"Hush. Be quiet. Get off social media. Process."
This is what I told myself after sitting through the most unprofessional, nasty and incendiary presidential campaign I have witnessed. It was time to face the ugly truth of who would be our next president, a task all too surreal and all too daunting.
I had a friend — a former co-worker and fellow writer — check in with me this week. She confided that she had felt similar feelings to me after the election. She is a white woman who, although she had contemplated the possibility of Trump winning, felt somehow immobilized in the harsh reality of what that means once it happened. We both agreed that we would need time to process and nurture our mental and spiritual health.
It is too exhausting, post-election, to try to analyze who voted, who didn't and why. I will leave that to the political pundits who get paid to hash it all out nightly on our various media outlets. I have my own theories, but the ugly reality is we are now here. I will need to continue processing, but if I had to reduce my present mindset to one word or feeling I can only think of one: resolve.
I am resolved.
I am resolved in knowing that despite glaring character flaws that would be most accurately labeled as racist, sexist, and misogynistic — not to mention admittedly being a sexual predator — many folks still said, "This will do," and elected Trump as our next president.
I am resolved in dealing with the schizophrenic expectation that his supporters want to now normalize his behavior and expect folks who have been at the receiving end of his hateful rhetoric to get in formation and come together in some bizarre world of solidarity. That's easy for you to say, if he's not gunning for you.
I am resolved in knowing that folks are so scared, broken and disenfranchised that many would vote against their own self-interest in the remote hope that a billionaire businessman with no prior political experience or history of helping the disenfranchised would all of a sudden be their savior and champion.
I am resolved in the hypocrisy of a president elect that calls for solidarity and wants folks to set aside their differences because he wants to represent all of America, but when given the chance to choose a diverse cabinet he appoints folks who look like him in both race and gender. Trump's cabinet choices include Jeff Sessions; meaning that a man whose nomination for a federal judge position was rejected due to his historically racist comments and actions is now frontrunner to be our next attorney general, the nation's top law enforcement position.
I am resolved in the irony that this man will follow our current president, who has faced eight years of racially charged barbs while all the time keeping it classy and rising above the muck to handle the daily sobering business that his office demanded. Now President Obama — like so many other brothers have had to do in their employment tenure — must face the task of training his less-credentialed and less-qualified replacement; an act made all the more bitter by the fact that it is someone who has publicly maligned his name and character and even questioned his citizenship, something sickeningly reminiscent of a "Where are your papers, boy" slavery vernacular.
I am resolved that this election has opened a festering wound of racism and hate in this country and some folks are feeling emboldened and validated in those feelings; so emboldened that minorities have already been targeted in incidents across the country.
I am also resolved that some of these fools will have to be checked if they step to the wrong person in their Trump-induced hubris.
I am resolved that there are some folks beginning to see that they have been conned and will eventually fall victim to the ultimate okie doke when they see how Trump is not representing everyone and how ill-prepared he is for office. You would think facing the enormity of what being the commander in chief entails would usher in a laser focus rather than to see Trump wasting time on Twitter wars with the casts of Broadway musicals and Saturday Night Live.
However, I am most resolved in knowing that for as many folks that are behind Trump there are just as many who do not support his divisive ideology. I know this will be hard for a lot of folks, but for those that are accustomed to being marginalized this will be business as usual. So I am resolved that I will do what I have always done and press forward and do me.