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.
Well said! Thank you as always for a thoughtful commentary.
Thanks Gwen, for the positive feedback. It’s a little nervous-making departing from my usual banter.
Didi (Bill Kornblum’s wife
Didi – I know who you are! Didn’t need the qualifier. Thanks for writing. Your support means a lot.
Touché !! Eloquently stated. Hopefully people will find the same grace and acceptance as you express.
Thanks Louise. You are definitely an important part of my support group.
March on, Schwester!
Whatever it takes, Bruder!
I live the title! Our clever Susan!!!
At our writing group 3 write about the election.
We had to choose between 2 with horrible deficiencies.
Some positives I see: I hope Trump’s need to be liked and and be a popular Pres for all will sober him quickly. He is not a person of just rally mentality. Not an ideologue, a pragmatist. There were thousands of the working class whites throughout the country who were without jobs due to globalization and they count too not just miniorities. And tho Bannon worries me as a Jew (me not him) , today’s paper says the Dems progressive leaders will be anti-Israel and I have many family members in IsrAel. . Maybe the Iran deal can be re-negotiated. In other words I still feel Trump will remain a friend to Israel. I hope!! Maybe he will be the one who solves immigration. Look at Nixon and China! Life is full of surprises!!
Correction- I LOVE the title. Writing from VIA!
Hi Suzanne: Thanks for writing. You voice a bit of hope, at least less gloom and doom. We need that.
You said it all! With four daughters and two granddaughters, I do fear for the health of Roe v Wade, among other worries.
It’s like every day brings a new concern. I hope it levels off very soon.
Too true, but he is off to a rocky start as far as I am concerned. I am equally upset that 43% of us did not vote. UGH!
ugh is right!
Nicely done, Susan. While I agree he has a super need to be loved, he also has no tolerance for disagreement. Anyone who disagrees is the enemy who needs to be quashed. His idea of unifying the country is simple: just all agree with me and we’ll be unified. Compromise is a weakness to him.
At least, this attitude is what he has shown so far – I hope, I hope he grows into his role as president of ALL Americans. What are the odds? He has one thing in his favor: he wants to be a great president – if that is his goal, it should lead him in the right direction.
Gail – from your mouth to Trump’s ears. Good comments.
Needless to say that after trying to be open minded after the election, I have failed. Trump’s preliminary selections for his closest advisors are scary. They all share the attribute most important to him-unquestionable loyalty and support of anything he says or does. Does Trump,realize that Hilary surpassed him by more than a million votes? Or does he even care? I am sick at heart when I think about the decisions he will make that will have a lasting impact on generations to come .
Hey Jane. Amazing how divided the country is-all depending on the media one subscribes to. Does anyone on the east coast realize there are millions in the “flyover country” out of work and yet NY democrats only seem to care about the minorities and no not notice. Do democrats realize there has always been an electoral college so the little guy in the country, not just in NY or CA, have a voice and 5 states who used to vote democrat, liked Trump’s policies. They were finally heard. Hillary didn’t have new economic ideas. And the country needs them.
With all Hillary’s experience, look at the Middle East. People fear Bannon who may or may not be racist or anti-semetic as much as he is a businessman, though he, like Trump, have been good to Israel. Whereas the DNC may soon be lead by Ellison, a former friend of Farrakan and anti-Israel. That scares me. Trump is not a racist or anti-Semitic.
We all have our issues and priorities. But I am showing you that, as a New Yorker, I can see there are also 2 sides to every story. The Trump administration may do some things you don’t like( deporting criminal undocumented immigrants?) The administration may do some very good things. How do you know about the loyalty of his appointees- anymore than any appointees. If they disagree strongly with the president and cannot carrying his policy, they are supposed to resign. That’s the nature of the Cabinet. So I see pluses and minuses. I have concern about the Supreme Court. We’ll see. Good luck to us all!