How does a narcissistic, orange bigot
And a stalker, known for his comb over and locker room talk,
High in his penthouse shrewdly avoiding all taxation
End up to be the leader of our nation?
I know this is a long post and may be babbling nonsense at times due to only four hours of sleep, but please bear with me (or, ditch out as you like). My hope is to get this all off my chest now, and not feel the need to blog about it again.
Yesterday was quite the emotional roller coaster. I felt like Jessie Spano on caffeine pills.
I woke up in such a fabulous mood – so excited. I was about to take my daughter with me to vote for the first female president of the United States of America. What an historic day this was going to be! We didn’t even have breakfast – just got dressed and headed out to the polls.
Yes, I totally teared up when I darkened that oval for Hillary.
After a joyful Starbucks breakfast (The Girl had her first Gingerbread Latte – decaf, natch), I dropped her off at school and headed to the gym, proudly displaying my “I Voted Today” sticker on my tank top. Afterwards, I joined in the girl-power excitement that permeated my Facebook feed. I reveled in the images of my friends who proudly joined Pantsuit Nation. I smiled at the pride of fathers who brought their young daughters with them to vote.
I was excited to note that all total, I had the privilege of voting for women in 10 out of 17 ballot positions! That enthusiastic post garnered some great, polite, respectful discussion on Facebook:
In response and collaboration, my friend, Mary, posted this nugget about how electing women actually changes how our government works: http://www.vox.com/2016/7/27/12266378/electing-women-congress-hillary-clinton. The feeling of hope and feminine relevance was palpable.
After dinner, The Girl and I turned on the TV. Trump actually had a bit of a lead. Surprising, but not worrisome. As I told The Girl, beginning numbers are usually misleading. Especially when half the country (including CA) wasn’t in yet. As the numbers for Trump increased, I kept telling her it was not yet time to be concerned. Already, by 8 pm, the race was definitely too close for comfort, but I didn’t let her see my trepidation. I put her to bed and settled in to see how it was to play out.
As I watched Trump’s numbers continue to climb, and realized the chances of a different outcome were pretty much nil, I posted this:
And finally this:
Each of those Facebook posts spurred comments and reactions from like-minded friends, and while it didn’t soothe the sting or staunch the tears, it certainly helped me to not feel so alone. Still, I had not felt this shocked and afraid since the day I found out I had cancer.
I had gone upstairs before 270 was reached, but by the time I’d crawled under the covers, he’d surpassed that magic number. I fell asleep, thinking about how to talk to The Girl about this in the morning. I knew I needed to sound ok, even if I didn’t feel that way. I was inspired by this Huffington Post article that I saw in several online discussions: What Do We Tell the Children?
At 1:30 last night, I’d sent her teacher an email heads up on The Girl’s anxiety over all of this, and that I anticipated a rough morning for her. She replied at 3am (the woman never sleeps!) with the most eloquent, lovely missive about how she will make sure her students are feeling as secure as they can be, and reminding me of the importance of letting kids be kids and not let them get too caught up in grownup concerns like politics. Between that (which I read when I woke up) and the HuffPo article, I was ready to be positive for my daughter.
When I went in to wake The Girl this morning, I didn’t tell her anything until she asked. I knew I was on borrowed time. Soon enough, she was awake enough to form words, and asked me, “Who won?” I took a deep breath and told her. She immediately started whimpering, and my tears started streaming again. I rubbed her back in circles and told her it was going to be ok. We both cried as I told her it’s alright to be sad and and that she shouldn’t worry because Trump won’t actually have the power to do all of the scary and mean things he says he will. I talked about our system of checks and balances (leaving out the imbalanced fact that the same party – not the one we align ourselves with – now holds the majority in both the House and the Senate). I reassured her that her school friends from Mexico will not have to leave unless their families want to. And, I told her he can’t take away all the cute things (ah, elementary school conspiracy theories), and we’d still have pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows. It turned out, she was much more worried that Trump was going to take our cat, George. I promised her that would NEVER happen.
I did not tell her that, frankly, I can see him tossing out executive orders like confetti, ignoring our government processes (that I doubt he understands), and putting our country into a deep depression – economically as well as emotionally.
I talked to her about the importance of respecting our new President, even if we don’t like his ideas. I talked about going high – doing the right things and being kind and respectful of others and doing what we can to make our world a good place. And then we went about the business of moving forward with our day.
On the way to the bus stop, I got a text from Hubs (he was staying downtown for a trade show and had gone to bed early because he was exhausted from work). He woke up and thought he should check his phone to make sure Hillary won. Needless to say, he was stunned.
After The Girl got on the school bus, I called Hubs. We discussed that if CA secedes, we are heading west… West Covina, here we come!
What? With the pending depression, neither my bank account or my liver could handle a move to Napa. Next, I allowed myself a few minutes to check in on the web and see what the world was saying. I was a tad bit (darkly) amused to see the story about the giant sinkhole that opened up in Japan this morning. It certainly does feel a bit like the End Times series, Left Behind (no, I never watched the Kirk Cameron movies – I read the original books – really interesting).
Seeing that Hillary indeed won the popular vote and it was Bush-Gore all over again, minus the hanging chads, I was led to follow this link in USA Today about why we have an electoral college:
As Alexander Hamilton writes in “The Federalist Papers,” the Constitution is designed to ensure “that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.” The point of the Electoral College is to preserve “the sense of the people,” while at the same time ensuring that a president is chosen “by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice.”
Hmm… “preserve the sense of the people” doesn’t seem to be served by the electoral college when the electoral winner is not the same as the popular vote winner. The groups of people involved in the #NotOurPresident movement certainly don’t feel their sense has been preserved. Not only is California trying to secede, but they want to take Washington and Oregon with them. Yeah, how’s that faction avoidance working now? It just goes to prove that what was intended and written by our founding fathers is not absolute and does not necessarily work for today’s world (I’m also thinking relevance of the 2nd amendment, but that’s an issue I don’t have the fortitude to go into at this point).
I continued to feel sick and choke back tears all morning. But, after spending an hour volunteering in The Girl’s classroom, and practicing a few random acts of kindness, I began to feel a teensy bit lighter. I’m still going back and forth, emotionally, but I don’t feel as paralyzed as I did last night.
I still can’t bring myself to watch Trump’s acceptance speech or Hillary’s concession. It’s just too raw. Maybe tomorrow.
For now, I’m trying to look forward to the next good thing. No, not Thanksgiving. Though, all the food – yum! I’m looking forward to November 25th, when the Gilmore Girls return to the small screen. I have to wonder – did the Palladinos work this election debacle into the script? Mayhaps they filmed two versions. Or like for so many of us, was the possibility of this outcome so far removed from reality that they didn’t consider it? Did they have to cut anything because of the popular presumption?
I’ll have to wait to find out. In the meantime, I’m going to focus on what I can do to enact change. I doubt #Calexit will get the 2/3 majority approval needed to secede (there’s too much money and power at stake), but I know there are some good, solid women out there coming up in the political ranks (10 out of 17!), and I would love to have one to support in 2020. Also – if any of my lovely readers know where I might get involved in getting rid of or revamping the outdated electoral college, please point me in that direction.