I believe I have settled down enough to at least attempt to do some writing on my feelings about what happened last Tuesday. Thus far my random musings have been pretty much confined to random snipes on Facebook. So, here goes nothing.
Here’s a brief recap of my reactions, more or less in order. Tuesday night, I was numb, in disbelief. It really didn’t feel out of the realm of possibility for me to wake up Wednesday morning to discover it had all been an epic nightmare. Wednesday and most of thursday, I was in a very deep, somewhat debilitating depression. I really didn’t want to do anything. After that, I went into analysis mode; Where do I go from here? What do I do now? Which gets us to where I am now. Right now, the dominant emotion I’m feeling is anger. Yes, sports fans, to put it into somewhat vulgar vernacular, I’m royally pissed. Please understand this, I’m not angry because the candidate I voted for lost. I voted for Mondale, Dukakis, Gore and Kerry, and after all those elections I grumbled, griped and groused aplenty, but ultimately I moved on. But that doesn’t seem possible this time. Reagan, Bush Sr. and Jr. did not represent seismic shifts in so many things, first and foremost being plain, garden variety decency. No matter how much I disagreed with the Presidential candidates I voted against on policy and other things, I at least had an idea that they were decent human beings. Honestly, I don’t get that feeling from Trump. He has stomped around like the proverbial schoolyard bully for the past year and a half, making it very clear which groups of people he wants to stick it to once he got elected. And guess what? He did get elected. No, this is not sour grapes, being whiny, or anything else those of us who have spoken out have been accused of. In my instance, at least, it boils down to one specific thing–fear. Absolute terror, if you want to get technical. I’m afraid that Trump’s win has unleashed forces that we’ve never seen before in this country and can not be bottled back up, even if we try. The part of me feeling the white-hot anger just wants to get in the face of Trump voters and say “You voted for this! How could you vote for this?”
Rationally, I know it isn’t as simple as that. I know Donald Trump didn’t embolden 59 million plus Americans to give their inner bigot free rein. There are many Trump voters I know who are kind, decent human beings who would be horrified if anything bad ever happened to a family member or loved one. And therein lies a huge part of the problem. Society has sorted all of us into several different subgroups; male, female, white, person of color, gay, straight, just to name a few. Some people belong to multiple subgroups. I am a white male, which feels a lot like stepping into the batter’s box with a 2 and 0 count already up on the scoreboard. But I am also a disabled person, which puts me in that subgroup as well. We are also a tribal society, meaning we all have tribes made up of family and friends. If we are a member of a marginalized subgroup, oftentimes our tribe lose sight of that. They do not, however, lose sight of the subgroup in general. The result of this is, the generalizations people make about certain marginalized group do not apply to members of their tribe. So when they step into the voting booth, they’re not thinking of their friend or family member who happens to be female, a person of color, LGBTQ, disabled, or any and all of the above. What they are thinking about are those “others”. Humanity is lost, and they can minimize anything Trump has said or did, who he actually is, everything else, because by golly he’s going to make America great again. How do you suppose that makes your friend or loved one feel?
It’s probably going to take a while for me to work through the anger I’m feeling, and once I come out on the other side I probably won’t be feeling any sort of acceptance. As I said in my blog post yesterday, like it or not he is my President, and he needs to remember that. He needs to remember that me and those like me deserve as consideration as much as those who voted for him.
One last thing…I know some of you voted for Trrump based on abortion, gun rights, or other related issues. Maybe you felt like you didn’t have a choice. Thing is, you did have a choice. You knew what type of man he was, everybody did, but you voted for him anyway. You voted for him knowing the things that might happen, despite what it might mean for me and those like me. I do fervently hope and pray things won’t turn out as dark as I feel they could. I know anything is still possible. But all I can go by is what I’ve seen up to now, and it isn’t encouraging, particularly when I look at who he is tapping for leadership positions. All I can say is, you got the whole package, not just the parts you think you liked. Hold on with me, it’s probably going to be a bumpy ride.
- What I Did Last Week - July 21, 2017
- Dignity? Priceless! - June 9, 2017
- Public is a Choice Too - February 10, 2017
- So What’s Next? - November 17, 2016
- On Groups and Tribes, Among Other Things: More Election Results Processing - November 13, 2016
- Yours, Mine and Ours - November 12, 2016
- What’s Happening Here? - October 15, 2016
- ABAPITA Files: Spontaneity is Not an Option - March 12, 2016
- Report From Sick Bay - February 7, 2016
- Life is What Happens… - February 3, 2016