So depressed. And so angry.
I didn't really think Clinton would soar to the landslide rebuke of Trumpism that this country needed, but I did think that she would win comfortably. Guess I was wrong.
I always knew there were a lot of people in this country that yearn for an authoritarian leader to fix all their problems, and for Others to blame those problems on. I know that my father was right when he said there was a strong streak of fascism in America. And I knew that there was a lot of hate out there.
But I was wrong when I thought that Americans would, on the whole, reject those things.
Instead, last night hate won. Fear won. Tribalism won. But mostly, hate won.
As a country, we licensed hate. We licensed white supremacy. We licensed racism as an institution. We licensed patriarchy. We licensed nationalism.
Those are dangerous things, and we let them loose.
Now we have to fight them. Yes, Trump is the president. But as the last eight years have clearly shown, the president doesn't get to have his way unopposed.
Yes, the Republicans have the Congress, both houses, and they will likely get not just one Supreme Court Justice. That makes the fight harder - and more important. We have to fight for the civil rights, if not the very lives, of our LGBT+ brothers and sisters. We have to fight for the civil rights and absolutely for the lives of our siblings of color. We have to fight for women's rights, and women's health. We have to fight for the environment, for the planet itself. And we have to fight against those who would force their theocratic bonds on anyone who doesn't accept them already.
It won't be easy. But the fight is worth waging.
There are three things on the plus side. One is that, well, at least it wasn't Ted Cruz. Another is that Trump really has no coherent ideology and made hardly any specific policy proposals. That means that the door is open for him to do what he said last night, be president for all Americans. And sure, the first is a simple counterfactual, and the second is possibly (probably) wishful thinking, with not a hard fact to stand up next to it. The third is neither. It's this: We are all in it together.
Sure, that's a platitude. And we don't have to look very far back to see how much even the notion offends people - see the brouhaha over Starbuck's well-intentioned "we're all connected" cup.
And what we're in is a mess, unquestionably.
But. If they kill the ACA, the people who voted for them will suffer along with the rest of us: losing their insurance; seeing their premiums really skyrocket, with no subsidies to take up the slack; having their children become uninsured; being classified as uninsurable due to pre-existing conditions. When wages go down, they too will take hits. When the stock market crashes, their funds will be decimated too. When schools get worse, their kids will be in trouble. When jobs migrate overseas, their job will go too. When white nationalists kill cops, their neighborhoods will also grow less safe. They or their wives, daughters, and sisters will suffer along with us and ours. If NATO is broken, they'll suffer the resulting international uncertainty along with us.
And when their problems do not go away, they will find it hard to blame someone else (though they'll try).
At the bottom of this page is a quote that's been there since Bush beat Gore. It stayed up during Obama's terms because it seemed somewhat applicable still. Now it is, more than ever:
You cannot leave. You cannot drop the armor now. Why? Because you are needed, more than ever. You are mandatory to keep the energy flowing, the karmic vibrator buzzing, to keep the progressive and lucid half of the nation breathing and healthy and awake and ever reaching out to the half that's wallowing in fear and violence and homophobia and sexual dread, hoping to find harmony instead of cacophony, common ground instead of civil war, some sort of a shared love of a country so messy and internationally disrespected and openly confused its own president can't even speak the language.
After all, you don't hand over all your children the first time the flying monkeys bang on your door...
It's far from over. The tunnel is just a little darker -- and longer -- than we imagined.