I went to bed last night pretty sure that Donald Trump would win this election. I woke up to confirmation of that fear. It’s hard to describe in words the feelings I have in this moment. This is momentous. This is unprecedented. This will be forever remembered in our collective history as a nation.
I’ve thought a lot about how this happened. How were the polls so far off? Were people really scared to voice their opinions for Trump? Did he really have the silent majority? Looking at the exit numbers it looks like a lot of white people voted for him, and not just men. I don’t feel at all connected with the white, college-educated female who voted for Trump, but apparently they’re all around me. I don’t do well with commiserating – I tend to jump to action. In Michael Moore fashion, here is my November 9, 2016 to do list:
- Understand what went wrong. I don’t need to rehash it all, and I don’t want to dwell on the polling errors. I’ll leave that to the pundits. But I feel fundamentally disconnected from the other half of my country. We can say a lot about why people voted for Trump, but the populace has spoken. I need to know why they felt this way, and what we can do to change or address that mindset, preferably by 2018.
- Get involved. I have been so inspired by my fierce friends who have made the Hillary campaign part of their lives. I helped, but could have done more. Although the presidential election is over (for this cycle), politics is also local, and there’s more than enough to chew on in Chicago. I’m not exactly sure what my involvement will look like yet, but it’s not ending with this post.
- Take care of people. A large number of our population is hurting today, and will be hurting for some time to come. Regardless of why people elected Trump, it is impossible to ignore that the candidate they have elected has support from the KKK, dictators, and has used hate rhetoric to bandy the base. It is an unsettled time for people who are most vulnerable. I am giving to Planned Parenthood. I am volunteering my time to working with young women in Chicago. I am reaching out to my feminist networks. We are strong, and we need to stand with each other.
- Fact find. We are so used to being fed stories in tweets and clips that it is sometimes hard to uncover the facts. But that is what I do for a living, and I know it can be done with some digging. I am going to critically challenge news that I digest and do my best to find the truth, and to think critically about that truth.
- Allow happiness in, even though times are so trying. You want to know one of the weirdest things I realized today? Life goes on. I got to work, I still had work to do. I talked to my co-workers about so many things today, but we still talked about work. My friends are still celebrating the birth of their son. My other friends are still celebrating their new marriage. Even when the world is at its darkest, little pockets of light shine through. That is what I fundamentally believe about humanity, and what I will continue to strive towards.
So, on that note, this blog will continue as an entertainment site. We all need a little light in our worlds. Although I caution you all to use reality television as a release and not a total function of denial, I will not apologize for finding pleasure in the little things. Until then.