A Reflection On A Long Election

Donald Trump (gulp, I hate saying these words) is President-Elect. Hillary Clinton will never be President Clinton. Instead, for the next four (oh Jesus it better just be four) years, we have (goddamnit) President Trump.

We replace one of the all-time greatest presidents (and men) with his anti. The opposite of Obama. If we were in Bizarro world, where everything was flipped, Donald Trump is the antithesis of Obama. If Obama’s Batman (I’m not 100% sold he’s not), this is his Joker. And we made him the President immediately following him.

And I am heartbroken. I’ve taken a few days, a few beats, to assess. To rethink what the hell happened. How the fuck we managed to elect someone who said the words “grab them by the pussy”. The first “Mr.” in a debate. Zero experience, who when he was being brought out for his acceptance speech was called “television personality”.

How the fuck did we get here?

Because we went overboard. The left has gotten a lot more progressive very quickly. We are all in behind human rights, whether that be for People of Color, the LGBT community, Latinx, Women, you name it, the liberals of this country love it. (So do I, this is not a criticism of that, although, in part, it is.)

But that is firmly at odds with a quarter of this country. That quarter that just elected somebody to slow it down, probably even to reverse it. To take it back to the “good old days”. When they weren’t openly called racists, misogynists, and other words they also find deplorable.

No, not every Trump supporter is evil. No, don’t cut them all out of your life. We need these people, and that was made evident last night. They’re good people, at least some of them are, and are just trying to do right in their own world view.

Their world view that is factually incorrect but is all they have. Many have lost their jobs, and Trump’s repeated economic “plan” gives them hope. They’re not all racists, xenophobes, and sexists, though those that are in this country were drawn to Trump. No, they just want their jobs back. The unfortunate reality is, that’s not going to happen. And just like us liberals, when, in four years, Trump has failed to deliver on EVERY campaign promise except repealing Obamacare (which undereducated whites also need), they will also turn on him.

The Democratic Party just needs to clean house and find the right candidate. More on that later.

The unfortunate reality of this country as it stands now is this: education has become a luxury. Where it used to be affordable for everyone to get a college education, now large swaths of the country (especially that red middle) can’t afford it. And that simply needs to change. Bernie Sanders’ plan could have worked.

Education needs to be reformed. We need to make it available to everyone. Then, when people have burst their bubbles and experienced other forms of life, maybe we can move forward once more. Because there’s a secret to this country. The more you get out and experience life, the more you see people different from yourself, the more you realize it’s not just you and your ilk – the more liberal you become. And that’s what college needs to be.

People are afraid of change in this country. Not only did the first Black President just enter less than two months remaining (oh Jesus fuck), but he brought with him extreme change. And for a great many of our people – they are our people, this is our President, stop it with the #NotMyPresident bull – they weren’t ready. Their whole lives the Church taught them to be afraid of just this change. And they rely so heavily on that Church. Unfortunately, Christianity also needs a reform that it’s not likely to get.

Whereas a good number of us believe that the change in this country has been good, some are scared by it. They haven’t experienced this much change in their lifetimes. The over 65 generation, they never had gay marriage. They didn’t grow up with tolerance. They experienced first hand the Civil Rights Movement. Many of them were for that. But that’s about as far as they go. Just like I’m sure there’s a large number of millennials for Black Lives Matter and LGBT Rights, but that’s as far as they go.

Yes, people are living longer, and as people get older the more they become afraid. But don’t cut your grandparents and the elderly out of your lives. Don’t cut out the undereducated and the misinformed. Take it upon yourself to talk with them. Hear their point of view. There is a shared ground between all of us. From there, we can explain why our candidate makes more sense for them than this buffoon. Hopefully they’ll do what their Bible commands and treat you as they would want to be, and listen.

Listening is something that has gone away from this country. The reason Hillary lost. We need to listen more, to communicate more. If Hillary had listened and realized she needed to be in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and Michigan talking to people instead of in North Carolina and Ohio which were always going red (yes, they were, the pollsters were wrong about this whole thing. Nate Silver is an ass who can’t read shit) this election goes to Hillary.

We can’t take states for granted anymore. We can’t take people for granted. Liberals have to reach back out to their base – women, minorities, union workers, the people who got Obama elected – and say, “we’re here for you, what do you need.” Only then can we get back on the right page.

There will be more articles about politics to follow. One is about the future of the parties. Another is about how the electoral college can simply not play a role in modern politics. But I just wanted to address what I believe happened last night. Education needs to be a priority in four years. So do Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Those states will not stay red. Our country will not stay red.

We weren’t even red to begin with. Hillary won the election (popular vote). For the next four years we fight to communicate, to inform, to unify. In two, we have our first major test. Let’s get back the House. Let’s take back the Senate. It’s there for the taking. We got this.

Oh, and also, Cory Booker 2020. Get on board now. Watch his speeches. Get inspired.

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