I started the day in a hopeful frame of mind. It was a beautiful fall day, and I felt good about Hillary’s chances. I scrolled through Facebook and smiled at all the women who had taken selfies showing off their pantsuits in a nod to Clinton’s signature style. Mostly, though, I couldn’t wait for the election to be over .
When the returns started rolling in, I was happy, but not surprised, to see my own state colored blue. I was hoping Hillary would win by a landslide and put to rest the aberrational nature of the Trump candidacy. But as the margins narrowed in the battleground states, I realized that Hillary would be lucky to squeak by the most outrageous and unqualified presidential candidate in my lifetime.
I went to bed around 11:30 Central Standard Time. My throat was scratchy, and I knew I was catching my daughter’s cold. The race remained too close to call, but the Trump camp was jubilant while Clinton supporters were subdued. I was both worried and discouraged.
At 4:16 a.m., I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep. I got up and went online to check on the results. Sure enough, Trump had done the impossible: garnered enough electoral votes to become the 45th President of the United States. I tried to go back to sleep, but all I could do was toss and turn, reliving all the terrible things Trump had said and done and imagining doomsday scenarios that might play out with him as president. How, I wondered, could the American people vote for such a man?
I have witnessed many elections in my time and sometimes been deeply unhappy or even disgusted with the results. But I’ve never felt the feeling of utter dejection I felt the whole day after this election. I have such a sense of sadness for the people Trump and his followers have vilified: Muslims, Latinos, the disabled, women, war heroes. How must they feel knowing that a record number of Americans are okay with the man who called them terrorists, rapists and criminals, who mocked them or insulted their looks?
Later that evening, I watched one of my favorite TV comedies, hoping for a good laugh to dispel the blues. But the episode of Blackish was about a teenage daughter questioning her faith in God and rediscovering it in the crisis. Between the subject matter and my lack of sleep, I cried like a baby. I still feel strangely spent. I’ve had a few conversations with like-minded friends that have helped me at least vent over this devastating turn of events. But I am in a daze.
I have stayed away from Facebook and the news, not wanting to be faced with reality. But the reality is that a demagogue has become our president. Still, I take a little solace from that episode of Blackish. God is stronger than all of this. And at this moment, all I can really do is pray.