Trump won. A man with the internal psychology of a not-very-smart not-very-secure bully has just been elected the leader of the free world. Many people will suffer, especially those like me whose income is precarious and whose social position—woman, queer, crippled, immigrant—has just become even more so. The safety net is in ashes.
Russia will be happy. The right wings of many European parties will be happy. Selfish rich people will be happy. Those who resent the rule of law will be happy. Weapons makers will be happy. Those who voted for Trump—mostly straight white people—will be happy, for a little while. But when taxes for rich people go down and poor people up, when tens of millions of us lose our health insurance, when abortion is illegal and sexual assault laughed at, when facts are dismissed and it’s even harder for many of us to vote, when health, safety, financial, environmental, workplace (and more) regulations are weakened or discarded altogether, when people of differences races, religions, sexualities and religions are harassed in the streets, at work, and on social media, they may stop being so happy.
For once, I won’t care: Trump voters will deserve every ounce of it. (ETA: That was anger, fear, and lack of sleep talking. Schadenfreude is not usually my style. Us vs Them politics isn’t, either. My gloves are off, in the sense that I’m more than willing to point and speak out, speak against untruths, semi-truths, and downright lies, point to selfishness and greed and small-mindedness, but I’d rather not actively wish ill to many people.)
But most of those who will suffer will not deserve it. And we will have to stick together. We need each other, more even than we needed each other during the Great Recession. So let’s take a few days, feel what we need to feel, take stock, check in with family and friends, and then next week get to work. I’ve no idea what form that work might assume. I’ve no idea how effective it will be or how long it will take. But as far as I can see there’s no choice but to do it.
So for the next few days do what will help you and let’s reconvene next week. Will a phoenix rise from the ashes? I don’t know. We’ll find out. Meanwhile, keep yourselves safe. We will need each other.
20 thoughts on “Ashes”
Wonderful post, Nicola. Best wishes as always to you and Kelley.
Hugs. I’m with you all the way.
I’m one of your more silent followers Nicola, thanks for the words and love!
Thank you for hanging out with my daughter last night and being a inspiration for her. Much love. We will rise because there is no other way.
@Bruce, @uglybadbear: Thank you.
@Old Gym Rat: Always!
@Alsia: My pleasure. She’s turning into a seriously fine person. And, yep, we’ll do what must be done—for ourselves and for the young people like your daughter.
Thank you for this.
Stay safe. If necessary try Canada. Bless you and keep thinking. What we can do I do not know. Odds are very good it will be a Pence presidency which is worse in many ways…. Love and gritted teeth. Scared here too.
“Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men……..” The Shadow” old time radio program.
Sadly..all you say is true. The first thing I said to Suz was just that…..we will all need to look out for each other and hold fast to love and hope.
I dread the next four years – I live in the UK, but the US president affects the world (and the UK is in dire straits already). I’m not an immigrant, but I share the rest of your description.
I have concluded that I am not a very smart person. I have no idea anymore what to think. Not of my country, not of its citizens, not of anything. This has rattled me more than any previous election. Somewhere in the back of my brain I harbored a smidgen of faith that most people really aren’t this stupid. But I guess I’m the stupid one.
Yes. We will need each other, and we’ll need to do a better job of banding together. I was shocked by the outcome, having never delved into the ugly world that is Breitbart (that has been corrected). In the afternoon, I contemplated a long drive to Seneca Falls to lay yellow roses in gratitude and joy. The next morning I woke to swastikas in Philadelphia and a fear deeper than I have ever known in this country. But I will not be run out or shut up. And I will not allow that to happen to anyone else, either. Contemplating what to do next, anxious to hear ideas from other thoughtful people. Thank you all.
@Jill: I’m honestly not sure if I was shocked or not. Right after Brexit I had a sick feeling Trump might win. But then just four days before the election I thought, “No, look at the polls. Believe the polls. We’ve learnt a lot about polling since Brexit. It’s going to be alright.”
I remember my absolute bewilderment when Gore lost in 2000. I couldn’t make it make sense. But this (sadly) makes complete sense. I don’t think I was surprised, just sick.
But we’ll figure it out, somehow.
I have been encouraging my children to move to New Zealand for some time now. This validates my opinion in this.
I was watching FiveThirtyEight, which had a pretty good track record and what seemed like a reasonable approach to predictions. They showed her chance of winning at 71% on election day. I did believe the polls. I even thought NC might tip Democratic because of his insults to the military and his unsuitability as commander in chief. In hindsight, yes, I can see how the pieces fit together.
Now I am trying to choose short-term actions and to gird myself for the long game.
@Old Gym Rat: We might move if we got the right offer, but this is our home. I’d rather stay and fix the building, y’know? But if it would cost too much we’ll move.
@Jill: It’s all about who stayed at home: a lot of people. That’s the first thing to fix, IMO.
Maybe Trump won’t be able to keep his promises and will be out in four years. Hope we can hold on until then!
I wasn’t shocked, just profoundly saddened. Even for a born pessimist it hurts to have your worst predictions confirmed.
It looks right now like Hillary has a slim (1/2 per cent) lead in the popular vote totals, making the parallels with 2000 even clearer. Of course that and two dollars might get you a coffee at Starbucks.
I’m seventy years old now and will stick it out being a blue dot in the middle of Oklahoma, the reddest state in the union. Even here things are changing.
Many of you reading this blog are being targeted by the new regime. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
@BroadBlogs: Most of us will hang on. Some of us won’t. But the damage Trump can do in 4 years will take a very long time (my guess? decades) to overcome.
@Tom: Thanks. Stay safe, and if you can help others stay safe.
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