I spent yesterday in recovery, as much of the country did. Watching the television Tuesday night felt like watching the plane go into the towers on 9/11: shock and disbelief and a terrible knowledge that somewhere, there were people watching that same horror and celebrating.

And before you rise up in indignation, no, I am not comparing the red-state voters with Bin Laden’s terrorists and yes, it’s petty to compare that massive and horrific loss of life with a presidential election. Nonetheless, I felt—and still feel—that the analogy is not misplaced. Both of those things that came across our screens—on 9/11 and in the early hours of 11/9—were fueled not only by hate and delusions, but also by a fully justified and long-unaddressed sense of resentment. And, what we saw Tuesday will shake the world as massively as that act of foreign terrorism did.

And Wednesday? I didn’t even step foot into my study, even though I’m in the middle of a pressing rewrite. Instead, I chose the traditional retreat: fiction. I pulled the pages of the new Jack Reacher up over my head. And in the afternoon, I went out into the sun and did some gardening tasks that have been nagging at me for many weeks. After that, I swam and I cooked dinner. I ate with family and went to bed early, since I’d slept little on Tuesday.

I have thoughts—and words—about the gardening tasks and the recovery process, but that’s for another day.

For now, just let me ask: what did you do on Wednesday?0_350x350_back_color-white


  1. Alyce Perry on November 10, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    I wandered around in disbelief and, like you, I pulled the pages of a book over my head and read. Still wandering in disbelief today but feeling a little more focused. Thank you for asking, looking forward to your next wonderful read!

  2. Dorothy Parma on November 10, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    I went to work as always, but feeling slightly ill. So I took advantage of my lunch break to browse a local Books Are Fun event on main campus, proceeds benefiting Save the Children. Not only did I purchase stocking stuffers for my sisters-in-law and hot soup for my lunch, but I came back to work feeling slightly more in equilibrium. A short nap before my son’s swim class didn’t hurt either.

  3. Karen Buys on November 10, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Besides running errands and texting my daughter to make sure she was okay – this hit her particularly hard – I decided that what we need is positive action, both large and small. And so I bought my dog a new squeaky toy because her absolute glee with a new squeaky toy is a joy to behold, and I donated to the local food pantry and I bought some #Illgowithyou buttons to wear to be an ally. There is work to be done and a new generation to be nurtured (do you know if the vote was only 18-24 year olds almost the entire country would have voted blue?). While I am angry and sad and deeply ashamed of my country, I have to believe that we can, eventually, rise above this and chose love instead of hate.

    • Les on November 10, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      My husband asked, “Was it a Trump squeaky toy?” ;^}

      • Karen Buys on November 11, 2016 at 8:36 pm

        Hah! Les, I wish. To watch her shaking the stuffing out of him would have been very therapeutic.

  4. C on November 10, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    I have a deadline looming, but I could not concentrate on my book. I tried. I longed to retreat into Victorian England and write a book with a guaranteed happy ending (I write romance), but I just didn’t have the heart for it. Once my husband was off to work, I allowed myself a cry—the deep, ugly sobbing sort. Then I tried to find my way back to gratitude, to look inward and then take a narrow view outward. To focus on the roof over my head, my pets, my home, my husband. All that I am blessed with. But I also reached out to friends who I knew were devastated, even frightened at what the future might hold. A strange feeling in a country where we are used to taking our relative overall safety for granted. All of us were trying for positivity, trying to find a way to get back to equilibrium. Few of us have fully found it yet.

  5. Janet Bloecher on November 10, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Make that colored!!!

    • Laurie King on November 10, 2016 at 12:43 pm

      Although I like the idea of colting in a coloring book…

      • Jane Bloecher on November 10, 2016 at 3:00 pm

        a lot of colting involves learning to walk than run on brand new legs, maybe I was right in my spelling after all!!

  6. Christine Holt on November 10, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Way too many carbs, a day off work and social media, afternoon hunkered in a movie theater with others who needed a distraction, viewing the alternate universe of “Dr. Strange” (where a complicated female is Sorcerer Supreme!), long sunset walk in a glorious forest preserve, more carbs, a comforting 12-step meeting filled with supportive, funny women, and home to a little bit of (dog-eared, “Monstrous Regiment”) Mary Russell. It helped, reading how Russell never gives up on her duty, her own abilities, and the people she cares for. It really helped…

  7. Barbara Rohrer on November 10, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    I, too, found comfort yesterday in the reassuring familiarity of cooking for my family.
    Couldn’t work. Lacked the optimism to be of help to anyone.
    Cracking open a light holiday read didn’t help reframe the day, so I scrolled movie listings and without much consideration, chose “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.” Geez.
    I spent Wednesday evening watching TV mind candy with my family and studiously avoiding all social media.

  8. Ruth Tonkiss Cameron on November 10, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    I immersed myself in a translation of Julian of Norwich to be as far from thinking about the election results as possible.

  9. Kim Kramer on November 10, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Honestly? Facebook in the AM to support devastated friends, self care at mid-day, evening spent knitting (gift nds t/b done next week) and listening to an audio book: JUSTICE HALL

  10. A Wright on November 10, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    Kept busy so I didn’t have to think too much. Got my eyebrows waxed, hair cut and went out to dinner in the evening. I watched the last episodes of The Crown. It was good to see a woman taking control and doing the right things even when they were very hard for her. Realizing this was in 1953-54 made it even more important as women were suppose to be quiet, decorous, and defer to their husbands. Elizabeth had to step up to a job that would crush many and she did it well.

  11. Rebecca on November 10, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    I comforted my son, for whom the day was one of horror as he kept naming friends who are people of colour, friends who are immigrants, friends who are all along the gender and orientation spectrum.
    The rage and despair were palpable, as he’s old enough to know what this means for the country and too young to vote to stop it.

    And I finished knitting him a badger hat, because he’s a definite Potterhead and a strong Hufflepuff, and I gave it to him early instead of on his birthday, and we talked about the kindness, hard work, loyalty, and acceptance that badgers can bring to the world.

    And we breathed, and we prayed, and we reached out to other scared people, and we pledged that the fight is not over. We will make this world a safer place for him. It can be done. I refuse to lose faith.

  12. Teresa Sakasegawa on November 10, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    We both agreed to avoid the inevitable post-mortems, so no TV news, little to no social media news and no newspaper on Wednesday. We both tried to go about our day as if the world wasn’t coming to an end as we knew it, and surprisingly, that positive turn of mind seem to lift us both up. I did spend a couple of hours in the afternoon enjoying my Westie’s excitement over a long walk (he turned up a stick that he loved enough to bring home) and surrounded by our chickens in the backyard. Their low vocalizations as they scratched around the garden looking for edibles really soothed me.

    • Laurie King on November 10, 2016 at 1:04 pm

      Chickens are surprisingly comforting, aren’t they? (Roosters, not so much..)

      • Teresa on November 10, 2016 at 3:33 pm

        They are. My husband says they are the best type of antidepressant. And we just have girls. We wanted to be good neighbors.

  13. Catherine Dowling on November 10, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    Took the day off. Shook my head a lot in disbelief. Tried to tell myself that so many people did not vote FOR the disaster, but were trying to vote against something. Railed at the DNC for not recognizing this void when Bernie was strong. Made some tea. Took my best friend dog Bear for his walk. And another walk. And a car ride to the pet store to buy treats and bully sticks. Listened to MR’s War and other stories. Made unhealthy comfort food for dinner. Lit a candle.

  14. Jolene on November 10, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Went to work, but could only do tasks that didn’t require much brain-power, like clean my desk and getting my references organized for a chapter I’m writing. In the evening, I met a small group of like-minded friends at a local taproom for beer and pizza and conversation.

  15. Mary on November 10, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    I went to bed before it was over, so I spent part of the day with the news and Facebook, trying to get over the deja vu from 1968. Then in the evening, I pulled out Julia Pretl’s book Little Beaded Boxes, and spent the rest of the evening with PBS, and a needle and thread sewing one little tiny seed bead to another little tiny seed bead. Nothing is as distracting as off loom bead weaving. The concentration required tends to calm one. It works even better than coloring. And when you’re done, you have an object that you can point to and say, “I made that.”. I can get through anything as long as I have beads and books.

  16. Mary Lou Lawson on November 10, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Alas I had a full clinic schedule,so I saw patients and tried desperately to focus on the one in front of me. Haven’t had this much trouble since returning to work after my husband died suddenly. In fact it felt remarkably similar. I reviewed my charts today and don’t seem to have done any harm. I will note my unexplained tachycardia is worse. Maybe it’s a new disease:”Trump Syndrome”?

    • Helen Dempsey-Tennent on November 10, 2016 at 3:58 pm

      Good one! That must be what I am suffering from!

  17. LJ Zinkand on November 10, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    I went to my part time job at our local animal shelter. Giving comfort to sad, displaced animals always calms me down and takes my mind off the crazy things humans do.

  18. Shirley B. on November 10, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    I had a hard time getting out of bed yesterday, but I did eventually get my act together, get up, fed the animals, fed myself, answered emails… But I also donated to ACLU. I didn’t feel an urgency to donate to them during Obama’s tenure, but this will be a different president. I’m not going to list my fears that bubble to the surface – violated rights, violated women, etc. I argued on Facebook with my sister who said the anger and hate she felt from HILLARY supporters had her very frightened. This from a woman who loudly and often proclaimed her hatred of Hillary. I tried to point out that painting all of those people as haters included me and asked if that’s how she felt. She deleted my comments. Perhaps she fears she’ll reap what she’s sown?

  19. Storyteller Mary on November 10, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    I hid out at home . . . didn’t want to become too familiar with who among my neighbors were rejoicing. Facebook conversations helped me process, and escaping into Hank Philippi Ryan’s SAY NO MORE and old Star Trek episodes helped me escape. Now resolved to move forward and work for better days.

  20. Carolyn on November 10, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    I cried, talked to my friends and kept as busy as I could. At night I zoned out in front of trash tv. I am doing the same today but I wish I was with my BFF on my way to a day at a casino to lose myself in noise and hope and eating. I am so sad and afraid, probably feeling the same as Trump who never thought he’d win.

  21. Guy J. Achey on November 10, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    I finished reading East of Eden. Now there is a great read…”Timshel” My eyes closed and I slept.

  22. Peggy Ann Southwick on November 10, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    I had a dawn class of Acts 15 in greek & managed to concentrate with difficulty. I skipped a weekly meeting where I knew great trump rejoicing would keep sneaking in. That gave me a chance to fetch groceries. My husband & I attended a 2+ hour class on Medicare 2017 changes. We grabbed some food & prepped for this morning’s Judges in hebrew class. I could not get anywhere on the Friday greek grammar class as my brain was too scattered. I gave up & watched comedies. I had to stay off the web & to take extra blood pressure meds to get through the day.

  23. Pam on November 10, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Turned on BBC World, which had been giving excellent election coverage. After a few appalled minutes, checked other channels. Turned to MTV Live and watched rock concerts, music festivals, Austin City Limits, Jools Holland etc. Music. No classical. Took cat to vet, got great news-the miracle drug has totally cured his cystitis, clear ultrasound. Smiled all the way home. Dove into a book: The Black Widow, by Daniel Silva. It scared me even worse than the news did. Repeated music therapy.

  24. Ann on November 10, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    We had the election coverage on all day at work – which was Wednesday here in Oz. By 3 pm it was all over and I found it very hard. My colleagues – all Australian – were stunned but it isn’t personal for them. I think the 9/11 analogy is apt, Laurie. Having to go work is a counter-irritant of sorts but I wish I could pull the pages of a book over my head.

  25. Julie Hermes on November 10, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    I wore black to a meeting I had to attend for my part-time job. I commiserated briefly with co-workers. I was “fortunate” to have the task of caring for a rescue kitten, Little Boo, who is recovering from surgery. I’ve avoided the news. And I was fortunate to have my niece’s high school jazz concert to attend. Oh, and started a new Val McDermid.

  26. Helen Dempsey-Tennent on November 10, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    My sentiments exactly. I think I was mostly reeling from knowing how many people actually buy into his ideology …..that this nation remains so narrow minded, and mean spirited. I couldn’t sleep at all Tuesday night, my mind not being able to really process the fact that Trump could indeed have won the election. Wednesday saw my face buried in a book as well…The Lake House…and mired amidst the First World War. By today, however, I have realized that Hilary got the majority vote……so we’re still in the majority…..there are always your future books to look forward to, and life is essentially good. And so are people! Thank you for your comments.😍🙏

  27. Mary Pat Miles on November 10, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    I am thinking the next four years of retreating into a cocoon, dragging many books and cross stitch projects in with me. Not realistic but a nice fantasy. I remind myself that this country, this democracy we have has survived for over 200 years and we will continue and hope our roots of tolerance of individual differences will prevail.

  28. Martha Powell on November 10, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    Well, I was okay on Wednesday, but on Thursday I was sad because one of my favorite authors judged my vote, which was based on policy and principles, to be “fueled by hate and delusions.” This will make it difficult for me to continue to buy your books because your words are so deeply unfair and, frankly, ignorant.
    I am not filled with hate nor am I delusional. I am not racist, sexist or phobic. I have an informed point of view that happens to be different than yours. The worst thing I ever call those who disagree with my conclusions is “wrong.”
    Your kind of leftist bigotry is exactly why the election turned out this way and why you did not see it coming.
    You see, good people should be able to disagree, but the Left cannot abide disagreement; they must disembowel people whose opinions differ with accusations of “hate and delusions” or racism or sexism or phobia. Many of the comments I am seeing from Clinton voters cannot be describe any other way than “hateful.”
    When this happens long enough and often enough, and is institutionalized by pop culture, academia and the media, people who think differently from the Authorized Left Handbook begin to understand that diversity of opinion is unacceptable and the consequences can be unpleasant.
    So we don’t say what we think to you emotional and intolerant folks, necessarily, or to your pollsters. We just wait for a chance to vote. And the bad news for you is that your intolerance has created a large, unseen number of us. And on Tuesday, we rose up and said, “Enough.”
    Trump was not my choice for a candidate nor was he the choice of many conservatives, but the media had starved the other 16 Republican candidates to push forward his candidacy, presumably because they thought Clinton could defeat him. This is where something Mark Steyn said a few months ago about Europe comes into play: “In much of western Europe, on all the issues that matter, competitive politics decayed to a rotation of arrogant co-regents of an insular elite, with predictable consequences: if the political culture forbids respectable politicians from raising certain issues, then the electorate will turn to unrespectable ones.”
    It is time to stop demonizing people who do not share your political opinions. It is time to look around and determine whether you may be in a bubble that prevents you from seeing, understanding or relating to anyone outside that bubble. And, you know what? Maybe it is time to grow up and learn to accept disappointment in a way that does not include comparing good Americans exercising their right to vote to the terrorists who attacked our homeland.

    • Laurie King on November 10, 2016 at 5:26 pm

      I agree that Hillary was absolutely and yes, deplorably wrong to stand in New York so firmly when she intended to serve the whole country. And I do understand saying “enough.” But I’m very fearful that this particular Republican choice will only prove good on the surface, and once we get into the term, things will become very hard–particularly for the marginal people in the heartland. I think Trump is a showman who will disappoint. I think Hillary was very much a second-best as well. I wish we’d both had people deserving of us to choose from. And I can only hope and pray that I am wrong.

      • Martha Powell on November 10, 2016 at 6:36 pm

        I agree. We all must pray.

  29. Kathy Magruder on November 10, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    After a horrified confirmation that it was really true I turned off the TV and plugged in my earbuds and listened to an audiobook. I did not even go out to collect the newspaper. I went to work, opened my bookstore and sold comfort books all day. One customer came in specifically to buy a copy of The Princess Bride even though he already owned it because it was his favorite book and the act of buying it made him feel better. I smiled and waved at an infant in a carrier and felt comforted when she grinned and waved back. Our future grinned and waved and some day it will be all right.

  30. Pamela Cobb on November 10, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    The morning after, I waited as long as I could before looking at the result on iPhone Notifications and immediately buried my head back into my pillow, to no avail. Too shocked for tears, I didn’t turn on the TV all day since just the thought was unbearable. My part-time technical report formatting job, favorite jigsaw puzzle app, and starting Jodi Picoult’s “Mercy” got me to bedtime. Today the tears began, and although I tried to watch TV news I chickened out–may never watch again as seeing and hearing him is just too much. I’m using my SGI-USA Buddhist practice of chanting to recover hope and courage, especially since learning my mother actually voted for him. Determined to never give up and to recover … next week. Mourning is a journey.

  31. Annette Lessmann on November 10, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    I cried, for the last 50 years that are heading down the drain. I drank sugary drinks, ate sugary pastries and tried to numb myself. I considered Canada and Australia where I have relatives and friends. I didn’t speak to people I knew were rejoicing lest I say something that burned not only a bridge but a longtime friendship. In the end I escaped into the first year at Hogwarts. I wish I had colted in my coloring books.

  32. Mary Anderson on November 10, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Did you even stop and think that the survivors of 9/11 would find your remark appalling? That the threat of a debacle that might happen over the next 4 years is not the same thing as something that did happen? If you feel the same at the advent of both scenarios it says a lot about what you have never experienced.

    • Laurie King on November 11, 2016 at 9:12 am

      Yes, it’s an appalling remark, deliberately so. No, of course the two are not the same. But can you read through the remarks on these two posts and tell me the emotional impact on the country isn’t at least an echo of that? To say nothing of the potential devastation and–yes–loss of life if this man’s policies are put into play?

      • Agnes on November 17, 2016 at 5:35 pm

        FWIW, my mother and I were discussing that we had exactly the same response – I feel worse here than after 9/11. (We are fairly far from NY and DC, so somewhat sheltered, from that standpoint.) I guess because, while 9/11 was a shock, it was not a shock that there were terrorists who wanted to kill people. This had the surprise of the election going against the polls, and I found it utterly upsetting to learn that a major chunk of the country not only doesn’t care about racism or sexism (which, honestly, didn’t surprise me), but also not about the environment or the Constitution or the rule of law or nuclear proliferation or character or the leader of the free world having the slightest bit of experience, knowledge, or even interest in policy or governing.
        In my opinion, no matter how you voted, you should be terrified. The defenses I have heard of Trump’s policy proposals are basically “He won’t be able to do that” or “He’s just kidding”. So our hopes for the country and the world rely on the president being an impotent liar. Great.

  33. Lu on November 11, 2016 at 12:19 am

    I have always felt that my identity was that of a proud American. I am a child of immigrants. I have been called naive on occasion. After these election results, I need to ask: do most of these people who voted for Trump really think I am less of an American because of my color? Do they believe that going back to a “Great America” means returning to white, anglo-saxon ideals? I need to live my life with knowledge so what is the answer. . . . .?

    • Laurie King on November 11, 2016 at 9:07 am

      In fact, I think many of them believe that his “values” are important, and are willing to look past the race-baiting and the rest as surface ploys, rather like many Hillary supporters (and Bernie Sanders!) don’t see the email scandal as essential. I pray pray pray they are right. I fear they are not.

  34. C. Claiborne Ray on November 11, 2016 at 1:42 am

    I didn’t sleep well Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. I spent the day doing nothing until it was time to dress up for the annual Louis Armstrong House Museum gala, which I think was diametrically opposed in spirit to the events of the previous day. Saw many friends, heard great music, and finally shed a few pent-up tears. Armstrong was one of the true uniters of the nation, an artist who effortlessly bridged high art and popular entertainment, had friends among the high and mighty and the lowly and oppressed, and met all people as brothers and sisters. Let that kind of life be a lesson to us all.

  35. Erica on November 11, 2016 at 3:21 am

    Thank you for asking about us.

    I had to work. My commute was breathtakingly tense, after a man that turned off the sidewalk and stopped to let me get about 200 yards in front of him. I glanced behind me to see him bite his lip, hold back tears, and gaze at the ground as he started walking again.

    At work, the women who came into the shop on the verge of tears and clearly sleep-deprived, the primary school teacher who cried along with his distraught minority students all day and then came in for his shift, and the kind regulars in the shop who sobbed openly with shock and grief and for the pain of others reminded me that we were all having a terrible day. I heard some say “Get over it!”, and silently gloat with face and body in a room full of palpable pain, but most people were hurting so badly, words were inadequate.

    I smiled and tried to turn their attention away from their pain wherever I could, went even further than the extra mile I normally do, and bit back tears in the stock room so I could carry on. I hugged a lot of people Wednesday. Some of them I knew well, some I didn’t, but nobody seemed to care about that. I won’t pretend I didn’t need those hugs, too.

    I hoped and prayed that you and all who were shocked and dismayed would be alright. Not that night, maybe not even this night, or even the next day after that, but soon. I prayed for our nation’s young people and the future that they’ve been saddled with. I prayed for the USA and the world.

    But mostly, I wept. Hard, convulsing, body-shaking sobs for the people of color, immigrants, women, the LGBTQ community, the disabled, the poor, and so many others that I knew would now be threatened and attacked.

    I remember that I gasped and cried when you said you felt like you had been watching the plane crash into the tower all night. You were right, and I immediately understood you on an almost visceral level, because you articulated exactly what it was like for me and probably others, touching a string on the harp of the conscience collective with which I found sympathetic resonance. You have a way of doing that.

    At the end of the night, after I spent time trying to encourage distraught friends of mine in other areas of the country who are experiencing extreme bullying and hate directly related to the results of this election (declared as such by their attackers), I made my robotic and unthinking preparations for bed. A cup of tea and The Language of Bees provided a brief distraction and saw me off to a fitful sleep.

    Thank you for this post to breathe, process, and remember to take care of myself, too. I have scheduled a day next week to decompress and process and recover, just as you did yesterday. Thank you also for enduring my ramblings for this long.

    • Laurie King on November 11, 2016 at 9:02 am

      I simply cannot believe any other presidential election has brought this reaction. Cannot.

  36. Suzanne on November 11, 2016 at 6:03 am

    I also was in shock over the news. Our newest voter (who just turned 18) couldn’t understand how this happened. With tears falling, she expressed her fears and concerns. “But he doesn’t have a resume for this! What’s going to happen now? “As we dried the tears and sent her off to school, I too wondered what would come next. Was this the first step to “the odds being in our favor?” Or, can we heal and draw strength from this shock? In our household the next came in the form of our daughter’s acceptance into her top college choice with a scholarship that now makes it affordable for us to send her onward. Yes, this election has been difficult, but we are a resilient people.

  37. Marsha Bohannon on November 11, 2016 at 6:42 am

    I threw myself into teaching–the two poems I discussed with my dual enrollment (high school students in college) English 102 students were “Ode on a Grecian Urn” and “Dover Beach.” Poetry helps!

  38. Joyce LaGow on November 11, 2016 at 9:22 am

    I have lived in Sicily for the last 3 years, 9 years in Panama before that, which gives me a somewhat different perspective and a different experience. The shock was staggering, numbing. I spent the day in un utter rage at the US mainstream media and the Democratic National Committee for being crucial in electing Trump. To my surprise and enormous consolation, my Sicilian friends and neighbors and an Italian friend in Milan.went out of their way to be kind and to sympathize with me even though I have never said one word about politics to my neighbors. One of the women who lives upstairs, a widow, came to my door and rang my doorbell, wanting to know if I was all right. Another delicately asked me how this could have happened and I had the interesting challenge of trying to explain in my serviceable but certainly not fluent Italian.

    Martha, you are absolutely correct about the bias in the liberal media–that has been glaringly obvious from across the Atlantic. I’m waiting to calm down a liitle more before I write a blistering letter to the New York Times telling them what a pack of smug, self-satisfed incompetent boys and girls I think they are before I cancel my subscription. I have been a life-long Democrat and a feminist for more than 40 years but I had to force myself to vote for that mediocre political hack from Goldman Sachs, Clinton, because in my opinion, while Clinton would have been a terrible President, Trump will be so much worse. And Trump was right–US elections are indeed rigged–the DNC in collusion with the idiot liberal media made sure that Sanders lost. I will never vote for a mainstream candidate again–I now wish I’d written in Sanders’name on the ballot. Because I was scrolling down posts on Facebook, I could not avoid readinf the headline of an opinion piece in the NY Times that blamed misogyny for Clinton’s loss. It infuriated me. Clinton lost because many Democrats stayed away and half of the country has had enough.

    What was obvious from practically the beginning was that the liberal elie were falling all over themselves to get behind the First Woman To Become President of the US, NOT the living, breathing fatally flawed hawk politician with an obsession for secrecy in a field that doesn’t allow it. It’s like trying to be an Emily Carr, for example, with no talent for drawing or a Laurie King, shall we say, with no talent for writing. Doesn’t it occur to anyone that when all you can see is the gender that’s sort of what you call sexism? Yes, misogyny no doubt played some part but didn’t the current resident of the White House have an obstacle or two?

    We may be on opposite ends of the political spectrum, Martha, but we most certainly agree on some major points.

    I realize this is a major rant and perhaps not what you asked for, Laurie, but everything I’ve said here is how I’ve spent not only Wednesday but Thursday and today.

    How do I feel? I’ve lost my country. All I now have is a passport.

    • Laurie King on November 11, 2016 at 10:40 am

      Bless your neighbors. And rants are necessary.

    • Martha Powell on November 11, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      Thank you, Joyce.
      When I hear the media and the professional political pundits describe my beliefs and my worldview, I don’t recognize them. And I don’t recognize it in any of my compatriots. But if was a liberal or a Democrat and believed campaign rhetoric, the media and the pundits, if that was all the information I had about conservatives and Republicans, I can imagine that I would be afraid and appalled at this election result.
      The truth is that the ugly shorthand descriptions, the manufactured motives, the demonization, the crazy stuff that college professors are teaching their students about us – that truly is not the reality within the hearts and minds of your fellow Americans in the majority of the Republican party, the Tea Party and the conservative movement.
      I believe the fear you are feeling is real, but the facts it is based on are false.
      One other thing – it is so interesting to see the election reaction, the riots, and the attention that is being paid to how people are coping with losing the election. As you may recall, half of this nation woke up in 2008 and 2012 having lost an election to a man who promised to “fundamentally change” a nation we thought was pretty great already. Believe me, I was heartsick. I just had to go to bed. But then I got up the next day and went on with my life. (I don’t recall anyone in the media at the time wondering how we felt about what might happen to our country.)
      Incidentally, here is my life: I am a lifelong conservative raised by devout Christian parents. My mother was a pastor who was ordained in the 1950’s! (From that I learned about sexism very early.) My career has included working in a major daily newspaper, owning my own business, and working in a non-partisan nonprofit that promotes citizen diplomacy and global affairs/foreign policy education. I am a veteran animal rescuer. I belong to a choir where I am completely outnumbered by gay and lesbian people whom I adore. I married a liberal newspaper columnist. I’ve lived nearly all my life in the southern part of Dallas where the majority population has evolved from Black to Hispanic over the years. (My conservative parents said, when busing was mandated, “We can move to the suburbs or you girls can learn to get along with people.”) I have traveled everywhere – my mom loved to take us to the Holy Land, even when we were children and there were wars going on!
      So, this is me. And I’m pretty typical of all of the conservatives that I know (although some that I know are establishment Country Club Republicans, which is our version of establishment Limousine Liberals).
      As I said at the beginning, I don’t recognize myself when I am described by these terms: uneducated, racist, sexist, bigoted, fearful, etc. I can’t remember the last time I came into contact with a fellow conservative who was racist, sexist or bigoted. Racism, sexism and bigotry appall us in exactly the same way they appall you.
      Truly, I don’t think you should be afraid of us. We are not what you have been led to believe.

      • Karen Buys on November 11, 2016 at 8:46 pm

        I don’t believe that most of the people who voted for Trump are someone I need to be afraid of. But some are. And hate crimes have been reported all over the country. And Trump deliberately chose to use racism and xenophobia to motivate his voters. So those of us who are gay or brown or black or non-Christian do feel fear. We have been targeted. I hope that people like you who do not believe that they are racist or homophobic or xenophobic or bigoted will be most vocal and protective against those who are rather than just shrugging your shoulders and walking on because it isn’t you being targeted.

  39. Delia on November 11, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Rereading Eva Ibbottson novels. Rewatching the Miss Marple series (the version with Joan Hickson, the best Miss Marple ever). Determinedly not looking at Twitter.

  40. Allison Nast on November 11, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    I played with my baby girl, who is young enough that she will never have to remember a Trump presidency. I did schoolwork – I am getting my NP in women’s health because I am passionate about it, and now also to spite Trump. And I went to a candlelit vigil at Syracuse University with my mom, husband and daughter and we wept and laughed with other devastated people.

  41. Barbara Walls on November 11, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    I taught four classes of young students who are black, brown, yellow and white, many who are immigrants or first-generation Americans from Vietnam, China, Japan, Senegal, Mexico, Honduras, Brazil, Venezuela, Cuba, Poland, etc…

    In US I (colonial times through reconstruction) at 8:30 am I taught the 1860 Election and how Lincoln had to create an administration and prepare for war as the Confederacy was being formed. I brought in ideas from Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “Team of Rivals” and explained Lincoln’s genius at recognizing the perceptions of his rivals (no matter how groundless in reality they are) and using it to his advantage because of his grounding in reality. Stopped to say how many good men had failed at leadership because they thought the truth was strong enough to carry the day and felt they couldn’t be bothered with others’ ill founded perceptions. Then noted, that historically, the most dangerous men were those whose own perceptions were not grounded in reality and couldn’t see the reality and truth of those who opposed them. Three student smiled silently.

    In US History II, at 9:30 am I taught the first and second wave of the feminist movement. Opened the class with Helen Reddy’s “I am woman hear me roar” on the large screen at the front of the class and taught about the ERA being introduced in 1923, the same year my Mother was born and explained its path through Congress and the states and its defeat by Phyllis Schlafly…ending with my story of my Mother who died in 2009, telling me in the early 70s, how she hoped she lived long enough to see both the ERA passed and a woman President. As I paused for my students to see the totality of that statement, a female student burst into tears and hauntingly asked “will I live long enough to see those things, do you think?” As I tried to console her with words of encouragement and reassurances, I was just hoping I wasn’t lying when I said “yes you will, because there are millions of wonderful people just like you who will one day make sure that America fulfills its promises to all people.”

    After crying in my office during my office hours with the door closed, hoping that no student came by that morning, I blew my nose, put on some make up and my sun glasses and went to my second class of US History II, taught same material as above but with a more subdued audience. I think I held back my own passion because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to control my emotions. I had just a few hours to get lunch, answer emails, answer some facebook requests from former students to pack up and go to a different college where I teach on Wednesday nights.

    My night class in American Politics at the local community college had an older woman (in her mid 60s, recent widow, who wants to become a writer) who silently cried as we went over the results of the Electoral College on the big screen in front of the class. We went over the polling results and looked at past scholarly work on when and how and why respondents don’t tell the truth (I was careful not to use the word “lie”) to pollsters. Then we did a great exercise on “gerrymandering” where they all learned how it works and how easy it is to take four equal districts of a balanced electorate and by shifting the lines in one case create 1 Republican district and 3 Democrat districts and then doing the opposite. All the students were excited and shocked at how it is done and how and why it is impossible to change the House of Representatives, no matter what the vote, no matter how many people voted Democrat, the House would still stay Republican, until at least the redrawing of districts in 2022. So upon closing, one student announced, “Oh now I get it. Our presidential election process violates basic democratic principles of one person=one vote, and majority rules and preference for one party over another, the Senate violates majority rules (but then we already knew that was part of the original design), but even the House, the “one” institution, those framers who didn’t like democracy allowed to be democratic really isn’t because of gerrymandering. We have no democratic institutions. Wow…that is something to figure out the night after a presidential election.” I answered, “Well you summed that up pretty well. I have nothing to add. Remember your writing assignment on the presidency for next week, see you then.” As the class ended Clinton supporters and Trump supporters talked together about how hard it is to understand all of this. One student noted, it has taken us eleven weeks to learn this, no way most Americans will ever understand it.

    After talking to some students who needed help with other issues, I pulled into my garage at home after 10 pm. I had been awake all Tuesday night watching the election results, I never went to bed, I had to keep watching the international stock market activity and waiting on the world’s reaction to what the US had just done. I was so boned tired I wanted to just sleep right there in my car. I almost couldn’t force my body up from my car seat and go and crawl into bed. I overslept Thursday morning and missed my yoga class, so I went for a short 2 mile run, met up with my book club at 10:30 am to be with my buddies and find some comfort for myself.

    I am still in mourning and I feel the analogy of Sept 11th is spot on. On that day I was in class teaching an international politics course about terrorism (you can’t make this stuff up), and when the news came, I ran with students to the student center to watch on the big screen, we didn’t have the internet on big screens in our classes then. When I realized what was going on, I first ran around campus telling all my Muslim students to go home and stay there. To not venture out because Americans were going to be crazy right then. As the Red Cross was already holding a blood drive on our campus that day, thousands of people from the town came to donate blood. So a friend of mine and myself set out to help feed the Red Cross. It was the next day before I could process the loss, and then I was more worried about my students than myself. And then as now, I mourn; I mourn the loss of what could have been, what should have been, what will never be. My heart is so, so heavy.

    • Barbara Walls on November 11, 2016 at 2:43 pm

      Oh dear lord, after posting this and walking away I had an epiphany. The Election and September 11th are connected in a way I hadn’t realized. I was thinking back to my fears and pain after Sept. 11, when I realized, I was never fearful of any terrorists. I knew the US was big enough and strong enough to handle anything they could throw at us, I was fearful of what the US would become, because of the attacks. The day after September 11th, in class I reminded my students of the relationship between liberty and security, and asked them to remain vigilant in our search for security that we not become a country who violated the basic guiding principles of America, liberty and equality. I was fearful that the worst part of our natures, racist, ethnocentric, jingoistic and Islamophobic would spring forth and our quest for equality and justice might be waylaid. Oh my goodness, that is why the election results have hit me so hard. On Nov. 8th, we officially became what I feared most, during the aftermath of 9/11.

  42. Laurie King on November 11, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    I had my first truly negative post on this thread, and I’ve deleted it, not because I disagree, but because I have to encourage rational discourse even if we’re talking our emotions.

    Edie, I understand. I even agree with you and with Marth Wells. But if I can’t permit a right-winger to call names, I can’t permit someone I agree with do that, either. If there’s one thing this election has shown us, it’s that driving a wedge between the extremes reduces us all to rubble.

    I don’t think Martha Powell was being unreasonable and blindly accusatory. She and I disagree–boy, do we disagree–but we kept things polite, and that’s about the most anyone can hope for these days.

    Sorry, I just wanted you to know why your comment wasn’t appearing here. If you want to reword it, I’d be happy to put it back in, and meanwhile, know that I’m with you 110%, even if all the corners of our online family are not.

  43. Tracy on November 11, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Interesting comparison and actually well penned. I woke up to a What’s App from my daughter who is a first year 5th grade teacher in a title 1 school in the Dallas area. Her plea was “Ok ideas for how I can explain Trump winning to my students, of which are minority children who have made it clear they all know exactly what he was saying about people who look like them?” I was stopped dead in my tracks. I then went to facebook, hoping my amazing friends would have something to share. Luckily, I found, which is brilliant. I also shared with her:Found this in my Facebook feed…love you Kate, you are working in a job that has a lasting effect on all those kiddos. Today is one of those days where your grace, compassion and listening skills will be the mark of an adult in their life who cares. Saying a prayers for you and all the teachers today.” I then was very proud of myself for not consuming large amounts of chocolate, which is my “go to” when I am down, and troubled and I need some love and care.

  44. Carolyn Clarke on November 11, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    I thought that I was the first not one that equated this disaster with 9/11. I was in NY that day and I got the same terrified and hopeless feeling. Then I made soup and lasagne and hugged my dogs and realized that this country has survived worse than President-elect “Pussy-grabber”.

  45. TheMadLibrarian on November 12, 2016 at 12:32 am

    Sleep on Tuesday night was worthless. Wednesday, everyone at our library was very subdued, and many of us wore black or dark colors; there was also an attitude of ‘No politics, please.’ Considering that I already live in an area where I am just a minority of a wide and varied spectrum, I hope we can continue to treat each other with kindness and dignity, and confront those who would do otherwise.

  46. Hilary on November 12, 2016 at 7:46 am

    I drove across the state through the smoke of the southeastern wildfires attributing my terrible headache and cough to the malaise that accompanies loss and pent-up rage.

    I repeatedly checked my phone for confirmation that there were others experiencing exactly what I was.

    And the best of intellectuals all were.

  47. Lenore on November 14, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    I was in Israel on Wednesday. With friends, I went to the archeology park in Ashkelon, one of the oldest cities in the world, one that has been conquered many times. It was a good reminder tht we have survived much worse, and will survive this.

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