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15 November 2016 @ 06:22 pm
Post-Election Blues  
Our household is still reeling from the shock of last week's election results. Our daughter called us on the phone last Tuesday night, sobbing at the shock of the ugliness reflected by Trump winning the election. She is majoring in political science at school, and believes very strongly in helping people through government service. Having the public servant rejected in favor of the "Fuck You" candidate just devastated her opinion of the electorate and of her future, and all we could do was listen to her cry.

My husband and I had to take sleeping pills that night, to quiet the level of anxiety those results triggered. All night long, I would wake up happy for about half a second before remembering what had happened. It reminded me of those times when someone I loved had died, and in sleep there was a brief reprieve before reality came crashing in all over again.

Above all, I was distressed that so many people could vote for such a hateful, racist, misogynist candidate. This can't help but seem like tacit approval of his behavior, and it has already resulted in overt threats and hostility toward people of color in a number of cities. It's not that racism was a reason for a lot of people to vote FOR him, just that it wasn't enough for them to draw a line in the sand and say, "Absolutely not." That was a blow to my faith in humanity, and we'll be living with the fallout from that for years.

We elected a candidate with a massive ego and a volatile temper, with no regard for anyone but himself. I worry very much about having him be our public representative to other nations—he will almost certainly piss someone off, or (more likely) become pissed off himself and want to retaliate. I don't want us going to war over his inability to behave like a grown-up. That loose-cannon behavior could also hurt our economy, and by extension, the global economy.

I worry about the poor and the disabled, who traditionally suffer when Republicans are in office. The one thing I can almost guarantee Trump will do is to reduce taxes on wealthy people. That usually results in cutbacks to social programs, and honestly? Those people are already struggling.

I would be very surprised if he did anything to benefit the blue collar workers who have been disenfranchised by the reduction in U.S. manufacturing. Many jobs were lost to automation, a non-reversing trend. We can't really return outsourced jobs to the U.S.—we can only penalize moving additional jobs, reward companies who stay, and provide incentives to revive areas like the Rust Belt by opening businesses there. But there is no 'magic bullet.' Typically, people often have to go where the jobs are, even when they would rather not.

I really, really don't understand why people voted for him. He has a record of screwing over the "little people" when he can, which makes him a very unlikely champion for much of the demographic that elected him. He has had no interest in helping people, and I think his wanting to be President is more about being King than about leading this country. It's just that our system of government doesn't work that way.

He is a dreadful excuse for a human being who brought campaigning to a new low, and we rewarded him for it by electing him. Expect to see the political climate grow ever uglier as a result of that.

I don't understand why Evangelical Christians voted for him at all. They were quoted as saying, "We believe in forgiveness," but the thing is that Trump does not want forgiveness. He is not sorry for any of the things he has done to women, to people-of-color, to anyone. I don't believe unending amorality should be forgiven. I think it's a harbinger of what is to come, so by voting for him, those same people effectively sanctioned any future misbehavior.

I know there were people who wanted "change," and there are areas of concern where I agree that change would be good. But throwing a live grenade into a house is not the kind of change that helps!

Four years of who knows what. Of Supreme Court Justices who likely think that Citizens United was a fine ruling, but that actual humans don't need quite so many rights. Of potential recession due to his economic policies. Of international embarrassment, and the kind of scorn others felt for us when George W. Bush was elected, but now magnified more than tenfold.

I don't feel quite as worried or panicked as I did last Tuesday night, but for a lot of LBGTQ people and people of color, I imagine that anxiety is still pretty high. They may have four full years or more of looking over their shoulders now.

I have to wonder now, for the people who got us here, was it worth it? Would they want to live like that?

Or does that still not even enter their minds?

cindytsuki_no_bara on November 16th, 2016 03:07 am (UTC)
>>I know there were people who wanted "change,"<<

i think that's a big part of it. i mean, i don't think everyone who voted for the cheeto is a racist, homophobic, xenophobic sexist, but they could overlook that he is, and i think part of it is because a lot of people who voted for him are white and racism doesn't touch them, and i think part of it is that they were so dissatisfied with career politicians that the fact that the cheeto has never held public office was enough. ...wow, that was a long sentence. but anyway. his total lack of experience is going to fuck us over but i think that's the reason a lot of people voted for him. which, well. sometimes people are stupid and they vote against their own self-interest. i have no idea if the folks who voted for the cheeto, who are going to get screwed by the cheeto, are going to recognize that they did it to themselves.

as for evangelical christians? i don't think they wanted to vote for a woman. (which is another reason i think people voted for the cheeto. they bought into the media's bad press.)

your poor daughter, too. what a rude awakening for a budding (and idealistic?) political scientist.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on November 16th, 2016 07:30 am (UTC)
his total lack of experience is going to fuck us over but i think that's the reason a lot of people voted for him
I don't really understand that thinking, when you're talking about an office as complicated as the Presidency. An inexperienced person will surround himself with experienced people, most of whom are going to be-- wait for it-- Washington insiders. Except that if you don't know the system well, you're a lot easier to manipulate. Lose-lose.

I'd forgotten (I don't know why) that Evangelicals tend to be sexist. Some of the elderly demographic is too, though I know some were excited to vote for Hillary. My Dad was so thrilled to vote for the first black president. He didn't think he'd see that in his lifetime, and he was such an Obama fanboy.

Our daughter was so heartbroken over those results. She likes Hillary very much, and like most of those who do... does not understand why there is so much hatred. So, that was an even bigger shock. :(
cindytsuki_no_bara on November 16th, 2016 10:23 pm (UTC)
evidently no one in trump's campaign had any idea they were going to have to staff the white house. they didn't know staffers leave when the president does. so trumpco is scrambling to hire a whole ton of people. this is what happens when you elect someone with exactly zero experience, and whose campaign people have exactly zero experience! because yes, he's going to have to surround himself with beltway insiders because he has no fucking idea what he's doing, and they've all got their own agendas and are no doubt looking at him as an easy way to push those agendas through, because as a newbie he kind of has to listen to them.

i know there were a lot of little old ladies who were beside themselves with glee to vote for a woman for president, but there were more little old gentlemen who were absolutely not going to vote for a woman. i love that your dad as an obama fanboy! the image of old folks being fanboys or fangirls of the president is so cute. (my mom was a bill clinton fangirl back in the day, especially for his first term. she loved him.) and seriously, i'm so happy your dad lived long enough to help put a black man in the white house.

the demonization of hillary goes back longer than your kid's been alive. i still feel so bad for her - girls like her are probably the future of politics, and this is a really disheartening way to get started.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on November 16th, 2016 10:34 pm (UTC)
Back in the day, when my Dad was REALLY optimistic (the '70s), he'd thought Barbara Jordan would have made a good president. That would have been a triple, if she was truly a lesbian as has been surmised. But she had sense and leadership in his book, and he'd hoped enough other people would see that. Too soon, too soon...

I remember the demonization from when Bill was president, and it really seemed to mostly amount to people being angry because they felt she was "uppity." With this current election, the haters were out in full, including a lot of Bernie supports who'd bought into all of that hype. You'd ask what exactly about her was such an issue, apart from the email server thing, and the answer was usually, "Well, everybody just KNOWS..." Smear campaigns really do work. :(
riverotter1951riverotter1951 on November 16th, 2016 06:36 pm (UTC)
Excellent piece about the election and the consequences. I have read about why people voted for him. I have a few friends who voted for Trump but this is not something we can talk about.

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on November 16th, 2016 07:06 pm (UTC)
I suspect my brother and his wife did, and I know my one B-I-L did (who is a diehard Republican, and voted for Mitt Romney of all people). But we don't talk about this.

I'm just glad I live in California, where there is muted sadness but at least I'm not in an area surrounded by people who are heavy Trump supporters and all "Whoo-hoo!" over these results.

At my daughter's college, UC San Diego, there was an outbreak of swastikas and white supremacist stuff a few days ago, so the hatred still bleeds over.
Peter: Politics Lemonpeterb on November 16th, 2016 09:26 pm (UTC)
The pututative VP seems like a charmer as well...
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on November 16th, 2016 09:42 pm (UTC)
A religious-right hard-hearted type, from what we've seen. And yet, he aligned himself with Trump. Because there's religion, and then there's ignoring it when you find it expedient. :(
pkoceres: Facepalmpkoceres on November 17th, 2016 09:43 am (UTC)
Yes, to every last bit of this. And to top it off, David Duke is back at it again.

Have you had any positive surprises from your circle of friends? I found out a sibling is liberal, which I didn't expect at all. I'd always been afraid to ask.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on November 17th, 2016 05:57 pm (UTC)
I've talked about it with my mother (a Hillary fan from way back) and my next-older sister, but I'm afraid to talk about it with my brother.

We had ZERO lawn signs for either Hillary or Trump in our neighborhood, and I saw none near my office until election day-- when one of the rural people whose house I bicycle past had put out Trump signs.

My mother lives in a retirement community in Eugene, and she said nobody there talked about it beforehand, and nobody had signs up. It was as if they already knew it was too polarizing to even discuss.

I imagine things were different in some of the red states, but not in the West Coast bigger cities.
Desireex_disturbed_x on November 17th, 2016 02:26 pm (UTC)
New York did go to Hillary but I live in a small town so a lot of people here seem to be trump supporters. Plus I'm an HHA and work with a ton of elderly people who are all racist and prejudiced to a point.

It's just so fucked up and I still want to think it was a really bad dream.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on November 17th, 2016 05:58 pm (UTC)
I spend all last week thinking I might wake up and have it be a dream, or that it would magically undo itself, but despite the growing gap in the popular vote... the nightmare is still real. :(
iwouldbegood: Tori are you blueiwouldbegood on November 18th, 2016 10:13 am (UTC)
Over a week has gone by and I still get choked up reading about the election or stumbling upon well-thought observations such as yours. I was anxious about the election but believed an educated politician was still going to win over someone who's so prejudiced and got away with all the hate speech and truly appalling and offensive things he said over the course of his campaign... I'm in a long distance relationship with an American and we are now worried about our future. I can only begin to imagine what it must feel like having to come to terms with Trump about to run your country. And your poor daughter...
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on November 18th, 2016 06:07 pm (UTC)
Thank you for these kind words.

Aside from the hatefulness (which is now cropping up in incidents all over the country) and the corrupt behavior, there is also the fact that he has a hair-trigger temper and knows very little about our system of government. He is utterly unqualified to be President, and he has not shown a record of prior interest in public service. So, people elected a nut to run the country, and he is dangerous on top of all the other awful qualities.

And I'm sure this makes our allies very nervous, as well as people in those allied countries. :(
¿est elle lost in translation?estelle on November 29th, 2016 06:08 pm (UTC)
"He has had no interest in helping people, and I think his wanting to be President is more about being King than about leading this country."

Exactly! It seems a lot of people voted for him as a way to stick it to the man / the system. But he is everything that is wrong with the system.

Edited at 2016-11-29 06:10 pm (UTC)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on November 29th, 2016 06:31 pm (UTC)
That's one of the things I really don't understand. He may not be part of the political system, but is he part of the 1% who uses the financial and tax systems to screw everyone else over? Absolutely.

Now, why would you want or expect someone like that to help the working class? They are beneath his notice, in his mind. His upbringing and background are so far removed from them, the idea of regular hard work has to be several generations back. Which isn't always a problem, but usually is. And he is no Kennedy.