Seriously, I was as bummed as anyone among my fannish friends to see what happened. I could see the trend Election Night: Hillary kept losing key battleground states and her Electoral College numbers were not catching up to the Evil Emperor's. I went to bed long before midnight, reasoning that if a miracle happened and she won, a great way to wake up the next day, but I wasn't in the mood for staying up 'til the wee hours to watch an upset.
But was it really an upset? History tells us it might have been there for all to see (Michael Moore did). In 1948, it was the Republicans who were confident that their candidate, New York Governor Thomas Dewey would easily defeat the Democrats' President Harry Truman. The media elites, consisting of newspapers and radio, since television was in its infancy, were sure that Dewey would win. The polls showed a handy victory for Dewey. Sound familiar? The elites of the day ignored the common man and were safe and snug in their ivory tower, sure that no one of consequence would vote for that 'little haberdasher from Missouri'. Meanwhile, Truman was whistle-stopping on his Missouri Special, speaking to large crowds that yelled, "Give 'em hell, Harry!" In the end, a gleeful Truman held up the Chicago paper with the headline DEWEY WINS! As Alice Roosevelt Longworth once said, Dewey resembled 'the little man on the wedding cake', an aloof, icy candidate who really gave little reason for anyone to vote for him except that He Knew Best as he patted voters' heads.
The Dems in 2016 fielded an unpopular candidate who had so much baggage trailing behind her that she was Jacob Marley. Trump was hated, but apparently not enough. What follows is my take on the election. Haven't read any pundits yet, so these are my opinions. I thought about this after my first reaction, "How could anyone vote for Trump?" But they did.
As a quick aside, WHY must we keep repeating history? Because Americans are abysmally ignorant of their own history, never mind the rest of the world's.
1) There is an underlying current of racism, sexism, and homophobia that has been merely spackled over by political correctness. Surely many of the 60 million who voted for Trump are all or some of the above. Trump gave them their chance to voice that without repercussions by the PC police.
2) People hand-waved Trump's outrageousness and voted for economic self-interest. People are losing jobs and houses and don't care if a candidate grabs a woman's you-know-what if he can help them keep both. Of course, they conveniently ignore the fact that Trump has outsourced American jobs and has stiffed American contractors over the years. He is no champion of the working man or woman.
3) They hate Washington, D.C., and want change. People who voted for Obama in 2008 wanted the same. Unfortunately, he was able to get little done due to Republican opposition. Now Trump will have both houses of Congress on his side, and the Supreme Court once he shoehorns a right-wing judge onto the Court to fill the Scalia vacancy.
4) People resented the elites of the media and the Democratic Party for talking down to them and dismissing their concerns. The elites dismissed them as yokels who were ultimately unimportant. See 1948.
5) People did not feel as if Hillary and the Dems were going to do anything about illegal immigration or keep them safe from radical Islam. Trump said he would build a wall and get the Mexicans to pay for it (good luck with that!) and bar Muslim immigration. Can he deliver? Guess what, the campaign trail is a LOT different from actually having to govern from the Oval Office.
6) People vote for candidates without agreeing with them 100%. Did you agree completely with Hillary? Yes, it's harder to fathom with Trump, who was just rude 'n' crude, but people vote in the privacy of the voting booth in ways that others find hard to figure out.
So what do we do? We stay vigilant. We keep after our elected representatives locally and nationally and when the forces of darkness try and roll back rights, we let them know there are people out there (just about half of the country) that aren't happy with that.
We stay informed. Truthout and Readersupportednews are way to the left, and I don't agree with everything they post, but they have some good points and let you know what the other side from those in power are thinking. I'm a centrist but since I believe in gay marriage, women's equality, and other 'radical' ideas, I'm a moonbat, according to the rightwingnuts. So be it!
Protest? All these people protesting right now are wasting time and energy. Trump is in and he isn't going anywhere. He won a fair election (at least, the voter fraud wasn't egregious like in 2000, because EVERY election has some shenanigans going on from BOTH sides). Save your energy for the inevitable outrages after Election Day. Also, if you're out there protesting but voted for a third-party candidate or didn't vote at all and knew the consequences could be a Trump victory, then part of this is on YOU. Let's hope all the protesters went to the polls and voted for Hillary. And to all those Trumpists who are decrying the protests? How soon you forget that your own candidate intimated that he wouldn't accept the results if he lost the election. It would be Trumpists out there protesting right now, and some of them are gun nuts.
Trump will probably have to backtrack on a lot of campaign promises, and his followers will boot him after one term, or he will say or do something so egregious that his own party will lead the impeachment charge, or he'll get bored and fire himself. Though right now I say you're better off with Trump than Vice President-elect Pence, who wholeheartedly believes in conversion therapy for gays and tried multiple times to put discrimination against gays into law in his home state. Yeah, he won't be better, he'll be worse.
Keep yourself tuned to life. Don't let the Evil Empire suck the joy out of life for you. The holidays are coming. This isn't November of 1963 when the murder of a President cast a pall over everything, or 1968 when the Vietnam War was raging and the world seemed to be going crazy. We survived idiot frat boy Dubya and we'll survive this idiot. Plenty of idiots have sat in the Oval Office and We The People are still here. Stay creative, here in fandom or elsewhere. I intend to work out my rage and frustration through selected fanfic. Seething and crying and ranting is therapeutic, but daily life has to be lived. Stay smart and keep educating people as to WHY voting is important! If ever an election proved that, this one did. Stay tuned for four years of the clown show!
Maybe we'll vote in a woman as President in 2020, the 100th anniversary of female suffrage!