This is long, but worth reading to the bottom if you need some hope right now. When I saw Pennsylvania go to Trump last night, that’s when I knew it was over and I actually spontaneously vomited from the anxiety of all of this. It caught me off guard and grossed me out, but it really is the most appropriate, base level, visceral response to what’s happening in front of our eyes right now.
So many of us woke up this morning to see a country—or rather, an idea of the country we thought we lived in—shattered and blown away. I’m heartbroken. I’m heartbroken for the very many of us who will feel more afraid than ever to go outside today; I’m heartbroken for the very many of us who feel simultaneously abandoned and trapped in our home country right now; I’m heartbroken for the multi-generations of women who voted together yesterday and told each other that this time would be different, but it’s not; I’m heartbroken for Obama’s beautiful, triumphant, hard-fought eight-year legacy, now seemingly an endangered animal; and I’m of course heartbroken for Hillary Clinton, and heartbroken over the continuation of bitter sexism in our American reality—an over-qualified woman was pitted against an under-qualified man, and somehow that was a contest.
But friends, I did some digging. And there’s still reason to be hopeful. It feels like a pittance of hope, I won’t argue with that, but it is there and it is absolutely vital that we do not let go of it. It is, very simply, the only reason I got out of bed this morning.
While we were all understandably glued to the presidential election, other things were brewing:
1. Californian voters just elected Democrat Kamala Harris to the senate. She will be the first Indian-American in the Senate (and actually identifies as both Indian-American and Black). Harris has been heralded as “the female Obama,” which in her own words means this, “As a female prosecutor, let alone a woman of color, there have definitely been moments where people said, ‘No, you can’t do that.’ Well, I eat ‘no’ for breakfast, and I’ve never been a fan of the word ‘can’t’—aimed at me or anyone else”: http://r29.co/2fxyaZs & http://bit.ly/2fjXaFK
2. North Carolina has spoken, and the word is: Democrat. Roy Cooper eked out a narrow but empowering win over incumbent governor Pat McRory, so there’s some hope that we will see HB2 repealed. “We know that HB2 is wrong because it writes discrimination into our law,” Roy Cooper said. “What we have to do is bring the business community together, bring civil rights groups together, educators together and let’s get this general assembly to repeal this law”: http://bit.ly/2feBsmd
3. In Minnesota, voters decided in a state-level election to bring in Ilhan Omar, of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party, as the state’s first Muslim and Somali-American legislator to win a seat in a State House race. “Omar’s story is just the latest in a long line of oppressed people coming to the United States, grabbing hold of the country’s democratic levers and demanding equality and opportunity”: http://strib.mn/2flDhLU
4. Thanks to the voters of Nevada, Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto is set to become the nation’s first ever Latina senator. Her campaign focused on the hot button issues of “immigration overhaul and future Supreme Court picks before the Senate”: http://nyti.ms/2feKlvX
5. The voters of Illinois picked Democrat Tammy Duckworth—a Thai-American, Purple-Hearted war hero of a woman—as their senator, set to give a voice to veterans’ issues such as mental health instability and chronic, endemic homelessness: http://nyti.ms/2fxCw2P
6. On a very local level, Boston residents voted to accept slightly higher property taxes in favor of accruing communal funds to bolster low-income and affordable housing, revitalize and expand the public park system, and provide much needed support and refurbishment for our many invaluable historical sites: http://bit.ly/2eCCCUr
7. And lastly, don’t lose sight of this brilliant fact that remains unchanged: Massachusetts’ tireless champion, Elizabeth Warren, is still. fucking. here.
For the democrats, the unenrolled, or the politically homeless moderate republicans today: You are not alone in this country, the above people and legislation belong to you. They are a part of our government now, and they cannot be silenced. Hate and fear have a stronghold on the mic right now, but love and progress have not altogether disappeared, even though it might feel as though they have. However hard it may be to bear, we will get through this together because it is the only way forward.
Stay well today and in the days ahead, friends, and drink lots of water. If you’re like me and woke up crying, or with a pounding headache, or nausea, or any of the other psychosomatic symptoms of defeat, being dehydrated will only make everything worse.