It’s been a hideous 24 hours, I’m not going to lie.
With Trump’s victory as President looking fairly likely from lunchtime yesterday, like so many people I’ve gone through all the stages of grief and then back to the start and through them again. And again. And still I can’t believe it’s happened. President Trump.
After so many months being glued to media coverage of this election, I’ve found the result to be utterly overwhelming. And I’ve instinctively done something I never expected: shut down.
I’m not listening to any of my favourite political podcasts or visiting my favourite news websites or feverishly exchanging links to good stories with my close girlfriends who are equally obsessed.
I haven’t seen Trump’s victory speech. I don’t want to see Hillary concede. I can’t bear any of it. I’ve reached saturation point and I have to look away from this tragedy.
Hear Mia Freedman and Mamamia staffers debriefing about the US election on a special Mamamia Out Loud bonus episode. (Post continues…)
I’ve been thinking deeply about how this happened.
And the only way I can process my tumultuous, distressing, depressing feelings about all this and figure out how I feel is to write some things down.
Some things I’ve learned. About Trump. About myself. About America. About people.
Here they are:
1. I live in a bubble.
Every single one of my Facebook friends opposes Trump, is appalled by him. Their feelings range from disdain and derision to bemusement and horror. Me too. Throughout this campaign, I’ve sought out media that supports my view of the world: tolerant, in favour of equality and progressive. Each morning, I’ve been going to Twitter and looking up the accounts of some of my favourite US political pundits, like Jon Favreau and Dan Pfeiffer, who used to work for Obama, to see what they have to say. I’ve nodded along with them. They’ve made me feel better. I read articles that chronicled his failings as a human and a politician. I nodded along. I shared those articles with my like-minded friends. They liked them. We nodded along.
I retweeted people I agree with. People who called out Trump for the racist, bigoted, misogynist he is. I shared polls that said Hillary was going to win and I steadfastly avoided media like Fox News who I found to be distressingly biased. This all made me feel good. But it wasn’t reality. There’s a whole America – perhaps a whole world – I know (or choose to know) nothing about.
I thought people like me – who cared about equality and tolerance and social justice and fairness – were the majority. I thought there were more of us than them. It turns out there isn’t. Or if there is (I’m clinging onto this), the fact that voting isn’t compulsory in the US means the angry people were more motivated to come out and vote. It turns out hate Trumps love.