Clinton was polling well. I thought it would fall along those lines...
But I was wrong.
I woke this morning to a new world.
I experienced the 5 stages of grief right there on twitter:
5.) Acceptance- well.... I haven't gotten there yet...
I woke to a Facebook feed that was full of posts with helpful information on suicide and depression hotlines. These weren't the angry "I'm moving to Canada" posts. These were frightened people. People of color. LGBT people. People who depend on the ACA to live. People that have in the few short hours since the election have already saw violence and threats against minorities.
I had a friend post about it on Facebook, and a lot of what he had to say rang true:
So who should be vilified in this? I'm going to make an unpopular statement and say it's the Democratic voters. From where I'm sitting, I see two main things that cost Clinton this election:Actually, a lot of that makes sense. The electorate that swung the the vote were low to middle income rural white guys. (Or said the guys on NBC last night). They were voting with their wallets, and trying to change the status quo that has been shafting them. I totally understand that. I fear that thinking will bite them in the ass.
1) Polling numbers are showing one of the big last minute swing issues was the announcement of ACA Premiums going up next year. Regardless of who is to blame, the blame got pinned on the Democrats because Obamacare was the crown jewel of the last eight years. People will vote with their wallets. If they are about to feel a major pinch, they will lash out against the people who are doing the pinching. In this case, the group in the crosshairs were the Democrats. Yes, I fully understand the increases are not solely the fault of the Democrats. Emotion doesn't make fine judgements, however. For families already feeling financial hardship, this only adds to it.
2) For several years now, white middle America has been dismissed with disdain by the Left. They've been labeled as backwards yokels who have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. Their concerns have been dismissed and disregarded, and they have repeatedly been told they are wrong and stupid. Regardless of their stance or their positions, take a moment to think about how you would feel if you were told that year after year. How would you react? How would you vote when you have a candidate come along who is willing to listen, says he'll fix the issues near and dear to you, and doesn't denigrate you?
The dollar and the Dow plunged as the results came in (just like Brexit). That's not good. Companies are already bracing for another recession.
How do we fix it? My friend had some good ideas:
So how do we correct this? Both sides need to start talking TO each other instead of AT each other. Concentrate on correcting the problems rather than attacking the people involved in the problem. Yes, I am fully aware that some people simply aren't going to change. Some people genuinely hold positions that are abhorrent to me and others. But dismissing everyone else around them only makes the problem worse. There is a clear difference between Rural and Urban viewpoints now. Unless people start listening and making an attempt to find some commonality, it's only going to get worse.Where does that leave us? Well, we now know the staggering amount of bigotry, homophobia, xenophobia and racism our country has. We know the lengths the "non-college educated white male electorate" will go to to keep their privilege.
That being said, I fully acknowledge there are some issues where there is no middle ground. On the Conservative side, they need to realize that trying to use the Government to enforce their religious beliefs is completely antithetical to the founding documents and ideals of this country. If it doesn't directly affect you, then it should be none of your business. Period. End of story. Love thy neighbor. Leave the judging and punishing, if there is to be any, to God. While a number of people want to pull out the love the sinner, hate the sin line, the facts of their actions put a lie to this. Denying someone the right to do something simply because your religion thinks it's wrong when it has no negative impact on your life is a move toward Theocracy. Put that aside, accept that people are going to do things you don't like that in no way impact your life, and move along.
If we as a country don't start talking to each other, then this grand experiment in Democracy is going to go down in flames. People need to stop being defensive when problems are brought forward. The idiotic "NOT ALL
" arguments do nothing to fix things. They're simply another case of trying to dismiss the issue and say there isn't really one. This leads to frustration, anger, and backlash. If people don't learn to put Ego aside and actually address problems, this is only going to get worse.
I am genuinely afraid for immigrant communities, the LGBT community, and communities of color. I am afraid for my friends that might lose their health care. I'm afraid for women.
Things have already started. Name calling. Twitter is alight with men that legitimately thin that sexual assault is OK now, because Trump won. The harassment of people of color and Islamic people has already started.
But my friend is right. If we can't find some kind of common ground, things are going to get ugly. And fast.
And I see a lot of Mr. Rogers and Disney movies in my immediate future.