Wow, okay…so the US election didn’t go as I expected. AT ALL. But, is there anything positive to be found in tonight’s result?
I’m Canadian, so I shouldn’t be this invested in the US election. It’s not like I have a horse in their race, but US Politics touches just about every aspect of the Global Economy. Every decision the US government makes, often has far-reaching consequences across the globe, for better or worse, and besides, I really, REALLY hate everything the Donald stands for—and I mean EVERYTHING. Sorry if you disagree, but fuck it, I’m allowed to be angry and bitter tonight.
For the past year, I’ve become addicted to US politics on the news and social media, almost to the exclusion of everything else. I passionately hated Trump because I believe he’s a narcissistic bully with caveman ideals, and I desperately wanted Hillary to win because I share many of her values and I believed she’d continue an agenda of progressive and forward thinking goals. I basked in the mutual admiration society on Hillary’s Reddit page, and snickered and sneered at the people I saw as misguided morons on Trump’s page. I slept well at night because the polls told me the candidate I wanted would win, and the one I hated was destined for the humiliating defeat I felt he deserved. So this is why I feel bereft, shell-shocked, and horrified that Trump has won with a resounding landslide…and not just the white house, he won EVERYTHING…the house and the senate. There will be no stopping him—make no mistake—whatever side you’re on, the world has changed tonight, for decades to come.
Now, as I sit here in disbelief, feeling sick, I’m wondering what the hell happens from this point on? I feel silly on one hand, because really…I didn’t care much about any other US election and I didn’t care when Hillary lost to Obama in 2008, so why am I so upset about this one?
Unlike many Never Trump people, I don’t believe Trump will push the nuke button, but I do believe that he and the GOP lean towards fascist, religious zealotry, and they are going to abolish things like a woman’s right to choose, gay marriage, and acceptance of refugees, to name a few. I also believe this win gives the alt-right fanatics and white supremacists who supported Trump, a voice and place at the policy making table—something they should have NEVER had.
I’m also sad that Obama’s legacy will be burned to dust in a matter of months, even though he has one of the highest approval ratings in history. I’m devastated about what is likely to come over the next four years of total Trumpian Republican domination. And yet, it is what it is, and nothing I do or say is going to change one damn thing. (There’s irony about over-confidence, gloating, and complacency in here somewhere for all of us HRC supporters, but I’m wallowing in too much self-pity to look for it).
So, the real question for me now, is how to detach from it for my sanity and my blood pressure? Why is it so hard to stop watching and reading the news, and instead spend my online time doing constructive things like research or learning more about things I’m interested in—you know, those things that will actually make a difference in my daily life? Why do I find myself wasting hours each day pouring over Reddit pages, and reading people’s comments with rapt attention—grinning when they make me feel like my side is winning, and getting angry when someone advocates for the “enemy”, all while losing all interest in actually doing “things”?
Who the fuck knows? I sure as hell don’t. All I do know is that I’ve spent years trying to live by the Buddhist ideals of inner peace and karma, where a central concept is that nothing is either good or bad, it just is, and everything we experience should be treated as a gift. I’ve lectured friends and family, when they were going through hard times, to step back and try to see what can be learned from it, and how it’s a gift to move forward. I’ve been trying to follow my own advice for the past few hours without much success, and I suppose the truth is that me simply writing this post, is acknowledging how my obsession with another country’s politics has been an excuse to not do the creative things I keep saying I want to do. Why that is, will be the next thing I have to figure out.
So be it.
If the shock and disappointment of losing something I wanted so badly, forces me to put my own personal growth back to the top of my priorities list, then I may come around to admitting that the election of Donald Trump to the most powerful political position in the world, might just be the one thing that finally severs my addiction to the internet. But, Jesus H. Christ, Fate…you’re telling me you couldn’t you have found a better way? Sheesh!
And…there it is…a conveniently sound excuse not to feel like a total idiot for wasting the last twelve months obsessing over someone else’s destiny. Ain’t the ego-preservation game, grand?