Yesterday was a day of coping, of processing -- not just for me but for a lot of Americans who thought Hillary had it in the bag. News outlets in particular were trying to figure out how they got it so wrong. There were questions about the reporting, polling and statistics that led The New York Times, for example, to put Hillary's chances at better than 90 percent at times. I am frankly quite angry with my trusted news sources, and people like David Brooks, who a month ago confidently called Nov. 9 "the day after Trump loses."
Was Hillary derailed by outright misogyny? Well, perhaps partly. I kept thinking about remarks made by Bishop Gene Robinson back when I met him in 2008, about the fury of the subsiding male patriarchy, and the link between that anger and homophobia. It's not surprising that the same angry patriarchy would resist a woman -- and yet a lot of women voted for Trump, too. As Dave pointed out to me, women can also be sexist, believing they should follow their husband's lead -- or their church's -- at the ballot box. But clearly that doesn't explain everything.
People are just desperate. That's the bottom line. And Hillary admittedly wasn't the strongest candidate with a lot of Americans, who believe her to be somehow duplicitous and self-serving. I don't see it, but that's just me.
I was in a mood of mourning for most of the day -- stunned, sickened disbelief. Of course, I come from the same New York bubble that so confidently predicted her victory. I move within those circles even now, here in London. So it's no surprise that to me, the whole thing seemed like a bolt out of the blue.
I posted a lament on Facebook, linking Trump and Brexit and the growing rise of nationalism. One of my friends replied, "Maybe globalization has been good to you, Steve. Evidently to many it has not." This just pissed me off a little bit. My entire career got torpedoed by a round of job cuts in 2009 -- admittedly linked more to the changing media climate than globalization, but it's all part of the same march toward modernity. I'm now in a job where I make a fraction of what I used to make. Am I better off than some people? Maybe -- I don't have kids to educate or a mortgage to pay. But I've designed my life that way. It wasn't accidental.
I would say I survived globalization. I'm not sure I've prospered, but I've coped. I certainly don't see how supporting Trump addresses the ills of the changing economy.
Anyway, it makes me sad to think we now have that poisonous man -- and his poisonous pals, like Rudy Giuliani -- in the White House, role models for our kids. It makes me sad to think how hard Hillary worked, for years and years, for the presidency, how prepared she was, and how we will no longer benefit from her knowledge and experience. It makes me sad that we missed an opportunity to show, rather than merely tell, our daughters that women can be president, too.
But now I have to move on, as do we all. We have to learn to live with this. (Friends in the U.S. keep saying to me, "Well, at least you live overseas!" And that's true -- adapting may be a bit easier for me. But Trump is still the leader of the free world. He'll be in my face just as much as he'll be in yours.)
Yesterday, as Dave left for work, I said to him, "Thank God you're not a Trump supporter."
He replied, "That would be grounds for divorce!"
(Photos: Sidewalk debris I found while walking Olga on Sunday.)