My old tagline in the Uneasy Pink days was “making meaning out of chaos” but I’m struggling to make any meaning these days that isn’t rimmed with disgust.
Everywhere I’ve gone in the last week: Kroger, church, social gatherings, Kroger again a few more times, I keep returning to the same thoughts.
These people voted for a guy who bragged about sexually assaulting women. A guy accused of sexually assaulting women. A guy without a lick of experience. A guy facing lawsuits for shady business practices. A guy who called immigrants rapists and murderers. A guy who wants to ban people of certain faiths. A guy who gets into twitter battles with Cher. A guy who believes in torture. A guy who didn’t campaign on realistic proposals. A huckster. A reality television star.
A guy who made an alt right white nationalist superstar a senior advisor.
Because his opponent has been in public service for decades. She, to quote my friend Mary Pierce Brosmer, tried to do big things and therefore made big mistakes. A woman who has been under attack since the 1990s, who has been the subject of flimsy accusations that have never amounted to anything but sound and fury. A woman whose obscure mistakes regarding an email server can’t be forgiven, even while her opponent claimed that he could walk out on 5th Street, shoot someone and still not lose voters.
We’re still unpacking it, but I believe a decades-long, intense campaign of misinformation paid off. I believe we live in a country still so stuck in the dark ages that many of us can’t get behind a female change agent. Yes, parts of our country felt unheard and wanted to upend the status quo, but Trump managed to wrap that status quo bogeyman in ways that touched deeply held, unexamined, bigoted stereotypes.
And without a doubt, I think there was a successful strategy to exploit the electoral college system to upend the popular vote.
(NOTE: I’m still researching the turnout issue I mentioned in my last post. I might revise what I said about the turnout being depressed on the Democratic side because that might not be true)
Most depressingly, I realized this week that I just don’t live in the country I thought I lived it.
That’s a deeply wounding thought, not a golly gee my team lost the championship level of disappointment.
My neighbors are not who I thought they were.
They were willing to overlook the serious flaws of this man.
I don’t care right now, because no answer is going to make sense to me right now. I just know I’m done arguing about it. I’m done with the crazy upside down world that keeps yelling at me that black is white.
I’m in a discernment phase now. Will I become more politically involved? Less? Stand and fight? Pass the baton? Sell my house in red-land and move to blue-land? Sell it and move to the middle of nowhere? Something else I haven’t dreamed up yet?
I’m shrinking my presence online for now, starting with the that infected petri dish known as Facebook. More on that decision to come, but as of right now at least, you can still find me here and on Twitter @uneasykt.