I do not think many Trump voters want to believe that this has hit so many of us so hard on a level that runs deeper than party politics. I have family members trying to get me to calm down, focus on the positive--I'm not sure if they're as much afraid for me as they are afraid of having to sense how profoundly wrong this election has been and what that might mean for all of us. They can either write us off as being "someone who feels things very deeply"(as a family member recently put it), or they will have to consider that something terrible has come to pass, something so ominous that we think of nothing but ways to stop it from happening. I've lived through devastating losses to Reagan and the two Bushes (I was a little girl during Nixon). I was enraged when Bush the Younger was elected (twice). BUT IT WAS NEVER LIKE THIS.
I have been told to be positive. I would very much like to be positive. Thing is we've seen a firestorm of negativity and hate coming from the right--after 18 months of it and before that, the rise in hate groups that, sadly for us as a nation, coincided with our nation's having a sane, intelligent, hardworking African American president. We now have to grapple with the idea that Steve Bannon—whose publication has hosted white supremacist, neo-nazi, and misogynist views and harnessed them into a Trump voting bloc—is Trump's choice for chief White House strategist. People all over the country are harassing minorities and women, writing hateful notes, spreading hateful language via car signs and graffiti. Now I'm seeing video from the neo-Nazi, white nationalist """National Policy Institute""" conference, where its leader calls on those gathered to raise a sieg salute, chanting, "All Hail President Trump!" There is a pain deep inside my chest over this. I've been sucker-punched by a hard lesson about power, since apparently history hasn't ever really hit me this hard before. There are groups of people who simply will not share power and opportunity with those who are not like them. These people are white in this country, at this moment. Not all white people, but a good chunk of them. They feel entitled to claim this country as their own. They will no longer tolerate the progress made by women and minorities, because they are afraid they will lose power in doing so. They want, in short, to put many of us back in our places.
So it's hard to be positive when all of this has become very clear. And I know it's a sign of my privilege that I'm late, very late, to feeling this punch in the gut.