for Donald Trump. I thought maybe I could change a mind and it would ripple, maybe they could change someones mind. In total, I think I probably didn't change anyones mind.
Election day was beautiful. it was sunny, a little warm, the leaves were in full fall. Bright. I walked the kids down to the fire house. There were three old ladies behind the table. One white and two African Americans. I almost croed right there in front of them, thinking baout what this election could mean for them. I didn't though, I kept it together, until I sat down behind the screen. The kids were being great. I began to fill in the circle in the row for Clinton and the full weight of the election was upon me. Every single engagment that I entered into, every accusation against Trump, the fear of deportations, of banning Muslims, of war. The stress of this election was incredable, and I felt it all at once. And I felt the weight of history one me. I was so blessed to be able to vote for the first African American President. My son and daughter don't know any other President. I thought I was voting for who would be the first female President and my kids wouldn't know that that was anything specail and it would just make sense to them. I carefully filled in the circle, which was hard because I was crying a little. I was leaking. I put it in the machine and took the kids to frozen yogert.
That night was the most stressful thing I think i have ever watched. New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut delivered as they always do, and then it just kind of stopped. The map went, red, red, red. That's the Rust Belt, that's middle America, we expected that. Then it looked like Virginia was going to be a fight. Virginia was supposed to be safe. The New York Times had is forecast at 95% chance Clinton. It's Tim Kain's home state, he was Govenor there, he is their Senator, Trump pulled his campaign out three weeks ago. That's when I started to worry, when Virgina was on the line. She did take it, by about 200k votes. But Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconson, Michigan, Minnesota, all incredably close, and they weren't supposed to be. Bonita started hiding under the blanket, and I started to feel doom. I had no way of understanding that though. I still could not believe that the nation could elect Donald trump to be our President. I also had no understanding of the disenfranchisment that Americans were feeling.
One by one those states fell to Trump. Except Minnesota which wnt to Clinton, and Michigan, which is still tallying votes but there is about 12k differance in votes, in Trumps favor. By this time, as each once turned red, we were home. Bonita and the kids were in bed. I was in the basement crying. Just full throated sobbing. I had no mechanism to deal with it. I still really don't, I really am morning.
I turned my Facebook profile picture and the cover photo black. I'm on a Facebook break for now. I havn't told any one because that seems dramatic. I'm checking it still, reading stuff, but I'm letting things slide. This was supposed to be a break. The fighting could end, and when it didn't, at least I would have the comfort of President Elect Hillary Clinton. I don't have that. I know that soon, I am going to be needed, and I am going to be in the fight again, but right now I am actually broken. Bernie Sanders is stepping up. Elizabeth Warren is stepping up. Corey Booker is stepping up. I know they are going to need every single one of us. They are going to need me. I just can't right now. I will, I just can't right now. I dont have anything to say, I don't have any way of saying it.