I voted for Hillary Clinton, and Hillary Clinton lost. In a normal election, I might feel a small range of emotions about that and move on. But what people who are not sad about this election don’t seem to understand is that for people who supported Hillary Clinton, or for people who just opposed Donald Trump, this was not a normal election.
Like any election, this election was about policy, but it wasn’t just about policy. If Trump makes a sudden reversal right now on several policies he pledged on the campaign trail to enact, and if he does not appoint to his cabinet the people he’s reported to have tapped, and if he goes on the air and says, “I ran a racist campaign, I sexually abused women and then I called them liars for reporting my actions, and I fostered a culture of racism, sexism, and fear in this country that’s unprecedented in the modern age,” it wouldn’t change the grief that this moment holds for a large percentage of the American electorate, and I want to explain, from my perspective, why.
We now live in a country where 47% of us voted for a man who pledged to block Muslims from entering the country, who said there’s no such thing as racism anymore, who called Mexicans who crossed the border illegally rapists and murderers, who sexually objectified the first female presidential nominee, who bragged about sexually assaulting women, who called 12 women who claimed to be sexually assaulted by him liars, who so regularly didn’t pay his contractors that law firms that formerly represented him in those cases later sued him for their unpaid fees…the list goes on an on. Half of us wanted Donald Trump to be president over Hillary Clinton.
I know some of you reading this believe that Hillary Clinton is a murderer, that she callously disregarded (at best) the lives of the soldiers at Benghazi, that she hates America and everything it stands for, that she wants to repeal the second amendment, that she wants it to be legal to kill babies, and that everything that comes out of her mouth is a lie. For the people reading this who are in that camp, I’m not asking you to change your mind about her. I’m just asking you to listen to why this is painful for people who are not you.
Casting a vote for Trump meant at best that you thought his rhetoric and actions were not disqualifying for the highest office in the country. And for many of us on the other side of this thing, that vote was personal. We heard what he said, and we heard you support him.
To the people who have been posting, tweeting, and saying that God is in control, I want to explain something else. Yes, people feel grief and fear about the future because of this election (and I wouldn’t lead with that even if it were the only reaction). But people also feel grief and hurt about what has already happened. People have already spoken by electing Donald Trump, and for a lot of us who didn’t vote for him, the message it delivered was painful.