I was working all day in Ward 65, in the City of Madison. When we finally finished remaking ballots and tallying votes, Hillary Clinton and Russ Feingold easily had more than 90% of the vote. We had one vote for Jill Stein, out of about 2700 cast.
Then the poll workers started checking their phones. Russ Feingold had already conceded, and by the time I drove home at 11:00 pm, NPR was projecting Iowa for Trump, giving him 244 electoral votes of the 270 needed for election. This was without Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, all too close to call.
So Trump will be President. That is very hard to take. Here are my other reactions.
1. Climate change, climate change, climate change. There won’t be a livable world left if the US doesn’t take the lead in reducing/eliminating carbon emissions. And we won’t do a damn thing under Trump and an enabling Republican congress.
2. Related to this: scientific research. Someone who rejects all the science on climate change just might not be interested in investments in scientific research. And that also clouds the future of the country.
3. What will happen to immigrants and children of immigrants? My son spent hours this morning on Facebook with his friends who are now feeling that this country never wanted them here. My son’s friends are in their early twenties and incredibly talented, educated, productive human beings: the very people this country needs to develop its future. A law professor friend, well-established in her field, is wondering whether she should return to the country her parents fled years ago, where she may find herself more welcome.
This country is founded on immigrants, renews itself with immigrants, gives succor to immigrants and refugees, and maintains ties with other countries through the families of immigrants. But a Trump presidency could change all that by removing all these wonderful people from this country, and removing their hope, their aspirations, and their vigor from this country.
4. The enabling of the white supremacists is frightening to the core. Trump claims he is not one of them, but he has done nothing to shut them down. The future of the movement is now,
5. The combination of immigration “initiatives” and white supremacy, I fear, will lead to renewed and reinvigorated suppression of minorities in this country. I want to know what was the impact of voter suppression on the results in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, and other states? When those in power don’t respect the right to vote, many citizens may just give up, and that is suppression.
6. One of the saddest things about this election is that Trump claimed to be “taking back” the country for a specific group of people — the working class. He said “we” will take back country, inserting himself into that slice of the population. But the United States is not just the working class, or the middle class, nor is it one race or another. It is a unique melding of ALL races, ALL classes, ALL ethnic groups, immigrants AND people with family histories reaching to the Revolution, small town AND urban dwellers, educated AND uneducated — or at least that’s how I grew up thinking about this country.
The United States, and the people of the United States, are a sum of our parts. We have lost that sense of unity, and I don’t know if we can ever get it back.