Stop being sad. Stop it.
I know: I feel the same way. This was not the result I was expecting. I was growing more and more stunned all last night as I watched the results come in, and in, and in. I watched the commentators on CNN and then on BBC being just as stunned.
We didn’t think this was possible. We didn’t think this was our country.
It was possible. It happened.
And this is still our country.
It is not The Donald’s country. He did not win us. I know he thinks he did, and at some point today I’m going to have to watch a victory speech from that smug asshole that is likely to make me vomit. He is going to have to start lying —
Wait. I honestly can’t believe I actually wrote that.
His lies, ongoing and ever more egregious, will now focus on trying to convince people he hates that he doesn’t hate them, right before he begins working to enact policy to prove that he hates them. The hypocrisy, and the assurance of our gullibility, will be infuriating. I’m already annoyed that my Republican friends are crowing over the victory. And I know I’m going to be mad a lot over the next four years, at least.
But this is still my country. And like it or not, that rotten son of a bastard is going to be my president.
My wife says he’ll never be her President. She said she may not be able to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance for the next four years.
We all know exactly what happened: millions of people looked at their options, and chose what was, to them, the lesser of two evils. Millions more of us think they chose wrong. And millions of us are racists, and sexists, and xenophobic bigots who want walls built, refugees interned, and immigrants deported.
Not everyone who voted for him. Not everyone. Millions, yes. But not everyone.
The thing that makes this worse is that we didn’t expect it. We didn’t realize this was coming. Neither did the media. This should tell us something: the discussions I have seen of late that say that our world is turning into an echo chamber, where we only hear what we want to hear, where we only communicate with people who agree with us and share our views, are correct. If you settled the election based on my own Facebook feed, then Bernie Sanders would be president. If not Cthulhu.
This, then, is our task. Tasks. There are several.
First, we have to start listening to each other. Even to people we disagree with. We have to be better than the hypocrite that just got elected, who will ignore the needs of millions of people who were not in the demographics who supported him, whom he campaigned against. We have to understand that there are millions of people who thought Donald Trump was the lesser of two (or four) evils. Millions. Those people must be heard, because the biggest reason that they voted for Trump was, I think, that they believe they have not been heard.
So listen. Take them seriously. They are people, and they are important. Not the racists and sexists and xenophobes: fuck them. But listen to the millions of rational, genuine people who believed Trump was the best choice, or at least the least-bad.
Second, we have to fix this government. Millions who voted for Trump, and millions who voted for third party candidates, and many, many millions who did not vote, believe our government is broken. It is. We have to fix it, because Trump won’t. He will take advantage of the breaks to break it more — for one thing, he’s going to nominate a hard-right pro-life conservative to the Supreme Court, and then perhaps another, since the liberal justices are aged and unwell. That means all three branches of government will be Republican, behind Donald Trump. So we must work. We must be vigilant. We must read the news — unbiased sources, if we can find them, because if the surprise on the newsmen’s faces last night says anything, it says that the liberal media bias has some validity, that the news channels, too, are become something of an echo chamber — and we must speak out, and we must organize, and we must march, and we. Must. Vote. 59,000,000 some odd votes for Clinton, 58,000,000 some odd votes for Trump. 330 million people in the country. 219 million eligible voters.
This is broken. We must fix it. We can fix it.
Last,we have to deal with the worst part of this. Millions of Americans are sexist and racist and bigoted xenophobes. We have, it seems, spent too long considering them anachronisms and harmless cranks, and sweeping them under the rug. We pushed them out of the echo chamber. And then they found a candidate who was just racist enough, but not too racist — “He was talking about illegal immigrants, not Latinos! He meant Syrian refugees that might be terrorists, not all Muslims!” — and sexist enough, but not too sexist — “He was just talking. He wouldn’t actually sexually assault anyone! He’s got a beautiful wife! He hires women!” — that millions of other people could stand to vote for him.
Remember that. Not everyone who voted for Trump is racist or sexist.
But there are millions who are. And we must deal with them. Not simply demonize and push them away: deal with them. Educate them. Argue with them. Fight them, if necessary: but we cannot continue to ignore them.
We can do this. We can. I mean it. We were hoping that Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party could save us, and they failed. They failed. Not us. Not those of us who voted for her, and not those of us who were too disillusioned to vote for her. We did not fail.
The only way to fail is to give up trying.
So don’t give up. Fight. Fight for the country you want, and you believe we can have. Be active: learn, and speak, and act, donate, protest, canvass, join a third party and run for political office. Always oppose Trump’s plans, if he ever actually makes any real ones. Listen to the people who voted for him, who aren’t terrible people. Fix our government. Fight the evil that has reared its head all the way into the White House: the evil of racism and sexism and bigotry.
Do something. Don’t be sad: be determined.
We can do this.