Trump Actually Won

November 8, 2016

I feel numb. What just happened? Someone who is spectacularly unqualified and ill-suited for the job of president of the United States just edged out one of the most experienced people ever to seek the office, someone who’s been preparing for this job, it seems, her entire life. She eked out the popular vote (47.7% to 47.5% … a difference of 224,593 votes and counting) and he won the electoral college (279 to 228). It was one of the most bizarre, most toxic, most divisive election in modern history.

How to process.. what to think.. what to do?

So much of this is shocking and horrible, but how about this one: what do we say to our kids in the morning (a question Van Jones asked on a CNN panel tonight)? What the hell kind of message did this election just send to our children? We teach our kids to be polite, to be kind. We teach them about respect for all kinds and colors of people, how to be a good friend. We teach them basic manners and morals. We want them to be curious, to value learning and education, to be well prepared for challenges. We teach them to respect and revere nature, to be compassionate stewards of our precious planet.

For the last umpteen months, Donald Trump has shown us none of that.

We teach our children not to lie!

What are they to think? Trump spent his entire campaign lying. The nation–and our kids!–watched him lie and lie and lie. And behave very, very badly. Then we elected him President of the United States of America. So I guess we are teaching our kids that it’s okay to do and say whatever you must in order to get what you want.  That the end justifies the means. This was Trump’s signature M.O. and he was rewarded handsomely.  And, by the way, just because he delivered a carefully scripted speech at the end of the night and spoke in conciliatory tones and was gracious in victory, does not make sixteen months of foul-mouthed, bald-faced lies okay. It is not okay. Winning at all costs is not what we teach our children.

What do we say to people who are now very afraid?

What are women to think? He’s been boorish and entitled and rude and condescending throughout this entire campaign. In the course of the campaign, we learned that he has a history of abusive behavior. Misogyny is his calling card and a lifelong pattern of behavior. How do we ever trust him? What’s to become of women’s reproductive rights? Stunning we fear the loss of something as fundamentally basic. What era are we in?

Bigotry, disguised as a concern for safety, is a thread that’s been laced though so much of his campaign. What are immigrants–Muslims, Mexicans, Syrians–to think?  His fixes have been all about bans, walls, deportations, litmus tests.  And what about all the coded language about our need for law and order, and his ridiculous assertion that he will fix “the ghettos,” “vote for me, what have you got to lose?”  And never forget his repugnant role in the birther movement.. what are african americans to think?

He’s got not an ounce of compassion or humanity, or decency.

Our president.

He’s blustered and bullied and insulted and lied his way through the primaries, the general, and, totally improbably, right into the office of president… the most important, high profile job in the entire world. Nothing he said bothered his base. No insult went too far. How is this possible?

He’s coarse and crude. He calls people names.  He is devoid of humility. He is simply not a human being who has earned respect.

He actively campaigned for more guns, against the environment and stands by the idiocy that climate change is a hoax. On and on.

He has been insanely polarizing and outrageous from day one, yet nothing dissuades his supporters–his ill-informed base as well as partisan republican loyalists.

Our president.

He lost three debates. He was cavalier and unprepared, he has/had no policy positions, he doesn’t read, he knows nothing about history. He has no interest in history. He lacks even curiosity.

He has NO experience in government.

How is this going to work? Government doesn’t lend itself to unilateral decision making, Donald. You will not be free to call all the shots. Government is tedious, it’s about compromise, it’s about give and take. It’s about small advances. It’s about losing. Every win includes lots of losses. You are not wonky, you do not love wonk, you do not READ! YOU ARE NOT CUT OUT FOR GOVERNMENT WORK.

Go back to Trump Tower, please. Leave us alone. You have no business running for president.

And now he promises to unify. He has not earned the job of unifier.

What the hell kind of leader can he be to the other half of the country that he insulted and offended throughout the entire campaign. How is he going to lead me? I’m offended by everything he stands for. He abuses women. He bullied and shamed my candidate… we all watched it; it was sickening. What kind of leader could he possibly be to any ethnic community, or the LGBT community? How about immigrants, or people committed to fighting climate change?

Donald Trump raised his middle finger to Obama’s entire legacy, everything progressives care about. Everything.

You are not the unifier of me.

Bottom line for me, it’s just wrong.  A man like that, him in particular, should not be our president. It’s wrong, he’s wrong.

And oh…my god… Hillary. Like Mark Shields said tonight, wow…. this was one devastating blow, a loss for the ages. She’d already survived a crushing defeat to Obama eight years ago, but rose, continued to serve like a loyal foot soldier waiting for her turn. And she did come back to try again.  And, after a lifetime of public service, a lifetime of public office, an interminable, difficult, bruising campaign … she was finally, finally, ready for the job she is uniquely qualified to hold, and has, by all accounts, earned.

Over her lifetime, she’s survived attacks, so many unwarranted and undeserved. She withstood Trump’s relentless, often baseless, attacks for the last six months, most without a flinch. She planned, she worked, she studied, she prepared, she had it. Coming into tonight, she was damn near the presumptive president-elect, ahead in every poll, by every metric. She rented the larger hall, she planned the bigger party. She orchestrated everything: her victory, the celebration, the outfit, the transition, the future. She thought–we all thought–she had it in the bag.

How do you gracefully, publicly concede when all you feel is numb? How is it that you can be so qualified and so ready after a lifetime of preparation… and then lose to Trump, who cavalierly throws his hat into the ring, because why the hell not be leader of the world?, and is nothing but a big, bloated, entitled blowhard…petulant, thin-skinned, mean and breathtakingly ill-prepared? All of it.. the exact opposite of you?

How do you show your face?

Well… I wish she had. She needed to come out and concede. But anymore, it just doesn’t matter, does it? She’s done.

Going to bed. I hope when I wake up, I’ll find out it’s just been a bad dream.


But hey, before I do… some happy pictures from the day:

It was gorgeous…


A beautiful day to wander across the street to the Senior Center and cast my vote for the nation’s first woman president!!


This was clearly a big deal! Lines were long in Rochester, NY, where people gathered to put their “I Voted” stickers on the gravestone of Susan B. Anthony!


By the end of the day, her tombstone was completely covered.

Our biggest news, however, was that this was Peter’s first election… and an historic one it certainly was.  I was so proud of him. He’d followed the presidential race intently for the entire 16-17 month campaign. He was enormously well versed in the issues. He researched all of California’s seventeen propositions (not that he didn’t have questions this morning about a couple of them). He gives me such incredible hope for the future!



Here’s something else that gives me incredible hope… a tweet from this person…





‘Nuff said!!












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