Our president-elect is Donald Trump, and that is a terrifying thing.
It’s terrifying for a lot of reasons. It’s terrifying because in the same election that voted him into office, we as a country kept the republicans in control of the Senate, thereby empowering him to make a great deal of policy changes. Should Clinton have been elected, she would have been hamstrung–but Trump is set free.
It’s terrifying because for so many of us it confirms what we already knew about the county and the world we live in. That we are hated. That we are wished away. That those in power and those with privilege will hold onto it tightly, viciously, with every scrap of strength they have.
It’s terrifying because as much as Donald Trump was treated as a joke by the left and by commentators this was a very real possibility and actually quite predictable. After eight years of a Black president, what do we as a country do? We repeal the Voting Rights Act. This is what an election looks like when Black voters are once again systemically disenfranchised. In a parallel universe, where the VRA is still in place, I bet Clinton won. We pushed ourselves into the darkest timeline. Dear fellow white people: this is a bed of our own making, even if we did vote for Clinton in one-offs.
The truth is that I voted for Clinton, but I wasn’t happy about it. My choice was between a man who outright villified me because I am queer and trans and disabled or a women who codes those various hates in different kinds of language, who hides them, who smooths off the rough edges. I disliked Clinton, but I was terrified of Trump. Clinton could, at least, stymie the republican controlled Senate, maybe?
Ultimately the election didn’t even come down to actual policy. The only issues on the table were the supposed estrangement of white men from politics (which is just bald-faced racism) and the fact that Hilary is a woman. Really, it came down to the backlash against the fact that our previous president is Black and one of the nominees is a woman. White people in this country revolted–went out of their way to rig an election, to make sure that they were the ones voting, and went out of their way to vote in a man who it seems like will continue to keep white supremacy front and center. Tell me again how we live in a post-racial society.
It is a struggle to know how to live now with all of our skeletons spilling out of the closet. at FiveThirtyEight.com, Nate Silver wrote:
Something to remember: Whatever your feelings about the state of the country right now, it’s fundamentally not that different a place whether the final call is that Clinton has narrowly won or narrowly lost. Add just 1 percent to Clinton’s vote share and take 1 percent away from Trump’s, and she would have won Florida and Pennsylvania, therefore would probably have been on her way to a narrow Electoral College victory.
And that’s the most horrifying part. I think he is trying to write something comforting here, but it’s actually horrifying. Yes. America is not fundamentally different depending on whichever candidate won. We are a deeply, horribly divided country filled with bile and hate for ourselves.
This is not the fault of those who cannot or would not vote. This is not the fault of those who voted third party. This is the fault of those who voted for Trump–the fault of millions and millions of people if every single state who voted for Trump. Do not place the blame anywhere but squarely at their feet, and the feet of those, like the Supreme Court who repealed the VRA, who helped enable this shit show.
If you, like me, are reeling today, show yourself kindness. Do what you need to survive. Survival is payback. Survival is revolutionary.