After the results of the US presidential election, I find I am too nauseous to eat. Clearly, I was and am not a Trump supporter.
I continued to be nervous throughout the election – but a friend kept telling me it was fine. Not to worry. Then I discovered a secret FB page of women supporting Hillary. And the positive messages there and the stories – of women who would be voting for Hillary in the booth without their husbands’ knowledge and of people having problems getting absentee ballots and making the trek across country just to vote for her – all that gave me hope. But when I woke up at 4, my concern came back and by 430 it was at full throttle. I gave up and went back to bed. Looked at the results at 8 on my iPhone and planned to stay in bed all day with the covers pulled over my head.
I received texts and emails of condolence from French friends. One even sent me this email: Dear Marcie Leave America and ask your French nationality. You are completely Parisian.
By 11am I was getting angry and, with a spurt of energy, called to make an appointment with a new coiffure to get my hair cut – I had been postponing this for several weeks, afraid to try someone new and hesitant to return to the other. So it was a fit of recklessness. If the world is falling apart, what’s a haircut??
Got an appointment for that afternoon so I had to get up. And decided to go to the Expats meetup after for what I anticipated to be a wake.
The haircut was fabulous. And even more, he’s closer to me, costs less, and his father (who has had that shop for 42 years and took my call in the morning) told him that he had an appointment with an American who spoke very good French! Ha! Thomas told me that his grandfather cut hair, his father followed him in the business and that his 5 year old son said to him last week that he wanted to do what his father did when he grew up. Ah, consistency!
The expat group was indeed a wake. Everyone shared stories – how they were nauseous, lost appetite, couldn’t sleep, wanted to cry, wanted to scream and rage… We watched Hillary give her speech to our rousing applause. I had to leave the TV room when Giuliani was on the screen. Evil. I think the man is pure evil.
A friend wrote me – what do the French think? I find they are as surprised as I am. The question is mostly how could this happen? And of course when the popular vote shows her ahead, how can you possibly explain the antiquated Electoral College? And someone please tell me why this didn’t get fixed after the 2000 fiasco? Really? Well, 240 years ago before phones and internet and TV, it was easier to send representatives to cast the votes… We can put a man on the moon but we can’t fix this? I suppose it would require a constitutional amendment. Good luck with that. What republican would want to fix something that has helped them twice? (Just did a quick google – apparently the states could all individually decide to allocate the votes based on percentages… But I sure wouldn’t want California to make that change without a guarantee that everyone was going to do it!)
Two French friends have tried to console me – and I have to tell them to wait. This is a time of mourning. I just don’t want to hear that it really won’t make that much difference. Really, I want to scream. A new ultra conservative Supreme Court justice? Really? Helping make decisions that will affect American for years? And then you realize how different our cultures are and how the understanding of these things are just embedded in me. And when I don’t want to scream, I want to curl up and cry. Yup, I know the signs of depression…
I saw an article from Europe – can’t recall if French or German. He said that now the leader of the Free World is Angela Merkel. Wow. That one observation summed up how the Europeans used to look at the US. And particularly Obama. Even Hollande said he called to congratulate Trump because that was what custom called for – and I read somewhere that he added (but I am NOT quoting) something to effect that he had to call, even if some of the things he (Trump) does makes you want to retch.
You know the Scottish don’t want him back in Scotland – the hell with his golf courses.
But maybe I am wrong? Once a doctor ran for the public board of a hospital I worked at. He was quite nasty in the election process, making several false claims and innuendo. Nothing as bad as Trump…. But I watched him take the oath of office. And I did see him change after that. As though he finally realized the great responsibility he had.
We can only hope.
I have been having many texting messaging conversations with friends – the question after mourning is how do we fix this? Who will emerge as a leader? It needs a charismatic leader, sure. But the organizational part is daunting. And to me an exciting opportunity to reinvent. What new party will replace the Democrats? Or just become a new party and gather members from thither and yon? Most of Bernie’s supporters didn’t seem to understand that the political parties are private. So they make their own rules. Going back to the smoke-filled rooms… Don’t whine about those rules. Make a new party and make new rules. And have a candidate poised to win in 2020. And fill the House and Senate in 2018. Lots of work to do.
I think we should call it the Party of Nice People.