I have had so many thoughts since the election on Tuesday, I’ve decided to revitalize the blog. I just can’t flood Facebook anymore with this.
I, too, reject and fight the idea that this election has to mean that our society is lost to the “silent majority” who, along with a majority of white women, elected Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States. As is their right. However, I don’t believe that the majority of them elected him out of hate. I think they elected him out of fear, and in some cases, of misogyny. More on that here.
When I walked out of my house on Wednesday, it was hard not to feel like everyone I encountered was going to be against me. I was still wearing my HRC shirt–in part because I slept in it and in part because I didn’t want anyone to have a question about how I voted. Walking to lunch, I hugged my jacket a little closer with each person I saw, unsure of how they would react. No one did anything. It was fine. The sky was grey and hung too close, but that felt appropriate. When I finished my lunch my waitress asked if I’d watched HIllary’s speech yet. I told her I hadn’t been able to make myself yet. She told me she almost called in sick. We hugged. She told me she was glad she came into work.
So my point is, if you were with her, the odds are overwhelming that you’re not alone, or at the very least you’re surrounded statistically more by apathetic people than people who can feel so different because they voted for Trump (but again, most of them are probably not that different.)
The polls weren’t wrong, per se. Clinton did win the popular vote by 1 point. Of those people eligible to vote, these candidates motivated us at exactly the same rate. And of those people who voted, more people voted for a woman to be the 45th President of the United States than a reality television star. That’s something to hang your hat on, even if the hook is not firmly planted in the wall. My point is that we did not wake up on Wednesday to discover that a majority of Americans voted against progress and for regression.
And I’ll reiterate: I don’t think that the majority of Trump voters are hateful, xenophobic, misogynistic, or racist. They are people with concerns that need to be addressed and bridged.
The majority of Americans wanted Hillary Clinton to be President. We can’t forget that, and more importantly, we can’t let our elected officials forget that. I encourage everyone to look at the voting records for their districts, counties, and states, and use that data to support any comments on upcoming legislation. Here are some resources:
SCvotes.org — Look up the voting stats for your precinct, county, state.
IssueVoter — Track legislation that matters to you and contact your representative to make your voice heard. Doing so is consistently reported as the most likely way to effect change aside from lobbying.