I've just spent the last 24 hours writing about the election (emails with family, twitter, blog posts, here), and you know what? It made me feel a lot better. I think I understand how this happened, and in retrospect it's a lot less shocking. The polls made us complacent and hid a lot of issues in the Clinton campaign.
Now that the result feels less arbitrary, it's also something that's easier to accept. I don't want Trump to fail. I want him to succeed, because like Obama said, then we all succeed.
Writing has always helped me figure things out. If you're still struggling, seriously, give it a go. Write some emails. Send them, or don't.
And for all the people who are getting frustrated with the degree of negativity on Facebook right now, remember that people are still processing this result. The polls were so misleading, it shocked everyone. There's also an element of fear because Trump didn't seem emotionally stable during the campaign, and he insulted and threatened several groups of people. He also came off as incredibly narcissistic, which isn't a quality I admire in anyone. If he can pull it together for the presidency, and work to do good for the country, and try for the love of god to stop insulting women, minorities, and veterans, then I can support him.
My mother works on Capitol Hill and has ~30 years dealing with the enactment and enforcement of laws at the congressional-level. Here's what she wrote me, which put things into perspective:
"One comforting thought is that the professional federal bureaucracy will moderate the impact of the leadership. Another is the rule of law. A third is trade associations and NGOs. They know how to slow bad laws and regulations. We felt exactly like this in 1980 with Reagan. Somehow we survived. We will again."
I'll just add that she was the first person who suggested to me that the election was going to be a lot tighter than it seemed. I don't know where she gets her DC-insider knowledge, but she has her sources, so I'm going trust her don't panic response.
All of this is negated of course if there's any proof Trump assaulted women (or any other criminal act). Then throw the mf in jail. I think he probably did, but I suppose everyone is innocent until proven guilty. That's the standard I've held Clinton to, and that's the standard I'll continue to hold for Trump.
So I'm moving on. There's plenty I can do to support the causes I believe in. I'm going to take a positive attitude at this point, though I reserve the right to change my mind in the future based on whatever new information is available. Let's see what he does before we condemn his presidency.
As hard as it is to believe, he ran a better campaign and won. We can't condemn his earlier statements about not promising to accept the results of the election if we don't ourselves accept the results. Sometimes you lose. You accept it, because to do otherwise is the antithesis of democracy.
Finally, although I admire people who feel strongly against Trump and are participating in peaceful protests, I think he may be the kind of person who is more easily managed with flattery, or at least calm respect. After vilifying Obama more or less continuously during the campaign, Trump met the president at the White House today and called him "a very good man." Seriously, check out this Washington Post article. Here's a quote:
"Trump told reporters Thursday that he expects to work closely with Obama now and in future to seek his advice in guiding the country. He noted that a session that was supposed to last 10 to 15 minutes went on for an hour and a half.
Is he lying? I don't know, the length of the meeting suggests more sincerity than I would have expected. Maybe it's because he felt respected?
So instead of protesting Trump, maybe we should be following the Ivanka approach. Be polite, respect his interests, look the other way when he says something dumb, all the while getting him to do more or less exactly what you want. You think she became the vice president of development and acquisitions at his company by accident? Read this New Yorker article, especially the part about how she handled her parents' divorce, and tell me what you think. Because I think she knows exactly how to get the best out of him, and maybe we should be following her example. My guess is other people in D.C. are picking up on this dynamic too, which would be great. I am so ready for a less acrimonious political landscape. I just hope it doesn't result in the loss of anything I value (equal rights, women's health, science and learning, etc.).
What do you think? Are you getting closer to acceptance?
Writing Streak: 3 days
My Books on Amazon:
Waking Lions by Avelet Gundar-Goshen
Never Let Me Go
by Kazuo Ishiguro