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“Still In Mourning” – Reflections on the 2016 Presidential Election

As most of you know, generally I steer clear of politics on this blog for various reasons. After all, this is a cancer blog; however, I also frequently focus on loss, so this post seems appropriate for that reason alone. So here goes…I am a proud Democrat. Always have been. Probably always will be. Some of you will read no further because of this. But some of you will read on. (Thank you). I’ve lived through quite a few Presidential elections by now, including a fair number of them which resulted in losses for candidates of my choosing, but as these losses go, this one feels different. How do I know this?

Because a week later, I am still in mourning.

And I am not alone.

I never felt this way before. Sure I’ve been disappointed and sad and even angry. But this time it feels different. This loss feels more profound, more personal, more troubling.

Too dramatic?

I think not.

We are mourning for what might have been and for what we believe should have been. Do not discount our feelings as merely sour grapes. It is more than this, so much more.

I don’t want this to be another article bemoaning all that went wrong for the Democrats. There were many wrongs on both sides. We all lived through the agony of this particular election cycle. And even if your side won, you have to admit it was damn bizarre that it did.

And btw, the serious mistakes made by the Democrats were many. I live in Wisconsin, a state that was once counted on to go blue in Presidential elections, at least in recent years. Had the Clinton campaign consulted me, I would’ve mentioned my concerns. You see, I have observed the slow, but meticulous swallowing up of blue by red in this state, in fact, I have seen it on the very street I live on. I remember the recent recall election, perhaps you (the Clinton campaign) should have remembered as well.

I found it particularly interesting that immediately following the election a reporter asked Mr. Trump if he had perhaps gone too far with the negative rhetoric in his campaign. Deep down we all know he did. I believe in his heart of hearts, Mr. Trump knows it too.

Still, his response was, “No. I won.”

This is what I cannot get past.

Does the end justify the means? Always?

I don’t think so. I cannot get past the outrageous, hurtful and yes, disgusting things said and done during this campaign by the candidate himself (and others). It appears many could. And this is so deeply troubling to me and terribly, terribly sad. I am grateful my children are adults. I am relieved I am no longer standing in front of a classroom of second graders.

How does one explain these things to children?

Principles matter. Character matters. Decency matters. Respect matters. And as I’ve said time and time again on this blog, words matter. This doesn’t mean perfection is a requirement (because who hasn’t fucked up?), but perhaps humility and the ability to apologize should be.

I know I am in mourning because I recognize that I am experiencing some of those stages of grief we all know about. I have definitely been experiencing feelings of denial, sadness, despair and anger.

Acceptance, I do not know when or if I can make it to that stage. I am just so damn disappointed.

I am disappointed with the system (which in reality was rigged against HRC, not Mr. Trump), the voters who stayed home, the people who voted based only on their own economic situations, Republicans who mostly kept quiet (while literally squirming with discomfort during the campaign) always putting party before country, the Democrats who weren’t paying attention to legitimate concerns held by many voters, WITH WOMEN, with the media (I’ll be tuning out most cable news shows for quite some time), with pollsters (will never listen to them again) and perhaps mostly with myself for not doing more.

And I am no longer confident I will live to see a woman residing in the White House as Commander in Chief. After 240 years as a democracy the world looks up to (and btw, America is and always has been great), there is something quite sad about this, don’t you think?

Another reason to mourn.

And please do not say to me, at least not for a very long time, this wasn’t the woman to break that glass ceiling. Because to me and to many others, she was.

The concerns many of us have are impossible to spell out in this limited space. But a sampling of things topping my list are:  The Affordable Care Act, Roe vs Wade, climate change, LGBT rights, discrimination of all kinds, racism, immigration, jobs and living wages, education, the environment, our role in the world and how we are perceived (it matters), and yes nuclear war.

I am worried. Many others are worried. We have worried before, worry after elections is normal, but this time there is also fear, so much fear.

The other day I noticed people making the statement and using the hashtag, #NotMyPresident. Dear hubby even said to me, he’s not my President. I understand this sentiment, believe me, I do. But I do not agree with it. Donald Trump will be my President. If you live in the US, he will be your President.

So the bottom line is yes, I want him to succeed because I want my country to succeed. And I wish him well (but I admit it’s hard, and I do so only because I care about this country).

Perhaps I’ll make it to the acceptance stage some day. I want to. As they say, time will tell.

But right now, I am incredibly sad and disheartened.

I am still in mourning.

I feel like that proverbial tiny, lonely flame that’s nearly been snuffed out, but somehow keeps flickering.

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I’m confident that in time, that little flame will burn brightly again because there is much work to be done, and now I know I have to help get it done.

As Bill Maher stated in HBO’s Real Time season finale Friday, November 11,  2016, “We’re (the Dems) still here.”

And we are not about to stay quiet. (I hope you do click on the above link and watch. It really is funny and we need some humor about now, no matter which side you’re on).

This country will be okay. Its people will be okay. I will be okay. I believe these things to be true. I have to.

But right now, I am still in mourning.

 

Words of encouragement from Hillary Clinton following defeat

Still inspiring others even after heartbreaking defeat. Image via Planned Parenthood Action Facebook page

 

Thank you, Hillary Clinton, for your decades of hard work in public service. You achieved great and honorable things inspiring many along the way, including me. We still need your voice, so don’t stay quiet too long.

Onward…

If you live in the US, how do you feel about the 2016 Presidential election result? 

If you live outside the US, how do you feel about it?

Note:  As always, I welcome all viewpoints when shared respectfully.

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US flag featured image via Wikimedia commons.

 

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DC

Tuesday 6th of December 2016

Well, I lived through years of child sexual abuse. This is triggering because I know he means harm. And people voted for this.

Nancy

Wednesday 7th of December 2016

DC, I am sorry about that horrible experience and that memories have been triggered. Take care of yourself.

Beth L. Gainer

Tuesday 29th of November 2016

Nancy, like you, I'm a democrat and stand for all things democrat. That being said, Trump and Pence are the most lowly Republicans to run the country. I am scared and cannot help but think that the next four years will be hell. I cannot be optimistic about this, and I, too, am mourning. I alternate between numbness, disbelief, and intense grief. Trump's homophobic, racist, sexist, narcissistic remarks are unacceptable, and I was naive to think that these remarks would be his downfall. What the hell is wrong with the American people that we thought all these remarks would be acceptable for the leader of the United States. And don't get me started with Pence....

The duo make me sick to my stomach.

Nancy

Wednesday 30th of November 2016

Beth, Well, I guess we know where you stand! I am still in mourning and cannot understand why Mr. Trump was allowed, and still is allowed, so much leeway. And the appointments he's now making don't make me feel better. Thank you for sharing your opinions on this.

Kathi

Wednesday 23rd of November 2016

I'm so with you on this, Nancy. And I hope for the best, but am fearful. But I also think we have to hold Trump's feet to the fire. He's done so many questionable and even foolish things in just this past week -- appointing advisors with questionable records and beliefs (look at his VP), tweeting madly about the cast of a musical and a comedy show, and flip-flopping about whether his business interests represent a conflict of interests while he is president. There was a deplorable double-standard in play during the election campaign. I saw a meme that really summed it up for me, about how just his making fun of a disabled reporter should have been enough to knock him from the race, and yet didn't. Meanwhile, proclaiming "lock her up" with regard to Hillary Clinton. He's a loose cannon, in my opinion. Not a prospect that fills me with confidence. Hugs.

Nancy

Wednesday 23rd of November 2016

Kathi, It's still so distressing and I agree that some of the appointments made are questionable indeed. And now the conflict of interest issues...the list of concerns just keeps growing. I find it hard to even watch the news coverage about the transition. I agree, Mr. Trump is a loose cannon and I cannot figure out why so many gave him a free pass on everything - like releasing his tax returns, for instance. Beyond troubling. I am not feeling confident about things either. Thank you for sharing a few thoughts. Hugs back.

Lindsay

Saturday 19th of November 2016

Great post!

Nancy

Monday 21st of November 2016

Lindsay, Thank you.

Joannie

Saturday 19th of November 2016

Terrified of what ? President-Elect Trump's proposals of:

Keeping us safe from terrorists, violent drug traffickers, murderers, human traffickers. Too many of our citizens have died at the hands of illegal aliens, some of whom had been deported several times. Protecting the economic well-being of the lawful immigrants already living here by curbing uncontrolled foreign worker admissions.

Strengthening our military (Ronald Reagan succeeded with 'Peace Through Strength'.

This entire tax proposal shows the advantage of electing a businessman to be president. Reduce taxes across the board, especially for working and middle-income Americans who will receive a massive tax reduction: Rewriting the tax code to allow working parents from their income taxes child care expenses for up to four children and elderly dependents. Ensure the rich will pay their fair share, but no one will pay so much that it destroys jobs Eliminate tax loopholes Reduce cost of child care by allowing families to fully deduct the average cost of childcare from their taxes, including stay at home parents.

Repeal and replace Obamacare with Health Savings Accts that promotes choice, quality and affordability

Create a dynamic booming economy that will create 25 million jobs over the next decade.

He has proposed plans to make America first and care for Americans first. The amount of Americans living in poverty in the US is unacceptable and has grown exponentially during the last eight years. Hopefully Americans will look upon these proposals as positive and give Mr. Trump a chance to implement them.

Yesterday the Ford Company contacted Mr. Trump and said they changed their mind and to keep their car building plant in Kentucky instead of moving it to Mexico! This is a major victory stemming from President-elect Trump voicing his plans to charge substantial taxes on all imports coming into this country from companies that left America so they'd could pay cheap labor to foreign workers. Carrier Air Conditions who just last week told their employees (some had been there 17 years) that they are moving their factory to Mexico. Hopefully, they will follow Ford's lead.

Nancy

Sunday 20th of November 2016

Joannie, You and I see things quite differently. And btw, Ford has said Trump had nothing to do with their decision. That decision was made long ago. I am deeply troubled by the election outcome and I do not understand why Mr. Trump was repeatedly given a free pass for yes, deplorable behavior. Thank you for sharing.