Today is Tuesday, November 15th, one week after the election, and I’m sitting at my computer keyboard trying to be funny and write about anything at all as long as it has nothing to do with politics. But, as in my prior essay, I’m again trying desperately to ignore the elephant in the room. And I’m not succeeding.
Except for once or twice recently, okay, maybe three times, it’s not my thing to write about politics. Others do it far better than I ever could. But Saturday night, the opening skit on SNL took a serious turn. And Sunday morning, Andy Borowitz, who hilariously skewers politics on almost a daily basis in his Borowitz Report, was somber.
It’s hard to be funny when one’s concerns are grave. So I’ve decided to give myself permission to acknowledge the pachyderm, who is now resting on my lap.
My candidate did not win. Yes, I voted for Hillary. This will come as no surprise to those who know me. And for those of you who don’t, I can only hope this confession doesn’t cause you to make a mad dash for the “unsubscribe” button. This is America, after all. We’re allowed to have differences of opinion. And though I may argue, I am not without respect.
I also do not wear blinders when it comes to Mrs. Clinton. I acknowledge all the reasons why people don’t like her. But someone had to be president, and we had only two real choices.
Clinton surely isn’t perfect, but to my mind, a lot less imperfect than her opponent. She’s also very, very smart, experienced and politically savvy. She’s tough and dedicated, a hard worker who I believe could have been a unifying force. Her public service record reflects a concern for the vulnerable in our society. So does Tim Kaine’s. The other two, not so much.
And, yes, she is a woman, and I would have liked to see a female president in my lifetime.
When she campaigned, she did not frighten me. Donald Trump did. And if he meant even half the things he said, he still does, even more so now that he has real power. In my personal life, I cannot imagine wanting to associate with a person whose behavioral repertoire includes mockery and bullying, let alone having that person represent me to the world.
To say that I’m no economist is putting it mildly, so I won’t comment about his fiscal policies, or his ideas about trade, except to say that I don’t believe that immigrants are really taking our jobs. Show me Americans who want to spend their working hours cutting other people’s lawns, picking strawberries, or bussing dirty dishes in an all-night diner, and I’ll admit to being ignorant.
So what do I feel qualified to worry about? It’s a rather cautious list.
I worry about bigotry, xenophobia, women’s issues, minority rights, and the undoing of more than 40 years of positive social change. And while I personally am no longer impacted by a woman’s right to choose, my four granddaughters are.
I worry about the environment, about the unraveling of the EPA, about global warming and climate change. I worry about sensible gun controI and why people think they need assault weapons on their gun racks. I worry about those with whom Trump will choose to surround himself, and other people’s religious values trying to run my life.
And while I’m lying awake at night, I also worry that my insomnia will last for four more years.
I listened earnestly to Hillary’s gracious concession speech. She stated that we owed Mr. Trump an “open mind and the chance to lead.” I confess I’m having a difficult time getting beyond his personal version of reality and his highly charged and divisive rhetoric, but I’m working on it.
Hillary also said we must keep doing all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we hold dear. This is my plan for the future. And I hope it’s yours, as well. Even if our visions differ. This is America, after all.