No, that's not exactly right. I'm not flabbergasted and not sad. I'm pissed off but not for the reasons you may think I am.
My family and I watched till the bitter end about 2am. We couldn't help it- it was like watching the world's biggest car wreck in slow motion.
I went from, "She's got this but it won't be by much, and how embarrassing is THAT?" to
"Just wait till NY and CA total up- she'll get the electoral vote" to
"Holy fucking shit. What the hell is WRONG with us?"
But I was strangely calm. While friends and acquaintances recorded crying, being sick to their stomachs, being afraid and mostly of all angry...so very angry, for whatever reason all I could think of was, "Of course. What else did we expect?"
And I told my husband and son and a dear friend that we'd figure out what we needed to in order to keep us all safe and we went to bed.
This morning I shed tears twice- once at a post my daughter (my conservative daughter) made about how women will ALWAYS have to try harder while undergoing more scrutiny than any man and once when my friend told me he loves me.
And the resignation I felt last night has turned into cold, long-lasting anger.
You need to understand that that's my survival mode. When nothing else gets me thru something that needs to be gone thru to get to the other side, anger will always do it. Anger will always be there for me. Anger has always given me the will to be brave and the tenacity to hang on.
It's not hot and volatile. It's cold and steadfast. And it can last as long as I need it to.
Say...four to eight years. Longer if necessary.
But here's the thing. I'm not angry at who and what you think I am.
I honestly think Donald Trump had no fucking idea he'd win. That's why he had no actual plans set, no key advisors he could name. In his head this was a reality show that ended yesterday and today he'd be moving onto his next project. He had no clue what he's unleashed in the basest of American character and has shown zero actual desire to learn the job he's been applying for for over a year.
So other than his being a clueless, selfish, entitled asshole, I'm not angry at Trump.
I'm not mad at his voters. I honestly think they (90% or better of them anyway) voted for him as a "protest vote" to shake things up in DC- send 'em a message. They really thought Hillary would win and they could bitch and moan about the election being rigged. Today they are as stunned as anyone else INCLUDING TRUMP HIMSELF.
I'm angry at a system that has produced an electorate who is
-clueless as to how things are supposed to actually work
-so desperate for change that they are willing to burn the whole thing down to get it instead of yanno...just not voting for pricks and getting some real honest moderates in office
I'm angry because obviously as a people, we feel so helpless and angry that we will do anything at all just to prove we are still capable of doing something even if that something will destroy us.
I've been married three times. The first two were bad marriages. The second one specifically because he was an abusive drunken asshole.
Here's a thing about abuse. It's complicated. It's easy to say, "NO IT'S NOT- GET YOUR ASS OUT OF THERE!" but until you are tits deep in it, you don't understand. MOST of the time there's something the abuser plays on- your love, your sympathy, your desire to "fix" them...something, and they may not even realize they are doing it because their childhood was so fucked up and they may realize it but can't care enough to change because their own demons are eating them alive.
Justified or not- this man felt victimized his entire life. Abusive childhood. Drinking and drugs. Lots of in and out of jail and mental hospitals. He could be "normal" and charming but not for long. He was too damaged. But he was normal and charming just long enough to catch my heart and stuff it in his pocket.
After one of his many arrests, the officers tossed him into the holding cell- hands still duct-taped behind his back (he was a struggler). He realized he could reach into his back pocket and grab his cigarette lighter.
He'd been arrested (for, in his head, unfair reasons) and was outwardly helpless to do anything that affected his own life.
He grabbed his lighter and lit himself on fire.
The officers just watched him for a minute before putting him out because it was clearly a dumbfuck thing to do.
But it was all he was capable of doing to prove his autonomy at the time.
Now, imagine yourself as Trump Voter America. Trump promises you that he and ONLY he can fix everything that's wrong with your life. You KNOW that's bullshit. You KNOW that he can't deliver even a tiny fraction of his promises. You know that.
But you vote for him anyway. Because the ones up in DC aren't listening to you (in your eyes) and you want to do something that will get their attention.
Even if you set yourself on fire.
That'll show 'em.
America has for full and true set itself on fire. And I'm angry that we're so shell-shocked as a people that we can't see beyond our own helplessness. We work harder and longer than people almost anywhere else for less pay and with less of a social safety net, but we run like horses back into a burning barn when someone hollers "SOCIALISM!"
I'm angry that we have reached a point that fully half of the citizens who bothered to vote consciously thought, "Fuck it. Burn it to the ground."
How long can I stay angry? Long enough to make sure none of those I love get caught in the fallout.
Long enough to try to protect anyone within my reach who is going to be hurt by what's coming- even and especially those who sowed what we will all now reap.