It has been a week since Trump won the projected electoral vote.
It has been a tough week, although as a white woman living in a quiet corner of a liberal state, it has been tough at some remove.
A week ago, I watched with creeping dread as the early returns looked worse and worse for Hillary. I went to bed before the worst was known — hoping that somehow the world would have reset to the “right” path by morning.
When I woke up, the first thing I did was check the results.
I had a few seconds of profound relief when I saw the vote percentages.
Then I saw the electoral college tallies.
The mixture of disbelief and creeping dread throughout was similar to when Dubya beat Gore, except a few orders of magnitude worse. It was having a nightmare come to life in slow motion — and of course this is just the beginning.
In the last week there has been a swell of hate crimes. Trump has put together a ghastly transition team.
I have heard such terror from so many of my at-risk friends (minorities, people with health problems, people outside of the white “mainstream”). And at the same time, there is a chorus of “this won’t be so bad, we can get through this, we’ll just roll with the punches.”
It is terrifying to think that these conciliating attitudes may exacerbate the harm that Trump could cause.
A snippet from Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” has been going on. I just hope that it isn’t as prescient as it feels at this moment in time.
There is still the cruel hope that faithless electors can prevent Trump from taking the Whitehouse. I signed the petition, but I know that it is an incredibly long shot. One or two might defect. Maybe ten could defect. But unless Trump does something absolutely insane in the next month (something Republicans see as insane, that is), I don’t see how 38 would possibly defect.
I feel very helpless, but I also know that I can’t just sit here and feel helpless.
I am privileged. I am not at risk in the way that many of my friends are. I need to step up for those at risk.
I have set up recurring donations. I have subscribed to the New York Times and The Seattle Times, in hopes of showing my support for journalistic integrity.
I will try to go troll hunting for my friends.
If I see something in real life, I will do my best to quash my conflict-avoidant conditioning and intervene. As lily white as Port Angeles is, that seems a bit unlikely, but I will put myself in the mindset to be ready.
I desperately hope that all of this will pass without doing too much damage, but I cannot assume that. I desperately hope that history will not be looking with profound image at this period to see how America let a fascist dictator take power.
Much as I would love to assume that everything will be ok, I cannot assume that. I will do what I can to help make sure that doesn’t happen, even if it is a number of small things.
The small things add up.