November 9, 2016

Brexit 2: Electric Boogaloo

Donald Trump (25218642186)
By Gage Skidmore (Donald Trump) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
If you went to sleep at a decent hour last night, you might just be waking up to the news that Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States. Seriously. President Trump.

Like many Americans, I certainly didn't see this coming. Yes, I was aware throughout the general election that Trump could win this thing. He was, after all, competing against a seriously flawed Democratic candidate who never should have been nominated. But I made the mistake of believing that the polls were generally accurate. While I thought that the final vote count would end up being much closer than what was predicted, I also thought that Hillary Clinton would win by a comfortable margin. We now know there was far more support for Trump than most of us realized.

In the near future, there are plenty of things with which we Americans are going to need to come to terms. For example, perhaps writing off more than 50% of our neighbors as racists and misogynists because they support a political candidate of whom we do not approve changes few minds and engenders backlash. Maybe trying to understand our ideological opponents and the nature of their grievances would have been a more successful strategy than calling them names on social media.

We'll have plenty of time to consider such matters over the next four years. For now, I think it is important to realize that the shock, disbelief, and even grief many will experience over the next several days are normal reactions that should be expected. My hope is that we will all take a collective breath, calm the fuck down, stop attacking each other for at least a few days, and allow ourselves to process this new reality. It will take some time for it to sink in. In the meantime, I hope that we can remember the lip service we often pay to reason. After all, this seems like an ideal time to model some of it.