My wife posted on facebook "Feeling proud to vote for the first woman president!!"
But then she didn't win. I'll save what that night felt like for another day. My wife went to bed before it was finished and waking her up to the results was awful.
Her next post was: "Not looking forward to explaining the election results to my six year old daughter."
Every time I read that post I want to write the most mean, nasty response possible to all those people who dared support a reality TV show host built on lies and his father's money who had never held a public service job. I mean, really people, how? I could go on and on. I won't now.
How could someone vote for Donald Trump for president?
And I got nasty. Very nasty. I actually posted this:
All in all I'm upset and angry. I'm disappointed. What do we tell our daughters? How do I explain that my country voted for a reality TV star as president? I mean, this isn't that you elected a bad politician, or someone I just "don't agree with" - this is unprecedented.
I really think less of you if you voted for that clown. I will look at you differently for quite some time.Not all republicans, mind you, because I know some of you are disgusted or at least flabbergasted. Sorry, just how I feel. I'm not mad at Bernie Bros, I'm not mad at Johnson/Stein/McMullin people - I really admire you to be honest. But those Trump supporters- I'm going to view you as unintelligent, racist, having no respect for people of other cultures, the media... having no idea how government works - and I'm not the only one who will look at you that way.. You're wearing that scarlet letter for awhile. I'm mad.
Granted, I'm not a public figure. I posted this on my personal facebook page so people who could read it are "friends" or at least connected in somewhat to me. And this comment got a lot of "likes". I work out of my house and mostly with Canadians and of the handful of American co-workers I'm pretty sure there was no Trump supporters. I know people attracted to the glitz of Trump since day one of the election cycle and I know people who seem to think Hillary is the second-coming of Lucifer and have been telling me this since her husband was in the White House - wasn't counting on those votes but that's really such a small portion of the people I know I figured it negligible. These are people "you don't waste your breathe on".
Then I thought of my dad's cousin. She and her husband have been supported by the coal industry most of their lives. While I certainly think Obama helped most Americans, the environmental legislation (which I agree with 100%!) has crushed her and her husband and people they live with. Sure, the air is cleaner or eventually will be cleaner and the water is safer - but if you are unemployed in your 40s/50s/60s with job skills in a dying industry, these legislations make it tough to eat. Living in a red state that just decided to dump the exchange program, a lot of people around them went from having cheap (but very poor insurance) to being fined for not having insurance at all. These are things that affect their lives daily. The ACA could have been improved if Congress had helped, but they didn't. Obviously not just Obama failed these people. A lot of "these people" hate Congress as much as they hate the president. These people were voting for someone they truly saw as an outsider.
Makes me think - I've been middle/upper class most of my adult life, which I was not as a child. I'm not in a military family. My wife is a teacher so we never have to worry about health insurance. My job is very stable now and before that I worked for another company gainfully for a decade. Decisions made by presidents really don't affect my day to day life. Sure, I was thrilled to see marriage equality and lessened military conflicts - because these things are right things - but I'm not gay or in the military. To some people, Obama and "the establishment" altered their lives and not for the better.
Am I right in criticizing people for making this decision if these people really think a Trump presidency is better in the short term? Am I right for criticizing anyone for their decision?
I know people who voted for him for one-reason (Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade). I'm 100% pro-choice and I understand how strongly I feel about that. But I'm sure, right or wrong, they feel as strongly the other way. I even know people who voted for him on an issue which turned out to be something that the person actually was totally wrong on Trump's views (to be honest, neither Clinton or Obama was on her side as well either, however this person is pro-choice and was pretty displeased to find out the potential legal outcome there).
Then there was this other group, and for whatever reason, it was mostly white women, who really gave no reason why they voted for him. One posted on her facebook "I felt like we needed a change" to which one of her female friends replied "guess you want to change your access to an abortion". And I kept watching what these people posted. They were very upset - saying stuff like "I don't feel safe on here" (to which one person replied "do you think Muslim people feel safe now"). For the record, this was two suburban white moms who probably couldn't name 2 Muslim people they knew. And for the record, the Muslim I am probably the closest to voted for Trump because of a fear of terrorism. One of my wife's closest friends vote for Trump. When my wife found out that she was a Trump supporter, it really threw her for a loop. She mentioned how upset she was a couple times later. Now that friend is getting nasty texts.
So these people have made a decision and one I truly disagree with. I am a logic guy. I read facts, check sources. I make thoughtful decisions based on precedence. I'm still angry, hurt, confused. I've legitimately talked to my boss and my wife about moving to Canada (my office is in Toronto - no we aren't moving). But what is anger toward these people going to do? Is it OK that a coal miner votes for Trump more so than someone not really affected by him? Why is one right and the other not right?
I can tell you with my thought process, there's no reason why anyone should have selected Donald Trump as president over Hillary Clinton. But people did.
A few days later, I posted this:
It's been a couple days now. We have all fully realized that Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States. Being someone who tries to make decisions based on as much fact as possible (and you can never have all the facts as Colin McEnroe pointed out wonderfully yesterday), it is hard for me to understand how this happened. But it did. We've seen Hillary Clinton concede graciously and we've seen our American president Barack Obama point out the need to accept and allow the president elect's lead. While this is disappointing (there's so much to say here), there are people who used their own process to determine that they wanted this outcome and we must respect that. Everyone gets a voice. So we must move forward.
No one made the choices they did in the voting booth because they hate this country; they were made because they believed their choice would make a better country. I've seen protests, I've seen some very hateful acts carried out toward people (not sharing that here, use twitter or reddit - there's plenty) but I'd like to think that for every 1 awful person out there committing those atrocities, there's 100 with similar political views appalled by the acts.
This gives the electorate another task; this means cooperation but it also means due diligence in review of those elected. I saw those who opposed Bush just step aside as he created the Iraq War and I saw those who opposed Obama making ridiculous character attacks on him but not looking at the things that were wrong. We need to remain loud voices over the next four years and sometimes that will be praise and sometimes that will be dissent. If you voted for candidate X because they promised policy Y, if they didn't give you policy Y - say something. And read. Read things you don't think you'll agree with. I've absolutely loved reading conservative "anti-Trump" writers like Rick Wilson and Noah Rothman, amazed they could come to the same conclusions I do from a completely different path. I prepare to be loud and angry if need be, but also willing to say "good job" and I think there will be opportunities for both. And if this 4 year experiment turns out to be an utter failure, remind people - talk about it. Use facts, images, your story. It's your story.