When I started seeing the results in placing like Florida and Pennsylvania returning a hefty surge in Republican votes and the conversation began to shift to the so called "Blue Wall". When Her path to the presidency became contingent on the possibility of a few voting districts in Maine. When we were hoping for upsets in Georgia.
The polls...all the polls...were wrong.
From the information I can gather, as our nation begins the post-mortem analysis, a few things seem to have occurred:
- Voter Apathy - Our country already has one of the lowest voter turnouts in the developed world. Nothing about yesterday's numbers seems to have changed that fact. People saw polls that universally favored Clinton and either didn't show up or otherwise felt comfortable not voting for her.
- The divided Democratic base and the fact that the margin of victory in many of these states seems to correlate with improved numbers for Johnson and Stein. I have seen no state that she lost where the difference in Trump's lead to her wasn't dwarfed by the number of people who voted third party.
- White men and self-described Evangelical voters had a massive surge for Trump. Massive. He won them in nigh-unprecedented numbers.
- The data seems to indicate - based on reports I've heard on NPR and seen on CNN and Bloomberg - that the Comey letter regarding Clinton's emails caused just enough doubt and wiggle room in the "Blue Wall" and other Rust Belt areas of the country - as well as, of course, Pennsylvania and Florida - that Trump was able to successfully sway voters in recent weeks.
I think historians will be parsing out just how Trump won this - I hate to say it, but it's true - historic victory last night for years to come. It all mattered. All of it.
No matter who you voted for, I hope that your conscience still allows you to happily and proudly look your fellow man in the face today. I hope you're just as confident in your candidate this morning when millions of Americans are quaking in fear. When a rush to find out how to move out of the country led foreign government's websites to crash. When those of us that are contemplating when our rights will be rolled back, not if but when. I hope you are still settled in your conscience today.
Racism won last night. Xenophobia won last night. Homophobia won last night. Misogyny won last night. Fear won last night. Anger won last night. Privilege won last night.
Privilege. Won. Last. Night.
But it doesn't have to win forever.
Sure, we have to accept that we live in a post-fact world. A world where a man can win the Presidency without having experience, a plan, or any measurable qualifications. We have to face the fact that we fostered a culture of mistrust in the media and in facts in general. We uphold feelings and gut reactions as superior to what can be proved, and that culture helped create the pathway to the White House for a bankrupt businessman that brags about sexually assaulting women. A world where fear can be injected into a populace of non-college educated White voters and pull out a victory.
There are a few things you need to know, when you feel level-headed enough to know them.
- You are not, we are not, moving to Canada. At best your citizenship would take 18-30 months to get through, and by then it'll basically be time to elect another president. At the very least, mid-term elections will have happened, and we will have the chance to change the House and Senate blue. The real power is in Congress, and it is there we need to aim our efforts for the time being.
- Speaking of, Congressional Republicans don't like Trump either. They, by and large, don't have a big problem with marriage equality or freedom of religion. (No I'm not trying to polish a turd, here. I recognize the chasm between the left and right when it comes to minorities.) The Congressional Republicans are the kind of fiscal conservatives that make it difficult to create new social change, but don't bother much with actively rolling back rights once given. We are going to have to place our faith in moderates like Marco Rubio and company.
- Obama can still make sure that the final Supreme Court seat is filled during his tenure. This will help to stymy the damage from last night and ensure that any further madness is reduced to the next 4 years and not the next 4 generations.
Folks, there is no sugar coating this. There is a new world order as of last night. Everything we prided ourselves on and took for granted in regards to the way our country operates and who sits in the Oval Office has been changed. We have a lot to process. For many, we have a lot to grieve. At this time, it appears that Clinton did, indeed, win the popular vote. So, a discussion of the electoral college and how voting works in this country is likely in our future.
There are a lot of things I thought I knew about my country. One remains true: no matter who you are, you are not alone. Whether you're the obviously gay kid in a tiny nothing of a town in rural east Texas, or you're a trans woman in a New England suburb, or you're an immigrant who came here for something better and safer, or you're anything other than the default mentality of white, straight, cis, Christian, and male... YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There are others like you. There are millions of others like you. And we are not vanishing overnight. We are not evacuating. We are not going to sit here silently. We are going to embrace you and then do the work to truly create social and political revolution.
Today, find light.
I'm serious. Physically go find some light. Sit in the sun. Light a candle. Be in the light. Not only do we all need some fresh air, but we need some purifying energy. And sunlight is a pretty good combatant against depression and anxiety.
Find light, and then be light.
I am here. I will remain here. The Riot continues.
Love and Lyte,