November 12th, 2016



I have been mostly without words in public this week. I have spoken with my children, who were devastated by the results of the US election but I had little comfort to give them. At work, I was confronted all week long with non-Americans who were genuinely agape at the circus that has reigned for nearly 2 years and the end of it in particular. I felt myself put on the defensive, and given repeated condolences on the stupidity and wrongheadedness of my fellow countrymen. It is even harder to comprehend when you consider that if all votes were treated equally, instead of being subverted and distorted by the electoral college, the actual outcome would be far different.

All week I have been reading fantastically written articles and watching articulate and thoughtful videos after the fallout...for both sides, for both candidates. Most of them calling for reason, for a return to sanity and for people to stop the sniping and be their best selves. All of these articles gave me a better understanding of both sides and a better understanding of the whys and wherefores of what has happened. One blog friend's mother quoted a reporter who said that "Trump supporters took him seriously but not literally and Trump opponents took him literally but not seriously." For me this goes a long way toward explaining but falls far short of EXCUSING.

Another blog that I read recently asked her readers to say something nice about the other side, and all the commenters managed it. I thought of several things I could write, but in the end, I kept quiet. If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all, right? It's not that I can't say anything nice about the people that voted for Trump, regardless of how wrongheaded I find their actions, many of whom are friends and family, but I cannot say anything nice about HIM at the moment, and by extension, I am not yet able to remove the taint from or excuse those who have handed him the reins. If you are reading this and feel differently, whatever. You are entitled to your opinion and your vote, and I will never say otherwise, but I find it heinous that ignorance, bald-faced lying, smug tax evasion, racism, xenophobia, intolerance, violence and predatory misogyny were not enough to outweigh any other consideration when faced with an unpalatable choice between two candidates that were both hated by so many people.

I would very much prefer it if you follow my belief...if you feel the need to comment on this post, and you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. This is my space and a place for me to work through the things that I feel, the things that affect me and my family and a record of what I am thinking about. Restrain yourself if you think you need to school me on my beliefs or feelings in any way.

This summer, when faced with many family members who were publicly spouting support for Trump, to my bogglement, one of my uncles asked Anders, if Hillary won, could he come and live in Sweden? In all seriousness, I responded that if Trump won, I might have to consider renouncing my citizenship. He was shocked. But I was shocked, too. And more shocked now, though to be honest, I am not really surprised. I'm not surprised by the outcome, though I am horrified, dismayed and outraged. If my country is able to elect someone like Trump, they are also able to elect someone like Obama, and how can I turn my back on that?

Though I am sorely afraid of what his cabinet and advisors and the rest of the conservatives in power will be able to get away with now, we, all of us, the world over, will all be watching warily to see how things play out. I hope that Trump is sincere in his post-victory promises to be a President for ALL Americans, though based on his track record so far, that hope is a faint one.