Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Processing the 2016 Election

Ironic that the name of my blog is "Nothing funnier than an angry muppet" and that's exactly who has been elected as the 45th POTUS. And in this instance, there's nothing funny about it.

I sat in disbelief as I watched the election results pour in last night. I thought, as I have all year, that I was living in a dream world - in joke land - and that at any moment the joke would be over. I went to bed before all of the results were in, but it wasn't looking good. The first thing I did this morning was check the election results. I was, and am, still in shock. Based on the news feed on Facebook today, I see that I'm not the only one.

It's taken me all morning to process how I feel about all of this. The shock is still there, but is wearing off, and it's giving me head space to untangle the web of emotions and fears that are swirling inside my brain.
My first thoughts were to start flexing my stoic muscles, and use these results to practice. I made a sign to remind me to let go of what I cannot control. I meditated on that for awhile. So far, it's not working. There's too much inside. So I took the approach of thinking about judgment. And the idea that things and events aren't inherently "good" or "bad" but it's our judgment about them that makes it one or the other. That has helped my perspective a little, but it hasn't quieted the voices that are screaming about these election results.

In any case, the voices aren't going to quiet down until I let them out. So here's where my ranting begins.

First and foremost, I'm afraid. Genuinely afraid. I'm afraid for myself, my family, my friends, and my country. I'm afraid that the fear-based violence that has gripped this country is only going to get worse. That people who are not able-bodied, cis, white, christian men are going to be targeted more virulently due to the empowerment that has been given to hate.

I'm also angry. So very angry. The thought that someone so vile, so narcissistic, so disgusting as Trump has been selected as the representative of our country. He embodies everything that is wrong with our society, all wrapped up in one neat orange package. Intolerance. Bigotry. Misogyny. Racism. Hate. Xenophobia. That is not who should be representing our great nation. I'm not denying that these qualities exist in some of our citizens; what infuriates me is that it has been brought to the front and center of our country, to be put on display as if it's something that we should be proud of. Especially when so many people are working so hard to eradicate these qualities in our country.

I'm also angry that some Trump supporters are touting the "it's not what he says, it's his platform that I'm behind." First, Trump has yet to put out a consistent, coherent, detailed plan about anything. So for someone to say that, all I hear is that they are projecting the qualities they wish Trump would embody and ignoring what is slapping them in the face. Trump's vitriol gave a voice to and empowered hate. Because of that alone, Trump should have never been given an ounce of validation. But he was featured non-stop because of his inflammatory and shocking comments.  There is no reason to have gone beyond this first deplorable layer to even try to understand a platform.

I'm also sad. Sad that I lack the words to explain to my young children what has happened. How we tout the values of respecting one another, being kind to people, and sticking up for those less fortunate, all while electing a man who has done none of the above. Fortunately, my children are a bit too young to understand Trump's explicit disregard for women as human beings. But if his presidency actually lasts four years (and let's hope it doesn't), I am certainly going to have to try to explain how this man is supposed to represent all of us - the best of us - sooner rather than later. And I have no tools in my toolbox for that.

I could go on. There's so much more that I am feeling, but I don't have the capacity to sort it out at the moment. Adding insult to injury, I literally just read how Trump has put a climate skeptic in charge of the EPA transition. That was the straw that broke the camel's back. I'm cried out for the time being. And now just numb.

1 comment:

Ann said...

I too am sad, and it's going to take some time to process all of this.

Last month when I was with my sandwich for the homeless group I looked around the room. There were people of all sorts of different persuasions surrounding those tables making bologna sandwiches. My take away that day was that there are a lot of good people in the world. This morning I received an email from an office that I worked with in Australia inviting me to relocate there. I think that America needs us more than ever. I do think it's ok to be sad, it's ok to grieve it's even ok to be angry.

...but if we walk away, if we give up--then hate truly wins. I'm not willing to give up quite that easily.

Hugs...we've got this my friend.