Yep, I’m Still Angry. How about you?

A year has passed since the election. I’ve been reading lots of think pieces about it this week. I can tell you I’m still mad. I still believe the election was corrupted, and I find it quite impossible to recognize Trump as a legitimate president. I understand he’s the president, I just don’t think he’s legitimate. A few of the articles related to the election that stood out to me this week:

I’ve been speaking with white surpremacists. This one. Woah. The fear. Where does it come from? It’s similar to the protecting-your-family discussion we had a few weeks ago. There’s no data or facts behind the fear. Just fear.

One year on, Donald Trump is still an illegitimate president.

Brave enough to be angry. (NYT)

The Glorious Anger of Female Voters, One Year Later.

The Democratic Party owes black female voters a big ‘thank you.’

My travels in white America – a land of anxiety, division and pockets of pain. A line from this one: “Increasingly, for many white Americans, their racial privilege resides not in positive benefits of work and security but in the sole fact that it could be worse – they could be black or Latino. In other words, their whiteness is all they have left.”

When I think about why I am still angry, it probably boils down to the realization that a Trump presidency has turned out so much worse than I had imagined. With Trump at the helm, America has become more entrenched in our racism, more fearful of refugees, immigrants and anyone we can “other,” and more violent in very real ways. 

A year ago today, I wrote this post and made a lot of people mad. I just re-read it and gotta say: I still stand by it. I still believe when I see support for Trump from people I know — people who have good jobs, good community systems, and stable lives — it’s support for racism, division and hate, no matter how unintentional it might be.

On Twitter, I sometimes see tweets from an account called TrumpRegrets. As you can probably guess, the account retweets Trump supporters who express regret for voting for Trump. I have found it interesting over the last year to see what finally changed their minds. In my own life, I know a lot of Trump supporters, and I haven’t heard anyone I know personally express regret for voting for Trump.

If I’m honest, I find it difficult to muster respect for those I know who still respect him. Though not for lack of trying. It seems like I’ve read every book, article and essay in existence on the life and thoughts of Trump supporters. And still, I don’t understand. The essays describe people who live in desperate, forgotten towns. I know that’s real, but the people in my life who support and continue to respect Trump aren’t desperate. They’re well off. They’re successful. They have beautiful lives. So what’s their motivation for supporting such an awful human being? When interacting with the well-to-do Trump supporters in my life these days, at best I can muster passable good manners, at worst, I can muster pity. I imagine, I hope, this is a temporary feeling.

When I try to come up with positive outcomes from the election, I can think of three things. And they are related. First, the election seemed to function as a great-awakening for many of us who had been fairly complacent. I’ve made more calls to my representatives in the last year than I made in my whole lifetime before this. And I’ve been much more diligent about keeping up on the news in general. I know I’m not unusual in this. And I see this wave of intense citizen engagement as a good thing.

Another good thing: the wave of citizen engagement also seems to apply to our kids. I imagine their generation will value voting in a way that my generation has not.

And third, women are fed up. There’s a line in one of the articles I linked to above: “It became clear that you can be the most qualified woman and still lose to the least qualified man.” Something snapped in a lot of women on election night. A whole lot of gross men are falling like flies right now. And the list keeps getting longer. Would that have happened if Hillary had won? I would like to think so, but perhaps we would have stayed complacent, feeling like hey we won the Presidency, so we’ll be content to remain quiet about all the other horrors.

Some of the think pieces I’ve read this week have complained that people like me just need to accept the fact that he’s president and move on with our lives; that we’re whining too much. Certainly, I think that’s nonsense. Of course I’ve accepted that he’s president. I’m brutally aware of it 24 hours a day. And like many others, I spend a good amount of energy trying to prevent him from harming the country I love.

If I didn’t accept that he is president, if I was in denial, my life would look differently. My head would be in the sand, I would mostly ignore the news, I would never discuss politics, I wouldn’t take public stands, I would never call my representatives. If I didn’t accept that he is president, I would pretend my country is going along just fine. I would pretend that all the social and political norms he has destroyed were meaningless. I would pretend that the president isn’t actively trying to tear the country apart.

On social media, many of my liberal friends have kept up the political talk all year long. But many of my conservative friends (not all!) have been really quiet regarding politics. I can’t tell if that’s really real, or if Facebook and Twitter are just editing my feed. I’d love to hear what you’ve observed.

How are you doing? Do you feel the same about the election as you did a year ago? Have your feelings changed? Whether you voted for Trump or Clinton or a 3rd party or wrote someone in or abstained altogether — do you have any regrets? If the same election happened today, would you change your vote? It’s possible I offended too many people last year and they are no longer reading here. But if you are reading, and you didn’t like my post about the election last year, what are your thoughts this year?

278 thoughts on “Yep, I’m Still Angry. How about you?”

  1. Gosh Gaby, thank you for expressing your views. I agree with you 100%. I’m angry every day… I don’t like feeling this way, however I can’t understand how we got here. Trump is a horrible human being. I am a long time reader and will continue to be.

  2. I was a “Never Trump and Never Hillary” voter and a “Go Romney and Go Obama” voter. While I agree that Trump is a class all unto himself, and I can’t understand how anyone got behind him, I do think some people maybe rolled the dice just to say no to HRC. She HAS had a lot of experience, but hasn’t always done well with it (human) and I do think some people are sick of career politicians. Like some have mentioned, I was more disheartened by the candidates we had to choose from, not the actual outcome. (though I am still horrified). I just feel like there wasn’t a candidate that had my values. I really struggled!
    Honestly, I feel like the term “conservative” should mean me, but not anymore. For example, it’s good to be “conservative” with tax payer money, right? But not if that means cutting funding from those who need it. A word that SHOULD mean “thoughtful use of resources” or “kind and neighborly” now means “racist Klan member thief.” Ugh.
    Another thing that bugs me is (sweeping generalization alert:) What is portrayed in the largely liberal movies and TV (violence, guns and sexual predators) is everything the liberals are blaming Trump for. This is not defending Trump but simply pointing out hypocrisy as I see it. In my view it seems he’s a symptom of the culture that was created by the liberal pop culture and now they don’t like the result. (That still doesn’t explain how the “conservatives” voted for him though. It’s truly odd)
    I for one do not believe that Trump is responsible for all the shootings and hate crime. That responsibility belongs with the criminals themselves.
    I truly hope we have some AWESOME candidates to choose from in 2020!

    1. in case anyone is wondering, I do have ideas that I think would help create a better culture for politics:
      Set a limit on presidential campaign spending at 1 million and no campaigning till the YEAR OF the election
      Set term limits for all politicians. I do agree that with experience comes wisdom, but we could balance that somehow.
      Do away with all lobbying. I’ll say it again. Do away with all lobbying.
      Force each bill to stand on its own and pass on its own with no earmarking and piggybacking
      Not allow Gerrymandering in local politics
      Abolish “winner takes all” in the state electoral college votes
      If Income tax must be used, make it small, like 2-4% and no more. Also, use half of that for whatever regular tax is for and allow the payer to CHOOSE where the rest of his or her tax is spent.
      I think every presidential candidate should produce his or her birth certificate AND taxes. That just takes away all questions (eye roll here that it’s even a question)
      Shorten the sessions of Congress and the Senate and shorten the pay and the benefits. i.e. each candidate gets his or her LOCAL state health care options (like what other state workers choose from) and each candidate should make a fair but not astronomical amount. No increase in pay unless approved by the people.
      Maybe this already exists but a website or blog that allows anyone to see who and which bill is on the floor that day and who is attending etc, and who voted which way. This, I think would increase transparency.
      Each bill must be named clearly. As in “XX County road improvement 2017” instead of “SB123” And again, must deal ONLY with that specific title. No tax increase for road improvement but a portion is earmarked for a politicians pet lobbyist.

      ….that’s all for now. I’ll sign off

  3. The past two years of my life have basically been glued to the computer reading articles and watching in horror at what has been happening to our country. I miss the days when I could take it for granted that our leadership wasn’t out to destroy our society from within. I have completely lost faith in Congress doing anything about it, either.

  4. I honestly think one of the reasons people think Obama is corrupt and Trump is wonderful is because they watch Fox News. I cannot believe that it’s a legitimate news channel. It is full of hatred, speculation and pure nonsense. It is the original and ultimate fake news that has led half the country to fear everything and everyone.

    1. I wholeheartedly agree. I sometimes force myself to watch it to see what the folks I don’t agree with are thinking and where they are getting their hair-raising ideas from, and it’s hard to watch it (being an PBS/KQED/NPR person).

  5. Hello, I wanted to chime in as well. I am truly sorry for the anger and sadness that you feel and understand where it is coming from. I know that many people feel a sense of the rug being pulled out from under their America after this past election. I did not vote for President Trump. His character is deeply troubling to me.

    However, I do believe it is useful and essential to move past anger, incredulity, and confusion. I think it takes time and a great deal of patience with ourselves. I do believe God can give us understanding beyond our human minds and hearts. Perhaps some of us will never fully actualize 100% intellectual acceptance of “the other,” but I know that compassion is the most fruitful emotion to have when trying to knit hearts together toward change. If we carried anger to its end, it could not bear fruit.

    A person who has anger directed at them, no matter how justified or unjustified that anger is, is almost guaranteed never to change their mind in favor of the anger’s source. I think it is tempting to see a single person caught up in any political movement, candidate, or ideology as “evil,” “racist,” “flawed,” “hoodwinked,” “confused,” and to paint these broad brushstrokes is human. However, when we are stuck in that anger and incredulity, we reduce people into caricatures and less than whole. Yes, “those people” are doing that, reducing minorities and women into caricatures. Yet so are we!

    Those who have denounced you (above) and vowed to never read your blog again have not suddenly convinced you that they are in the right. Thoughtful and diplomatic commenters have everyone thinking. Do we have to line item agree on every point? No! But we can be agreeable and compromise and share by truly hearing each others’ stories.

    As an example, racism is a deeply rooted, ugly, seemingly intractable problem in this country. YES, it is… everywhere… and in every country, I might add. However, rather than pointing fingers (that would never end, and the finger would also point toward our own selves), how can we share and teach each other about the beauty of our diverse cultures? How can we move closer to the divide and reach our hands out to help others see that we are not so different than them? Do we *ever* change a racist by calling her/him a racist? Can we share, truly SEE people, LOVE them, progress in our personal relationships, fight for a change while working to educate and make what is strange less “other”? I believe this is a completely exhausting and heartbreaking endeavor, but I see bridges being burned and destroyed in anger, and it saddens me. I am speaking as a minority.

    At the heart of it, I believe we as a people feel shame, on the whole spectrum of the political rainbow. Some are ashamed that Americans could “be so stupid” as to elect this man into office. Some are ashamed that they waited so long and were so complacent about politics that they were left with two candidates that they could not stand behind. Some are ashamed that America has changed so much in values that they do not currently recognize it. Some are ashamed that their family members and friends are vocalizing political viewpoints that seem completely uneducated and inane. Some are ashamed that their life has been one of misfortune and seemingly low impact. Shame breeds lots of ugly emotions and behaviors. In fact, I believe shame is at the root of President Trump’s troubling character.

    A person who is truly loved, educated, attached to loving figures and positive role models does not need to point fingers at what is strange. So we need to nurture and educate people, in kindness. There is no utopian society on earth which has created the perfect way to do this. It starts with us as individuals, reaching out one by one to those who we see as being different from us. Nothing changes when we harden our hearts toward strangeness.

    I appreciated author Luisa Perkins’ thoughtful response and change of heart in a blog post. She referenced this article by David Wong. Some parts of the article are hard to stomach, but I think it is perfect food for thought.

    In the last days, [wo]mens’ hearts will wax cold. I think we are seeing this both in those who voted for Trump and those who voted against him. Let’s melt those cold, waxy hearts!! Starting with our own!

  6. Thank you. I’m still so angry. My own wealthy, privileged parents continue to support him and I’ve spent the last year trying to reconcile who they are (the loving people who taught me my values) with their political views. It’s made me deeply depressed. The best I can do is try to remember that they have been brainwashed by the fear mongering of Fox News and DT himself, and that they’re not living in actual reality with real information. It is heartbreaking and I’m so incredibly sad. Thank you for sharing your feelings, I think it’s brave and necessary. I, for one, will be checking in here more frequently because of this post. You’ve made me feel less alone.

  7. I’ve been reading Design Mom for many years, and I will continue to do so. But, I do feel that some of your points need answered.

    -“I still believe the election was corrupted, and I find it quite impossible to recognize Trump as a legitimate president. I understand he’s the president, I just don’t think he’s legitimate.” When the recount was happening in WI and MI, more and more votes were coming in for President Trump. So, my question is, what makes him a legitimate president? Or what doesn’t make him legitimate? He was voted in. By almost 50% of the people.

    -“I still believe when I see support for Trump from people I know — people who have good jobs, good community systems, and stable lives — it’s support for racism, division and hate, no matter how unintentional it might be.” I don’t support racism, division or hate. I have worked to hear others, and have good discussions. My life supports that I don’t support racism, division or hate. So, you are making a blanket statement, and it’s just a bit biased. I could say what I feel about everyone who voted differently than me. But, that doesn’t mean that what I feel is accurate. It’s my paradigm.

    -“If I’m honest, I find it difficult to muster respect for those who still support him. Though not for lack of trying. It seems like I’ve read every book, article and essay in existence on the life and thoughts of Trump supporters. And still, I don’t understand. At best I can muster passable good manners, at worst, I can muster pity, but that’s about it. I imagine, I hope, this is a temporary feeling.” I appreciate your honesty, but it comes off as very condescending. And, actually, a condescending attitude is very divisive. You barely can muster good manners for those who voted differently than you?

    -“On social media, many of my liberal friends have kept up the political talk all year long. But many of my conservative friends (not all!) have been really quiet regarding politics. I can’t tell if that’s really real, or if Facebook and Twitter are just editing my feed. I’d love to hear what you’ve observed.” I agree. Many conservatives are keeping their heads down. Why? Because of people like you and opinions like yours. You consider us racist, divisive and hateful because of a vote. Not because of what we do in the rest of our lives beyond voting. Not based on our friendships, our social work, or beliefs or anything else. One vote. It’s kind of ridiculous.

    -“And third, women are fed up. There’s a line in one of the articles I linked to above: “It became clear that you can be the most qualified woman and still lose to the least qualified man.” Something snapped in a lot of women on election night.” Qualified means what? The most political experience? Yes. Mrs. Clinton then had more. Who I voted for had nothing to do with gender. It had to do with who I thought would get the job done better. I would have voted for Condoleezza Rice, Sarah Palin or Carly Fiorina over Hillary Clinton. And over President Trump. As a matter of fact, I did vote for Carly in the primaries. So….

    Anyway. I’m just bringing another view point to the table. Maybe you will write it off, maybe you won’t. I’ve read almost every single article you’ve posted on FB this year. I am listening. I have moderated my stand about some things. I voted for President Trump, but I don’t feel I need to defend every action of his. I didn’t vote for President Obama, and I also didn’t feel that I needed to vilify every action of his. I thought President Obama was a very moral man. I think President Trump is a scumbag. But, I respect the fact that he is president.

    I voted. Because I can. And I will continue to vote. It is my right and privilege as an American citizen.

    1. I agree with your blanketed statement ab racist and hatred etc. It did come off sounding that way. I have friends who voted for Trump and they are none of those things. They are Republicans who voted who was on the Republican ticket. He wasn’t their first Republican choice but that’s who was on the ticket. Just like many Bernie supporters ended up voting for Hilary even though she wasn’t their first choice but it was the party candidate.

      1. Laura, that’s a viewpoint I do not understand. I’ve never felt a loyalty to a political party. I’ve been registered as both a republican and a democrat. It’s hard for me to even imagine feeling like I had to vote for a particular party and have no problem crossing party lines to support a good candidate on either side. I vote for the person, not the party.

        1. Yes I understand your viewpoint too. I am not loyal to a certain party either. I look at each candidate at each election and go from there. I’m just saying that was some of the responses of people I knew as to why they voted Trump.

    2. I’ve read your thoughts, Bern, and I appreciate you taking the time to type them up. I don’t want to write another novel here, but I’ll try to respond point by point.

      1) I don’t think the election was legitimate. The discrepancies in exit polling numbers, evidence of tampering by a foreign government, preventing a recount. (I’m referring to items explained in this article.) All of those things make me think the results should be thrown out and a new election run.

      2) I agree it’s a blanket statement. The thinking behind it is: Trump is actively racist, ran on a racist platform, and creates+supports racist policies. This is a known thing. So if someone is supporting Trump, they are supporting racist policies. A Trump supporter may not be overtly racist — no swastika tattoos, no KKK robes — but if they’re not bothered that Trump keeps attempting to ban Muslims, well that’s still pretty darn racist.

      If I understand correctly, I think you are trying to express that it’s possible to support Trump and not be racist. Maybe it comes down to words and actions. If I heard Trump supporters telling people to call their representatives to fight against Trump’s racist policies, I would probably think: Wow, a Trump supporter who doesn’t support Trump’s racism and is actively fighting against it. That’s awesome. But I haven’t seen that among Trump supporters I know. I’m not saying it hasn’t happened, but I haven’t seen it. And not saying anything about a racist policy, looks like the same thing as supporting a racist policy. Which is, of course, racist.

      3) I agree that feeling pity is condescending, which is why I described it as “at worst.” I agree it doesn’t help bring people together. And I don’t want to feel pity. I want to understand, but so far, haven’t been able to (and not for lack of trying).

      4) This is where we disagree. If Trump supporters don’t want to be thought of as racist, it would definitely help if they were actively, visibly anti-racist. Perhaps you are. (I don’t actually know you.) “Keeping your head down” means supporting the status quo. The status quo in America right now is racism. So when you see Trump being racist and supporting white supremacy — which is basically a daily thing at this point — why not speak up and condemn him? I think rallying against his racism is a place where Americans across the political spectrum could really come together.

      5) I’m not sure what to say to you here. You certainly don’t have to like Hilary. But I don’t believe you would try to argue that a woman with Trump’s failed track record, scandals and lack of experience would ever have been considered for a presidential run. Men have a much lower bar to pass than women. And this election confirmed that in the biggest way possible. To pretend gender wasn’t a factor in this election is not believable.

      6) I really appreciate the honesty in your last paragraph, but it’s also where I personally feel a disconnect. You think Trump is a scumbag, but you voted for him anyway. I couldn’t do that.

      (Dang! I ended up writing a novel anyway.)

  8. Gabrielle, I’ve been following your blog for years and seeing your political posts has made me so proud. Good for you for having the uncomfortable conversations because they are so necessary to have. From how it sounds I have had a very similar experience to you, especially in how you noted that your liberal friends continue to discuss politics while conservative friends have gotten awfully quiet, same exact situation for me. In my case, it’s as bad as my own mother voted for the man, and I can never quite accept that. She is a two-issue voter: on abortion (very pro-life) and on Israel (a Zionist). I am also a Zionist but even if I did think Trump would be good for Israel I wouldn’t have casted a vote for him in an eternity. My mother, however can’t bring herself to vote for someone/a party that is pro-choice, no matter what else hangs in the balance. I try to discuss the events of the past nine months with her, heck- the events of the past year and a half, and it’s amazing how much she simply *ignores* whatever is inconvenient in the name of saving unborn babies. It’s amazing. I love my mother and I always will, and I used to call her my hero. Unfortunately I can’t see her as a hero anymore. The fact that she’s not capable of standing up against such a person, she’s not capable of basic reason and logic, of compassion… I can’t see her as heroic anymore. And that breaks my heart.

  9. Frankly I’m sort of “over” Trump himself and the Trump voters. I am no longer shocked or worked up over what they say or do or that they will literally back him no matter what. In my mind, he is a bigoted, racist, misogynist who might as well be Hitler pre-Holocaust. The moment for me came when he criticized the widow of the black soldier. I thought “oh my God, he REALLY is a racist, and people think it’s okay that he is saying this because she’s black.” I *knew* he was racist before, but for some reason, it really hit me then. In that moment, I felt like I truly understood the black perspective on how the world works, and it just makes me so angry and sad.

    I would say that I used to have respect for those apologetic Trump voters–people I know and love who voted for him because they felt that they didn’t have a choice. BUT lately, I have been profoundly disappointed in them. The lack of outrage over things like his anti-free-speech tweets (re: the National Anthem) and his display of total disregard for the constitution. The silence is deafening.

    And now this Roy Moore thing. Silence. My conservative family members (those I mentioned knowing and loving) have said nothing. And they won’t. He could win, and they would say nothing. Would never dare call him a pedophile. It’s disgusting, and I don’t understand it.

    1. My nephew (who is in his early 30’s and is a lawyer), wrote a blog post about how he’s not a Trump fan, but he doesn’t think Trump is racist. My head almost exploded.

  10. Dear Gabrielle, Every word you wrote is true for me too. All of it. Thank you so much for your clear voice and great courage to stand up and speak truth. I feel so much respect and gratitude for you.

    1. A parent at my child’s school is from Venezuela, and she has become quite passionate in her advocacy. She says it’s because she sees too many parallels in the United States now to that election/president.

      I’m sorry about what has happened to your country. My husband and I visited in 2000 and loved it! It is such a beautiful country, and the people were so friendly. I don’t know how it will recover but I so hope it does!

  11. I’m still angry, too. I didn’t vote for him (I’m a moderate, and voted for Hillary), but have tried many times to see past his insanity to understand what he is trying to accomplish and give him a chance. But then he tweets again. And getting a peek into his brain leaves me to conclude: he is a madman.

  12. Thank you for being brave enough to write this post, knowing how it will be received by some.

    I’m still angry too. Every day I see evidence of this country heading in an ugly direction, and I get angry all over again. I get angry at my family members, who are so kind and generous, and the fact that they could vote for a man whose repulsive words and actions are anathema to me and to so many.

    But there is good, too. I see normal people stepping up every day to give a voice to the voiceless, to champion good, to engage in the public discourse, and to help those less fortunate. My husband, who before this past election cycle was apathetic to politics, now watches the news daily and is informed and engaged. My 10-year-old stepdaughter is growing up knowing the importance of being informed and engaged. I, too, am more engaged than I have ever been and trying as hard as I can to channel this frustration and anger into passionate actions for good. I feel the wave coming – and it goes far beyond who happens to be sitting in the White House for the next three years.

  13. I won’t ever get over the election. I still wear my Hillary pin on my apron and i have her legendary “worthy of opportunity” quote hanging in my house. Some days the news is gutting all over again. I am embarrassed to be an American right now and am tired of explanining troubling news from the White House to my kids.

  14. I agree with you on much of this. I didn’t read all of the comments, so I’m not sure if this was said already, but I think the majority of Trump supporters are just misinformed or uninformed. They are not bad people (although there is certainly a racist, homophobic and misogynistic subset of supporters), they just are only getting their news from Fox News, Breitbart and Drudge. Those news sources absolutely show only one skewed side of any issue. They present opinion as fact and if that is all you watch–that is what you will come to believe. They have completely brainwashed a large section of the US. Honestly, I think it is terrifying and will be a fascinating case study some day.

    I am a moderate liberal, but I think the same thing is happening on a smaller scale to a subset of the liberal population. I have many friends on the far left who believe insane things because of the news they consume. They only get their news from Democracy Now, Alternet, the Raw Story and MSNBC and as a result they think Israel is a terrorist country, vaccines are poison and Hilary Clinton is basically a Republican. It is bizarre.

    My theory is that people are just overwhelmed with news. They don’t have time to figure out what is true anymore, so it’s just easier for them to believe the other side is wrong. I also think a lot of conservatives (I work in one of the most conservative counties in the US and talk to people who voted for Trump all day, every day) have just given up watching the news. Many of the people I am friends with really are not paying attention. They hear the really outrageous things Trump is doing because that is everywhere, but they just think he has an oversize personality. They trust that he will do what he campaigned to do. I don’t think this is actually different from any election–the majority of the population isn’t interested in following up on what happens after the election ever. That is pretty dangerous right now.

    1. Just wondering what news outlets you find reputable? It does seem like MSNBC and Fox are slanted one way or another. It’s hard to watch reliable non biased news anymore

      1. Laura, yes the NYT and WashPo lean left, but I think there are some great options that are also in the mainstream and lean right. I’m repeating a comment I made above, but:

        For conservative viewpoints, I read news coverage, op eds and editorials from the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard and the National Review. The Atlantic sometimes features very conservative viewpoints as well. I also looked up twitter lists of the “best conservative voices” and have followed at least 50 there.

        It’s not hard to find good conservative-leaning media that’s not outrageous.

  15. I feel exactly the same way you’ve been feeling this year. 12 months of a total mental energy drain. I work in real estate in NYC and during the campaign I kept wondering why people weren’t doing their research to see what a complete jerk Trump is. People in NY don’t like him, people in NY real estate don’t like him. He’s a bully. He never pays his bills, comes back 6 months later and asks for a ridiculous discount and when you say no, he sues you. Nobody wants to do deals with him because he’s a terrible business person. It’s like that guy in your industry who everyone knows is the WORST and yet people don’t just vote him in as president of the company, they vote him in as president of the country! It’s really insane.
    It has been great to see the uprising of women though, I think that has been an incredibly important outcome. I attended the women’s march, have campaigned for my Westchester democratic candidates, voted for my county representatives (which I’d never done in the past) and have joined practically every march and protest I could find. I feel empowered in a way I’ve never felt before. And that’s good. Keep up the amazing work Gabby! There are a lot of people out there who really appreciate your opinion.
    -Amy

  16. Thank you for this post, Gabrielle. And kudos are your thoughtful replies to the comments here. I’ve said this before, but you have always been inclusive and respectful on this space.
    I too, I am still angry. And we should be. As we feared, horrors are being sold to us as normal.
    However, let us keep using our anger as a tool to keep showing up, protesting, rallying, writing, calling.

  17. First, I would really encourage everyone on this thread to listen to the podcast Pantsuit Politics. The hosts are two women in their 30s from Kentucky, one from the left and one from the right. The woman on the right did not vote for Trump, and maybe that makes it all the more appealing, but they really have nuanced and respectful discussions about politics. And they compliment the other side at the end of each episode. They are bringing us back to a time when politics was about ideas and working out solutions and not just this us vs. them mentality. Both are lawyers, one is an elected official and worked for Hillary. Just a good all around break from the current tone in our political discourse. And if you aren’t a podcast person, they are writing a book.

    Second, I don’t have time for anger. Inspired by a friend – a woman of color in her 30s – who lost a race back in 2016 and then just won elected office on Tuesday and hasn’t stopped working hard fighting for working people, immigrants, and progressive values – I gave myself one day to be angry and sad and then got to work. I live in Virginia and threw my money and a lot of time into this election. I’ve long been politically involved and I try not to get irritated by the people who don’t put the time in that is required to have a functioning democracy that works for the people, but then complain about the result. I knocked for Hillary, did everyone else who is angry do that? Or find a time to do that in any local elections this year? Have you forgone the fancy coffee or lunch out for a few weeks to donate to a campaign? Particularly to progressive candidates of color or women or candidates from lower-income backgrounds? There is so much work to do ahead of 2018, find a candidate now and go to their campaign headquarters and ask how you can help. And you need to help in the primaries, not just in the general. Knocking on doors and making calls really isn’t scary once you do it.

    Third, as to Trump voters, I spent weeks in Appalachia campaigning for Obama in 2008. I met a lot of people on the margins who were excited to vote for him but had previously voted Republican. One that stands out is a gentleman living in a really run down fly-infested trailer who told me he had formally held leadership roles in the local KKK. That man talked to me for a long time about how excited he was about voting for Obama, even though he’d lost friends over it. Obama brought him hope. I would bet money he voted for Trump this time around, as I bet his circumstances didn’t change much – maybe was able to get healthcare through Medicaid expansion, but that’s it. We talk a lot about the white working class that voted for Trump, and there are a lot of that just want life to be better, easier, and will vote for whoever makes them feel that way. I think that’s understandable, and honestly, well-to-do progressive don’t always do much for these folks on the micro level. Sure we support healthcare, maybe an increase in the min wage, but when was the last time you considered if the car or kitchen appliance you want to buy was union-made in America? Do you shop at union grocery stores or do you shop at Whole Foods? I feel a bit differently about the well-to-do that voted for Trump – my well-off R friends did not vote for him because he did not represent their conservative values (some held their noses and voted Hillary and others voted Evan McMullin) – but at the end of the day, I think it boils down to they would just never vote for a Democrat and so why waste your breath figuring it out? That’s how campaigns works – you don’t bother campaigning or knocking on the doors of people who have voted for the opposite party at least 90% of the time. Seems that getting into arguments with people who would just never support your team wastes valuable energy that could be used more productively to bring the change you want to see.

  18. The biggest thing I wish conservatives could understand is that this is not about one’s “team” losing. There is not a single person besides Trump during the primaries that I would feel angry about winning. I might have vehemently disagreed with some of their stances (Cruz, etc), and I might not like them, but I wouldn’t feel mournful at my core about any of them winning. I wouldn’t be ashamed of this country. I wouldn’t be heartbroken. With Trump, millions of people knew he assaulted women, that he made racist comments, that he threatened the First Amendment, that he made fun of a handicapped journalist, that he called a a beauty queen winner “Miss Piggy”, that he cheated hundreds of contractors out of their promised payments, etc, etc, *and they voted for him anyway*. I have friends that did. I used to be conservative myself, and I understand the reasoning: abortion, the Supreme Court, etc. But I still don’t, and will never understand.

    Today’s GOP is not healthy. All the integrity they bragged about for years and years (“the values party”) turned out to be a farce. Values? What values? It’s just power that is worshipped. Literally yesterday, leaders in Alabama’s GOP defended Roy Moore for molesting a 14-year-old by citing Mary and Joseph. That, in a nutshell, is the GOP of today.

    I realize not all conservatives are like this. As an Evangelical, trust me, I know many. I like my GOP governor. But the fact is, R’s rallied around a sexual predator. And now they’re enabling one in AL.

    However, after Tuesday’s elections, I have hope for the first time in a year. You should too, Gabrielle. Go over to 538 and read the latest analyses from the past few days. I think you’ll feel a lot better.

  19. Reader from Canada who grabs popcorn and sits back to watch the comment section :)

    Also, feeling very thankful for our country’s leader even though he wasn’t my first choice!

  20. Gabby – you are so brave to wade into these weeds. For the weekend–listen to Dixie Chicks “I’m not ready to make nice.” I’m listening to it over and over and over again.

  21. Both my parents voted for Trump, and honestly we have had a strained relationship all year. They raised me to care about the poor, immigrants, mothers, etc. and I have had a hard time understanding how such good people could vote for such a terrible man. I hope that we can move past this one day, but right now it feels like I willl never feel the same way about them. That sounds silly but I have lost some respect for them that I can never get back.

    1. Anonymous for this one

      It doesn’t sound silly, I feel the same way. It’s impossible for me to accept my parents’ Trump votes and still respect them as much as I did before. Discussing it just makes it worse because they just spout the Fox news version of reality. And my parents used to be active in resettling refugees. Now they have an arsenal of guns.

  22. From your post a year ago to the most recent post….I feel that we could have been walking hand in hand on this unbelievable political journey. You expressed so many of my sentiments….from the disbelief and anger to getting more involved in the workings of our government and writing to my congressmen weekly. So whether or not thanks is in order, I respect you for expressing your views. I can do my bitching within the small group of like minded individuals, but you are on display with Design mom and the varied views of those that read you. All i can say is PERSIST. And yes, “thank you” is in order.

  23. Still angry here too. On the most basic level, we still have a president who acts in ways that I would not tolerate in my child (at any age), who behaves in ways that would result in his being let go by any of the institutions in my life (church, school, place of work), and who bullies because he is full of anxiety and enjoys inciting fear. I will not work to understand where others came from when they voted for him. Instead, I will do work to understand my role in institutional racism and white supremacy, I will advocate for those who lack a voice in our current political system, and I will teach my daughter what it means to persist and resist.

  24. The hardest part for me has been the overwhelming support Trump has received from Christians, both evangelical and Catholic. I consider myself a very devout Christian, and I am daily bewildered by this phenomenon. There is nothing Christian about Trump, and nothing Christian about his policies. I am sick thinking about how many people, how many of my loved ones were so swift to throw aside the core tenets of their faith to embrace this guy. People always say it’s easier to hate than to love, and the Trump wave is such proof of that.

  25. So many distressing things are happening. Among the worst is the filling of federal judge seats (which Republicans held open for the last two years of Obama’s administration) with right-wing, and in some cases extremely unqualified, lawyers. These are lifetime positions. It will ensure systemic racism and a pro-NRA stance continue for decades. It makes me want to get my kids out of this country.

  26. One more comment here, sorry to make another. early in 2016 I read “Lady Bird and Lyndon” because I was in Austin at the time and you can go to “Lady Bird Lake” and “Lady Bird’s wildflower garden”
    Anyway, I was shocked when I read the book. LBJ was despicable. I realize the book was probably biased, but you also can’t change facts like him fondling other women while his wife was in the room and he was racist (I know he passed the civil rights act but he didn’t want to), pouting about only being the vice president so he refused to get out of the plane on the Asia tour. Deprived his wife from attending her own daughter’s birthday party, etc. To sum it up, I keep seeing comments about how this is the worst president in history and I guess I’d say now I disagree. We already survived a corrupt president and we can survive another. Lady Bird, on the other hand, was pretty amazing! Anything good he did was because of her influence.

    1. So true! I haven’t read that book but I read Robert Caros books about LBJ and there’s no denying that he did a lot of good while being a total jerk. I keep thinking of how much better we can do. I’m a progressive but we need to be skeptical of our own heros too!!

  27. I didn’t vote for Trump. I consider myself very moderate for the most part. I cannot stand Trump or what he stands for. My friends and family are fairly divided equally between conservative and liberal. Just so that’s all out-of-the-way…

    Do you want to know why this year feels different? Why my liberal friends and family are actually shoving me more conservative as the days go by? Because of the judgment. Because liberals have decided that they are 100% right about everything. Even worse, If you do not align your beliefs perfectly with one, you are literally a terrible person and racist. Nothing that a moderate can say will convince a liberal otherwise.

    There has never been a time since I have been alive at almost 40, where your political beliefs will end friendships, relationships, and be so heavily judged for. Probably you would say that the Trump election has invigorated and led everyone out to protest. My family and friends who are incredibly vocal about politics would say the same. But, being passionate and voicing opinions is not the problem. I get the Trump hate as I think he is laughably awful. But allow me to offer a differing opinion.

    When you, or others paint an entire group of people as racist, homophobic etc. Do you honestly think that you were going to win anyone over? Does that foster a compassionate discussion? To say you don’t respect an entire group of people? Does that make you look bad, or us look bad? I genuinely want to know. Because I don’t think unless you are a truly terrible person, but anyone likes being called racist. I’m pretty sure I don’t.

    Again, I didn’t vote for Trump, but seeing what has happened in the aftermath has not made me want to be a liberal. I am sick and tired of the vitriol. I am so sick and tired of the polarizing comments.

    There is actually a middle ground, there is a gray area.

    1. Agreed. I’m finding the divisiveness comes from the “progressives”, not from the right.
      I did vote for Trump because a Hillary presidency scared the hell out of me!

  28. I appreciate you for talking about beautiful things and family and ALSO for not shying away from naming racism and standing up for what you believe in. It must be a little exhausting but it’s such an important part of being a mom in today’s America.

  29. Every. Word. Spot. On. I’ll keep this short because you have so many comments, so this one is just an enthusiastic YES and THANK YOU to balance anyone leaving a comment who disagrees with any part of this. (I can’t bear to read them, because what?! How?!)

  30. Wow I could barely read through your post. As a person who didn’t vote for Trump or Clinton I can tell you that I had MANY issues with Clinton. Hillary was a very bad candidate to many people (myself included–I’m a woman of color who is NOT from the top 1%, and I DON’T think my woman or minority card should be taken away because of that!). She was SO corrupt it puts this whole election illegitimacy to shame. Whether people want to believe the country was upset about a lot of Obama era policies probably depends on the person you talk to, but we’re out here! I support our government processes, so I pray for our Nation and President as I have before. I think the Left in America has turned into a circus and the moderates on the Right and Left have grappled with where to turn to because of the lunacy of the media and the fear mongering people who really need to take a breath and get some perspective about the corruption and policies (of the last administration) that got us here.

  31. Hope – I agree.

    Despite the claims from Trump’s supporters about all he’s done for America in the past year, he’s done exactly the opposite. I’m also from a multi-generational military family. Trump’s policies on military “strength”, his disrespectful attitude towards the military (comments toward McCain and families of fallen service members), and his twittering us closer to WWIII actually make use less safe in the world.

    His policies about health care, tax “reform” and immigration seem to all come from the same place – help those who are wealthy become wealthier, and too bad for anyone who is poor, sick, or of color. And, I hardly want to even mention climate change (deleting/ignoring years of research in blind ignorance of science, and leaving business opportunities in research and development to China).

    Trump’s goal is to unravel America entirely – not to unravel the liberal progressive agenda of the past 8 years. It is simply a kleptocracy. And, while may not have always agreed with prior presidents, but I’ve never felt this much shame and horror. It’s a huge pendulum swing away from all the progress we have made. The silver lining is that it has prodded ordinary citizens to challenge the status quo and run for office.

    Let’s hope this presidency is the last gasp of an out-dated and dangerous way of thinking.

  32. I have spent the better part of this week reading this post and every single comment, in my quest to understand “the other side” of the coin on this topic. Watching the election results last November with my sleeping 4 week old baby on my chest I cried, for how clearly broken things have become and fear for my brand new baby’s future in the world I just brought him into. Like you, I have yet to see an argument for Trump that doesn’t involve his racist, sexist, etc. ideologies. I think we as humans are experts at compartmentalizing our feelings about many things, but perhaps less willing to admit it.

    I so appreciate your continued thoughtful posts and replies to difficult/controversial topics. It is rare to find people willing to put themselves out there and truly discuss. I had my husband read your recent post on guns and we had an incredible discussion from it (no surprise, I agreed with that post as well!). Anyway, keep on, and thank you!

  33. Thank you for posting, Gabby. I’ve sifted through some of the comments, and while it was a thrilling replay of Fox News and Breitbart (GUNS! TELLS IT LIKE IT IS! ANTI CHOICE! TAXES THAT STILL HAVEN’T PASSED!), I still find it difficult to respect any of Trump’s supporters (and that includes my own mother – I’ve blocked her on facebook for the sake of our relationship). And the fact that people really think this rich kid, who made money/lost money/maybe made more money and went on to host a popular tv show (that I liked!), and passive aggressively tweets all the time is “the real deal” completely blows my mind. I always think of: “Arguing with a Trump supporter is like playing chess with a pigeon – no matter how good you are, the bird shits on the board and struts around like it won anyway.” Haha, it’s silly, but not always wrong.

    For the record, I also didn’t like GWB, but it was not like this. I never thought he (or his dad, or Clinton, or Obama) were ever malicious in their actions, even if they turned out terrible or I didn’t agree with them in the first place. I even unexpectedly liked some of his fiscal policies!

    Anyway, I’ve enjoyed reading your posts and replies. You’re much more articulate than I would be in these situations.

  34. I wandered in from Pinterest, saw a thoughtful, reasonable, mostly respectful conversation and decided to way in.

    The current administration scares the HELL out of me!

    We’ve lived in an ultra-conservative Republican area since 1985. It’s fairly rural and spread out but the neighbors have always been friendly and helpful. I’ve always been a moderate who voted, after educating myself on the politicians and all of the issues, for the people who best reflected my values regardless of party.

    During my states closed primaries, I voted Republican because the state and local elections, and my county didn’t have any Democrats on the ballot. Our township had an extremely contentious election for township offices so that made it even more important to vote.

    My candidates lost but that’s not the worst outcome. You see after Trump became the nominee, it was open warfare on anyone who didn’t have or wouldn’t put TRUMP/PENCE signs in their yard. The worst incident was when our 92 year old 4’11”, 97lbs neighbor , Thelma, was literally back against her fence by two 6′ burly, 40 something neighborhood men. They were angry because she took the TRUMP/PENCE signs off of her fences, that they had put up! I happened to be coming home when I saw one of the men slam his fist on the fence post right over her head. The men were screaming that she had no right to remove their signs and that they were going to put some back up and if she knew what was good for her, she’d leave them alone! I slammed on my brakes, ran over to her, told them to leave her alone and get off her property. The men completely dismissed me because I’m a woman who’s not much bigger than Thelma. What they didn’t know was that I’d already called 911, I was still connected to dispatch and I’m a licensed firearms and self-defense instructor who always has my gun. I calmly repeated that the men needed to leave and informed them that the sheriff’s deputies were already on their way. The men’s response was, “You should have told them to send an ambulance” and one of the tried to grab my arm. That’s when I stepped back, pushed Thelma to the ground and pulled my weapon. That stopped them. I told them to sit on the ground to wait for the deputies.

    I know that seems like an extreme example and it is to an extent but Trump’s rhetoric has emboldened the worst aspects of some people. I know that not all Trump voters are like that but in all of the years that I’ve been aware of politics, I’ve never seen so much vile, hatefilled speeches and actions directed toward neighbors.

    I’ve spent the past 17 months talking to Trump supporters, including my eldest brother and other family members, trying to understand their point of view and the most prevalent answer is that their “tired of the way the elitist libtards talk down to everyone.” When I’ve asked for clarification, I’m told that Obama & Hillary are corrupt and uppity and that Trump knows what the “average man” wants and needs. If I ask what policies they agree with, it comes down to four things. The Supreme Court, the 2nd amendment, abortion, and the economy.
    Most don’t seem to understand that Congress makes the laws and passes the budget and although Obama had veto power, the Republicans have been in control for 7 years and theoretically could overturn a veto. Instead of trying a bipartisan approach, the GOP leadership choose to obstruct everything that Obama and the Democrats suggested out of hand.

    I know that conservatives hate the ACA and push the right-wing talking points that it was rushed through with no imput from Republicans but that’s a load of B.S.! It’s easy to look up on the government website. It took 13 months, hundreds of hearing, dozens of mark-ups, and there were over 150 Republican amendments to the bill that actually started at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. It was a bigger, more comprehensive version of RomneyCare. That’s why the Republicans couldn’t come up with a replacement. It’s difficult to come up with a replacement to something that was the conservatives answer to the Clinton healthcare proposal especially after they’d spent 7 years talking it down!

    The ACA is very important to me personally because I don’t want anyone to go through what my friends and family went through before it passed. We had four very special people diagnosed with cancer between March 2007 and October 2011 and only one survived.

    My best friend was diagnosed with “female” cancer on March 12, 2007. Anne had insurance through work but that only lasted for 1 year after she was forced to quit because even though she paid the premiums, the treatment costs surpassed the lifetime cap and then because of her preexisting condition she couldn’t afford insurance. Anne survived that bout.

    My mom was officially diagnosed the day before Thanksgiving 2009. My mom was a Korean War vet and retired nurse. She had Medicare and VA but when her VA doctor first suspected she had lung cancer in April 2009, she refused to have a biopsy until she could find out what Medicare and the VA would cover. If she had all treatments performed in the VA, all but about 5% would be covered by the VA and Medicare. The problem with that plan was that the nearest VA facility for oncology was more than 6 hours away and most of the treatment would be outpatient so that meant finding lodging for herself and a caregiver. She decided to wait until she turned 70 in July because then she could get treatment less than an hour away so it would be less disruptive on her adult children and their families. Unfortunately the cancer was very aggressive and she didn’t make it to her birthday. Mom passed on January 24, 2010 and 5 days later our 2nd oldest informed us that she had bone cancer!

    Cass, 25, had known since the middle of January but she didn’t want to upset her grandma so she kept it to herself. Cass had insurance through her work, lived near a top notch cancer center and was accepted into an experimental treatment program. The doctors were very optimistic because the cancer was found very early. It seemed that things were looking up.

    Then May, I got a call from our 3rd daughter, Pauli 20, who was going to college in Kentucky. She didn’t want to have “Billions & Billions of dollars” of student debt so she was going to take a year off, maybe two so she could cash flow her next 4 to 6 years. Although, she had some scholarships and we helped, becoming a virologist is an expensive endeavor. June 17th was Pauli’s first day working for a major retailer and in 90 days she’d have benefits at least that’s what she thought. You see, this corporation had a policy that you had to have 90 days of 32+ hour weeks straight so 12 weeks, which is okay as long as management schedules you for at least 32 hours a week for 12 weeks straight.

    Unfortunately, life happens! In October, Pauli ended up in the E.R. with severe abdominal pain, doctors thought it was gallbladder. It was bone cancer! But we didn’t actually get a diagnosis until December because she didn’t have insurance, the doctor wouldn’t let her work and she couldn’t get a “Charity Card”, that’s actually what it’s called, because she hadn’t been a resident for over 6 months. Even though she’d been going to school there for 2 years. It had to do with how long she had been working. She was one week from qualifying for benefits at work. I was on the phone daily trying to get her the treatment she needed but it’s hard to go all Mama Bear on someone from several states away.

    November 6th, we made arrangements for her to come home, found out my best friend Anne had stage 4 BC and my husband was hit by a drunk driver while getting the mail. Thankfully my husband saw the truck just before the driver lost control and didn’t get the full impact. Broken foot, leg & collarbone but he was alive!

    That delayed Pauli’s return by a week and that put to the appointment out to the first week in December. She’d be home and she’d be getting treatment. The day after Thanksgiving 2010, she woke up vomiting and spiking a fever so we went to the ER. 7 hours later, Pauli was life-flighted to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and I was driving 6+ hours to be with her. Pauli was diagnosed with the same type of bone cancer as her older sister.

    Pauli passed away Halloween 2011 at 21 after months of invasive treatments. According to the oncologists who treated both sister, the difference was the fact that Cass was able to get treatment immediately and Pauli’s treatment was delayed due to bureaucratic BS.

    Anne couldn’t get treatment in November when the cancer was discovered. She had to apply for MediCaid so her treatment was delayed until almost Christmas. It probably wouldn’t have changed the outcome but she could have been in less pain. Anne passed March 31, 2012 in hospice.

    Pauli’s medical bills took 3 years and 7 months to pay off. Anne’s family declared bankruptcy.

    None of these women should have had to delay life saving treatment for lack of healthcare insurance. No one should have to watch their loved ones go through a terminal illness, watch them die and declare bankruptcy due to medical bills.

    Republicans say their the party of Christian Family Values but from what I’ve seen they have forgotten everything Jesus Christ stood for and taught.

    BTW….My husband has worked for the same company from 1979 to 2008 when the few employees left bought the company to keep it out of bankruptcy that the original owners grandchildren & G. W. Bush’s economic policies put it in. I’m a disability, retired Special Education teacher and school guidance counselor. We have 5 amazing children, 2 of whom are adopted. We were blessed to be able to foster 65 special kids over 22 years. After all of that, if the Senate’s tax bill goes through, we will be unable to retire with the standard of living we currently have. At least according to our Republican accountants.

    I appreciate you reading my extremely lengthy post. I apologize for making it so long. However, I believe it’s important to understand how political policies and rhetoric affect real people.

  35. I’m late to this discussion by two months. Actually, I read it at the time but it was so discouraging I had to try and push it out of my mind. You may not even get this comment now, but I decided it was best for me to come and finally put in my thoughts so I can have peace of mind with myself.

    I typically feel safe reading your opinions, and I especially enjoy that I can read opinions that are vastly different than my own and still able to come out with some new appreciation for the other side.

    The part that I had a hard time with is you speak as if Hilary Clinton was such an obvious better choice. You have a hard time respecting people who voted for Trump, “If I’m honest, I find it difficult to muster respect for those I know who still respect him. Though not for lack of trying… So what’s their motivation for supporting such an awful human being?”

    The thing is, Hilary Clinton was not a better choice. Her list of sins are just as bad as Trump’s. They were both terrible choices, and the country was going to lose either way. Those who strongly support Hilary aren’t any more compassionate, intelligent, aware, or connected than those who supported Trump.

    1. Help me understand how “Hillary’s sins are just as bad as Trump’s.”

      I think it would be fair to say, “Hillary Clinton’s sins are just as bad as Mitt Romney’s.” Or, “Hillary Clinton’s sins are just as bad as McCain’s.” Or, “Hillary Clinton’s sins are just as bad a either of the Bush’s sins.” I would agree with all of those statements. Hillary Clinton was a normal imperfect candidate, just like most Presidential candidates we’ve had over the years. Trump is in a completely different, and much more horrible category.

      It’s not accurate to say, “”Hillary’s sins are just as bad as Trump’s.” And it also wouldn’t be accurate to say, “George W. Bush’s sins are just as bad as Trump’s.” Trump is far worse than any candidate we’ve ever had. We can not compare him accurately to anyone.

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