Pairings/Characters: Steve/Diana, Various OCs
Warnings: If you’re a Trump supporter, you’d probably better skip this one.
Summary: Diana and Steve try to make sense out of the 2016 Presidential election results (Hint: they can’t).
Date Of Completion: November 19, 2016
Date Of Posting: December 19, 2016
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1699
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: This was written as I tried to work through my feelings about the 2016 Presidential election results. Considering Trump’s misogynistic record, I figured Diana would be a good character to use, and Steve as a pretty progressive guy would also be conflicted as Trump is now his Commander-in-Chief! This story is not intended as any definitive answer, just some theories as to why we will be ruled by right-wing Republicans come Inauguration Day and what it was like the morning after Election Night for half of America. The entire series can be found here.
Before the light,
Dig deeply, Sisters,
To still the blight.
And stars will shine,
Hear your hearts
And comes the time.
Shall be ours!
“Darkest Before The Light”
Diana and Steve were sitting on the couch watching TV in Steve’s living room, stunned expressions on their faces. They turned to look at each other.
“I do not understand.”
“Neither do I, Angel.”
“Donald Trump has won the Presidency.”
Steve’s arm was stretched out along the back of the couch, Diana curled up beside him. Both were comfortable in robes and pajamas as the grandfather clock hovered around three o’clock.
Steve scratched his head. “The pollsters and pundits sure got this one wrong.”
“But is not Donald Trump a buffoon?”
“A demeaner of women, a mocker of the disabled, a man without honor who cheated honest craftsmen of their wages?”
“A man whom the Ku Klux Klan endorsed, and he did not repudiate them?”
“Then why in the name of Athena is he elected President of the United States of America?”
“I wish I knew.”
Diana shook her head. “So once again, no woman is President.”
“My mother will be most disconcerted.”
“So will nearly half the country.” Steve shut off the TV. “I could see Hillary losing too many key battleground states as the night went on. Her Electoral College numbers weren’t expanding enough to catch Trump.”
“The Electoral College is puzzling.”
“The Founding Fathers didn’t quite trust the people.”
“No Founding Mothers?”
Steve could see that she was teasing. She knew quite a bit of American history.
“Nope, no Founding Mothers. At least, not written about in the history books.” He rose from the couch and Diana followed him. “C’mon, Angel, let’s go to bed while the Republic’s still standing.”
Very soon they were settled into their big, comfortable bed. Diana curled up beside Steve and was almost instantly asleep. Steve stared at the ceiling for awhile before he, too, fell asleep.
The next day they slept late, as both were off-duty. Steve whipped up a delicious brunch while Diana set the dining room table.
As they ate omelets and orange slices, Steve sipped his coffee thoughtfully. “You know, I’ve been thinking about the debacle last night.”
“Debacle is correct. I expressed my delight in a woman running for President and denounced Trump’s execrable attitude toward women. Perhaps I should have done more.”
Steve smiled. “Much appreciated. But you know, Angel, that a superhero has to be careful about endorsing politicians.” He set down his cup. “But I’ve been thinking. The people who voted for Trump, while no doubt some believe in what he spewed, voted with their pocketbooks in mind.”
Diana frowned. “How so?”
“Well, it’s gotten tougher for the working class out there. The middle class is disappearing, too. The wealthiest one percent has grown richer and fatter, and people are sinking. So some of the voters think Trump will change enough things to allow them to keep their jobs and homes.”
“And the Democrats could not?”
Steve shook more pepper onto his omelet. “The Dems are just as bad as the Repubs when it comes to being corrupted by Big Business. People don’t believe in either party much anymore.”
“And Trump is not truly of the Republican Party.”
“He’s leading a wing of the party, the radical wing. Even the Party leaders repudiated him. They’ll suck up to him now because he’s in the White House, but they wanted nothing to do with him.” Steve took a sip of coffee. “People figured that both parties are too entrenched in Washington. You’ve seen the mess there.”
“Yes, I am surprised anything gets done.”
“Not much does. So some voters think Trump will change things.”
“Will he?” Diana ate an orange slice.
“I doubt it. It’s very difficult to change anything in that city. Many have tried.”
“And many have failed?”
Steve laughed. “Right.” He cut a piece of omelet. “Though his party now controls the White House and both houses of Congress, so who knows?” He shrugged. “The media elites completely ignored the Trump voters, or talked down to them. As a student of American history, I can tell you this happened in 1948.”
“It did?” Diana was intrigued.
“Well, not quite like this.” Steve grinned. “But back then, the Republicans were the ones who thought they had it in the bag. The media elites, newspapers and radio back then, were confident that Thomas Dewey would win. Meanwhile, Harry Truman was whistle-stopping around the country on the Presidential train, the Ferdinand Magellan, while big crowds were yelling, ‘Give ‘em hell, Harry!’ And he did.” Steve put down his fork. “On the day after the election, Truman gleefully posed with a copy of the Chicago newspaper, the Daily Tribune, that had already printed its headline the night before, Dewey Defeats Truman!”
“And the pollsters got it all wrong?”
Diana stood and carried her plate and cup to the sink, rinsing them off and placing them in the dishwasher. “Interesting theories, my dear, but still unfathomable.”
Steve copied her actions and turned on the dishwasher. “You’re right.” He ran his fingers through his hair. “I have to call this guy Commander-in-Chief!”
Diana kissed him. “Take a walk with me after we dress.”
“Mmm, you bet, Angel.”
Once showered and dressed in jeans, sweatshirts and jackets, Steve and Diana went out to enjoy the beautiful autumn day. A dry summer had caused the trees to turn slower than usual, and one benefit was many trees still sported glorious colors in November. They walked hand-in-hand down the street of their neighborhood, passing people who nodded in greeting. Diana was wearing dark glasses and her hair tied back in a ponytail, wishing to be more Diana Prince than Wonder Woman this morning.
“Everything looks pretty normal,” Steve murmured.
“Except for the people.”
Steve realized that Diana was right. At first glance, people looked normal, but when he really looked, he noticed that they appeared a little shell-shocked. Some pedestrians seemed almost giddy, but they were in the minority.
Must be because we live in a blue state.
“Let us go into Annie’s,” Diana said a half hour later.
Steve held the door open for her and the tiny silver bells over the door jingled. She nodded her thanks. They took a table by a window and a harried waitress came over to give them menus. Every table was filled and there was a line at the counter to order pastries. Only she and the woman behind the counter were on duty. The hubbub of conversation filled the bakery.
Steve could feel the anger and fear in the place. People were still trying to deal with their shock. At a nearby table, a young woman with multiple earrings was gesturing at her friends.
“Nobody’s taking away my right to marry!”
The pretty blond woman next to her nodded vigorously. “Tam and I are still planning our wedding.”
“As well you should.” An older woman sitting opposite Tam agreed. The African-American woman next to her nodded definitively.
An elderly couple was at the next table looking worried. Steve guessed that health care was on their minds. He would have been worried, too, if the Air Force did not supply his health insurance.
“What’ll it be?” the waitress asked.
Steve and Diana had barely had time to scan the menu but took pity on the girl.
“Raspberry turnover and a pumpkin latte, please,” said Diana.
“Apple for me but ditto on the latte,” Steve said.
Diana leaned forward. “People are in distress.”
“Such a mood of fear and loathing.” She shook her head.
Steve sighed. “I’m afraid so.”
Another couple was arguing at a corner table. Steve wondered if they had canceled out each other’s votes.
“Consider yourself lucky that we live in a blue state,” he said.
“I do.” Diana smiled at him.
“I am not going to let those Neanderthals send women back to the Dark Ages,” declared Tam.
“And how will you stop them if they get an anti-choice judge on the Supreme Court?” asked the older woman.
Tam’s expression was resolute. Diana sipped her glass of icewater as she listened.
“You seem pretty determined,” said the black woman.
“Damned right I am.” Tam slammed her fist on the table and the plates and glasses jumped. “There must be some way to keep these creeps in line!”
The argument between the couple at a nearby table was getting louder. If it was not for the level of noise in the bakery, Diana and Steve could have heard them clearly.
Their waitress brought over their lattes and turnovers and scurried off again.
“I am sorry about all this, “ Steve said.
“Why? This election result is not your fault.” Diana bit into the flaky crust of her turnover.
“It makes my country look bad.” Steve broke off a piece of his turnover. “I still feel as if I missed something.”
“It appears that a great many people ‘missed something’.”
Steve smiled wryly as he sipped his latte. “I’d say you were correct in that statement.”
They ate and drank in preoccupied silence, half-listening to the snatches of conversation around them. There had never been an election like this in the country’s history, and people were trying to make sense of it.
Diana finished her turnover and rose from her chair. Steve called for the check as she walked over to the table with the four women. She pushed her sunglasses down the bridge of her nose.
“Courage, Sisters. It is always the darkest before the dawn.”
Their jaws dropped as they recognized Wonder Woman. She put a finger to her lips with a smile and left the bakery with Steve.
In the days that followed, the Amazon-funded women’s shelters called Hera’s Havens were joined by Circles of Athena, politically active organizations that expanded with stunning rapidity. Wonder Woman kept her presence to a minimum, but the network was established and functioning. And if the unthinkable happened an underground was quietly set up and waiting.
Someday, it would be Morning in America again.