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. Honestly I dont know how Hillary got as far as she did. I dont think she is trustworthy and I feel some people voted for her just because she is a women and I dont think that is a good reason to vote for her , although each to their own i suppose. I am a Christian so I can’t vote for someone that is for all these things that go against what the bible says. I pray America can now come together and be the great country is it has the potential to be. We have to respect our leader and trust they will do what is good for our country. I do not think Obama has made the best decisions, but I do respect him because he is our president. A lot of us who voted trump are quiet country folks and if Hillary had won you probably would see no rioting because we tend to be respectful people who make the best of things as they are. I am proud Trump will be our new president and I overjoyed hes not another seasoned politition!!

    1. Dear Jan,
      I can follow and understand what you wrote about Hillary. I grew up in a liberal Muslim family and my partner is a Christian, she was adopted by a Vicar und a mother who teaches at a Catholic university. We both know how important it feels to be represented by a politician that respects what we believe in.

      But hasn`t Donald Trump acted just as much agains the Bible as Hillary has? His treatment of weaker people is anything but Christian. I am confused! And I would love some dialogue with you and others.

      best, Hattie

    2. I understand why some people voted for Trump… perhaps as a protest against the political establishment…. but there is no grounds for suggesting that he is a better Christian candidate. That is grossly unfair to Hillary…a flawed candidate no doubt ( though aren’t we all flawed?) but a person who has devoted her life to public service and stayed committed to her marriage. In comparison Trump is a twice divorced man who espouses racists views and boasts about sexual assault!

  2. This was so brave and inviting of you to allow the dialogue. I am not sure if I have ever commented here, and I have rarely commented on anything online, maybe ten times. So, perhaps it is different than the kind of dialogue and conversation I am used to, however, last year my son gave a speech on listening. One of the things he mentioned was you can’t listen if you are just waiting to speak next. There is someone on here commenting so rapidly and so flippantly, they even admitted it was while having conversation in their own home, and it doesn’t seem like the inviting tone you offered.
    I think it is honorable that you are trying to understand all sides, and logical that you are also sharing to be understood. I think the majority of people with such strongly polarizing views here aren’t at personal risk. I am proud to say that even amongst my conservative family members who pay high taxes, are part of the 1% and would have every reason to vote differently, they did not because they understood that too many people were attacked and the rhetoric was too scary. Whether you believe Trump will do any of the things he promised, it doesn’t matter, many people heard it as permission. I have a friend in her mid 50s, living in a blue bubble in a blue state, she has been one of the more financially successful females in finance, she was walking with her wife and told by a car of 20 year old white males “Trump is our president now” in a demeaning and threatening tone. It is sad.
    I have also found myself being more serious with my middle grade boys about their responsibility to advocate for others and for our planet. Trump’s plan for the first 100 days scares me for our planet. I’m not someone who has worried about this before because I have always behaved carefully and known others who do as well.
    Please look at Catherine Newman’s blog post, and one of the lovely comments from there: This may seem an insignificant way to show solidarity for the most vulnerable groups, but the Pantsuit Nation has taken a cue from post-Brexit England. They are trying to start a movement to wear a safety pin to indicate that you are a safe person. It basically says “You are safe to be yourself, no matter the color or your skin, your religion, your gender, etc.” I wore a safety pin on my sweater today, and two (!!) strangers in my small community pointed it out with knowing smiles and thumbs up. It’s like a secret society of good people.

    1. If it helps: I just deleted over 25 comments from the rapid-fire commenter (I left at least 8 in place). I heard from several people that they were bothered by flippant tone, so you’re not alone. Hopefully the thread will feel a little less stressful now.

      1. I think I would be the flippant commenter. Please believe it was not my intention. I was sincere. Gabrielle, I didn’t realize I had commented so many times. I apologize if it was too much. This is only the 3rd time I’ve ever engaged in online conversation and I’m afraid I’m not very good at it. It was hard for me to keep up with how quickly the comments were being added to the conversation at first.

  3. With all due respect, your advice to Trump supporters came off as counter productive and probably condescending. Quite honestly, I really liked the idea about adding people of different ethnicities or backgrounds to your facebook or Instagram feeds. And I don’t partake of Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh or the other sources you mentioned, except for Fox News which I look at/watch equally with CNN as you truly get two different sets of news by doing so ( I don’t find Fox News awful, some of their commentators, yes. Do you follow Charles Krauthammer? I think he’s great.) I found myself fairly angered by this paragraph:
    “I predict you will suddenly be amazed at how great our country is! You will discover you don’t actually hate a lot of the people you’ve been told to hate! You will discover that no one is trying to take your guns or religious freedoms! That there is no Gay Agenda or Feminist Agenda out to get you! It will be a relief, I promise. (And yes, I know there are far left news sources too, but they are simply not as plentiful or powerful as the ultra-conservative ones. They don’t even compare.)”

    Perhaps I shouldn’t be offended as I’m not a Trump supporter, but I really despise condescension in any form. It is especially egregious in politics. Our system thrives on debate and varying viewpoints- that’s how we arrive at the best ideas. I know your principal concern is combatting hate, but I appreciate your other methods for suggestion.

    1. A fair critique, and I should probably have spent more time on that paragraph trying to explain my thinking. In my experience, if a person is getting all their news from ultra-right-wing sources (I would classify any of the news programs/sites I mentioned as ultra-right-wing, though as you note, some programs on Fox News are an exception), they experience the very real effects of fear-mongering.

      I think your habit of splitting your time between Fox News and CNN makes a ton of sense and no doubt helps you keep a clear picture of the sorts of stories both sides of America are taking in, and the very different ways those stories are delivered. I have similar tactics for both Facebook and Twitter (the places I get most of my news).

      But I don’t think your habit is the norm from Trump supporters (and I know you’re not a Trump supporter). At least that’s not what I’ve seen in my personal life. Please know that though I live in a blue bubble, my home town, most of my extended family, and most of my religion are all deeply red. What I’ve seen is that if they will take a break from extreme right media, they experience a sort of detox. They go from Obama is the devil, to I don’t agree with Obama but can see he’s a regular person with some admirable qualities too. They feel a weight lift from their shoulders, and discouragement lift, and they are literally happier. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. I wish a research student would do a study on it.

      The news (sometimes “news”) that is delivered by ultra-right-wing programs is consistently and heavily padded in packages of hate and anger and fear. It changes the way a person thinks. I know this because I’ve spent years of my life listening to it. And I know it’s gotten worse since I stopped listening to it (because I check back in from time to time).

      Can it happen with ultra-left-wing media too? Yes. Of course. But I find it much easier to avoid, because the ultra-left stuff is mostly on easy to spot meme-producing websites. I never share that stuff and never click through.

      And I know the major news outlets like the New York Times and the Washington Post and MSNBC lean left. I get that. But they are not ultra-left-wing. Not even close. They at least try to be balanced, and sometimes go overboard the other way — the NYT’s Maureen Dowd has a well-known history of attacking Hillary Clinton no matter what.

      That’s why I suggested the BBC as a detox option. Obviously no news organization can be totally neutral; they are run by people and people aren’t neutral. But the BBC isn’t even American, so I feel like they can be more impartial. I enjoy NPR for the same reason. They at least try to be impartial.

      Anyway, I would say to anyone offended by what I wrote: if you don’t see yourself in my words, if you don’t for example believe there’s a gay agenda out to destroy what you hold dear, then ignore me. The words are not for you, and clearly, you’re getting your news from more than ultra-right-wing media.

      And I would also say if you want to bring the country together and think you’re going to get good advice on how to do that from ultra-right-wing media, then you’re mistaken.

  4. “And yes, I know there are far left news sources too, but they are simply not as plentiful or powerful as the ultra-conservative ones. They don’t even compare.”

    I’m really curious, what are some of the plentiful and powerful ultra-concervative news sources? The only ones I can think of are Fox News and maybe you can count some talk radio shows in there, which take a much more deliberate effort to seek out.

    One thing you may not have considered is that people under 35 don’t get their news from traditional mediums like television or print. This morning my google news feed was full of careless articles about stock market crashes(far less about market surges moments later), Russian conspiracy theories, violent protests, ISIS celebrating Trump’s win (yes, this was a real article in the top 5 on google news) and on and on and on.

    Furthermore, Snapchat is full of Celebrities either endorsing Clinton or trashing Trump along with left leaning media outlets, whose posts are continuously curated to the front of EVERYONE’S feed. Do you know how many people use Snapchat? That is power. Say what you want about conservative news outlets, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen Fox News hanging out in the front of Snapchat. Facebook tweaked its algorithm in order to suppress pro Trump posts. Twitter is used as a race baiting echo chamber where you can be shouted down into oblivion for speaking out of line. Reddit was raided by thousands of accounts with no previous history and no content submissions that upvoted posts favorable towards Clinton and downvoted the unfavorable ones. They were also always lurking in the comments ready to argue around in circles, often posing as racist, mysoginistic Trump supporters to sow further the seeds of contention and fear. This is all indisputable fact that can be proven with hard evidence. In the end, most Clinton criticisms were either suppressed or softened so that everyone online just ended up talking only to people with the exact same viewpoint as themselves, completely unaware of the actual sentiment among half of Americans. That is one of the reasons why the election came as such a surprise to everyone, and why outlets like the Huffington Post projected Hillary had a 98.1% chance of winning.

    Finally, there are at least 45 “journalists” who were exposed by Wikileaks to be in direct collusion with the Clinton campaign. The list so far of news outlets these journalists worked at are CNN, MSNBC, New York Times, Fox (yes, that’s not a mistake), People, Vox, Bloomberg, Huffington Post, Daily Beast, CNBC, ABC, Washington Post and Politico. In some of the emails they literally beg John Podesta’s pardon for being late and ask for any edits before running it. In other revelations we see that CNN (you know, the people who are moderating the debate?) are feeding questions to Hillary Clinton in order to Sabotage Bernie Sanders.

    To say that left leaning media are fewer and far less powerful makes me believe that either you’re only listening to AM talk radio for your news, or you have never considered that online publications and social media platforms can be used to voice political opinions.

    1. “To say that left leaning media are fewer and far less powerful makes me believe that either you’re only listening to AM talk radio for your news, or you have never considered that online publications and social media platforms can be used to voice political opinions.”

      I didn’t say left leaning media are fewer and far less powerful. I said ultra-left-wing media. In my experience there’s a big difference. For example, if there’s an ultra-left-wing equivalent to incredibly powerful Breitbart, home of the Alt-right, I haven’t come across it.

      I’m using social media as I type this to voice political opinions. I’m aware of social media.

      Yes snapchat and celebrities are both hugely influential. Among millenials. Who didn’t vote for Trump. And again, left is different than ultra-left. As a general rule, celebrities are not ultra-left.

      Have you ever spent time listening or reading only from the ultra-right-wing sources I listed in my post? Some are online and some are radio and some are TV (and yes, both the radio and TV programs can be watched and shared online, and frequently are). I have. I did for a long time. And I stand by my statement that it gives people a very fearful and paranoid perspective about our country.

  5. I was born in Turkey, moved to Germay as a small kid with my large family. My partner (we are not married) was adopted from German parents, her birth mother originated from Ghana. We have been together since we were 23 and 25 years old. She studied in New York and Charlotte, I spent many months traveling your country during that time.
    We are now in our mid forties years and have a five year old son and occasionally foster a child on a short-time-base. We love to travel. But we will not travel to the USA for at least four years. Our colorful little family would not feel safe there.

    However, I is clear: What happened in America is also happening in other countries and there are areas in Germany that are leaning towards the faaaar right. I think we all have to understand the feelings that trigger the motives of theses voters. Calling them uneducated white-trash is no help. We must understand and respect their motives.

    I hope the best for your country and the world.

  6. Oh Wednesday I worked from home and listened (loudly) to all of the music that I listened to one when I was young and angry at the world ten years or so ago. I spent the day with a weight on me and emotions that can only be described as mourning.
    Yesterday I woke up, unsure what to feel. By the afternoon I had decided that it was time to stop mourning and to be the change. To raise my kids to see that they can be the good. I’ve heard too many awful, awful hateful things in news stories and from my own friends’ experiences these past few days. We need to show that there is good left. We need to be the light in the world in the darkest of the days.

  7. Great thoughts. Still grossly disillusioned over here, but hoping to have my faith in humanity back soon. As I read this I felt the small stirrings of a feeble but encouraging Yes We Can.

  8. Clinton is no example to me or my daughters. Many hold her up as some champion for females. And the whole election results are a cry for gender equality. I do not vote for somebody simply because they are female. Or black. Or whatever the case may be. Gabby says that I should go out of my way to give patronage to stores that are run by women. This whole line of thinking that I should vote for or give preference to someone simply because they are female (or are some race other than white, or whatever) I find completely irrational and downright dumb. I support someone based on the product and quality of their work or actions. Or in the words of Martin Luther King Jr.: My vote will “not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Truly, I see people as people. I too find Gabby to be very condescending and divisive. She does seem to live in a “bubble” and unwilling to acknowledge the other side. Rather, she victimizes her own side. Instead, this conversation has only made the divide even greater, while all the while patting herself, and those who believe similarly to her, on the back. You have made this a situation of Us versus Them. It doesn’t have to be like that. I did not vote for either candidate. They were both the worst. (I know you differ and you have made that abundantly clear).

      1. Yes, realized I hadn’t used the direct after submitting. But I didn’t think it was worth going back and changing since my message was still the same.

        The same message which you still do not consider. Not once in your comments have you tried to unify, except those who think similarly to you. Is it really so hard to just say, “Hey, you know what, you have a point. And I can see why you feel that way.” I guess that would be asking too much.

        After all, you have asked those who did not vote for Hillary to be the ones to explain themselves. However this seems quite veiled and insincere since you have no intention to really consider the other view point without digging your heals in further. I am not asking for validation for my reasoning or opinions. But it would be nice if every now and then you acknowledged that your way of thinking isn’t the only way. And it is not necessarily the superior way. It isn’t Hillary or the highway. It isn’t Hillary or you’re a racist. It isn’t black or white. It isn’t male or female. It isn’t Us v. Them. Yet you make it out to be that way.

        What seems most apparent is that you struggle to consider the viewpoints of those who were disgusted with both candidates. And the fact that we astoundingly did not vote for Hillary simply because of the fact that she is female, or that we don’t have as glowing of an opinion of her as you have. And you know what? It’s okay to have that opinion! I lived in Iowa and sat in a room with her and 20 other persons in 2007 when she was campaigning there. I also attended President Obama’s rally when he was a candidate. And crazy as this may be, I also attended Giuliani and Romney rallies. I do actually consider all viewpoints. I have lived in other areas of the world and have travelled more. I do not make friends so that I can add them to my “list” or collection of diverse people I’m connected to. I am friends with someone no matter how diverse/ethnic/whatever you want to call it they are or aren’t. This election showed that obviously there is a huge amount of people who are fed up with being silenced, criticized, dismissed, and ostracized. Maybe, it would be wise to maybe, just maybe, attempt to listen.

        1. I’m sorry you feel dismissed. I am trying to listen but clearly I’m not doing a very good job because I can see you don’t feel listened to.

          Please know, the point of my post was not to make you feel crappy. 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. These are some of the reasons why they are upset. Now that you’re in charge, if you want to bring the country together, this knowledge might be helpful to you.

          Based on your comments, you got something very different than I intended out of the post, so I can see I did not do a very good job of communicating the message I hoped to make.

  9. I live in St. Louis–a blue city smack dab in the middle of the red patch of Midwest. I am a supporter of Hillary and an English professor at a small university. Conversations with my students have given me hope (we know how millennials voted) and broken my heart as they confess their fears–from lack of access to birth control to fear of a “race war.” It is hard, but so many young people–even in Missouri–want better days to come. Thank you for this post.

  10. I didn’t vote for either major party candidate. I had issues with both. This has been a sad election season for me.

    The link below is to an interesting article (warning: with some language) about a group of people who helped put Trump over the top. I think it speaks to a lot of things, but mostly education and economics. There are a lot of people hurting in America and they aren’t all minorities. It’s nuanced and complicated for sure. But it may shed some light on what happened.

  11. This post is extremely brave. Your hometown, religion, family and many readers all disagree with you, and yet this hasn’t stopped you from being unafraid to be bold and state your opinions with grace. Fear of conflict is one of the things that keeps so many women out of politics (in my opinion). I do not have the boldness to state my opinions on social media because it will incite all kinds of nasty arguments. Thank you for showing us the way. Please remember to unplug and take care of yourself.

    1. “I do not have the boldness to state my opinions on social media because it will incite all kinds of nasty arguments.”

      I hear you. It can get brutal online. But happily, Design Mom Readers, no matter their political persuasion, try hard to keep it civil.

  12. I’m a white, mother of four in a neighborhood where I am the minority in north Atlanta.

    I’m also a conservative.

    I found your post to be full of generalities that can only be concluded as narrow-minded and yes, bubble-like. Before you make statements about Trump supporters like, “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.” I ask you to take a personal challenge: shut off ALL your news sources and get to know us conservatives.

    Because admit it, NPR is flawed too (I am a regular listener).

    On my street alone, we are friends with Brazilian, Indian, and Ukrainian families. My kids go to a public language immersion school where there are literally 4 different languages being spoken in the hallways. We are at the Atlanta homeless shelter regularly, where my kids are playing on the playground with the homeless kids and us moms are talking with no barriers. I’ve never felt the need to broadcast how we live inter-racially, but my gosh. The attacks from the left post-election have made me feel like I have to wave a sign. Ridiculous.

    I desire nothing more than unity amongst different faiths and cultural backgrounds, but I also desire national security, a reduction of the debt deficit, a replacement for Obamacare, and a pro-life Supreme Court nominee.

    There are so many well-written comments above me that I don’t feel the need to weigh in on any other specifics in your post. But remember that there are many conservatives “already doing the work”.

    Perhaps open your eyes.

    1. I agree that NPR is flawed. For sure. I don’t think it’s possible for any news source to be completely unbiased, because they are run by human beings. I hope I’ve made that clear in my comments. But I hope we could agree their coverage is not ultra-left-wing.

      Also, please know I’m both aware I live in a bubble, and that I’m personally familiar with conservatives.

    2. Last night, my 14-year-old honors student son, known for his even temper, inclusivity, easy forgiveness and kindness toward others, stayed up too late finishing his homework. This morning, when I woke him up and told him to get in the shower, he did something unprecedented. He slapped me across the face.

      Why? Certainly because he’s an exhausted bundle of teenage testosterone with an undeveloped prefrontal cortex. But also? Because I’m his mother. Not his father, whom he would never DARE assault physically, knowing that an adult male would flatten him. His mother.

      There are deep-seated unpleasant impulses in all of our households, and it does nobody any good to hackle and say “not ME” when misogyny, racism, xenophobia and general disregard for basic human courtesy are identified as rampant societal evils that need to be addressed. Any person of privilege, whether due to race, economic opportunity, or gender, has unconscious biases that drive their actions, and while some may be more successful than others in keeping the more egregious impulses in check, studies have demonstrated again and again that no one is immune. In this particular moment in our country’s history, these impulses have been granted free reign from the highest leadership in our country: both the head of our government and many, many leaders of the Christian Church who supported voting for him. And voting for someone who promotes this unchecked behavior, however motivated that vote is by defensible, reasoned desire for change, is most definitely complicit.

  13. Feeling sad again today, after seeing images of President Obama over the last 8 years. What a great example of being a good human being, father, husband, and all around nice guy. He will be missed, even if Clinton had won.

    Not sure you are even still checking comments but I like your idea of adding real individuals to your radar that are not like you. I feel like I do a pretty good job of this since my friends are somewhat diverse and I live in a pretty red area of the country. But do you know of some great public options that I might add to my list. Specifically, Muslim or someone who is a refugee who I could follow on social media.

    1. I agree, and I think most people would, that the Obama Family has been a really good model for Americans. A strong marriage between two strong people, who clearly love their kids. I will miss them.

  14. Gabrielle, I just read this post and wanted to thank you. Your speaking out means volumes, and I vow to continue doing the same. The gap between “bigot” and “supports a bigot” is very narrow, despite all the talk of “but not all of us are like that!” The last few days have solidified that for me. THANK YOU.

  15. Thank you Gabrielle for giving us this space to voice and vent. Clearly this election was challenging and frustrating to a greater degree than any others in recent history. I voted for the candidate I believe is the most competent, not along party lines. For that reason I voted for Clinton. Trump frightens me. He comes across as an unhinged rageaholic. Unfit for the position, all other issues aside.

  16. Thank you Gabrielle for this very important post. Today is the first day that i am going into social media after two days of not wanting to know or read anything election related. Im still in shock and anger (but ineill never act out certainly not ever) and our small community is also hurting and in shock. For us, Washingtonians, is a bit different because we actually have to live next to this despicable human being for the next four years. We commute and eat with the members of Congress that will support his hateful agenda. Recently reports of the faces, groups and people that willingly and openly supported this person are coming out in depth and with lots of detailed account. For the white women and mostly white wealthy poor and subarban and rural voters that supported him openly I actually feel unsafe with their rethoric. But the people that I feel most angry at are those voters that voted for him because ‘they had no other choice.’. Well, this is so selfish. You did have another choice or more than one: You could have voted a write in, you could have left it blank( like some moderates did). This part of America is even more scary to me. They are the herd, the people that lifting a finger for compassion, giving to charity or being kind and honest for them is weakness or just annoyance. Im devastated for my daughters, my mother and grandmother. This person we elected doesnt have the human decency, the very basic quality one needs to lead a a country. In that measure, George W. Bush had human decency and moral teachings that this man lacks. Im sad, angry, and dissapointed at my fellow citizens. I know we will all find the strength to keep going in our common decencies, our tolerace and our desire to heal and love.

  17. I think it’s so important for us to listen to each other in these challenging times–and it’s so so hard to listen. I think one way to think about some of the really hot button issues like abortion or gun control is to consider that there may be results or outcomes around those issues that the majority of us could agree on. For example, with abortion I think we could mostly agree that it would be best if there were as few abortions as possible. Now what are ways we can achieve that outcome without retreating to our respective sides/trenches? So, if we’re thinking about how to help women not want or need an abortion what are the methods we could implement? I’d suggest: easy/free access to birth control, sexual education, more research on women’s healthcare and research about fetuses–disease, abnormalities, and other health complications that may lead to terminating a pregnancy. Also, there’s significant research in the health world that suggest people that feel connected or rooted to a place or community are healthier. How can we help people feel connected–maybe through church groups, volunteer organizations? If a person feels supported and connected maybe they find other options (this in my mind has to be thoughtful–this isn’t about guilting someone into not terminating a pregnancy but providing a range of community services and support). I’m sure there’s many other great ideas but I think this is what we’ve lost in our culture and government–the ability to find the common ground–there must be compromise and not just a retreat to our unyielding and unmoving position. I encourage all of us to let our leaders in government know that we want them to find the common ground and have the hard conversations and NOT just yell at each other from across the aisle.

  18. Hello from Ireland. Excellent post Gabrielle. I woke my children up for school on Wednesday morning and told them the news. They were so shocked. They are so young and trust that adults know what to do. We cannot understand how so many Americans want a person like this as their president. This reminds me so much of what happened with Brexit in the UK. Nobody in the media, political establishment or academia thought it was a good idea and they didn’t expect the referendum to pass. But enough disaffected, lower income and mainly white, people voted for it. A similar demographic voted for Trump…..people who feel left behind by globalisation and growing inequality. There is a huge disconnect between these people and those in positions of influence and power and so they vote against the establishment in favour of a populist dangerous alternative. The real question is how is this underlying problem solved.

    1. Yes, I think a lot of us are seeing the similarities with Brexit. So true. And in America, wealthy white voters overwhelmingly selected Trump as well — people who haven’t been left behind by globalisation. Which makes it feel like wealthy white voters were trying to hold on dearly to white supremacy and sexism.

  19. I totally agree about how much we will miss the Obamas. Their dignity, sincerity and grace. And they were a gorgeous couple.

  20. We are all processing and faced with some uncertainties. Great conversation and I sincerely appreciate those willing to challenge.

    I’ve found it helpful to believe that people did not vote for Trump because of his dangerous and wildly offensive treatment of people.

    People did not vote for Clinton because of every complex political or professional decision she’s ever made.

    They voted IN SPITE of these things. They picked a thing that represented their most precious personal beliefs and hung it on that candidate. The political pendulum needed to swing back right (historically) and the climate is such that people need to feel safe and protect their self-interest. (Of course I personally do blame Trumps campaign for seizing and creating fear).

    Abortion was The Issue for many, even though I am confident the constitution and Supreme Court will continue to uphold RvW because it has continued to due so despite 40+ years of litigation. I wish voters understood that. (If they want to politically engage about abortion, continue chipping away at it from a local/state level, because the Supreme Court is not gonna work.)

    I’m grateful for democracy and the system of voting. I’m super sad Hillary wasn’t a shiny new penny because *CHANGE*. But truth is she probably wouldn’t have gotten so far if she weren’t a heavyweight already. I’m excited the grace and strength the personally seemed to exude through the campaign definitely broke literal and subconscious glass ceilings. I’m grateful to her and hopeful Trump can undo the wound he’s created and learn how to work well with others.

  21. As a British person who reads your blog, I think this post is brilliant. We are going through the grief of bring the 48% who didn’t vote for Brexit and it’s so hard. It has divided our nation just as this has divided yours. Thank you for showing what you believe in and writing a strong message. It is exactly what people need to read, especially from someone who has grown up in a conservative background and religion but still sees what needs to be done. I don’t know how the nations will unite again, but the ‘winners’ need to do what is best now… but need to accept some criticism along the way.

  22. Just adding a point that I work at a University and we have had a huge spike in sexual assault survivors needing counseling for the trigger that this message of normalizing of violence against women has caused. I really am trying to understand how that is not a concern for mothers of both boys and girls. I wonder if that was a factor when people were casting their ballots? Did voters think that the women were all lying? I am asking because I really want to know the answer.

  23. I am concerned at some comments on here that referred to Hilary as corrupt. This word was used regularly by Trump during the campaign and some people assume it must be true because it has been said so many times. You don’t have to like her or agree with her political viewpoint but you cannot slander a person and call them corrupt unless they have been tried and convicted of corruption.

    1. Yes. The instinct to attack Hillary instead of defend Trump is still super strong for many people. I’ve tried some gentle reminders in response along the lines of:

      Trump won. Your team won. You don’t have to worry about Hillary anymore. You don’t have to be angry at her, or try to convince people she’s evil. She likely won’t be in the news much anymore at all.

  24. First of all, I agree with the previous commenter that you do a beautiful job of merging socially- and politically-progressive opinions with your faith. People like you give religion a good name.

    Thank you for your eloquent translation of what so many of us are thinking right now. As with you, I also recognize that my grief is bigger than just who was elected as president. My grief lays with the majority of our electorate that could consider such a man appropriate for the position. I ache for my tender son and three young daughters, and for my husband, a recent US citizen who voted in his first election, certain that he was going to watch history in the making. (He did, but of a different kind than we all imagined).

    However, in reading the comments (so many! such a strong outpouring of opinions and ideas!), I can’t help but continue to feel discouraged. It reads to me like we are further from unity than we were before the surprise of this election. Although it is not universal, the ‘winners’ of the election read as so much more vitriolic, angry, unbendable and close-minded. And I have a feeling that many of your readers are representative of a more progressive side of the winning electorate. If we can’t come together on a platform such as yours, what hope do we have for the healing and unifying of our country?

    1. Yes. I’m feeling some discouragement from the comments too. I suppose I thought there would more responses from Trump supporters like:

      “I voted for Trump out of allegiance to conservative principles, but I personally denounce any fascist, antisemitic, anti-immigrant act of violence or hatred, like the ones we are hearing of by the hundreds. I’m committed to speaking out about this. I insist that our President Elect should address these acts of violence immediately.”

  25. Gabrielle — BRAVO to you for such a wonderful, thoughtful & brave post. I admit to not reading the comments feed above, because I’ve read too many similar comment threads (glancing through as I scrolled down here to the comments box), and my heart, soul & brain really need the break.

    But I want to applaud you, with your many, many readers, and sponsors and affiliates, for boldly speaking your mind and heart. I’ve seen too many bloggers & IG’ers carrying on as mostly business as usual with lots of holiday & seasonal posts and I’m just not in the mood. I understand they don’t want to alienate their followers, but no.

    I’ve been a reader for years and have really come to admire your take and honesty in the last couple of years as you stand up for your beliefs. Maybe it’s the bravery & wisdom all those silver hairs grant us.

  26. I’m chiming in a bit late. As an American living abroad and serving in the Peace Corps, Wednesday was a really tough day. I was with fellow English Education volunteers for a week-long training, and it was devastating. In the room, there were members of the LGBTQ community, Muslims, women, people of color, immigrants. As volunteers, many of us questioned if we should go home, if we should fight the fight there. I think most (perhaps all?) are now resolved to stay, to make sure this election, and what it showed, is not the only view of America/Americans the people in our country see and know. But it is hard. I wrote more about my experience (and the way we came together, which was truly a beautiful thing) here:

  27. Thank you for your post and for moderating and reading all of the comments. I have been a long-time reader of your blog and I appreciate your views on the election and the time and care spent in responding to readers of varying viewpoints.

    I have been processing the election for the past few days and wondering why I am so sad and sick about the outcome of this one. The main difference between Trump and previous Republican presidents is his outright and subtle statements against minority groups. The fears that people in marginalized groups is real because if the highest authority in the land is not willing to stand up for justice and the rights of women, children, people of color, LGTBQ+ it creates a space for prejudice and hate crimes to thrive. It doesn’t matter if he said these things just to get elected and he doesn’t really mean to follow through. He said those things, and people heard them–and there are people who fear what his policies will do to their families and friends.

    The protests are happening because people want to strongly demonstrate how wrong it would be for this man to be running this country. His rhetoric is reminiscent of George Wallace, who was elected as governor of Alabama in 1963. In his inaugural speech, he stated, “I draw a line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” Nine months later, the bombing of the 16th street in Birmingham happened. He had known members of the KKK in his cabinet, he and the FBI knew who had set the bomb in the church, but nothing was done for over 10 years to bring the perpetrators if this horrible crime to justice. I mention this to show that even if Trump did not mean half of the things he stated in his speeches to get himself elected, his words have had a powerful effect already. The damage has been done. The tide of animosity, racism and hate has been unleashed.

    This is one of the reasons the reaction against his victory has been so strong. It is more than just a case of sour grapes. Some Americans are fearful of the clock being set back 60 years.

    1. Thanks for voicing your appreciation, Angela. It means a lot.

      And I agree that this is “more than just a case of sour grapes”. My preferred presidential candidate usually loses, and the reactions aren’t like this. Not at all.

  28. “We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist”

    James Baldwin

    Gabrielle, thank you for your courage.

  29. Thank you for writing this post. I love your blog for some many reasons but I really appreciate your thoughtful perspective on the pressing social issues you have ben sharing over the past 6 months or so especially – issues that are touching our everyday lives and families. Thank you, thank you.

  30. Oh how I envy you in your blue bubble! This post is so fantastic and I struggle to find ways to make a difference in my red town. As I’ve reflected on my own situation these past months, I realized that my life is white-washed and privileged. The grief that I’ve experienced this week is changing me, thank the good atheist lord. I will no longer be memes and words typed on a screen, I’m acting upon my beliefs. I speak up at family gatherings, I challenge those closest to me with fear of abandonment, yet I do it anyway. I ACT upon my beliefs. I believe that I can make a difference, and I already have in my kid’s lives, as they are white and middle class. I’m scared and excited to change the way I experience this world. I’m flawed and gutted and privileged and scared and excited to change my actions, my reactions, my life.

  31. Thank you for this post. I wish I had read it when you first posted because it accurately describes my feelings. This really does feel like we are mourning the loss of a more inclusive society. In the midst of so much sadness, it warms my heart to think that people like you are raising compassionate, informed, thoughtful children. It gives me hope for the future.

  32. I somehow missed this until just today. But I absolutely NEEDED to read this today. Thank you, thank you for so eloquently putting into words the feelings from my own heart!!

  33. Design Mom,
    Where is your condemnation of the violent rioting in various cities across the nation? Did you blog about it? I didn’t read any mention of it in this post. Have I missed it? Be fair. You can’t pick and choose what kind or type of hatred is allowed. For the record, I did not vote for Trump.

  34. I am just dipping my toe back into news and social media — I’m in mourning and I need space before I can gear up and be vigilant in these next 4 years that I dread. I appreciated this post.

  35. I am a little late to this but honestly, today is the first day since the election that I have even felt like reading anything. Thank God, I chose to read this. It mirrors my feeling exactly and even though we can’t change the outcome of the election it is good to know that there are people who feel the same way as I do.

  36. 2 things:
    1. I think your suggestion to subscribe or follow blogs, instagrammers or posts by people of color is awesome. Can you recommend any?
    2. If you voted for Hillary, does that make you dishonest? If you voted for Bill Clinton in any election, does that make you a womanizer? Your logic on Trump is flawed. I’m a #nevertrump person (ugh. I’m disappointed, too), but that kind of broad generalization doesn’t hold up – some people had bigoted, hateful reasons, but I don’t think it’s one of every 2 people you meet.

  37. I for one, LOVED the comments you posted on FB (I actually only saw one thread, but I screen capped it and shared it with my girls and we all took great joy in your honesty.) So you helped my post-election catharsis process and I thank you for that.

  38. Gabrielle,
    I admire you and respect your opinion, but this post felt divisive rather than unifying, which I don’t believe was your intent. Emily Handerson had two response posts- one where she asked trump voters why they voted how they did and one where she explained why she voted for Hillary and both were very sincere and created a feeling of unity on her website. You’ve probably already read them, but if not, both the posts and comments are worth taking a look at.

  39. Thank you for this! I had been curious to read your thoughts and I am with you 100%. I also grew up in the “Red bubble” of southern Utah (I still live in Cedar City) and as a Democrat, (and as an LDS member) I usually don’t even bring up my political views among friends or family. As soon as I found out the election results, I posted about how sickened I felt, because of the real threat to the many groups of people Trump has spoken out against. It was the only politically related thing I’d posted all year and it was not received kindly.

    I have many friends and family who voted for him and I know they themselves are not racist, sexist, etc. but I still have a hard time reconciling that because his whole campaign was utterly disgusting. And like you said, all the news outlets around here only tell one side of the story. My own brother was spreading articles that Hillary was the “spawn of Satan” and stuff like that, and people couldn’t understand how anyone could vote for her. They thought she’d be “so much worse than Trump”.

    I have hope that this has mobilized a new movement of outreach to the disenfranchised from us Hillary supporters. At the same time, watching Trump’s cabinet picks roll in makes me think that the “fresh start” we are supposed to be giving him has already been undermined because of the people he’s appointing. Sigh… It’s going to be a long four years. :(

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