I don’t want to write about Donald Trump, the U.S. presidency, or politics in general. However, I feel I would be remiss if I pretended this all didn’t happen.
Part of the problem is knowing my readers already know what I have to say. Do I really need to preach to the choir today?
Part of the problem is knowing other writers have already said it as well or better than I can. What more can I add?
This is what I believe: Trump won because a large segment of the male population could not stomach the idea of a woman in the White House. According to http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cbs-news-exit-polls-how-donald-trump-won-the-us-presidency/,
The gender gap was substantial. Trump beat Clinton by 53 percent to 41 percent among men while Clinton won among women by 54 percent to 42 percent.
Clinton won among black women by a 93 percent to 4 percent margin. Among black men she won by 80 percent to 13 percent.
Let me go ahead and spell that last one out. Some black men voted for Donald Trump rather than vote for Hillary Clinton. I can’t even imagine the cognitive dissonance a black man would have to live with in order to think he would be better off with Donald Trump in the White House.
This is what we know: Trump was elected overwhelmingly by white folks. According to the aforementioned website,
Trump beat Clinton among white women 53 percent to 43 percent.
Clinton lost to Trump among [white, male voters] by 63 percent to 31 percent.
This is also what we know: Trump was elected by the under-educated. Again, from the same website,
Trump did best among white voters without a college degree, beating Clinton by the enormous margin of 72 percent to 23 percent. Trump also won among white, non-college women 62 to 34 percent…
Nobody reading this needs me to explain these things. We already knew all of this. We only hoped we were wrong.
What does the election of Trump mean for me? I don’t even know.
I texted a friend the morning after the election and said, I should probably write about the election, but I don’t feel I have any new insight.
My friend said I could write about how I was going to respond, what I was going to do differently, to focus on what would change in my real life.
Honestly, I have no idea what I am going to do differently. I suppose if Trump privatizes public land (and I have no idea if he has the ability or intention to do so), I’ll have to figure out a new way to make money. Perhaps I need to think about keeping my big mouth shut, as the results of this election reinforces that this country is not a safe place for outspoken women. It’s not as if my big mouth has ever changed anything, as if being outspoken has ever done anything more than make me feel a little bit better.
Another friend said as an old revolutionary, I should be happy about this. That friend sees this as the beginning of the end, I suppose. When I pointed out that people were going to suffer under the new administration, my friend countered by reminding me people are already suffering. True enough, but the suffering is going to be worse now.
Don’t go thinking I saw Hillary Clinton as a savior, or Barack Obama either for that matter. The system is flawed. The system is oh so flawed. I just thought maybe, maybe things wouldn’t be quite so bad under Clinton. I thought maybe, maybe the suffering wouldn’t be so great under Clinton.
Do I think the election of Donald Trump is going to make people rise up and change things for the better? Nah. For the people who are doing ok financially, there are movies to watch and vacations to take and knick-knacks to buy. The people who are struggling are going continue to concentrate on just barely keep their heads above water, buying groceries and getting a collage education that will qualify them to work a slightly better shit job. The comfortable aren’t going to give up their comforts, and the poor barely have the time and energy to fight.
Yet, some things have changed in my lifetime. I never thought I’d see the legalization of same-sex marriage. I never thought I’d see legalization of marijuana anywhere, much less in Nevada. I never thought Denver would do away with Columbus Day in favor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. So maybe I ought to not give up hope.
Since I don’t know what to say, what to do, what to think even, I will leave you with the words of a dear, old friend:
I send love to everyone who feels less safe and welcome in this country today. I honor you and your struggle, and I pray my actions reflect these words. Know that I stand with you, especially my Muslim brothers and sisters, my immigrant brothers and sisters, my LGBT brothers and sisters, my African-American brothers and sisters, my Native brothers and sisters. My white, Christian brothers and sisters, I’ll stand with you too. If you stand for love and compassion and justice, I’ll stand with you.