So, on the evening of November 8th, I sat with my sweetheart in front of the television and watched the returns come in. We were stunned. I shook my head and rubbed my eyes and peeked at the 48 inch screen through my fingers. I felt like I had been thrown into an alternate reality on spin dry.
To be clear, I was not stunned Hillary lost the election by Electoral Votes. I was stunned that so many people actually bought Trump’s bullshit. My mind screamed, ‘ but didn’t they see…’; ‘how could they not hear him say…’ but it was useless to finish those sentences because they had seen him and they did hear. Don’t they know they traded one type of elite classist for another, worse one? They were not uninformed. And they voted for him anyway. That is what gobsmacked me.
I have watched everyone weigh in on this train wreck masquerading as a “presidential campaign and election” and it’s results. Bernie Sanders, Robert Reich, Angela Merkel, Stephen Colbert, Russell Brand, Warren Buffet, Gloria Steinem, Hillary Clinton, President Obama, my friends and loved ones, to name a few.
For a large part of the year and half, I kept my thoughts, my opinions, and my fingers to myself regarding politics. On Facebook. On Twitter. On my blog. In my writing. Certainly, I shared a balance of political articles and memes that were humorous or thought-provoking for me but, by and large, I did not opine; I did not pontificate. I did not wax philosophical. There were a few reasons for this.
First, I wasn’t offered anything to be excited about after Bernie Sanders. I was offered nothing that didn’t inspire a yawn or a well-rounded WTF!? There were ‘wait a sec- ‘did he really just say that’ moments punctuated with heavy sighs but nothing that said, ‘Thats the one’. I was offered business as usual (the devil I know) and everything that is horrifying about white, rich, monied, and privileged men. Voting for anybody but one of the “big two” seemed like wasting a vote. Frankly, I haven’t voted FOR anybody since President Clinton. Mostly, I have voted against the worst of two evils. I halfheartedly voted for President Obama’s second term but it was still heavily tinged with keeping the other guy out. This election was no different except the lesser of the two evils will not be taking the POTUS office in January this time.
Secondly, we have been in the process of establishing new tap roots in a new state where we know very few people, at our advanced ages. It wasn’t as easy as it was 20 years ago. There are, of course, stories to tell and stories to be shared of our last several months and they will be. Understandably though, my thoughts and energies have been focused on the tasks at hand that accomplish getting settled in. When the time came at night to relax and unwind, slogging through tons of ugly political garbage was , at best, unappealing. So, I kept my eye on issues meaningful to me, did some due diligence, and voted my conscience but I was hardly wrapped up in it as some of my friends and family members were and still are.
Now, that the election is over and done with we are being asked to believe all of the vile, hate this guy has spewed to divide and conquer at least half of us, was just for show. He is an entertainer after all ,the media is now saying. He failed at that as well. We are asked to give him a chance; that he has a heartfelt desire to unite and unify us all. I don’t believe it or him. Not for a fat second. Not even if I was high. Well, especially not if I was high.
This new job title does not change who Trump is. I’ll keep my eyes open. I have the list of what he promised to do and whom he promised to harm if he became our next president. We all do. Many of us are watching and waiting. I cannot long for unity with a guy like this, or believe he will unite anyone but his cronies for a golf game, cocktails, and maybe a roll in the 800 thread count egyptian cotton sack with his mistress du jour. Nor will I support him or any of his cockamamie policies. I am not a sore loser. I am not scared. This time, I just don’t have the luxury of indifference. I have never benefited from making believe that all will be fine, with rainbow sprinkles and sparkly unicorns in marshmallow fields. At least not sober anyway. This guy will never be “my president”. If we are very, very, lucky, Trump will not fulfill any of his campaign promises. Trump can count on me for resistance, skepticism, and hyper-vigilance. He will never gain my trust or my respect. I can respect the office without respecting who’s leasing it from the country. I have a lot of practice doing that.
Watching President Obama’s remarks the day after the election, I suddenly realized how much I will miss his calm eloquence, his stately determination, his steady presence, and the strength in his reserve when he addresses our country.
Our country will sorely be lacking that, among a great number of other things, come January 2017.
Remember we survived 12 years of the Bushes, Cheneys, Rumsfelds and Ashcrofts. We can survive what’s next. Got it?