We’re in the second day of post-Presidential election America. I’m not sure how you dealt with day 1, but after a day of hearing triumphant Trump supporters in close proximity, I was emotionally and physically drained. We ate pizza we shouldn’t have (for a multitude of reasons) and turned in about 2 hours earlier than normal.
Today, I feel better, though the pangs of reality like the President-elect’s meeting at the White House with President Obama and reports of of possible cabinet appointments has me a little more than skittish.
Preparing myself mentally, emotionally and physically for a Trump White House was not what I had planned for the next two and a half months.
From what I’ve seen, its not what the Trump campaign had planned either.
But here we are. There’s a lot of hurt, fear, and anger right now, and that was to be expected no matter who won on Tuesday.
This will be the 6th of 10 Presidential elections that didn’t go my way. Sure, 3 of those 6 were before I was old enough to vote, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t feel it.
I vaguely remember the 1980 Reagan vs. Carter election because we had a mock election at school and I was one of the only kids to vote for Carter in my grade. I can honestly say I don’t remember election night that year, though my soon to be 10 year old will most certainly remember this one. She loves Hillary Clinton almost as much as she loves President Obama. When she heard the news yesterday morning she was sobbing in Ellyn’s arms.
I haven’t had time to cry yet, but its coming. I haven’t gotten angry yet, but that will follow those tears. I’m a guy, and the way I deal with hurt is to push it way down until it bubbles up and explodes like a volcano.
It will be an ugly cry.
I hope I’m alone when it happens.
I say this to say we all deal with grief in our own way. Some ways turn out to be more constructive than others. But dealing with grief is very personal.
I see those personal expressions on my Facebook feed every 10 minutes or so, as my friends, and “Facebook friends” work through their hurt and try to chart their path forward.
There are a lot of ways to do it. No one way is right or wrong necessarily.
I would just hope that people will allow each other the latitude to work through their grief, disappointment and feelings in their own way and maybe be a shoulder to cry on if needed, or a sympathetic voice when they’re feeling alone.
Don’t expect others t grieve like you do, but be willing and ready to help them through their grief, no matter how ridiculous you may think they’re being.
That’s what friends do.
For me, for right now until the feelings well up and burst, I’m just trying to find some level of understanding. This early in the game, understanding is hard to come by, but hopefully I’ll lay a foundation now, and find a breakthrough later.
Any time there’s a catastrophic loss there are plenty of folks willing to point to one or two things (sometimes they’re the same things, sometimes not) that led to this defeat.
• Strong Bernie supporters say he would’ve won. Maybe, maybe not. Hypotheticals aren’t answers.
• Politico describes the Democratic Party in chaos. Come on people, its bad, but damn.
• The Guardian adds black and hispanic voters to that mix. Seriously?
• Maybe it was the 88,000+ folks who left the Presidential election blank in Michigan. That makes you wonder how that played out in other states.
• The Fix at the Washington Post says blame the folks that stayed home. Turnout does matter, but who turns out matters more.
There are plenty of simple answers, but I doubt they’re the right ones. We’re too close to it to have the perspective we need to really assess.
Its too raw.
We’re too upset.
This election wasn’t lost because of one thing. A lot of things happened, and led to this. Things we’re probably too close to to even consider…or that we hadn’t considered.
I’m not saying there isn’t a grain of truth in all of these. Maybe even several grains. I’m just asking you to consider not latching on to one and deciding its the end all be all. When you’re ready, be open to considering all of them, as well as the ones that will inevitably come, and see what makes sense to you.
But if you can, for now, hold off on the blamestorming. Even folks who might have not been overly enthusiastic Clinton supporters are upset with the outcome now. We’re all raw.
Let’s try a little love and understanding so, when we’re ready, we can start working together to build something durable…stake out our ground, and work it out.
We owe each other that much.