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.