I woke up on Wednesday morning with dread in my heart, immediately snatched my phone from the nightstand and scrolled through my Twitter. It gave me nothing definitive. This is what you get for following Veteran’s Health, The Public Library, The Art Institution and such! I deferred to my number two in nanoseconds and opened my Facebook – faster than CNN though you might have to sacrifice some accuracy and substitute fact for opinion. Close enough. And there it was – scroll – scroll – scroll in my panic and upset only to confirm the news – Hillary lost, Donald Trump was the new President Elect of the United States of America.
Outrage, disbelief, anger and denial pulsed through all of my veins. I felt like I needed a sick day but I didn’t think anyone at my job would really get it. Why? Not because they’re monsters. No. I actually love my job and love the people that I work for, and with, but for the most part, they’re White. NOT White racist, not the KKKluckerz, not the Nazi regime, and I don’t know what their political viewpoints might be however bits and pieces I’ve heard, surmised, etc., allows me to hazard a guess at generally Republican party with maybe one other than myself as a general Democrat. I think they would vote yes for a woman’s right to choose but immigration and border patrol – we might get a little fuzzy and of course that’s across the board for a lot of people. I remember once my sunshine got pulled over (the little speed-demon) and while the trooper was writing out his ticket, my man (not my real man, my bossman) was smoking a cigar and recording a personal video. When we gathered in the conference room the next day I told him, I wasn’t worried about you because you’re White. His response after he chewed on my statement for a bit was “no one ever said that to me before” and he said it matter of fact-like and with genuine sincerity. I could see the gears turning as he pondered why I said it and why it was that no one ever mentioned it before. And I continued – “because if you were Black, there’s no way you wouldn’t have gotten hurt or killed with that type of attitude, making a video and smoking a cigar. The cops would have taken that as a sign of disrespect as well as a lack of recognition and obedience to authority.”
Now don’t get me wrong, my boss, my co-workers, they’re not bad people by any means, they’re wonderful and I find them to be good, honest people but situations like that, are just not their reality. They’re not touched by these situations because it doesn’t happen to them and either it doesn’t happen to their friends or their friends don’t share those moments with them. – No judgment, just an observation. Of course if I were let’s say your life coach, I might tell you that while you’re diversifying your portfolio, it wouldn’t hurt to diversify your acquaintances and friendships as well. Broaden your horizons, ya know what I’m sayin?
Moving onto this election – the aftermath of this election, I should say: for the past couple of days I’ve effectively been in a stupor. I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around the fact that my soon to be leader by his own words and actions is a racist, sexist and all around general asshole. After being represented by such a stellar human being as President Barack Obama, this felt like someone told me I had terminal cancer. I couldn’t wrap my mind around this. To say I was resistant to the very idea is putting the most positive spin on the idea as one can possibly imagine.
I literally spent two days disseminating anyone on FB who tried to explain, defend or push the idea of Trump in my direction. The ones that tried to cast a positive light on the horror, I dealt with them a smidgen more gently, a smidgen. Day three, I’m exhausted and a bit remorseful. I realize I don’t have to be belligerent about my opinions and attitudes. I’m not conceding that I see sense in the others choice but I must acknowledge that it is their choice and I can’t nail them to the wall for it.
I’ve read what others are feeling and doing – the people against Trump – the protestors and some other politicians and celebrities and good old regular folk like myself (way to go – let it be known how we feel – they certainly didn’t pull any punches during Obama’s Administration!)
And I’ve also read some of what the Trump supporters are saying, doing and feeling. I read something by Mike Rowe, an actor whom I liked very much, made popular by a show on Discovery called Dirty Jobs and he explained why he thought so many people voted for Trump and made an interesting comparison to his own show. He said Trump reached a majority of people who felt like they hadn’t been “seen, or heard” in a very long time. He said we shouldn’t label Trump supporters as racists or sexists, that it’s dangerous not to note the difference between the candidate and his/her voters.
I read that and it made me stop and think. Is he right? What makes him right? What am I really feeling? What is/are the root cause(s) for these feelings?
He’s my conclusion and partial analysis. I feel like Mike is asking me to separate the head from the body. Perhaps some of what he’s saying is true, and people want someone who they can relate to, the regular guy. Now I have to ask – what is so regular about Donald Trump that the regular guy finds so relate-able? He’s rich. Regular guy, not so much. He disposes of women when he gets tired of them – he can literally afford it and there seems to be no shortage of women who can ignore everything else about him sans his bank account. Regular man cannot afford a girlfriend much less a wife, much less multiple wives. I am a regular girl, who’s been around many regular guys and I can tell you – not one of em’ ever grabbed me by the pussy. Not one! I digress. His behavior, speeches (during his candidacy and beyond) lead me to conclude that he is a racist. I guess it depends on what regular guy you’re talking to but in short, how do you separate his supporters from him? What are they supporting? They want change. Hell I want change too but I don’t want the kind of changes he is proposing. His supporters do. What’s he proposing? To put up walls, halt immigration, ban Muslims, throw the Clintons in jail if he wins, fire people from their job oh yes, let’s not forget also “To Make America Great Again.” Some of his supporters who I’ve spoken with, don’t comment on the violence, or race, they hold on to this belief that he will “make American great again” and manage to ignore everything else that he has said and done. So I categorized them in one of two ways, racist and sexist – category 1 – damn fools – category 2. Is that true? I don’t know but it’s how I feel for the most part. Maybe there’s a category 3 – desperate.
I’ve heard a few rumblings from my office mates, others, read a few articles about people who support Trump and what is evident is that none of these people have any real fear about having him as President. They’ve written him off as a fool but not dangerous. That’s the difference – that was my aha moment because that is my biggest problem with Trump being President. Fear? I fear that his power may impede women’s rights, specifically the right to choose. I fear his ban on Muslims, I have Muslim family members. I don’t want them to live in a world where they’re afraid to step out of their house because someone might attack them due to the climate of anger, mistrust and violence that the President elect may spread and enable. I fear for my Black friends and family members because in certain states, the violence towards them may increase, police may take even more advantage of their already over the top brutality and the murder rates might go up even higher. These people that have written these articles, such as Mike Rowe, they don’t fear these things. If they do, they’re not stating it.
Then I remembered something that has calmed me considerably and stabilized my mind set to an appropriate degree. Of course it came from movie dialogue: After Earth – a scene where Wil Smith is speaking to his son and he says this:
“Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.”
And I said to myself, self you are right! So now I look at this with new eyes and I understand what I already knew before the fear and anger took over. Donald Trump is a fool – but he is a fool that cannot act alone. He’s now in the world of politics and that game has been the same from its inception – just watch The Good Wife and it will all become clear. Politics is not about doing what you want. It never has been and it never will be. While it’s true, the Republicans are large and in charge, and they might make (almost certainly) choices that I wouldn’t, I doubt they’ll go too far left or right. I don’t think they want to be remembered as the ones who let the dog loose but rather the ones who tempered their candidate and brought out the best in him. That’s what I honestly believe and thus far I even have evidence that substantiates my claim – Christie is out – Eli Gould wouldn’t have a scandal like that hanging over a tumultuous President at best and neither are the Elephants! God willing they have the good sense to get rid of Giuliani, which I believe they will for much the same reason.
George RR Martin said of the Trump Election – I told you, Winter is coming.
Yes George, you did, but we have John. We ARE John of HOUSE STARK, and in our breasts beat the heart of a Direwolf.