It’s November 9, 2016, the morning after the election in which Donald J. Trump became our president-elect. I’m not just sad, I’m in shock. I’m also in grief. Please just let me have that. Don’t try to talk me out of it. Don’t say things like, Oh maybe it won’t be so bad. Or, It’ll be okay, we’ll survive this. Or, Maybe he’ll rise to the occasion. Maybe he won’t be the same old Donald Trump.
Dear God, I hope that’ll be the case.
But right now, I don’t want to hear it. I just want to feel what I’m feeling. I just want to grieve.
Saying those things right now would be like telling a bride whose intended is struck dead as she approaches the altar, “Well, it’s okay.” “You’ll survive.” “It was meant to be.” or “Maybe somebody better will come along.”
This morning I feel like that bride must feel. With Hillary Clinton heading to the White House, I felt full of hope and confidence, and, yes, even love. I was excited not only that a woman would be president, but a woman who has our best interests in her heart and her policy plans, a woman who cares about other people and the planet itself. She believes in inclusion and equality for all. I would have felt almost as excited if a man with those same qualities were the candidate. We all were heading for a better America and a better world. A better future. We were that close. We were approaching the altar. And our intended was struck down.
In shock and grief, I just want to lick my wounds. I just want to grieve.
And don’t, for God’s sake, say, “Well, there are more women voters in the U.S. than men, so a lot of women voted for him.” Yes, that’s true, and I don’t want to hear it right now. I don’t want logic. I just what to feel what I’m feeling.
However, since you brought it up, don’t you suppose that those women who voted for Trump did so because they are brainwashed by our male-dominated culture to believe that a man is better equipped to handle a job of authority than is a woman? On NPR on election day there was an exit interview of a woman who had just voted for Trump. When asked why, she said simply, “Because he’s a man.”
So, here we have it, the age-old inequality. A woman who is über-qualified was defeated by a man who has no qualifications whatsoever for the office of president of the United States.
I recall that when, several years ago, some tests were done to determine the degree of prejudice that exists in children of color, the black children overwhelmingly chose a white doll or action figure. Our culture had taught them that white is preferable. So they denied their own reality and chose the other.
Our culture has done that with females too. We renounce our own gender’s intelligence and capabilities in favor of what society values. For most of my life women were not allowed to hold positions of authority. It was not uncommon for a brilliant, capable woman to be forced to train the man – or a succession of men — who would become her boss. I wouldn’t be even a little bit surprised to learn that Donald J. Trump wishes he could call up Hillary Clinton and ask her to help him learn the ropes as he struggles in the role of president.
I’m working my way through the five stages of grief:
DENIAL: I waited until the very last, when Trump went over the 270 electoral votes, to say, “It’s over.” And even then, I couldn’t believe it. I’m still hoping I’ll wake up and it will have been just a nightmare.
ANGER: Boy, am I mad. I’m so furious that the people of this country could be so unbelievably stupid. I’m angry that Trump has vowed to dump the progressive programs that were so hard-won: LGBT rights, the global climate control initiative, the Iran nuclear treaty, accessible health care. I’m angry that he will have the opportunity to choose Supreme Court justices who will take the country back 50 – 100 years. I’m angry that he has made displays of bigotry and misogyny and hatred okay again. We will live with that for a long long time.
BARGAINING: I cannot see how this is appropriate, except maybe to beg God to turn Trump into a decent person. I don’t wish him dead, because then Mike Pence would be president, and if anything, Pence is even worse.
DEPRESSION: Yes, definitely depression. I’m wallowing in it, if you want to know the truth. So just leave me alone and let me wallow.
ACCECPTANCE: This one will take awhile. And maybe it will never come.
When people show you who they are, believe them. I think he did a fine job in showing us what a total asshole he is and so many still voted for him. I’m truly scared. (Author unknown)