The Upper Hand

| The Upper Hand: thoughts on elections results shared by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom

Vase of Flags | The Upper Hand: thoughts on elections results shared by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom

Well it’s night time now. Almost 8:00 in California. Almost 11:00 in New York. What a day. This is the first time I’ve logged on to Design Mom at all. It’s been rough. I let off steam today by making a lot of obnoxious comments on Facebook. Probably not the wisest decision.

I realize half of the country is celebrating today. Or maybe only a portion of that half. Though 50% of the country voted for Trump, a good chunk seemed reluctant to, and others won’t admit they did because of shame. So maybe 25% of the country is celebrating? I’m not sure. Such a strange election.

And then the other of half of the country is in mourning today. But again, maybe only a portion of that half. Because there were so many reluctant Clinton voters too.

Personally, I’m going through the prescribed stages of grief, with the hopeful goal of acceptance, then forward movement. I’m not there yet. I think it may take awhile.

I’m still processing everything. I think everybody is. I don’t know how I will feel tomorrow, but this is what is bothering me so much right now:

– The real fear so many people in our country are feeling because of this outcome. Our President-elect has made specific and/or veiled threats against Muslims, and Immigrants, and People of Color, and the LGBTQ community, and Jews, and Women and the Disabled. His supporters (no, not all his supporters) are already acting on those threats and many, many people feel unsafe and unwanted.

Some people think the fear is an over-reaction or simply people being dramatic. I think the fear is justified. Here are some links to show you why I think so:

If You Aren’t Aching.
Documented hate crime happening in response to Trump’s win.
America is a Country that Belongs to White People.
America Hates Women.
Kids in Utah (not sure if this one is public).

– Trump supporters are upset that they are being called racist and bigoted and sexist. They insist that they are not. Which is understandable. No one wants to be thought of as racist or bigoted or sexist, and very few people try to be those things. But remember, if we know about an evil thing, like a friend posting awful memes about Muslims on Facebook, or memes calling Michelle Obama a gorilla, and we don’t do or say anything to combat it, then that makes us complicit in the evil. That’s why Trump supporters — even when they aren’t KKK members themselves — are being called racist. Trump is racist. And if we are supporting him or being silent about him instead of fighting against him, then we are complicit in his racism. Which means we are racist.

Can Trump supporters do anything to change that perception? Sure. Actively fight racism. You could support Black Lives Matter, or other pro-minority groups, with time or money or your voice. You could seek out businesses owned by women of color and purchase from them. Those examples of hate I listed above? You could watch for them in real life and shut that stuff down. You could make your children aware of them so that they look out for behavior like this at school and make sure it’s called out.

Live in a mostly white area? Don’t know many people of color? Then you could make sure your social media feeds have plenty of non-white people in them. I mean it. Seek out Instagrammers of every race. Lots of them. Follow Black and Hispanic thought leaders on Facebook. If you haven’t done this already, you will be surprised to see how much it changes your point of view as you start to see the world from more perspectives.

– I’m seeing lots of calls from Trump supporters to come together, to get past the election, to do what we can to support our new President, so that he can do his best for the country, to work together as one. I get the desire behind these calls, and I know it comes from a good place. But if you’re tempted to post a kum-ba-yah, you may want to wait a bit. A) It’s probably too soon — the mourning and fear are real. Plus B) there’s a big dose of bitterness. Bitterness that’s not without justification.

Fans of Obama have watched people on the right say horribly demeaning things about his family for 8 years. And they’ve watched a Republican House and Senate that have been unwilling to work with Obama too — even going so far as to shut down the government, and refusing to consider his moderate suggestion for a Supreme Court nominee. So the calls to come together and stop making personal attacks? They don’t necessarily come across as very sincere. The thinking is something like, why should democrats play nice if republicans weren’t willing to?

But what if you really are sincere? And you really do want to see the country come together? Okay, then how about prefacing any lecture you’re about to make, by being honest about the awful things your side has done. (And yes, I know both sides have done awful things. But we have to take responsibility for our own actions — or our own sides actions — before we worry about what anyone else has done.)

– Sometimes it seems like it’s just people in cities that are fighting about political stuff. I’ve been thinking about that since watching the votes come in last night and then again after I read this article. I kept noticing it in my life today. The people I’m arguing with on Facebook? I know them. They live in cities. The Trump supporters I know personally? They live in cities. And I know from my analytics that most of the people who read here, both democrat and republican, live in cities. Do our citizens that don’t live in the city even feel like they are getting to participate in these online conversations, or is it too much of a different world?

If you are reading and you live in a rural area or a small town, do you feel like your voice is being heard? That the needs of your communities are being acknowledged?

In the book What Technology Wants, which I was obsessed with over the summer, it talked a lot about people all over the world streaming into cities because that’s where opportunity is. If that’s true, then what happens to a big country like ours, with big cities on the edges and no where else?

– You’ll notice I’m making requests of the Trump supporters, but not really of the Hillary supporters. Can you guess why?

It’s because Trump won.

If you supported Trump, then you are the winners. And with great power comes great responsibility. The winners have the upper hand, and they have to be the bigger man (or woman). Trump supporters have control of the House, the Senate and now the Presidency. Which means you’ve got work to do. And if you’re sincere about wanting the country to come together, then it’s up to you to make it happen. You’re in the lead. It’s on your shoulders.

How will you do it? I’m not sure. But I can bet it won’t involve reading Breitbart or the Drudge Report or watching Fox News or Ann Coulter or Savage Nation, or listening to Rush Limbaugh. That stuff is poison. It does more to keep the country divided than almost anything else I can think of. If you partake of it regularly, I urge you to try an experiment. Go cold turkey off of it for a few weeks. Use something like the BBC or any standard mainstream outlets (right or left leaning) like WSJ, Weekly Standard, Forbes, National Review, NY Times, Washington Post and NPR.

I know that “mainstream media” is often maligned as if they are evil, and certainly they are not perfect. But if most Americans were still getting our news only from these types of mainstream media outlets, I think we would be better off. I really think the extreme stuff is poison.

With the poisonous stuff gone, I can tell you I was amazed at how great our country is! I don’t actually hate a lot of the people I been told to hate! It turns out talking about gun reform doesn’t mean someone is trying to take our guns! And that both sides want to protect our religious freedoms! That there is no Gay Agenda or Feminist Agenda other than being treated like equal human beings! It will be a relief, I promise. At least it was for me.

I’ve done this myself in my own life, and it works. It really does. Less knots in my stomach about the world in general, and more likelihood that I can see the perspective of the other side. And yes, I know there are ultra-left news sources too, but they are not as plentiful or powerful as the ultra-conservative ones. They don’t compare. But by all means, if you encounter one, stay away. It’s not about avoiding different points of view, it’s about steering clear of the extreme stuff.

The extreme outlets are not going to encourage anyone to come together. They can only thrive with an enemy.

– Here are two happier things today. A little bit ago, as I was starting to sign off, I began to see some humor. Oh my. I was so relieved to crack a smile! I hope you are finding something to smile at too. And then, just now, as I was typing this, my lovely sis-in-law, Liz, dropped off a bag of Pear Jelly Bellys on my doorstep. They are my favorite. I haven’t eaten a thing all day, and they are bringing me joy. (Thank you, Liz!)

So that is some of what I’ve seen today. And I’m curious what you’ve seen from your internet perches (and real-life perches) as well. Fill me in. Do you agree with any of my thoughts? Or do I have it all wrong? How did you celebrate/grieve today? Are you finding it hard to be a gracious winner or gracious loser? What do your kids think about it? Are they fearful? Or feeling triumphant? Did they talk about it in school today? Oh. And if you haven’t quit me yet. I’m planning to get on Facebook Live tomorrow. Join me (and get more info on my silver hair!).

P.S. — Here in Oakland, students at most of the high schools staged walk outs today in protest of Trump. Reading about it, I was reminded I live in a very blue bubble. I mean I know that. I grew up in a very red bubble and can certainly see the difference. But I’m sure I forget sometimes. Here’s to bursting all of our bubbles.

412 thoughts on “The Upper Hand”

  1. I voted for Hillary and my husband wrote in Evan McMullin. I was originally for Sanders. I really was optimistic the day before and I was sure she was going to win. I was so surprised and really did not want to get out of bed in the morning. I just wanted to cry and be by myself and not watch any media and just sleep it away like it was a bad dream. I finally realized I had to go on for my kids. I needed to be optimistic again. I had to drive for a field trip! All the chaperones were feeling the way I did. I just could not believe how it could have turned out this way when everyone around me thought that we would have the first Woman President! Later after the field trip, I watched Obama’s speech and Clinton’s speech and that really lifted me up. I’m going to try and have positive thoughts that this new administration will do the right things with President Obama’s guidance today. I’ll be praying for sure.

  2. Something in my thoughts that I am comforted by today:

    My mother fought to bring legislation to my state in the 80s – during the Reagan presidency – that says that if a woman tells a police officer that her husband is abusing her, the police offer has to issue a mandatory restraining order, meaning, he has to believe her. Before the 80s, if you were being abused you had to go to court to prove it, and in some cases they would put your children on the stand to testify.

    This was a major change in state law and a major win for Women’s Rights.

    My mother is one woman. She fought for one law. And it made a huge difference in how women are treated in the criminal justice system in my state.

    I am reminded of this today because “we the people” have so much more power to contribute to the direction of our country than we even know.

    I am having a really hard time getting over the election and what a Trump presidency means for our country, but I know in my heart that the change we want to see in our world will happen, with time, no matter what because over time good people will take small steps towards big progress.

  3. Wonderful post! You’re such a good writer, and thinker, Gabby, darling!
    I am grateful to have the election over. It has been a night-mare!

    I did a “write-in” at the voting booth.
    I was certain Hillary would win without my vote and I was excited to have a
    wonderful woman like she is as our new USA President.

    Trump, to me, represented everything I intuitively dislike, especially in men.
    I hope and pray that the person we saw on the campaign trail was not the real man.

    I do have faith that democracy works and that we can go forward.
    I do believe that democracy works, but it can be very messy and frustrating.
    Sincerely, Julia b

  4. Thank you for speaking out, especially as I know you have a diverse readership. I work for an environmental nonprofit and we are terrified (for the environment, for our families, for our friends). The fight for love and kindness continues on.

  5. At what point is it fair to say a person a racist or a sexist? Is it the magnitude or the frequency of one’s words/actions? Is overlooking another person’s racist words/actions a racist action? Same question applies to sexism.

    1. Good questions. Related, how tolerant do we need to be of other people’s views. If their views are intolerant, then what?

      I don’t pretend I have answers at the moment. But I think about this stuff a lot.

  6. This was a very interesting election for me. I am a moderate to my core. Extremism on either side makes me queasy.

    Right now, I am thinking of when President Obama told Rep. Cantor, “Elections of have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won.” What those consequences will be for our country, I am not sure. I am sad for those that are grieving the loss of what they thought our country is (or, I suppose they would say, was), especially if they are concerned about their personal safety. I am also incredibly disheartened for how divided this country is, and each side has an equal stake in that (especially if you start to reduce the other side to caricatures, stereotypes, or as “less ______” than your side).

    I am hopeful for the future of our country, truly. Regardless of how I vote, and who wins, I am always hopeful the president- elect will be the best president of our country.

    I often think of my WWII veteran, farm-raised (from Cache Valley, Utah–I don’t remember if you’re from there, Gabby), who prayed for our leaders at every prayer. I can remember when the scandals surrounding President Clinton were coming out, and he prayed, “Please bless and protect our President. Please bless him with the courage to be honest, and to do the right thing for our country.” My sweet grandpa was a very conservative and gentle man, and I will never forget his prayers for presidents he didn’t vote for, and that he didn’t understand, but who he ultimately recognized he wanted to support and pray for.

    So, that’s where I start. I pray. I support causes that are important to me. I work with and for my community. And at the end of the day, I realize there may be someone out there who is working at things in a completely different way for completely different reasons, and that’s okay.

  7. Long time reader first time commment here.I am a muslim woman from Iran and when I read the news I was beyond excited.I am in cloud 9 now.not because Trump is perfect. The most important issue for me was defeat of democrats and leftist media.I dont know how express my feeling with my broken english.I just know that I am sick and tired of leftist media lecturing people that Islam is a peacefull religion.sick and tired of glorifying hijab.Islamic culture is full of sick ideas ,full of anti woman ideas ,hijab one of women who claim they care about women rigths happilly defend hijab!!???hijab is oppressive and will be oppressive no matter how many articles Hufftingtonpost publish to defends it or no matter how many muslim fashionistas!!!!! wear $$$$ headscarfes.muslims like me who want to reform Islam not only are silenced in their countries but we are silenced by leftist media.I am thousands miles away from US but completely underestand feeling and frustrations of Americans voting for Trump.democrats deserve every bite of this said that Trum voters should read and watch leftist media.good idea.but reverse is true too.I suggest that supposedly open minded liberals read TheAmericanInterest National Affaires TheFederalist Weekly Standard…..there are so many amazing rigth leaning publicationes out there.the whole world dont end in The NewyorkTimes and Hufftington Post!!.
    any way as a person who deeply cares about United State of America, admire its constitution,adore its culture and constantly read about its history and politic pray and wish best of the best for this amazing great country.god bless America.

    1. Maryam, thank you so much for your voice!!! Please don’t be intimidated by your unfamiliarity with English, free expression of ideas is what is important! Having lived in the Middle East, I have seen. Please speak! So many need to hear!

    2. Hi Maryam,

      I am also Iranian and I couldn’t disagree more with you…
      For starters, as you know very well, Islam is not one single thing, there are zillions of movements inside . As Christianity isn’t one single thing neither.There are extremist movements in Christianity as KKK, Oppus Day. There are christian religions that belittle women, who think they are only there to serve men and children, they are not to be empowered other than the private sphere (household) and there are other movements, as Christian churches where women can be preachers, were the LGBTQ community is embraced and cherished, or things such as liberation theology (more focused on creating a fairer world than the dogmas). It’s all under the same huge title: christianity. The same goes to Islam, there are progressive and conservative movements. There are women who are oppressed by hijab and others who truly aren’t.
      What you fail to observe Maryam is that what you call “leftist media” is counter acting and responding for other kinds of media (as Fox News and others) who present only the worst side of Islam as if it represented it all. If I was to believe that all Christians think and act as KKK, I would be freaked out as a Muslim, I would fear for my life and I would think that Christians are all insane and there are only bad things about this “religion”. Well, that’s what the “conservative media” and even supposedly “neutral” media tends to do in the USA… All muslims are either dangerous extremists, or brainless. All women are oppressed and voiceless, etc.
      Living half time in Iran and half time in the USA, I know it is not true. And don’t imagine that all women in the US are free from oppression and patriarchy , anti woman ideas, etc. They have just elected a man who has systematically in his public life treated women as the lesser part, who publically diminished many women (and use their aesthetics to undermine them – it’s not hijab, but it’s still controlling women’s body, and appearance, shaming, but in a supposed free way), he has sexually assaulted women, he was heard on tape saying it and who didn’t even try to truly apologize for it…he just said a “Oops! You caught me there. I am sorry I said that! ” (Not I am sorry I thought that or did that…). Think about it… Is this the women friendly society or women friendly candidate?
      You have a good point that the media who only talks about peaceful and progressive movements in Islam also do not help muslims who are struggling with oppression. But that does not mean that electing someone who is openly racist, misogynist, xenophobe is the way to go. It’s not the leftist medias who lost, Maryam… They will keep on saying what they think it’s right and their life will go on with not too much trouble…they will just have more to complain about. It’s the LGBTQ communities, blacks, latinos, women, muslims who are indeed peaceful (and may even not use hijab) who have lost. It’s international affairs who have lost and so many more. One do not punish part of the media of their ignorance by sacrificing most minorities and putting in peril other countries lives.
      I really hope for America and the world that he will be a good president, that maybe he will rise to the occasion, that he will be better advised, that he will be humbled by this responsibility and that his heart and mind will be opened – but from his campaign, he seems much more of everything you dislike in the oppressive and non democratic Islam movements than the progressive one…

    3. Maryam, I truly appreciate your comment.

      Please understand that there are Muslim women in America are reporting attacks that happened yesterday and today by Trump supporters who feel empowered by Trumps win. It doesn’t matter if the women are extremists or conservatives, or like you, they want to reform Islam. The people here who hate Muslims, they won’t differentiate. Many Muslims here do not feel safe now.

  8. I would have LOVED to see a woman as qualified and experienced as Hillary in the White House. In my opinion, she was far and away the best person for the job of all the candidates who ran for office. What upsets me more than anything, what turns my stomach, embarrasses me in the world, makes me shake in fear is the fact that we are putting a bad person into such an important position. A BAD PERSON. Every bad category you can think of, he’s a card carrying member. And how so many people I know could choose this man, how his wife could stay married to him, how his children can accept his behavior, I just can’t wrap my head around it. I have a new French son-in-law and I am terrified he will be deported. I am really struggling with the thought of the next 4 years.

      1. Crystal,

        Have you never attended a social event because of social obligations? Haven’t Trump donate to the clinton foundation and even to Clinton’s campaign years ago?

    1. Yeah. I don’t think he’s a good human being. And sadly, I don’t think lots of people who voted for him think he’s a good human being either. But they liked him better than the alternative. Or, they liked him better than the caricature of Hillary they had in their heads.

      1. Haha, I see what you did there.
        Thirty years of public life is no caricature. Should I define you by her behavior as you define me by Trumps?

  9. This was such a hard election. I really thought that Hillary was going to win, which I personally didn’t really want. I was on the Evan McMullin bandwagon, but knowing he had zero chance in winning in Georgia, I voted Trump in hopes of balancing electoral votes, and then giving McMullin his reigning glory with the house of representatives. Obviously didn’t happen, but was the end goal. I’m nervous to see how this all pans out. I have a daughter with disabilities and I’m scared to see what her future will be like. I fiercely love her, and I wish the whole world could see what an amazing girl she is, despite her physical short comings. I’m choosing for the moment to be positive, and hope that our President-elect can feel the magnitude, and weight of his new calling, and know that he has all our lives in his hands, and that he can have a softened heart with that knowledge. Also really hoping the system of checks and balances works out really well.


    1. Paige — As horrified as I am by the outcome of this election, I truly hope Trump’s presidency works out for your daughter — and mine.

  10. I am a conservative who did not and would never vote for Donald Trump. Our whole family sat in shock on Tuesday night. Yesterday was surreal.
    After analyzing “how did this happen?” all day yesterday, it is really quite simple:
    Trump actually got FEWER total votes than Romney in 12 or McCain in 08. Hillary (59 million) got SEVERAL MILLION fewer votes than Obama(69 and 65 million in 08 and 12). So the people who voted for Obama in 08 and 12 did not come out for Hillary in 16. She has lots of governing experience, but people simply don’t trust her. A different democratic candidate could have easily beaten Trump.

    All that said, I am taking consolation in the Constitution. It was designed to buffer the power of any one crazy person in office. And we have had at least three horrible presidents and made it through: Andrew Jackson, Warren G Harding, and Richard Nixon. #checksandbalances

    1. Good point – and who knows, maybe a truly awful president could be a blessing in disguise, at least to the extent that it might help reign in executive over-reach and restore more of the checks and balances the founders intended.

  11. Hear, hear for democracy! This is a major change. But the federal government is like an enormous ocean liner that is not going to change course in a day. I take heart in discussions like these. I so appreciate hearing all of your opinions and trying to understand how we all came to our very different decisions. Thank you for generating this conversation, Gabby.

  12. This was one of the best pieces I have read, and you have really gone out on a limb with your honesty. Thank you. I spent yesterday calming friends who were beside themselves with anxiety and fear as we have gone into the abyss of unknowns. I am shocked deeply by this result, but did fear it was coming. What upsets me the most, by far, was reading the Facebook posts of the friends of my daughter in college. The young are devastated. They are reeling in college, some far from home, and don’t understand how or why this has happened. They feel betrayed and scared. The worst fears are expressed by young gay, immigrant, Muslim and LGBGT students who fear for their lives. What kind of a legacy is this to give to our young? How can you grow to be a confident person who can contribute to the world when you feel you aren’t valued? And know fear. Last night my daughter called very distressed because a friend (an African American high school senior) had been beaten in the bathroom by 6 other girls. How do I explain this to her? How do I support her so she doesn’t feel anger towards others who do this. How can I help her to support her friends? I keep reading about healing on websites and other places, many are talking about it. But I am afraid we aren’t at a healing point. We can try and bridge the gap between the parties but a sleeping giant has been awakened and I am not sure it will be stopped quickly.

    1. Oh Michele. I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter’s friend. It’s awful. So awful. People have been sending me stories all day. I agree that a sleeping giant has been awakened. And the giant is a fearful racist. We have lots of work to do.

  13. I feel as though a loved one has died. There are phases of sobbing and phases of determination to go on. One thing is for sure, I will not, as HRC said, stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. Fear has one, but this isn’t over. As a woman of color, I am terrified. As a mother (of a biracial, interfaith child), I will be brave. We will stand for what is right. We will help each other. We lead by being examples of love, compassion, and inclusiveness.
    To the 2018 midterm elections we go.
    And Gabrielle, thank you for your voice.

  14. Praises to our founding fathers for the electoral college. Scandal after scandal has followed HRC over the past 30+ years. The awful body count with connections to the Clinton’s. No regard for the safety of the Untied States with her use of email. The bogus Clinton Foundation. The source money the Clinton’s have received over the years is beyond questionable. CNN providing HRC questions prior to debates. The Clinton’s are corrupt to the core and have always been. I am pleased to see them go. Good riddance.
    Bernie Sanders could have made good election and possible win for the Democrats.
    We will have a female president in our lifetime.

        1. “Were any of the things she listed without documented proof?”

          Yes. Every single one. Awful body count. No regard for U.S. safety. Bogus foundation. Questionable source of Clinton’s money.

          If a single one of these was documented, Hillary (and its sounds like Amy is accusing Bill too) would be in prison. Despite what you’ve come to believe. Hillary is neither the devil, nor an evil genius, nor an epic villain.

      1. Because you asked in an earlier segment of these comments- that comment in particular feels condescending.

        I believe you, or another reader, defended HRC’s use of a private email server and careless use of it regarding classified information. I agree, it seems over the top to throw someone in jail for that, but I believe it has happened to others, so. . . if we are a nation of laws? Chris Wallace asked a very important question during the final debate- ” how exactly was that not pay to play” in regards to large Clinton Foundation donations from foreign countries which received more attention/communication/fill in the blank following said donation. She ignored the question completely because as far as I can tell this was a common practice of her time as Secretary of State. I don’t know what statutes that violates- seems like it should- but it certainly isn’t ethical and when you look at who has been on Clinton Foundation payrolls or the types of expenses the Foundation covers for the Clintons, I think it looks awfully criminal. Another example that floored me- She took Donna Brazile under her wings after the emails were leaked showing she was blatantly messing with the democratic primary. Yes, she was trying to help Hillary, but my goodness, what does that say about us that we give her a pass for not condemning this woman and instead taking her in? Also, John Podesta had plenty of hateful rhetoric exposed in his emails. Which do you prefer- the man who says it plain to your face or behind your back?

        I couldn’t bring myself to vote for either candidate. I recognize that people on both sides held their nose to vote in this election. Trump is truly awful, no doubt. Hillary is every bit as awful, just in a different, less transparent way. She has been committing actions behind our backs for decades that are at best shady and possibly criminal. I sincerely, SINCERELY, felt like so many, especially the media, gave Hillary a pass. Hate will be the demise of this great country, but letting our government officials get by with corrupt behavior will hasten the blow.

        1. “I sincerely, SINCERELY, felt like so many, especially the media, gave Hillary a pass.”

          That’s your perception, and you’re not alone, but I don’t think it’s actually reality. Or at least, it wasn’t the last time I checked. Stats show the ratio of negative articles in the press about Hillary outnumbered negative articles about every other presidential candidate across the whole election, including the primaries.

          1. Besides george Bush used private emails and nobody made a big issue about it… in eqaul or even more delicate issues and as a president and not a Secretary of State. Come on, people: stop the double standard politics…

            Do you really want to have all the dead count on competition on Secretary of States? Hillary was one of the lowests…

        2. I have to comment on the Clinton Foundation. It receives the highest ratings from the agency that monitors charities. It does tremendous good around the world. Let’s talk about the Trump foundation, which is a slush fund for Donald…

      2. I am only responding to the question you asked in your post.
        I am certainly not a conspiracy theorist only stating the FACTS regarding HRC.
        I can’t wait to vote for a female president!

  15. I am so grateful for the respect most everyone has had as they’ve shared their views and feelings here. I haven’t read all of the comments here, there is so much I’m sure I am missing. I feel compelled to add my voice because I haven’t seen it represented here. I voted third party, and had so much hope that my very red state would go to my third party vote. It didn’t come close, but I still had hope. I could not in clear conscience vote for either main stream candidate, and I believe my vote should be for someone not against the other guy. And there is just too much ugly in either direction. I am still hopeful, and take strength from conversations like these. Looking at what we can do, what we can control and influence and that is largely in our own communities and absolutely in our own homes. I also see this as a two year hall pass. This congress gets two years before several of them are up for reelection as well. If we don’t like what we see we get another chance to flip the switch, situations like these are very much the reason our government is what it is. I for one am ready to start writing my congressman and senators.

  16. Thank you for this. I am still processing. Feeling out of touch with a significant portion of the country. To change the direction of your media comments slightly, I I am disappointed that the reporting was so far off on this election. I took my 5 year old to vote with me feeling excited that he would remember being there when I cast a vote for the first female president, but before I went to bed I realized that Clinton would most likely lose the election.
    Anyone have some good, balanced ‘red’ news sources to share? Preferably longer, more detailed reporting that digs beneath the surface of a topic. I’m not sure that anyone would have predicted/reported the race any differently since the issue seems to be rooted in polling problems, but from here on out I would like to be able to approach political conversations from a point of better understanding… the emotional side of my thinking is still running in front.

    1. “Anyone have some good, balanced ‘red’ news sources to share? Preferably longer, more detailed reporting that digs beneath the surface of a topic.”

      I would love to hear answers to this. I have hunted and hunted this election cycle and came up flat.

      1. Sarah the librarian

        I’m a (progressive liberal) high school librarian (at a very liberal) high school trying to help students make sense of it all (starting in September!). I have recommended reading some journalists in the following conservative publications: The National Review, The Hill, The Weekly Standard, and Forbes. These tend to offer less sensational conservative articles. The Wall Street Journal may also be a place to explore a more conservative slant.

        1. The National Review is a great source for rational, accurate, and intelligent conservative thought. If you want to understand true conservatism it is generally a wonderful source. It also presents a variety of viewpoints within conservatism.

        2. Just realizing: I read and share articles from the WSJ, Weekly Standard, Forbes, and National Review. I know they lean right, but I don’t think of them that way. I just think of them as part of our regular legitimate media, and lump them in with the NYT and NPR.

          I know that “mainstream media” is often maligned as if they are evil, and certainly they are not perfect. But if most Americans were still getting our news from only these types of mainstream media outlets, I think we would be better off. I really think the extreme stuff is poison.

          I’m going to go edit my post above.

  17. The liberals have had 8 years with Obama and it’s not working, said 50% of the population. Blue states went blood red and you’re shocked, the media is shocked, the world is shocked. That is how marginalized the Trump supporters have been that the only response is, “How did this happen?” The liberals have been so thrilled with all that Obama is accomplishing that they have not cared what the other half of the country is feeling. And so on election day, you saw our frustration with feeling silenced for 8 years. I feel like all the Hillary supporters are kinda being sore losers. I know how you feel. I felt that way for the last 2 election cycles. But at some point you need to but the big girl pants on and realize what just happened. It’s our turn now.

    1. “the liberals have been so thrilled with all that Obama is accomplishing that they have not cared what the other half of the country is feeling. And so on election day, you saw our frustration with feeling silenced for 8 years.”

      I think that’s very true.

      As far as needing to put our “big girl pants” on, I hear you and largely agree. But would you say conservatives put on their “big girl pants” over the last 8 years? It would be easy to argue that they didn’t.

      And by the way, this is not the first time my preferred Presidential Candidate lost the election. It’s the 4th time. And I’ve never been upset like this before. Not even close. I don’t think it’s okay to pretend this was a normal election and that Trump was a normal candidate.

      1. That’s ok . You’ll get over it. Complete fear is the same feeling I had when Obama was elected. Some of that fear for me has been realized in many of his executive decisions. But I lived. So will you. As for me now, I will be gloating a bit over this election (he did just clean the floor with Hillary who thought she was a complete shoo-in) and eager to see some of Obama’s destructive ideologies stomped on.

        1. Do you mind if I ask what specifically you were afraid of when Obama was elected? I’m honestly curious, not trying to be disrespectful.

          I don’t think it’s fair to say he “cleaned the floor with Hillary” when she won the popular vote, and many of the electoral votes Trump won were decided by relatively small margins. By all accounts it was a very close race.

          1. Thanks for asking but I am intentionally leaving that out of my comments. The forum here seems very uncharitable, Gabralle included. Those who voted for Trump are being demanded to give an account for their idiocy in voting for such a man and when they try they are immediately shot down with shouts of “bigots, sexist misoginists, racists, and jerks”. So forgive me if I don’t want to be yelled at and called a racist, homophobic jerk. For people who love to say how tolerant they are, I find this whole screaming match sadly ironic. Tolerance, it seems, is reserved only for those who think exactly as you do.

          2. Meghan, you’ve left 3 harsh combative comments. Both I, and Sarah, responded to you respectfully.

            You want to gloat? Go for it. But your comments don’t sound celebratory to me. You sound pissed off and ready for a fight. You won the fight. Your guy is the President. Time to back down. What are you trying to accomplish here?

          3. Lets be honest here, Gabrielle. Your post was belittling and condescending and you took all the Trump voters to task to tell us what we have to do to fix this and how it is that we need to live our lives from here on out, we need to stop listening to Fox News and join a Black Lives Matter group. I’m not at all pissed off at all, super psyched actually. My comments have not been combative. I have merely been saying a man was elected fair and square and you don’t like it. Stop your crying and act like adults. This whole thing is getting a bit embarrassing.

          4. “My comments have not been combative. I have merely been saying a man was elected fair and square and you don’t like it. Stop your crying and act like adults. This whole thing is getting a bit embarrassing.”

            We have different understandings of the word combative. I’m going to ask you to take your comments elsewhere.

  18. I agree with you and really think that conservative news sites are to blame. My brother in law voted for Trump. We grew up together. I’ve seen everything he’s gone through in his life. There was no hardships since he’s been an adult. My family has helped him and my sister through tough times. He’s lost jobs and then gotten new ones without ever being on unemployment. He has guns but doesn’t use them. He’s always had healthcare. He has a gay brother. His mother went on permanent disability (questionably so). He doesn’t own a small business. I just don’t understand why he voted for Trump except that he lives in Orange County CA and watches FOX news. His wife voted for Hillary. It’s like he’s living in a delusional state from the news he is consuming. I just don’t get it.

  19. Gabrielle, please repost that insightful article you shared on one of your “A Few Things” posts several months ago. It was called “The Other Side is Not Dumb”. Such a good thing to remember right now, both for people who are angry and people who are happy today.

      1. Yes! That is the one. Several months ago I shared it with my sister who is a US Government teacher and she shared it with her students. Thank you for finding it again! Now can everybody read it? : )

  20. Wow, wow, wow. I am continually BLOWN away by the fact that you are both religious and progressive; my respect for you runs deep.

    I voted for Hillary with an immense amount of pride. I voted for Hillary back in the primaries in ’08 as well. I grew up with Hillary (President Bill Clinton was my first presidential vote) and I have always respected the doors she has opened. She has overcome so much adversity over the last 30 years. She supports the rights of ALL people; how can anyone deny that.

    I have spent the last day or two in tears. Overwhelmed with grief for our country. The thing is…I can move forward and accept Trump as our president (part of living in a democracy), what I am so conflicted with is that half of our country actually voted for him. White women voted for him in the masses; the same demographic that was continually attacked by him throughout his entire campaign. What that says to me is women still don’t think they are worth more. If a man says he can “grab you” that he can “do whatever he wants” and you support that messaging, what does that say to our daughters? That we are no more than a body to be grabbed at, to be disrespected. Don’t get me wrong, my decision was made up long before Trump’s character was revealed, but I just cannot wrap my head around why a woman would vote for him. I truly believe that if Hillary was a man, she would have been elected. Sexism is real and it is being perpetuated by women. When are we going to come together as a collective and say “NO MORE”?!

    Human rights, women’s rights, equality and our planet are under attack. All of the progress that has been made is in jeopardy, but it is not lost. My 21-year-old daughter voted for a woman in her first presidential election, that is progress. We must continue to fight for what is right. This is a set-back, but we need to stay engaged and come together. No more complacency. Get involved in environmental efforts, donate your time to your community, help those that may have difficulty helping themselves. Let our actions speak louder than Donald Trump’s hateful words.

    1. “White women voted for him in the masses; the same demographic that was continually attacked by him throughout his entire campaign. What that says to me is women still don’t think they are worth more.”

      When I saw the numbers — that white women overwhelmingly voted for him — it flattened me. We are racist and sexist and rarely recognize it.

      1. It required every bit of strength I could muster and breathing techniques to stand in the booth and bubble that circle. I had a mantra to help me:
        We can do hard things.
        I had to repeat it over and over but I tried to keep my mind on all the people who would suffer from leftist policies and then I did it.

      2. I wouldn’t dream of defending most of what Trump has said. He’s got a potty mouth and he’s a sexist pig and he’s an old man from another generation. Had he tried to kiss me without and invitation he would have gotten a smack. He’s an opportunist. But I do find the criticism of his remark “grab em by the pu$$y” ridiculous. For me it’s in the same lines with “grab em by the ba&&s”. We wouldn’t refer to that term as prompting sexual assault on men would we? He probably has women who are attracted to money and power (yuck) throwing themselves at him and he was bragging about those opportunities.

        1. I am sorry, no he wasn’t. What he said was: ” When you are a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything”. He wasn’t talking about women throwing themselves at him, but those who aren’t. He started the conversation talking about how he tried hard to f*ck a married woman and couldn’t. Then the grab them by the pussy, then he talked about kissing women without their consent. It was all about women who did not offer themselves to him. Those are his words, not ours. We are not over hearing, we are just hearing what his actual words were.
          The difference about not using “grab them by the ba**s” as a sexual assault is that actually men are not very often sexually assaulted, not as much as women anytway. Women are. Daily, hourly. So it’s not the same thing.
          As if I as a sedentary person say: ” I am going to run until my feet bleed” is different from a marathonist saying the same thing… My image is just a strong one with no touch in reality. The marathoners who say it, might be talking by experience or possibilities.

  21. This post is the most inspiring thing I’ve read in a long time. Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve been at such a loss at how to move forward. I was crying on my way to teach third grade yesterday, wondering how to face my kids and explain to them how we let this happen, how we failed them.

  22. I feel all of this and more. I’m currently living in Spain, and though my first reaction was, “I guess I’m not moving home for the next four years!” as time has progressed I’m actually feeling a deep desire to be home, to be fighting. Not my fellow citizens, but for my causes. For equality and tolerance. For safe access to healthcare for women. For a livable minimum wage. I’m not sure what I’ll do with this feeling, as of right now I’m just donating to causes I believe in.

    But something I think (I hope) we can all agree on, is that we should respect democracy. That the electoral college is outdated and not serving the majority of the American people. That the person who wins the most votes, should win the presidency. And that every vote should hold equal weight. The two states I consider myself “from” have already signed this, but if yours hasn’t PLEASE consider writing to your senator and asking them to do so. Something has to change. Right now this looks like a democrat problem, I’m sure. But if it was the other way around you’d be just as shocked and upset too. Let’s at least make the elections fair.

    1. The electoral college protects the whole country so that all types of voters are represented. Without the electoral college only big cities or states would matter during elections as candidates wouldn’t care about smaller communities which are part of the collective United States not United Big Cities.

      1. I don’t understand what you mean? If every vote counts, then it’s just that–every vote counts. It already stands that if you win a big city you win a large percentage of that state’s vote–it’s just what happened in Michigan. Clinton took the cities and Trump took the smaller communities, and he took enough to win. A vote should be a vote.

        1. Or you’re advocating for a program with weighted votes? So rural votes count more than ones from those who reside in cities? I’m just trying to understand.

        2. I think the Electoral college allows the voices of the less populated areas be heard. If candidates only needed to worry about a popular vote, they would focus their time and policy views on those that live in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles ( perhaps an exaggeration, but urban areas for sure). The middle of this country would be ignored.

          1. Yes, Carrie, that is exactly why the electoral college was instituted. The candidates would only campaign in the larger cities and the small towns would be ignored and promises made by candidates to the larger population’s issues.

  23. I am a tiny blue dot in a sea of rural red. I live in the Black Hills of SD. A state so red they wouldn’t even vote for a presidential candidate born and raised here (George McGovern). At it’s very simplest, I am fiscally conservative and socially liberal*. Here’s what I’ve found, in my area, are the reasons people voted for Trump:
    1. Guns. They are afraid Democrats will take away their guns. No amount of logic and reasoning and historic examples can convince them otherwise. They are convinced they should be able to own as many guns as they want in as many varieties as they want. Convinced owning these guns will protect them and their families. Both from the “crazy nut jobs” that may show up but also that Americans owning guns will stop foreign countries from attacking us. (No really. Actual conversation.)
    2. Economy. Many in our area work in the coal mining industry. The push away from fossil fuels and acknowledging climate change is a direct threat to their community/families. They are unwilling (or unable?) to admit their current industry is jeopardizing all our futures. It pays BIG bucks (unskilled labor at $25-$50/hour or more). Layoffs the last year have pushed them to become very verbal and very vengeful that Obama and the last 8 years of government are destroying their way of life. Another large industry in the area is logging, primarily through Forest Service contracts. The Democratic push to monitor and regulate these contracts is threatening to them. What will these families do when the coal runs outs? What will they do when climate change results in no more forests? I don’t know…it’s not something they are willing to consider or discuss as it doesn’t affect them right.this.minute.
    3. Insurance. Many are families or small business owners suffering under the ACA. Many had insurance in previous jobs that was subsidized but are now forced for one reason or another (layoffs, going into business for themselves, etc etc) to carry their own insurance. They think they are being completely ripped off. I agree the ACA is not a perfect system. But they offer no alternatives or ideas on how to fix it. Many seem to have no idea that with Trump in office they may now be looking at not having ANY insurance and the financial blow that will be.
    4. Immigration. It shocked me how many people were truly scared Syrian refugees were going to show up at our doors and start killing people. Or hate Mexican immigrants (we have a large population of both legal and illegal immigrants). Or are prejudiced against the Native Americans (it’s a long struggle out here…)
    5. Corruption. They see the government as elites who have no connection to them, either Republican or Democrat. I am flabbergasted at how anyone can think Donald Trump, with his track record, will not fill his government with his “buddies” and continue the corruption. Or how they believe he will benefit them and their financial stability. He IS corporate America. He will do what is best for their bottom line, not what is best for we the people. Many of these people are in the best financial position they’ve been in for the last decade plus. Because tourism in our area is booming. Because you know what? The economy has been in great shape and people have disposable income to come to the Hills. I dread this coming summer…I suspect the fear people have for their future means numbers will be down, meaning many will lose income or their jobs altogether. I sincerely hope I am wrong on this one…

    I have to live with these folks every day. Their children are my children’s friends. Most of them are hard working lower-middle class folks. I sat back the last year and tried not to “rock the boat” much knowing my vote would be cancelled out anyway. But I have noticed many of these people sliding down the slope to hate and prejudice. I was out of town this week (I voted on Halloween – figured a scary holiday was a great day to deal with a scary election). But the stories my coworkers and family have told of the gloating and ignorant intolerant statements have me furious. I took FB off all my devices yesterday so as not to do something I will regret. But you know what? It’s my job now to stand up and call them on it. To fight for the rights of all Americans, not just those in my immediate area. To counter the BS memes based on half truths or flat out lies and fear mongering with truth and light. Evil cannot survive the light of day. It is our job to shine a light.

    *You want my background? I grew up in farm country outside Chicago before moving west to marry my husband. I’m the daughter of a single mom who supported 2 kids working 3 jobs, her primary job being a “special ed teacher” (as they were called in the 80’s) as my dad paid no child support. We have two elementary aged kids. I put myself through college and hold a BS in environmental engineering and an MS in civil engineering. I work for a concession service to the National Park Service doing sustainability work. My husband works in renewable energy. Donald Trump is a direct threat to our livelihood and financial security (as far as I’m concerned his policies on the environment are a direct threat to our entire planet). I have seen our area of the US thrive economically the last 8 years. I fear for our future as a country because of the huge wedge this election cycle has driven into us. I too am enraged by the corruption in the government. But while we voted in a rogue agent President, Congress is still business as usual. We rewarded the very people who have pushed to disrupt and divert democracy the last 4 years. How do we expect to fix this without fixing it all? I take solace in the fact that Hillary won the popular vote. That means, if Congress is really doing it’s job, representing the will of their constituents, they will not allow our country to backslide on civil rights. I’m choosing to focus on my community and the elections that take place EVERY year. Not just the federal government, but our local elections as well.

    Another long response Gabby. Thanks for posting this. You do have rural readers. And we appreciate your voice.

    1. I love your comment so much. Of the 5 things you named, I think the #4 is the most stressful to me. The fear around the issue of refugees seems palpable, and I can’t figure out where it’s coming from.

        1. I’m German and living in Berlin, close to one of the biggest refugee centers. It’s not dangerous here!
          The events in Cologne on New Years Eve were horrible, but so far singular and not pereptrated by Syrian refugees but a group of illegal North African migrants who have been in Germany for several years. This had nothing to do with the current refugee crisis.

          1. Thanks for chiming in Sonja. When we were in France this summer, I received many urgent emails from Readers telling me that I need to go back to the U.S. immediately. It was right after the Nice bombing.

            But I felt very safe in France all summer long. Certainly as safe as I do in the U.S..

            It’s hard to get an accurate perception of stuff happening in other parts of the world sometimes.

    2. Thank you for your eloquent post. My heart goes out to you, it must be difficult to live in an area whose inhabitants are so contrary to your own beliefs and values. (I live in liberal CA, so it’s easy for me to be blue). I think #4, the fear of refugees comes from the fear of the unknown. Most of the folks in rural SD have probably not met any refugees. Perhaps then they would find that they are not so different.

  24. I’m not saying there’s no cause for concern, but I do think that some of Trump’s positive rhetoric has been obscured by panic. Trump has said he wants to deport those who have broken the law. He has said he will improve the legal status of those who remain here illegally. He has called for “extreme vetting” of Muslims who aren’t Americans but want to come here. Considering the threat we have faced in the past from Muslim extremists, I think this sounds reasonable – no?

  25. As a Civil Libertarian who voted for neither Hillary nor Donald, I do take a bit of offense to your suggesting Trump supporters must prove they’re not racists nor every other generalization that’s being lumped at them. I know many Trump supporters who are much more open-minded than lots of “liberals.” They don’t want a continuation of the Clinton administration. They don’t trust Hillary. She had a string of chances, and they didn’t like what she did or what she stands for. This makes sense to me. They want a businessman in the House who might be able to straighten some things out. I know you’ll disagree with every single thing here. But I really can’t stand when Dems don’t see the flaws in their own candidates. Or themselves. Who can blame anyone who doesn’t want a continuation of the same? I can’t.

    This morning on Facebook I was called a racist, a KKK supporter, an idiot, a deplorable (many times), and lots of other slurs. Not because I voted for Trump. I didn’t. It was because I didn’t vote for Hillary. It’s sheer vitriol.

    I think Dems should be embarrassed by the hatred many are spewing. Please, before you engage on Facebook, think about the fact that the person you’re addressing probably put a great deal of thought into his or her vote. In fact, I’m sure they did. They are as smart as you, most of them, and they want different things. Like you, they’re willing to overlook glaring character flaws because they appreciate some things their candidate brings to the table. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand it. They don’t understand you, either.

    I remember the gloatiest behavior for the last Obama election — “We’ve put up with Repubs for this long, you need to get over it.” How quickly that dissipates when the political wind goes the other way.

    People who voted for people who are not Hillary were not missing anything. They have minds, they thought it out. Yes, you don’t agree with it, and I see why. But for those of you Dems who are acting beyond ugly and attacking other people, please have some respect for your fellow Americans.

    Just my POV.

    1. I appreciate the respectful tone of your comment, but I think there’s a false equivalence between Trump and Hillary. I am well aware of Hillary’s faults. Every normal candidate has lots of faults. Every single one. We all look past them. Fine.

      Trump is not a normal candidate and never has been. They were never in the same arena.

      I can completely relate to the desire for change. But a desire for change that outweighs the negatives of Trump? Hard to see that.

      I suppose it’s similar to hearing people say, Yes, we want a woman president, but not that woman. To Trump supporters we could say, yes, we want a change, but not that change.

      And while I never said Trump supporters “must prove they’re not racists nor every other generalization that’s being lumped at them,” I stand by my observation of why those generalizations continue to head their way. I don’t know what everyone else is seeing today, but my news feeds are full of stories of attacks by white citizens against minorities — in schools, in public places, in stores.

      Have you seen Trump supporters condemning those attacks? I’m sure there are some, but I have not seen them.

      1. Respectfully, my news feed is also showing monuments in New Orelans with “die whites die.” It’s showing photos of a white man’s dog who was attacked by protesters, of a white man in a Chicago pulled from his car and beaten because the mob beaten surmised he voted for Trump because of the color of his skin. This is also not to mention the small business owners who’ve had their stores trashed by protestors. Would you have any outrage if the results were reversed and people were destroying property because Hillary won?

        This country is so divided, each side is passing off their devils as angels, or denying their devils exist, or demanding the other side has to take responsibility before their side will. When is enough, enough?

        I found this article interesting:

        Honestly, both sides have a lot of work to do. Perhaos this election is enough of a change, it’ll happen.

        1. “Would you have any outrage if the results were reversed and people were destroying property because Hillary won?”

          Yes, I certainly hope so. Especially if the destruction was done in the name of the candidate I voted for. And especially, especially if the candidate I voted for had built her campaign, from the very first speech, on hate and fear.

          I have not seen the instances you mention, though I’m sure they indeed happened. And if they cross my FB feed I would expect myself to condemn them.

      2. There are so many things in Hillary’s background that are as concerning or more than Trump’s. For some reason it’s easy for Democrats to look the other way and think they’re somehow not as bad. I don’t know why.

        I have something to ask: Many liberals are saying that by not voting Hillary, we’re being complicit in sexual deviance and woman hating.

        So why is Hillary, who remains married to a man with an arguably much worse record for abusing women than Trump, not put under this microscope? Liberals gloss it over. Bill has very real allegations of rape against him. So why the double standard?

        You continue to say Trump is a bad person. Do you know him? You “think” he is. Do you know it? You’re going by anecdotes.

        She’s a woman, but it doesn’t make her saintly, and I’m sorry, it doesn’t make her qualified. That’s such a generalization. Don’t you think we women would LOVE to have a qualified, good woman in the White House? You don’t think we want this?

        She’s not a good woman, Gabrielle. Wishing and idolatry of many that she receives doesn’t make it so.

        1. Lived in NYC for half my life. Trump has always been notoriously shady. I feel like people who like him have a shorter period of reference for him, maybe? The Billy Bush tape was no surprise to me, either. Overall, I truly believe he has Narcisistic Personality Disorder, which you may already know is not the same as calling someone a Narcissist. His reactions to criticism concern me.

        2. You’re right. I don’t know him personally. Perhaps he’s the best person in the world and has just kept it hidden all this time.

          He was born into a life with many resources, a life that offered plenty of opportunity to do good, but he has chosen not to. Again, perhaps he does all of his good works in secret. But based on what we understand about his own charity, his unpaid contractors, his non-existent record of personal charitable giving, and his non-existent service record, he doesn’t have much to show that he’s a good person by any measure that our society typically uses.

          Do you feel he is a good person? I know that many people in my life who supported him, do not consider him to be a good person.

          1. Lol no, actually, I don’t necessarily feel he’s a good person. Good question. I’m sort of kicking around the “bad person” label when we don’t REALLY know. But based on what we know about him — and what we know about Hillary– neither is a “good person.”

            I think it’s silly for ANYONE to call EITHER of them a “bad person” while they’re still supporting one of them.

            Things I do like about him (although I didn’t vote for him):

            He has a business sense Hillary does not have, and this country should be run as a business. Idealism doesn’t accomplish anything. Much of what Hillary supporters tout is theory.

            I think he has a nice family. I like his daughter Ivanka. He’s surrounded by lovely-seeming women. (I’m not talking about looks).

        3. I think that it is very unfair to use Bill Clinton’s foibles as an measure of Hillary’s “goodness.” Marrying someone does not make you responsible for everything you do; I don’t think Donald was responsible for Melania’s public plagiarism, either. I also don’t think anyone has called her saintly. She is certainly human, as are we all. I have serious issues with the idea that her background contains worse than his – this downplays acts of sexual assault to an alarming degree.

  26. I am devastated and having a hard time putting one foot in front of the other. I don’t know where to begin. I feel this is not a matter of being sad a candidate lost, this is a matter of human rights. We have elected a KKK-endorsed man who wants to build a wall. There is not soft way to say that. There are now many millions of Americans in fear of their lives and fearing for their families. This goes beyond politics. The build up has been happening for years and we haven’t stopped it. I feel we are all responsible and now I want to figure out what to do. I feel overwhelmed.

      1. Here’s hoping that *actually* winning (I honestly think there has to be a part of him that didn’t think he’d actually get voted in) has a deeply sobering and humbling effect…and that the reality of this responsibility is a huge wake-up call for him and gives him reason to make some sincere changes for the better.

  27. Uh, Trump won because there are a lot of American citizens who are tired of people like you (who sound bitter and hateful) calling people like us un-American, racist, bitter, divisive, misogynists for simply wanting a change from the political machine, a change from the political royalty, a change from the same old lies and corruption.

    Did you care what Trump supporters thought before he won? Would you have cared what Trump supporters thought if Hillary had won? You somehow think we owe you an answer?

    Let’s pretend Hillary won the election and then go back and replace “Trump” with “Hillary” in your post. Does it sound like you are interested in understanding the other side’s view. (Hint: it does not.)

    You sound like you need a nap.

    1. Well, you got your change. And it sounds like it turned you into quite a jerk.

      “Did you care what Trump supporters thought before he won?” Um. Yes. Definitely. Which is why I had 1000 conversations with them both on and offline. My entire home town, most of my relatives, and my religion all voted Trump. I’m not unfamiliar with their reasons, and I maintain their reasons were pretty weak and mostly came out as “Lock Her Up!” and “Build A Wall,”

      1. You know what? I did sound like a jerk. would you please forgive me?
        I have been reading Facebook comments from friends and family that dare me to say why I voted for Trump, how the world will end as we know it and this post just sent me over the top. It should not have. Heck, I don’t even know you and you don’t know me.
        I am sorry.

        1. Good job, Terri, for apologizing. I totally understand your frustration, since I have been battling the same thing at work, with neighbors, friends (all of whom I have NEVER engaged in conversation about this election because they would have freaked out had I suggested I was considering a vote for Trump, but they have actively badgered me with nasty emails and text messages anyway). But Gabrielle is engaging everyone in a respectful way. I have always felt that people were safe in this space because she works so hard to present both sides of the story.

          1. Jan, Trump won. The election is over. This conversation isn’t really about Hillary because she’s not going to be president. She likely won’t be in the news much at all anymore. I think the reason she keeps coming up is as a defensive tactic, like, you think Trump is bad? Take a look at Hillary! But again, it doesn’t matter anymore whether someone thinks Hillary is bad, because she’s not going to be the president.

            The point of the post was to say, Hey Trump Supporters, you won! And you may have noticed, there are a lot of people upset about it. This is some of why they are upset. Now that you’re in charge, if you want to bring the country together, you might want this knowledge.

      2. I’m afraid it’s a gross over generalization to say that your entire religion (Mormons) voted Trump. I’m an east coast mormon who did NOT vote trump and I know many of my fellow Ward members (some of whom are from St George) were gutted that Hillary lost.

  28. Tears come and go. I feel like I need to apologize to my children- for what I don’t know. To know that they will be living in a world of anticipated fear, chaos, unknown and uncertainty for the next four years is unsettling. It’s like telling them that a loved one has an aggressive cancer and who knows what will happen. Prayers. Happy thoughts. Positivity. Anyhow-
    I would love to put a sign up outside my home (kind of like how people put a candidates sign prior to an election). But this would be a sign of Hope and Solidarity. A sign of Peace and Love if you will. One that gives a settling reassurance to people that there is good. A sort of peaceful sit-in, non-violent form of protest if you will. I’d buy one for myself and one to give to a neighbor to pass on the peaceful goodness. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. Thank you for your post-

    1. Good idea, Amy – and it could be useful to people on both sides of the fence! Gabrielle, you have the natural skills for this…Proceeds could go to a great charity of your choice.

  29. Gabrielle, briefly for now, jus wanted to send you some appreciation for your excellent essay. Also for your courage, intelligence and leadership. So grateful for you honest, clear, strong voice.

  30. Wonderful article, thank you, I am Canadian but also going through a grieving
    process just like so many of you. The media attention this buffoon received
    was ridiculous and all because of ratings and the almighty dollar. Hillary is
    far from perfect but I trusted her with my family’s lives. Her experience and
    knowledge are superior to anyones.
    I really thought good would win over evil. There is a lot on the internet about
    repealing the Electoral Vote, a petition has close to 800,000 signatures.

  31. As an American expat who chose not to vote {because it was too expensive to absentee ballot from here for a third party candidate}, just wanted to share two things hubby and I have discussed a lot since this election cycle began……..
    1) People are going to vote based on their own source of truth. Depending on what your source of truth is will decide what you believe. The real dilemma is that you can’t change someone’s source of truth by convincing arguments, logic, education, etc. 2) One of the worst things for America has been social networking and the 24/7 news cycle. Turn it ALL off ~ left, right, and moderate. Go outside and get to know people. Love your neighbor as yourself.
    I live in a country where my voice doesn’t count at all, and we have upcoming elections that won’t be nearly as safe or as civil as those that have just taken place in America.

  32. Hi Gabby,

    This is an article I enjoyed reading. It articulates your thoughts very well, and has created a great discussion.

    I am not an advocate for either side, but I do believe that the American citizens truly voted to the best of their abilities with the knowledge they were given. We are all from different social, economic, and geographical locations that plays a huge part of the varying beliefs. People are good(generally right?). They do the best they can, I cannot find fault with that. That is why we all have our voice in the vote. (Whether we vocalize it or not).
    My question is this:
    There is so much talk of the bigotry, sexism, and racism that Trump represents (I can totally agree with this). But, having Kanye represent the 1st Woman candidate for President? Have you listened to those lyrics? It is vulgar and disgusting the way women are spoken about at her rally.
    So, I am not looking for argument, but am genuinely curious about what the difference is, and how that is perceived. Was that a detriment to the rally and the cause?

      1. There are people who have been actively seeking to change the kind of demeaning language towards women in music for over a decade. I am going to link an article from when the women of Spellman college ( An all female historically black college) protested a bone marrow drive for Rapper Nelly’s sister because he refused to have a conversation with them regarding how women were depicted in his music. My point being the fight is underway and this election greatly undermined it, in my opinion.

    1. The simplest answer is that I see art in a different category. Authors — I’m talking top of their game respected literary idols here — often include vulgar words in their books and I don’t think it would bother anyone if they were at a political rally. Describing the world (in art, in music, in literature) isn’t necessarily condoning that world.

      1. I guess my point is that is seems racism, bigotry, and sexism is an American issue. When my daughter is listening to rappers talking about “having women for sucking, f*ing and humping” it is for sure a confusing message to send. Especially from the top candidates on both sides. And I’m not sure Jay-z belongs in the category of top literary minds. Because I can agree with you on that. I would not be offended by fowl language and thoughts from someone like that, but this was just derogatory which goes against all you are fighting for.
        Again, just seems to me that this is not right wing or a left wing issue. It is an American issue that really needs to be addressed on all sides if we want real change.

          1. Again, not the language that is offensive. But the message he delivers to the youth about the very issues we are trying to fight against. Mixed messages. I don’t see how we can pick and choose when it is okay to degrade women and when it is not okay. Seems like a double standard.

  33. Thank you SO MUCH for this post, Gabrielle, especially for acknowledging the justified pain and fear felt in so many communities right now, especially the LGBTQ community that I am a part of.
    For the last two days (heck, for the last YEAR) I have been trying and trying to figure out a way to explain to close family members why Trump’s words are so scary and hurtful and why I feel that this reflects on his supporters (them, essentially) who do not see themselves as hateful but rather very much tied to their own personal religious beliefs and communities.
    When I read your post, it was like a dam burst inside of me. The word that I had been looking for was COMPLICIT. I feel that so many people, even outside of this election, are COMPLICIT in the evil that they see as less important than their own comfort or personally and religiously satisfying worldview.
    These are people that I love so much and as a white, well educated, agnostic, debt-free American living and working abroad I am trying to acknowledge and unpack the unbelievable privilege that informs my choices and view points. Thank you again for giving me the vocabulary I needed to continue the discussions that are sure to come up in the future.

  34. I’m a Canadian living in the US and wasn’t able to vote but to me there was no question about who is the more qualified of the candidates. It has been beyond frustrating to watch interviews of women on television as they sputter out their excuses for voting for Donald Trump. By voting for him they have explicitly condoned his behaviour and have given him permission to represent them and their country. There are no “yeah, buts” when it comes to accepting his discriminatory behaviour. This is the person that they decided would be the better role model for their kids.

    He has not proposed a single policy idea that is guaranteed to improve the lives of anyone – taking a risk on this man is like playing Russian roulette and they’ve shown a tolerance for the most dispicable of attitudes in the process.

    The media and Trump supporters have turned the American government into a reality tv show and should be embarrassed. The world is shaking its head.

    Clearly I’m still in the angry phase.

  35. I am the most frustrated with women right now. Why do we give away our power like this? Based on the gender of the electorate we should be better represented in Congress. Why aren’t we? Why do we give it away? I don’t care of you are conservative, liberal, progressive or what, but when we have the option of making the electorate more female, even if we just have the option to start with Hillary, at the top job – which essentially took her entire professional life to earn -why don’t we do it?! It’s is so hard for ANYONE to get to that point in their lives. We may never have the opportunity to have a woman get there in our lifetimes. I know the arguments against her, they have been beaten to death, but at some point you have to ask yourselves how that narrative was created and by whom. Legally, someone is a “criminal” when they have been convicted of a crime, not conviction by public opinion. You have to take your own experiences in life, and consider that perhaps she is being held to a higher standard. Why are the words, I would vote for a woman, but not THAT woman, coming out of women’s mouths?! We do a better job -at everything. She has held TONS of jobs in Washington and all over the country, why can’t she be given ANY credit for her sacrifice, her strength. How is it possible that other women believe that this treatment of her, whatever your political leanings are, is ok?! When someone works at the plant 40 years, and puts in the time, effort and has the expertise, they should get the top job. This election feels like a personal affront to all women who strive everyday at whatever they are doing. Instead, this message, delivered by own own fellow women, was you can pour your life, soul and every waking hour into something, and you can be used up for it, but you can never be rewarded like the men can. This was a SPECIAL UNIQUE and BATTLED FOR moment in history and we stepped on it’s face and now we are spitting on it.

    1. White women sent a huge message on Tuesday. Still working through exactly what we were trying to say (I too am a white middle age women, but I proudly voted for HRC). I feel like women handed him the election and I just cannot understand why. To me, this is not about parties or politics , this is a sign of something much much deeper. We sent a message that you can grab our p****s and we will let you, in fact we will turn around and make you our president. If someone did to our daughters (on a personal level) what we have heard him say we would be enraged! And to Natasha’s point, in so many of the exit polls women were asked “why not Hillary” and most of the responses were “I don’t know, I just don’t like her”. This is a deep societal issue. Why can’t women come together and support each other? Why so much judgement? We would rather vote for a middle aged millionaire white man, then a woman who has dedicated most of her adult life to public service.

  36. I’m a left-leaning Canadian, so somewhat on the outside, but have been following the US election closely. I don’t feel like I could comment in an articulate way yet (still reeling) and have been feeling so uncomfortable with the continued “us vs. them” feeling through all the fallout discussions I’ve witnessed. I loved this article a righty friend shared, and its message n felt deeply important to me. Thought you might like it, too, Gabrielle. Much love.

    1. I think this election just illustrates how bad we are at placing ourselves in someone else’s shoes. People aren’t living their lives through our ideals, our prejudices, our beliefs, our experiences, and our problems. They are living it through theirs. Everyone has different ideas of how to solve their problems, wrong or right. And that’s what we need to remember after we are done mourning this election.

      1. Yes, Elizabeth I totally agree. This post election has really shown the lack of tolerance and understanding people have for others when they don’t have the same beliefs. Very disappointing.

  37. Thank you Gabby. I hate to make this about race, but it cannot be ignored. I think unless you are a person of color (a minority) you will never truly understand what it feels like. I posted–I am as American as you– because I want people to try and see it through my eyes. I have friends and family in all walks of life and colors. My best friend is Caucasian, and even she does not understand, but she tries. We talked about it today and she said I don’t think that it’s going to help if the Hillary supporters start acting like Trump supporters. My response was do you really know what’s happening? People and children are being racially attacked. I proceeded to tell her I felt a few crazy stares while at Target with my toddler. They were either staring at me because they felt awkward because I’m a Mexican-American or because they want me out. She was surprised that anyone would make me feel this way (because come on I am like her an educated mom & wife of a Veteran who drives a nice SUV & lives in the suburbs). Well racist people do not see a difference, they see my brown skin. She asked what she could do and I said don’t remain quiet. Stick up for me & good people just like me. Please do not sit back & allow the hate to continue unfolding.

    1. I agree, I will never know how it feels to be a person of color, but please know I am here for you. Often my words fall on deaf ears, but I am here for you.

    2. I was so naive before this election. Throughout my conversations with people during this election, I realized that I was confusing discrimination with racism. It clicked as much as it could for a white girl but it was an epiphany. That you are hated merely for being. It blew my mind that there were people who think this way, people all around me in my liberal state. So my heart is with you, and every grain of my nasty woman inside will stand up for you, at Target especially because I’m usually in there ;)

  38. One more incident I need to talk about… As I said earlier, I was traveling this week for work. While talking to some employees (low income, uneducated, low skilled minority laborers) they asked if my coworker and I had voted. I replied I’d voted last week. One of the group piped up that he loved that he could vote online. Cue stunned silence. Sir. No. You can’t. That’s a scam. But he got an official email! It was obvious by the reaction that the rest of his crew had done the same. We urged them to take their IDs and go immediately after work. And to spread the word. My husband had a similar conversation with someone of the same social class at his job on the opposite side of the country. Maybe THAT is why so many people didn’t turn out to vote! But please, tell me again how the Democrats were rigging the election.

  39. I am from New Zealand and on that world changing day I came home from work and found my boyfriend glued to his computer. I couldn’t bear to watch or listen so I just lay in bed. We didn’t end up cooking dinner that night, and once we knew the result we watched the iguana escaping the snakes in an attempt to distract ourselves. I am in shock and I am nervous, and scared. I can’t even begin to imagine how you all feel. I read statuses of American friends who have cried all night, I would too. Before I was a little nervous to visit the US again after everything that’s happened gun-wise… but now I’m not sure I would visit until you had a new president.

  40. Gabby, thank you for putting this into words so eloquently. Your statements really resonate with what I am feeling as well. I am having a very difficult time coming to terms with the amount of hatred that was spewed by the man who is soon to be president. It’s terrifying and extremely disturbing. I cannot fathom how anyone could vote for this individual and for those who did, how do they sleep at night? I have promised myself that I will not lose faith in humanity. I have many friends who are republican and I am finding that I feel very uncomfortable in their company right now. I am trying to move past this and hoping that they do not truly share in the hatred and bigotry of the man they have elected for president. This will be a journey and I will do my best to come to terms with this. These are dark days, but there must be a light at the end of the tunnel. My original feeling when I heard that he won the election, was that he was not my president. I immediately and very strongly felt that this individual did not represent me in any way. Again, I am trying to come around. I want to teach my children to have respect for the office of the president. It is just so hard when the man who will occupy the office is a horrible person.

  41. Gabrielle,

    I used to enjoy reading your posts but I’m afraid I can’t do that anymore. I find this post so offensive. You call yourself so progressive and open minded but if anyone dares to differ in opinion from you or any other politically elite then we are labeled bigoted, sexist, racist…. It is truly disturbing. This conversation is not two way. I live in a rural town. There are good people here with good families working hard. They supported Trump not because they liked him, but because they felt Clinton was worse. She never gave any reason to vote for her. She only screamed reasons to not vote Trump. I’m a farmer practicing organic sustainable agriculture. I raise sheep. Just because I live in the country and am frustrated by the policies Obama has implemented does not make me stupid, racist, sexist, homophobic, or any other label in the basket of deplorables. In my town, we don’t talk that way, we don’t assume the worst in people, and we don’t behave like this. We are just down to earth people who are being penalized by a system that is bent on breaking the working class American. We are just people. My kids don’t know a black from a white because they’re all just people. I’m sick and tired of this group of people not having a voice because we are so afraid of being labeled bigots. It’s a bunch of baloney. We are kind and accepting and just hope that our country can come together and solve some greater issues at hand. Quit making this a case of gender. It’s not. Wake up, get out of your virtual fantasy life and see what real people live like. I might be a farmer but that doesn’t mean I’m not strong or without a voice or mind.

    1. Alice:

      Be proud of who you voted for, but responsible for it too. You made a choice, you had your reasons and you need to have the strength of your own convictions and not blame others for not validating your choice. If you are not a bigot, then defend yourself and others who are genuinely afraid right now. Don’t complain that you are being “labeled” and act a victim.

    2. Yes and yes. I voted third party (as I viewed both candidates as utterly impossible to vote for) but have many friends and family who voted Hillary and many who voted Trump. I think the ultra left progressives are leaving the working class behind and tired of taking crap. These people held those noses and voted for Trump, and most certainly are not racist or bigots (and disagree with the ult-right minority that is). And as part of a trans-racial family, I think these progressives view the world through a racial or gender lens-something I find destructive and terribly sad. In a world of identity politics, feelings and non-facts reign as king and that makes for complete and utter craziness. My hope and prayer is that Trump will surprise us all and go down in history as a wise leader who brought the country together. Do I predict this will happen? Of course not, but then again, I could not have predicted his election in the first place. : )

    3. “Wake up, get out of your virtual fantasy life and see what real people live like.”

      “In my town, we don’t talk that way, we don’t assume the worst in people, and we don’t behave like this.”

      Alice, you certainly assumed the worst in me.

  42. Inhale. Exhale. Today I didn’t need to remind myself as much to breathe. Like you though, the cycle will take some time. I’m a California(Bay Area girl), transplant here in Utah. You KNOW how politics are here. Always predictable. This time however, I’m in shock, disbelief and embarrassed in what my state supported. I’m heart broken that we didn’t get to celebrate the first female President, along with my daughter’s (one of them her first vote). I’m more devastated though that our country chose a person that represents the total opposite of kindness, love, acceptance, leadership, care and equality. I simply do not understand how or WHY my neighbors, my religious community, my country could justify that vote. Like you stated, if you voted for him, then you support his ideas, that also includes his deplorable behavior to people and other countries that need our love and care the most. While my family continues to process the last two days, one thing we have resolved to do is take action. Presently, my daughter is silently and peacefully participating in a march downtown in slc. We are committed as a family(another daughter in WA and son in NYC) to being a voice for the environment(here in Utah, a lot on the line), the minority, the needy and equality for all. We’re more resolved than ever, to break that crack in the glass ceiling! As soon as I catch my breath. Thank you for your refreshing voice, we appreciate it here in the mountains!

  43. Thank you for this lovely post, which echoes so many of my own feelings.

    And also, I have always wanted to tell you — thank you for helping me see that there is political heterogeneity among the LDS. I appreciate the fact that you support progressive social values while still honoring your religion.

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