12: Some more thoughts on the election

I was never very political on this blog, but I think I can’t help it in the wake of the president-elect.

I was out running errands yesterday and it felt all wrong. Everybody was going about their daily business, when the world should have stopped on Tuesday night. People have compared the reactions to the election results as a type of mourning. I think that is true, this is strangely how it feels to me. Everybody that I encountered yesterday seemed subdued in a way, too (or maybe that was just my perception). I was overcompensating by being extra-nice to everybody (I always try to be nice, for the record), letting people cut in front of me in line, and giving people some extra smiles.

Today, I went for my first run this week and it was a good metaphor for how I felt the whole week: sluggish, slow, I had to push real hard to put one foot in front of the other, and I had to take walking breaks to catch my breath. Anyone else?
I still saw quite a few Hillary signs around my neighborhood, which lifted my spirits a little bit (actually, it makes me proud to think back how many Bernie signs were in the front yards on the street where I live).

I guess, I still feel like I am living a bit in a bubble out here in California. I didn’t know anyone here who voted for Trump (not true – just learned that I do and I am a bit shocked), I haven’t personally seen people celebrating the election results, all my friends reacted the same way — with heartache.

I haven’t witnessed or experienced any inappropriate behavior towards women and minorities in the last few days (although I am more than sure they exist — they’ve always existed), but I know that many people around the country have shared their experiences since Tuesday and it’s breaking my heart. You can’t explain away a vote for this man, when these things started happening with added frequency within 24 hours after his victory speech. There are people out there who feel legitimized and think it’s ok to blatantly express racism, sexism, and hate now.

I know there are probably many people out there who voted for him and who vehemently reject to be labeled racists, misogynists and bigots, and I am sure that claim is true, but a vote for this man has endorsed exactly that. If you voted for for him for ‘other reasons’ or to ‘protest’, you deemed that more important than protecting the rights of minorities and women. It’s pretty simple.

As I said in my previous post: a vote is an instrument, not an expression of opinion. Your vote has tangible consequences for people and we can already see that.

I read an article yesterday that was titled I am tired of good white people and I knew what was coming. I think the article is spot on. While I am a woman and an immigrant, I am a white woman immigrant (which means, I blend in nicely). I can’t lean back, claim that I voted against hate and move on with my life. It’s not enough. It really is time for people to stand up and actually do something. I am not sure exactly what this something will be for me personally, but I know that just because I have a privilege, it shouldn’t throw me back into complacency. The fact that I had such an emotional reaction to the election shows me that I need to act (or else this feeling of dread in my stomach will never go away).

How have you decided to act? I am taking suggestions. Maybe we can join teams.

  1. I wish I had an idea!! I’m irritated people can just go back to BAU….. but I’m glad to know, I’m not the only person still in “pain” . Here,m say it out loud “Not my President” !!!!

  2. I feel like there has been a somber mood when I’ve been out and about, too. It’s definitely different to live in blue states like we do, but in Minnesota, Trump came very close to winning our state which has not happened since Reagan, I think. My closest friends didn’t vote for Trump, but I know of others who did. I haven’t seen any celebratory posts as I think that many people who voted for him are a bit or a lot ashamed of that decision. I haven’t figured out what I should or can do to counteract what we chose last week but like you, I don’t want to just sit back and let our country erase the progress we’ve made.

  3. I was a mess last week too and I agree, I think the mood around town was very somber! I also felt like total crap on my long run this weekend and had to walk portions, which I very rarely do anymore. It’s amazing to see how much the mental component can affect your running. I’m glad we live in CA where we can hopefully be insulated from some of the madness, but I will definitely stay alert and resist where I can. On to a new week …

  4. I have a friend who is organizing a discussion forum to talk about what we can do next. We’re going to look at different organizations to donate time and money to, fundraisers to raise money for causes, local delegates to talk to, minority-led businesses to support, etc. I’m really looking forward to taking action because I feel like it can be really easy to become complacent as the weeks pass and everything stops feeling so raw. But, as my friend stated, we need to stay angry because that is where change happens.

  5. Ahhh San….. no good suggestions from me, just for an idea for some self-care from a fellow knitter, hoping I don’t sound crazy. Last night I decided to pick up the knitting needles again after months of not-knitting. Knitting always calms me and this time was no different.

    It seems like everybody around me is still as shocked as I am, and we’ve seen some ugliness here in the Midwest already, which in my view are directly correlated to election results. On one hand, I hope to get used to the whole idea at some point, just to function normally again. On the other hand, I don’t *want* to get used it, ever!

  6. I am still grieving, legit mourning, and completely avoiding Facebook and my racist, Trumpist relatives. Ugh.


  7. It is just downright awful. Right now there are two main things I can think of to fight back or rather do something: 1) donate to groups who will really need the support in the coming years like Planned Parenthood, NAACP, International Refugee Assistance Project, The Trevor Project, Southern Poverty Law Center, ACLU, etc. 2) Join and take part in large protests. There’s a Million Woman’ March happening on Jan. 21, 2017 in Washington, DC and I’m definitely going to be there. Find out what’s happening around your area and see where you can join. It’s not enough to talk about doing something anymore, it’s time we stand up and say something all together. Silence just isn’t an option.

  8. I live in a solid, reliably red state in a blue county but I did see a few Trump signs. After pussygate, they were talking about HRC closing in and us potentially (finally) being a swing state but at the end of the day, it was nowhere close. After the shock and anger wore off, hubby and I once and for all confirmed that we cannot live here. We’ve always had a plan to move out west but now the plan has become a priority. We’ve watched as Colorado, Oregon, and Washington – our potential new states – have become more and more progressive over the past decade while our state is regressing. We don’t want to fight any longer. We want to live among our peers. Let someone more diplomatic do the hard work. I’ve never been so pro-states rights as I am now. Many states have decided to continue to move forward and evolve despite what happens at the federal level and we want to be there.

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