November 8, 2016
We have our cake.
I am so sad, but I am thinking about a lot of things that are undeniably true. Which are that if it has to be close, I’d prefer the smart, civilized people be the losers actually, because they can do so with dignity and civilly—and perhaps take a step back and have their points be proven by poor politics in practice. If Hillary Clinton wins, there would still be this simmering rage and maybe this is the way it has to burn out. Things are definitely not okay as they are, and no election victory would change that.
I am thinking that I am so proud of the women who were empowered to stand up for their beliefs and ideas and the prospect of a woman being president. I think there are women who learned to call themselves feminists for the first time. I think that some women discovered why feminism is necessary, and why it will always be necessary. No more complacency—feminism is an urgent matter.
I am thinking of how important it is that liberals and progressives never stop checking themselves, examining their ideas and understanding of the world, and asking themselves questions about what is right and what we stand for. If everything was as we wanted it to be, I’m not sure what the point would be in standing for anything. All of it would cease to have meaning, and so it’s a struggle. If I were not averse to war metaphors, I’d say it’s a battle, even, and not just against other people who don’t think the way that we do but against the worst parts of our own selves.
I am thinking about my daughters, who cut the cake tonight and we celebrated the chance of woman being elected president of the USA. When they went to bed, it was likely Hillary Clinton would be elected, but things have turned around since then, and I hate that I may have to deliver the very worst news in the morning. And yet, the lessons in that too—that none of this is easy, that a better world is not instantaneous, that there are setbacks and disappointments, but these are not the same as defeat.
(Yes, I am thinking that I’m glad I live in another country. I am thinking about when Rob Ford was elected mayor of Toronto on a gutting night like this six years ago, and also about the blog post in which I sought bright sides and one of them was that probably soon he’d die. Totally called it.)
I am thinking that all of this is easy for me to say, as a person who never even has a vote in the matter and only has to live next door to the consequences. For American people who are Black, Muslim, or LGBTQ, I imagine the stakes are terrifying. For people who love their country and are devastated tonight, it all must seem impossible. It does seem impossible. And yet. And yet. We will wake up tomorrow morning, and we will get on with it. Which is not the same as “everything will be okay,” but it’s the same general idea.
There will be cake for breakfast anyway. We’ll see how it goes from there.