Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Dark Days


Holy shit.

I've been up all night, and that's pretty much all I can say. America has had its Brexit.

Do you ever think you might be completely insane? I've been telling people for months that this could not happen. Given all of Donald Trump's vulgarity -- legendary vulgarity that has been the subject of ridicule for decades -- he couldn't possibly win a popular election in a country full of polite, God-fearing voters. Right?!

And yet, apparently he has. (We're still waiting for the official decision, but it certainly looks that way.)

Obviously I'm not the only one who was wrong. The polls were all way off. The New York Times has been telling us for months that Hillary had a better than 90 percent chance of winning -- only slipping into the 80s within the last week or two after the FBI kerfuffle. HOW COULD THE FREAKING NEW YORK TIMES BE SO WRONG?!

This is where my insanity comes in. I've long assumed that people on the right in American politics -- the viewers of Fox News, the readers of Breitbart -- were wallowing in some self-created alternate reality that didn't reflect real life. Because I was reading real life, real facts, in the pages of the publications that I so respect -- The New York Times, The New Yorker -- and seeing those facts reflected in the comments and opinions of my friends.

But maybe I'm the one in the alternate reality. Because that right-wing reality is now REAL.

Clearly many voters were either lying to or not talking to the pollsters -- the same phenomenon we saw in the UK with Brexit.  Probably for the same reasons -- embarrassment at taking a position that is seen as intolerant, inappropriate, un-progressive. (That's my read on the situation, anyway.)

But who knows. All this will be dissected in the coming weeks and months. For now, I'm just shellshocked, and sorry that we as Americans didn't seize an amazing opportunity to make history, and wondering how I'm going to get through a full workday today.

(Photo: Frost-covered leaves in our back garden yesterday morning.)

23 comments:

Kaki Veldu said...

Hardly anyone has suspected, what is about to happen now, everything is so unsure. I agree, many voters must have lied, an indication of embarrassment and fear of guilt. Germany votes next year, what will happen there? The world is moving to the right, thanks to many uneducated fools.

e said...

It isn't over yet, and yes, the alt-right is real and has been for some time, unfortunately. I just wish I could immigrate!

37paddington said...

I feel sick. I did not see this coming. I was sure it couldn't happen. And now it has. Dear God.

John Gray said...

In blog land no one I know wanted trump.....yet he won

utahDOG! said...

Stephen, your second to the last paragraph nailed it. Ive been saying it for weeks, with or without Comey. Everyone just thought i was being negative but i've seen the opinions that pushed Trump to victory simmering in many of my coworkers, neighbors and even some good friends. Last night when NBC identified the "shadow votes" in Pasco County as being key to Clinton losing Florida i knew it was over. Its upsetting and unsettling to say the least.

Idiocracy is here.

Sabine said...

The beginning of the dark times for our planet if he goes ahead with climate change denial. This will not be easy for anybody anywhere.

Elle Clancy said...

It is sickening. And the perfect illustration of the dumbing down of this country. To think that man will be president is simply beyond comprehension.

Jennifer said...

I'm heartsick and frightened and in shock.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

At least the frost-covered leaves looked beautiful but this morning America suddenly looks very ugly.

Elizabeth said...

I haven't slept all night. It's beyond dreadful.

Ms. Moon said...

It's like everything I ever believed was a lie.

Elle Clancy said...

Good article, Steve, from The New Yorker about this whole debacle; entitled "An American Tragedy."

The Bug said...

I got about 4 hours of very restless sleep. I told someone this morning that when the votes started coming in I got the exact same feeling that I did when I found out that my mother's cancer had spread. My boss (of Syrian descent) said that she can't stop crying, but I am just in total shock. I kind of hope I stay here in my cotton wool place because I don't really want to face reality!

ellen abbott said...

this country and this planet is in for a world of hurt. that's all I can even think. I am appalled, ashamed, what the fuck happened to the people in this country that they would elect a horrible human being like him.

Lynne said...

:(
This is what I said on my FB today:
Well, congratulations America. You have just elected a man for president of our country that has offended just about every race, religion, and gender of people on this planet. You have made us the laughingstock of the world. You have elected a man that will take us back into the past, not a person to lead our country for the future. Good Job.

Can't really take this in yet this morning although last night watching the votes being tallied, when Trump took Florida and then North Carolina, I knew it was all over. I went to bed and had actual nightmares about the fallout of the election.

Cheryl West said...

I am devastated! Not much sleep last night either.
Can you just imagine waking up this morning being black, hispanic, muslim, illegal with the terrible fear of not knowing what will happen?
Trump is more than a national embarassment he is a true danger.

Sharon Anck said...

No sleep for me either. I'm in a state of shock and it's so bad that my blood pressure is sky high and I'm off the the doctor to have it checked. I feel exactly the same as you do. I keep asking myself, am I the crazy one? I am devastated!

Lesley UK said...

I am beginning to believe that we really are living in The Matrix. I apologise to anyone who thinks I'm being flippant, I'm not. How could this have happened? I love the States and I'm devastated. Who is truly controlling the world?

Stillwaterrunsdeep said...

Shell shocked is a great way to put it. This just proves that Americans are spiraling the drain. Quite an unfortunate turn of events here.

Drita Harris said...

you're very lucky to live abroad right now.... it's a sad day.... I am not looking forward to what the future holds for the U.S.

Red said...

Shellshocked is a good description. It will be interesting to see what he can do if anything. fortunately there are checks and balances.

jenny_o said...

Like Red said, there are checks and balances and no one person runs the country. Yes, I am Canadian, but as our senior Trudeau (Pierre) famously said, we are in bed with an elephant (the US) and every grunt and twitch is important to us as well. The best, most common-sense analysis of what just happened, in my opinion, and advice which makes sense to me, is here: http://waitbutwhy.com/2016/11/its-going-to-be-okay.html. It's written by a Democrat, it's articulate, it's well thought out, it's really all anyone can do, because the election results are the product of democracy, whether we like it or not. I think a key point is something you said, Steve, a couple of days ago. When we don't understand what the other side is thinking, we need to TALK.

Rafe's Hotel said...

It is helpful to remember that only 26 percent of the country voted for Trump. Clinton beat him by more than half a million votes, it looks like now. The Electoral College, designed more than 200 years ago to make sure that "the right people" controlled who became president has outlived its usefulness.

But what is most important is that although we are now saddled with an offensive lout who may destroy our environment -- and certainly has opened a recruiting office for terrorists -- the country has not lost all of its fundamental decency. More people voted for Clinton than Trump, and several more did not vote at all (Dems saying they thought she had a lock on the win -- did they learn nothing from Brexit?). Shocking, deplorable, yes ... but a wake-up call. The mid-term elections are only two years away, and the best check is Congress, which IMO has been the root of most of our problems in the first place ...

For the record, I too agree that TALKing to each other is a good solution, but from what I've seen, the hatred gone rampant among many is going to make that hard for a while.