Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Five Stages Of Trump

In On Death & Dying, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross identified five stages of grief, typically described as: (1) shock or denial; (2) anger; (3) guilt; (4) depression; and (5) acceptance.  I'm quickly working my way through them.

Last night was surreal.  Like so many, I had spent the last several weeks endlessly studying the electoral college map, religiously reading FiveThirtyEight and other pollster websites, and making repeated calculations on the New York Times Upshot website.  I was heartened by clicking on sites that gave Clinton a 75% or 85% or 95% chance to win and believing they had some true meaning until they didn't.   If I never hear the terms "paths to victory" and "firewall" and "battleground states" again it will be too soon.  I knew Clinton's many paths by heart and understood how few Trump had.  Fine, Trump can have Florida and North Carolina and Ohio.  It didn't matter as long as Clinton's firewall held up.  But Pennsylvania was still too close to call and other states fell that were thought to be safe.  As the great philosopher Vizzini once said:  "Inconceivable!"

I woke up this morning pissed off.   The fucking media that equated the concatenation of Trump's malfeasance with the misguided but hardly criminal use of a private mail address; that so lowered the bar for one candidate who could lie with impunity and speak in word salad as long as he didn't say something completely bat shit crazy; and that failed to ask a single question in any of the debates about climate change.  Fucking James Comey who single-handedly shifted the momentum and re-energized Trump's candidacy at a time it was flailing.  The fucking craven Republicans who failed to stand up to the most dangerously unqualified candidate in modern times.  Fucking Jill Stein and Gary Johnson and those who voted for them, whose moral purity blinded them to the enormous difference between the two major party candidates.  The fucking Clinton campaign for failing to figure out with all their fucking data analytics the states they needed to shore up and for not understanding and pushing back on the way the fucking email nonsense was being exploited.  The fucking electoral college -- first Bush and now Trump have won the presidency despite losing the popular vote.  The fucking angry white men who could not vote for a woman or accept the fact that America does not belong to them.

The guilt is starting to creep in. Not that my opinion would have changed anything but I was so sure that Clinton was best positioned to be the Democratic candidate.  As much as I loved and admired Bernie Sanders, I was so sure that he could not have turned out people of color as Clinton could and that once the GOP attack machine turned on him, he would have been swift-boated faster than you could say "socialist Jew."  But I'm starting to realize, way too late, that maybe he could have appealed to some of the disaffected electorate that Trump tapped into.  Maybe.

That's about as far as I've gotten.  Depression is sure to sink in any moment. 

And then stage five -- but that is where I'm going to part from Kubler-Ross.  There is no way to find peace and acceptance in a Trump Presidency, a Republican Congress and a right wing Supreme Court.  We have to fight back -- not move to fucking Canada. 

Inauguration Day is January 20, 2017.  We have until then to work through our grief.  Then it's time to get busy.


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