How I’m doing: 2016 election edition

It’s been a hell of a week, I won’t kid you. I spent the entire election season being pretty confident in Hillary Clinton’s victory. I guess, I fell into the trap of believing my experience of the world was shared by everyone. Clearly, I was wrong. And intellectually, it seems stupid of me now.

But I believed she’d win, she’d be the first female President, and that much of the progress we’d made under Obama would continue. Because, you know, the alternative was too unbelievable to imagine. But on election day, with no real reason, I began to get nervous. By evening, as the polls were closing, I couldn’t stop thinking about election night in 2000, when we were at a bar watching the returns, and someone looked up at the TV and asked, “Hey, where did Florida go?”

It seems a small mercy now that Tuesday night’s returns were consistently disappointing, with a long slow slide into a Trump victory, no false hope moments to raise us up before dashing us back onto the rocks. (The Nevada win was too late in the evening, at least for me.) But I felt numb, and kind of… blank. I was up until 1 am, just after John Podesta announced that Hillary would not be speaking. I went to bed knowing the outcome, but when I woke up at 4:30 am, I checked anyway.

I work in politics, albeit at the state level, and I live in Kansas, so I’m predisposed to crappy political news. I have spent the last few days reading and reading and reading, and thinking, and talking and thinking some more. I think this immersion in the reactions of others, like a sort of shock therapy, has replaced my mourning period. I’m not much of a mourner anyway (I’ll call it “wallowing” when I’m pissy), and I just didn’t want to dwell on it.

Now I find myself itching to do something. I’m working on understanding, and understanding will reveal the things that need to be done, I know. But until I get there, I need something tangible, some action, some difference to make. I feel, energized.

It may all come crashing down, I suppose. Some day I’ll break down in the middle of walking the dog, or at the bus stop waiting for my kid. But there’s just so much to unpack, I think I’ve got some time.

Don’t get me wrong, if I sound blasé. This outcome is horrifying to me, in every way. If I stop to consider the real consequences, to people, to our country, and to the world, I can feel the gibbering panic creeping in at the edges of my vision. But these last couple of days, I feel great. Like I have purpose, like I’m coiled and ready to spring. It’s weird. It’s interesting. And I intend to take full advantage of it.

The best elections links of the day (if you’re happy right now)

Here we go:

My thoughts on the election

So, the election is over. And I am pretty pleased with the results. I don’t have anything really grandiose to say about it, no proclamations or predictions, but throughout the night (I was up until 1 am local) and this morning I have had some random thoughts.

There may be profanity below. There will definitely be Liberal bias, so you have been warned.

  • During his concession speech, I realized that I have no animosity towards Mitt Romney. I think he is an ambitious man used to success, and he really, really, really wanted to be President. I think he really is a moderate, and I don’t think he believes half of what he “stood for” in this campaign. And while it disturbs me that he would be so glib with his values, I don’t hate him for it.
  • But Mitch McConnell can take a flying leap onto the nearest freeway. Here is what he said this morning, “Now it’s time for the president to propose solutions that actually have a chance of passing the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and a closely divided Senate, step up to the plate on the challenges of the moment, and deliver in a way that he did not in his first four years in office. To the extent he wants to move to the political center, which is where the work gets done in a divided government, we’ll be there to meet him half way.” (Source). That is such bullshit, coming from a Republican Party that deliberately, explicitly, and ultimately unsuccessfully stonewalled the President on everything he tried to do, even when he moved to the right of the political center. I call bullshit, Senator.
  • I confess that listening to Obama last night, I felt a little of the hopey, changey thing from four years ago. And it felt good.
  • I may have gloated a bit on Twitter last night. But seriously, the GOP spent the last four years actively denying Obama, trying to cast him as a failed President, and last night they got their ass handed back to them by the People. Fuck yeah.
  • Where has Boehner been? Isn’t he from Ohio? Rob Portman was popping up everywhere like an eager gopher, but not John Boehner. Curious.
  • Last night, only one person I voted for was actually elected, even all the way down to the local school board. Not the worst ballot experience I have had (that was 2004 in Omaha, Nebraska, when nobody I voted for was elected). I may be living in the wrong place.
  • The next generation has arrived. Gay marriage passed in two states (after losing 33 times in previous elections). Pot is (or will be) legal in Colorado. (Source). And the youth vote carried Obama again, just like it did four years ago (Source). So fasten your seat belts, Boomers, your young tattooed Latina barista is about to take the wheel.
  • Fox News, et al., was not only wrong, but dishonest with their viewers, all season long. This article in the Atlantic is (liberal and) very interesting. And they call us sheeple. (The Atlantic)
  • And finally, this. “I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.” (Transcript source)
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