How I’m Doing

Since people have asked, privately and online:

Well, I’ve been stressed and depressed, like a lot of people of my general political inclination. I pretty much didn’t sleep for 36 hours starting Tuesday morning, since basically my brain went into “hyper alert” mode and wouldn’t turn off. I finally got some sleep yesterday by collapsing on my office sofa for a few hours, then waking up back in “hyper alert” mode, and then taking some Excedrin PM to force my brain back to sleep for a full night’s rest. Actually getting a lot of sleep seems to have helped. I’m still irritated and annoyed but my brain doesn’t feel like it has to be on.

Likewise, no appetite at all, which is in fact my body’s “normal” response to stress (when I’m bored or have a lot of work, I snack. I’ve been bored or working more than stressed in the recent past, and my waistline shows it). As I noted on Twitter, on one hand, this is good because I’m trying to lose weight; on the other hand it’s bad because it’s not actually healthy. I think I had 500 calories yesterday because my body just wasn’t telling me to eat. Today I’m still not hungry but made myself eat anyway, and real food, not just Good and Plenty candies, which constituted the bulk of my calories yesterday.

While I was on Twitter during the election results, people commented to me that I seemed calm, and have since praised me on my calmness over the last couple of days. Well, you know. I can’t take too much credit for that; I generally get calm when I’m freaked out. This is usually to my benefit (I’m the one actually able to direct traffic while everyone else is running around with their heads on fire, etc), but the ledgers eventually balance down the line. The good news for you is, you won’t have to see that.

All of this is fine… for a couple of days. It’s okay for me (or anyone) to acknowledge events have stressed and depressed them and do what they do to process those emotions. I do believe that when you have the luxury of being able to just have your emotions, you should have them so that you can more or less get over them and get back to a more normal space. The good news for me is that I have that luxury right now. I don’t have any work that’s pressing, or any other commitments, so I could just have my little freak out. If I were still super stressed and depressed after a week, I would most likely seek help for it. That wouldn’t be normal for me, and I would need to fix it.

But I already know I’m coming out of it. One of the reasons I know I’m coming out of it is that I have this “Oh, okay, this is how it’s going to be? Well, fine, then bring it” attitude that is crawling up from the back of my brain. Some of you longtime readers may recall this particular attitude from the Bush years. I suspect things will be getting a lot more political here (so if this is something you don’t want with your Whatever reading: Fair warning).

But here’s the other thing, which is that I’m coming out of it because I know I am likely to be okay over the next four years. I’m straight and white and male and well off, and unusually for someone in my field, I have contractual stability in the form of multi-year, multi-book contract with a major publishing house. Literally, as long as I write a book a year I’m going to be fine, and my family is going to be fine, and if we’re not, well, we’re probably all screwed in a massive way that impacts even the most insulated. I have the luxury of being pissed off, and pretty much only being pissed off, and I also have the option of not being pissed-off when I want, and doing other things with my brain cycles.

But I know too many people — people that I like, people that I love — who don’t have my ability to ride it out, and won’t have the ability to just turn off the reality of a Trump presidency. People who are minorities, and/or LGTBQ, and/or women, all of whom fully expect rights to be taken away from them and a culture of hate to thrive, making their lives worse. People who have insurance through the ACA who know that the Trump administration has it as a priority to repeal the law, meaning that once again that medical insurance will likely be beyond their reach and they will simply have to hope they don’t get sick. My neighbors, who I expect are going to find out what the limits of Trump’s promises are, and how they will differ in reality from what he promised, and how much more difficult their lives will be because of it.

I believe that things are going to get worse for a lot of people I know, and by extension, for a lot of people I don’t know. I would like to be wrong on this — I would love to be wrong on this, please GOP and Trump, prove me wrong — but I don’t think I will be.

I have the luxury of getting over this election. I worry about the people who don’t. I suspect that worry isn’t going to go away for at least four years.

And that’s how I’m doing at the moment.

166 Comments on “How I’m Doing”

  1. Yeah. I went and donated blood yesterday, partly because it was an unambiguously good thing I could do without thinking, and partly because I knew I would have to eat. I also discovered that my normally ultra-low blood pressure was about 25 points higher than normal (still in the normal range for someone my age, but concerning). And I was very far from my most stressed when it was being taken.

  2. Well said. I am in the same boat in that the two of us are white and decently well off in California as engineers. I am a woman, and do expect some issues there, but I won’t let them ever get to me, I’ve been fighting that fight since I started engineering school back in 1979. I have many friends who I worry about, who will be targets. And I will stand up for them. I cannot see me being any other way. I dealt with being harassed as a female in a male oriented world, and did not back down then, so will not now.

  3. The roadmap of his first 100 days and the likely picks for his cabinet positions aren’t doing my stress levels any good. I made the mistake of actually being informed, and now I don’t want to know. Ignorance is bliss, at least until reality smacks you on the nose with a rolled up newspaper.

  4. I’m doing a lot like John. It’s a [relatively] nice place to be. I plan to stop reading the paper, to pay less attention to national politics & more attention to local politics. I will continue to recycle & look for ways to reduce energy consumption. The Bernie bumper sticker is coming off the car, the Black Lives Matter bumper sticker is staying on. Still working on the right wording for the new bumper sticker. Currently considering “Fuck The Wall” vs. “Bridges Not Walls”.

  5. I just want to say thank you for everything you’ve done over the last 2 days to create a space for people to process this. I’m sure that’s taken a toll, especially with all the stress of the election, but I want you to know it’s been a bright spot in an otherwise difficult week. So thank you.

  6. Yeah, this is pretty much how I feel. This is unlikely to hurt me personally in any significant way, as my life situation is very much like yours in terms of stability. But I despair for the most vulnerable members of our society who will likely suffer much over the next 4 years. Sadly, many of these vulnerable people voted for Donald Trump.

  7. For all those people claiming that everything will be alright becasue we survived Reagan and Bush, when we thought they were pretty awful, just remember, some people didn’t survive Reagan. The LGBTQ community was devastated by Reagan’s negligence. And Bush got us involved in needless wars that cost many lives.

  8. I would like to be wrong on this — I would love to be wrong on this, please GOP and Trump, prove me wrong — but I don’t think I will be.

    Take a look at what Brownback’s done to Kansas, or Jindal did to Louisiana; and remember that happened under emotionally mature/stable people who knew how government works. Even if Trump’s Klan/Stormfront/VDare fanbase don’t run rampant–and they’re already going off the leash–then we’re still screwed.

  9. “People who are minorities, and/or LGTBQ, and/or women, all of whom fully expect rights to be taken away from them and a culture of hate to thrive, making their lives worse.”

    This is already spinning up. lots of reports of anti-white guy (because it seems like nearly everyone else was a target) violence, threats, and intimidation going down all over the place. People have already been hurt, people have already died.

  10. (I was going to put this on a previous blog of yours, but maybe it fits as well here too.)

    … I find myself in a sea that colors logic. (First let me insert, I’ve slept fitfully since the election and have woken up 3 times hearing myself saying, “Democracy is Dust.” I may not be at my most logical.)

    Here’s what I see in my ubiquitously Republican county. I’ve seen two old women I’ve known forever giving each other high fives, saying, “Blue Collars have shown their strength!” but really being happy, I think, because they know they’ve voted as per their husband’s wishes. 7 out of 10 black people I’ve seen have been miserable as anyone would expect … but, I’ve seen some of them acting like they didn’t know they should have voted! (And I’m mentioning those few that I had SPECIFICALLY asked to vote earlier). Its this that weirds me out.

    As per your logic, Scalzi, voting one way does implicate one as a supporter of whatever wickedness comes from his or her choice, but many of the votes I’ve seen around here have been more directly indicative of them being sheeple (a friend of mine made the word up, I think): people who are really sheep.

    I want to slap the faces of many of these sheeple because they have just voted for a wolf that can eat them! It’s not so much that their votes promote racisim to me, as that they will do whatever some stupidly envisioned “hero” they have in their heads might ask of them … almost regardless of consequences. It reminds me of pre-Nazi Germany.

  11. I have much the same perspective on Brexit: I’m economically privileged, own my own home, white, retired straight woman. My holidays will cost a lot more since sterling tanked, and my domestic costs will increase for the same reason, but I have the financial cushion. Most people don’t, and anyone who isn’t privileged -particularly the disabled and those not white, not straight, not obviously male, not obviously female- are being attacked by the people who think Brexit entitles them to attack people they think look, or sound, ‘other’.

    Which is depressing, but it’s a hell of a lot more depressing for people who don’t have my privileges. Unfortunately post-BRexit Britain is a foretaste of Trumpland, though at least we have very, very few guns; otherwise it’s not good. The Government is trying to rule by fiat, using the Royal Prerogative; that’s being fought in the Courts since in essence it would allow the Government power to act unfettered by Parliament and unfettered by the Courts, to remove our rights whenever they feel like it. We had a Civil War about that: ‘Be you ever so high, the law is above you’.

    Sorry: can’t offer much in the way of cheer from this side of the pond, other than that we are fighting, we are challenging attempts to replace Parliamentary Sovereignty with dictatorship. That’s the best any of us can do…

  12. I’m trying to be comforting to my cancer survivor wife who’ll probably be uninsurable under Trump Care and for my adult son and daughter who are in complete freak out. Not to go into too much detail, they have good reasons.

    Don’t know how long I can hold that together.

  13. For people who are feeling overwhelmed, despairing, anxious, panicked, and so on, I offer some thoughts on how to get through this, from the perspective of someone who’s been depressed for most of her life. I think the important thing to remember here is that these sorts of things are survivable, and the worst of the overload, despair, anxiety and panic will pass – just like bad weather does – and leave you able to work within the world to the best of your ability.

  14. I also have not been eating, even though I know I need to eat something besides chips. I am staying away from alcohol (though I usually enjoy my wine) because I am afraid to make my mood worse the next day! I had chest pains the night of the election (feels like the chest pains I had when I was in grief) and am pretty tired. The helicopters circling Seattle at the moment are not helping. Living in Seattle, on the other hand, with an openly gay mayor proclaiming that Seattle will stay progressive, does help.

  15. I’m legitimately terrified. Not only am I a transgender woman in the Deep South, but I have various medical costs unrelated to gender therapy. AND I’m a liberal-arts (English lit) major, so this is going to be REALLY fun. :P I’m white, so that’s something….
    I’m hoping to just lay low while I still can and ride out the next four-plus years, to the extent that I can. I’m somewhat scared for my own safety and health, as I said, but I’m much more frightened on behalf of others.
    I’m trying to keep Mr. Scalzi’s “bring it” attitude, as best I can, but it saddens me that others can’t afford even to have that outlook. This is going to be rough, there’s no denying that.

  16. I do pretty good when I think about myself, it’s when I start thinking of what I need to do for my wife, family, and friends that I start getting vapor locked. Also when I think about future paths I start seeing doors being closed, such as without Obamacare I pretty much need to remain employed and employable until I’m 70. But as the advice going round twitter, take the time you need, don’t forget to eat, drink, and breathe.

  17. Good rant. I see this as Trump not winning so much as Clinton (and the DNC) losing. She lost because people are sick and tired of the slow torture of today’s business as usual financial suckage and she just didn’t get it. She let it be known that those of us wanting real change were childish and unrealistic while she wallowed in wealth. So I can understand why so many people voted for the wild card in hopes of an improvement. Like you, I hope I am wrong when I say things will get worse. But then things were not going to get better under Clinton either. Still I voted for Clinton because I thought Trump was worse. What a terrible election. Sigh.

  18. For all those people claiming that everything will be alright becasue we survived Reagan and Bush, when we thought they were pretty awful, just remember, some people didn’t survive Reagan.


    On Tuesday night a semiestranged friend of mine killed herself rather than face the very large ongoing medical bills she’d have after the demise of the Affordable Care Act.

    Everything will not be alright, even for those of us who get through this.

  19. I am right there with you on the stress and worry train. I suspect we will be okay. I did marry a straight white man who has a decent job in the tech industry. I could sit back, be a good little girl, and ride this out. But– I have family who will be affected by the loss of the ACA. I have friends who are women, and/or minorities, and /or LGBTQ. They are going to feel this in a very personal way. I will stand up and fight for them. It probably will gain me more attention than I’d like but I can’t sit down and let them get run over.
    I also know people on the other side (having a hard time calling them friends now) who are openly gloating. Who can’t wait to be able to wave their guns in everyone’s face. Who can’t wait to be able to tell the niggers and the spics and terrorists “Get out or else!” That level of hate and the quick turn to violence scares the living daylights out of me.

  20. Hillary was a terrible candidate and she destroyed her own campaign with her arrogance, corruption, and hubris. Progressives predicted this back in the spring and we were laughed at and/or told to shut up. We need to get the Clinton machine entirely out of politics and return to our progressive, social-liberal roots. When we do that, we win.

  21. I’m in about the same situation you are, other than being nearly twice your age. But I worry about my daughter’s family, who are at least straight and white but aren’t very well off. And ditto for a number of my friends.

  22. @jillelainehughes

    I wonder what it’s like to be privileged enough to afford the ideological purity to blame this on Clinton, or to even have the brain cycles to be assigning blame.

    Y’all got called childish because the way you’re acting IS childish. You didn’t get your candidate, so you’re throwing minorities under the bus. As a gay latina–and one much more progressive than Clinton–I’m horrified by what I’ve seen of the far left in this country.

    I’ve learned a lot about people this year. Very, very little of it is good.

  23. Justin Jordan says it well above.
    I’m weepy and inconsolable right now with a strong under-layer of anger that is growing.
    I have better luck that most, I’m white and I don’t live in the US. My home is open to my friends who need to get out. But for all those who can’t get out or don’t have friends outside or – you know – don’t want to have to flee their home….
    It seemed like there was a future – now it doesn’t. There is so much to do and so many people may no…no WILL not survive it. God there are people who already haven’t survived it and it’s only 2 days.
    I wanna wake up. I’m not ready to face it yet. I have that privilege. God I’m so sorry, I feel like my demographic screwed America over. I hate them for it.

  24. Eh. I did wake up at four on Wednesday and stupidly looked at the results, and that didn’t let me go back to sleep.
    But the night before, once I saw the battle ground states going red, I knew it was over for Clinton, so the results while disappointing weren’t a surprise.

    We had people from Sweden and Belgium in for some meetings this week and they didn’t mention anything over way or another. They were fairly apathetic. But the group from VA and MA, and we Texans were plotting an insurrection. Well, not so much plotting one, more like entertaining the possibilities…

    Oddly enough, today at work we put up new flag poles. Four of them. One for the United States, one for Sweden (who owns our company), a Texas flag a bit lower and finally one for our company, set at the same level as the Texas flag. We vets were asked to stand in front while a guy on a trumpet played the national anthems of the U.S. and Sweden. They also played a couple nationalistic songs for which I knew the tunes but not the titles.

    I say it felt odd because, well, after Tuesday’s disappointment, life was continuing on as if nothing happened. I also thought about “what if we were to go to war with Sweden?”. Lol

    Anyway. Life will go on. We’ve been through worse and people like Trump usually get what’s coming to them. Hopefully in this instance sooner than later!

    Viva la revoluccion!

  25. Hi Tucker, my condolences on the death of your friend. Please don’t anyone else do that. At least wait to see what the electoral college decides to do.

  26. Oh yeah. Of course one of the songs was “The Yellow Rose of Texas”.

    I suppose that’s not particularly nationalistic, but this Texas. Lol

  27. [Deleted because intimating threats to others while whining how misunderstood and set upon you are is a bad look, son — JS]

  28. paperbackboxers

    This is the thing which bewilders me; the way in which people who claim to have progressive values have been prepared to throw people without their privileges under the bus so that they can congratulate themselves on their ideological purity.

    I really don’t think that they ever had progressive values; I think it was a personality cult which fell apart because Bernie Sanders is a good man who refused to play the role his ‘supporters’ assigned to him. To do a drive by attack on people who are grieving like this isn’t progressive; it’s egotistical cruelty.

  29. Best thoughts and wishes for everyone. It is trying and depressing. I hope without any basis that it may not be as bad as we fear.

    One thing: I depend on the ACA also. In his acceptance speech, Trumpalumpa said he would repeal the ACA “and replace it with something better.” His words. Not mine. What did he mean by that? Anyone have a clue?

  30. You have said something in several different places that I am carrying with me. You have said that because of privilege you risk the least by speaking up and fighting for equality. I’m paraphrasing badly, sorry. After not sleeping Tuesday night and shutting down most of Wednesday, I have seen that this is *almost* true for me. I’m white, I am comfortably well off, with an income source that is (I do have to say “touch wood”) stable. I’m a woman, but I’m older, which means functionally invisible so there’s little direct damage anyone can do. And I live in California. This means that I am in a perfect position to raise my voice as an advocate and an ally for those who have none of my protections. I’m starting by re-upping my ACLU membership, which I let lapse, and by setting up regular donations to Planned Parenthood. I will be looking at what I can do on my blog, on Twitter, and in walking-around life to make things better, provide safe space, and amplify the voices of those who must be heard.I am talking to a local writers conference about funding a scholarship for emerging women writers of color. Right now, that’s what I can think of to do.

  31. I share your feeling that I will probably be fine for the next 4 years, for the same reason as you—privileged white male. But what kept me from sleeping was two caveats:

    1) I’ll *probably* be fine, but I feel there is a non-zero chance that Trump will stumble into a true disaster—e.g., a 3-way replay of the Cuban Missile Crisis between Trump, Putin, and Kim Jong-Un that doesn’t work out quite as well—that could destroy the planet.
    2) I’ll probably be fine *for the next 4 years*, but worry whether Trump will start us on an irrevocable downhill slide—either in climate change or in an Erdogan-style transition to autocracy—that will destroy us all in 30 years.

    Not so worried for me, but super stressed over my kids.

  32. Like everyone else of a liberal bent, I was shocked and ill Tuesday night. But I had already promised myself that on Wednesday morning, I would attend the second round of public comments addressing one more anti-choice policy the state of Texas is trying to enact. I really, REALLY didn’t feel like getting up and going anywhere, particularly since it’s clear that the state is going to enact this thing no matter what. But I went. And you know what? Calling those bastards out for the smarmy, hypocritical sons of bitches that they are felt GOOD. I still feel sick, but going and doing something makes me feel less powerless and less overwhelmed. And who knows, maybe it’ll make a difference.

  33. Yeah, not sleeping either. I’m white, which is some protection I guess, but I’m a woman, disabled, and gay. My future doesn’t look very tenable. For people in worse positions, my heart clutches up in fear.

  34. Another Laura ,

    Yeah, I almost called in as well. Then after equivocating for awhile, I decided that getting into my work AT work was the best way to take my mind off of it all. I also purposely stayed away from my computer unless absolutely necessary.

    One of the best ways one can cope with disaster is to not go off the routine that keeps life in order, if possible.

    I just know that I don’t know what the future brings and I’m going to start worrying about what to do about problems that will arrive when it’s necessary, in the meanwhile keep fighting for what’s right.

  35. I’m horrified by what I’ve seen of the far left in this country.

    @paperbackboxers – if there is a “far left” in the USA, it could meet in a phone booth.

  36. @DRickard: Dunno if this is any consolation, but things actually seem to be turning around a bit in Kansas. Brownback supporters wanted to eject four members of the state Supreme Court (through retention elections), to let him reshape the court – and they failed by a 10-point margin. A lot of his supporters who swept into the state legislature two years ago, driving out more moderate Republications in the primary for not being conservative enough, got primaried in turn this year; it looks like there’ll be enough Democratic and moderate GOP votes to reverse the worst of his programs, maybe even enough to form a governing coalition. It’s not time to celebrate, but there’s room for cautious optimism.

    I expect there to be a lot of pain over the next two years. It’s going to hurt. But there may be some light at the end of the tunnel, if we can hold on and get a more sensible Congress elected at the midterms.

    (That’s something that’s bothered me for quite some time, now. People keep focusing on the top of the ticket as if it’ll fix everything; but as the last eight years demonstrated, the top spot is pretty weak without having support from the legislature. Having a reasonable legislature may even be more important than having the top spot. So don’t stop here! Work at the state and local level to get reasonable people elected. The state legislatures will control redistricting in the 2020 census, and that will be BIG; that’s an important part of how ideologues were able to win so many seats in the US House over the last decade. Don’t ignore the state races; in some ways, that’s the foundation where everything else rests.

    Also, when I say ‘reasonable’, I DO NOT MEAN ‘partisan in the opposite direction.’ I mean reasonable people on both sides of the aisle, who can represent opposing points of view honestly, while still being able to work together and come up with something that everybody can live with.)

  37. Bbz,

    I really fear for women. Even those who two days ago destroyed their own selves. Smh

    The inaccuracy of polling this year actually makes me wonder how many women really voted for Trump… regarding those two maps that compared who would win if only women or only men voted.

  38. Doesn’t sound good. Get out and go for a walk.

    You must remember how freaked out people were when Reagan was elected. He wasn’t a complete disaster. Maybe Trump will turn out to be less than horrible.

  39. I think you’re lucky, John. You’ll never know what it’s like to live next to people who vote for small, but blatantly obvious steps to your extermination, like Pence is going to make happen for LGBTQ people.

    They may never force their kids into “reparative therapy” that kills kids. But the people they voted for are going to take steps to allow parents to force reparative therapy on kids.

    Maybe talk to them about that? Let them know they voted for someone who’s in favor of a medical “treatment” that ends up killing queer kids.

  40. I have moved out of the dazed zone and into acquiring info and making plans. But I won’t lie to you: I’m pretty freaked out.

    But I had a feeling of surprise today, when I was out running random errands in my mostly white Colorado suburb, of looking at the other white people around me and having this bodily knowledge that about 25% of them were Trump voters.

    It was a terrible feeling and I realize that it’s something all people not deemed “white” know because they’ve lived through it directly, and often.

  41. This is pretty much where I am. I’m not wealthy, but I’m well employed in a position I enjoy and that permits me to support my family well above the median income for the state where I live (Wisconsin; yeah I know, and I’m so sorry, but every adult in my household voted for Clinton). I have employer supplied health insurance, and while I’m sick of constantly increasing premiums and co-pays, it’s not going anywhere, so my complaints on that front are essentially due to a lack of perspective. I’m a white, male, straight, Christian married to a white woman with a white kid. So by definition I get less shit than others and things aren’t likely to get significantly worse for us over the next 4 years even with Trump in charge.

    But people I love aren’t in my shoes. My brother’s a musician and has lived most of his life without insurance. He’s been insured the last few years thanks to the ACA. He needs surgery that’s significant but which isn’t due to a life threatening condition and like anyone in his shoes with sense, he’s now rushing to get it done before the inauguration because sometime soon after that, he expects to be uninsured. He’s also in the process of trying to his doctors to issue prescriptions for his blood pressure and cholesterol medications in bulk so he can fill them while he’s still insured. Even with that, he’s white, straight and male so he’s insulated from the sort of horrors this thread reveals have started already.

    But my friends are worried their marriage will be invalidated by a neo-conservative Supreme Court. That even though they were born here and lived here their whole lives they’ll face increased levels of discrimination because they look Hispanic or have Hispanic sounding last names. That those who just thought racist things before will voice them now, will act on them.

    One thing I will say is that I don’t have any problems or concerns talking to my kid about this. Maybe it’s easier because he’s a boy. But it’s pretty easy to point out things that are bigoted, homophobic or sexist, and to explain why it is that those thoughts are wrong. He’s 12, and we’ve talked about these things before, which makes it easier, and many times I don’t even need to bother to point it out because he notes it before I can.

  42. The people who think/hope it won’t be as bad as Reagan must not have read the previous comments. I’ve been avoiding the news since Tuesday night and even I know that many people have killed themselves out of terror or despair; that racial, sexual, and ethic violence is on the upswing; that kids – kids! – aping their parents have been harassing their POC schoolmates, chanting racist slogans. All this just 2 days after the election – where do you think we’ll be by the time the shitstain takes the oath of office (and isn’t *that* the funniest thing ever to contemplate: the creature who’s never kept any agreement he’s entered into, who’s broken every vow he ever made, taking an oath of office).

    Besides the considerable human toll, there’s this: he’s going to appoint a climate-change denier to head the EPA (preparatory to disbanding it altogether), a fracking executive as Interior Secretary (farewell, national parks), and Rudy Giuliani (aka Nosferatu) as Attorney General, whose first order of business will be to open a prosecution against Hillary Clinton. Whatever you think of Hillary – and I’m an enthusiastic supporter – the idea of prosecuting her when she has committed no crime should scare you silly. It’s exactly what people warned was the first sign of a dictatorship; i.e., jailing one’s opponents. I think it might also be a shot across the bow for anyone else thinking of opposing Trump.

    I don’t know if Trump is Putin’s Puppet but he certainly seems to be Putin’s protege. Fun times ahead.

  43. @znepj

    let me reiterate — I’m horrified by the people who claim they’re too far left to vote for HRC.

  44. Folks, let’s not make this a comment thread about general political stuff, please. It’s about how people are coping with the stress of this particular election.

  45. This: “My neighbors, who I expect are going to find out what the limits of Trump’s promises are, and how they will differ in reality from what he promised, and how much more difficult their lives will be because of it.”

    How will you be reacting to that, John? I’m conflicted. Should I (gently, politely) try to make it a teaching moment and point out the connections between Vote A and Doomed Point B? If nobody ever makes the connections, there’s no hope at all.

    On the other hand, I could say nothing, blather on about the high school band or some damn thing, and there wouldn’t be any awkward moments. But I’d also be kicking myself for not standing up for what’s real, even on such a tiny level.

    On the third hand, as they used to say on the late, great CarTalk, maybe generating awkward moments does less than no good at all.

    Thoughts on the most useful approach? (I’m asking everybody, as well as our insightful host.)

  46. Quixote:

    “How will you be reacting to that, John?”

    Dunno. Will see when it happens. Mostly if they’re hurting I’m going to want to help them.

  47. Thank goodness for your calm. When I found myself sobbing yesterday after waking up to the news, I unconsciously bee-lined straight to your blog, and I’m glad I did. Your words have helped me process. When I found myself back at work today in Ohio where I am unfortunately surrounded by many privileged, white upperclass men, and people began to judge me because I wasn’t my usually optimistic self (“Smile, sweetheart!”), I went back to your blog. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your words. People like you give me hope.

  48. Also worried for my livelihood, which is in research related to…wait for it…geriatric and medical care for immigrants and other minority groups. Not a good outlook.
    In terms of self-care, I’ve been hugging my dog a lot. She is perplexed but willing.

  49. I’ve been upset since last week, because I really saw this coming. I really freaked out about last Thursday and it’s been a roller coaster ride since then. While everyone looked at that 64% chance on 538, I looked at the crash from 85+% and how the deciding states became just New Hampshire and even there the polls were going the wrong way fast. I thought the November surprise might help, but it was too late. I read the endless assurances that Hillary was a lock (including you, BTW) but I’ve always been the pessimist, but even I didn’t suspect PA, WI, and MI to fall. Wow!

    I understand exactly what you are saying. I’m a white male with a tenured faculty position and good health benefits, so unless this goes really south I’ll be okay, But, I have friends who are black or Muslim and I fear for them. I have children and grandchildren who will inherit this country and planet. Everyone acts like George W. Bush is ancient history, but he did so much damage it would take decades to repair. Now Trump is promising much more of the same. I have relatives on Social Security who backed Trump and were really mad at me for backing Hillary. Yet, they don’t realize that there are about to be at least four more years of massive deficits that just won’t seem to matter until another Democrat takes office and eventually the pot is going to run dry and they will be cut. I am saving for retirement, but can’t possibly save enough so I have to count on Social Security as well. I worry that it will be there at all.

  50. Yeah, I’m one of those people who will be losing insurance, along with my nine year old son. There won’t be any way to replace it, either, since I live in Texas. I’ll do what everyone here without insurance does… use the emergency room as my primary care physician, and skip out on the bill. That way, the people in the upper stratosphere economically will *still* pay for it. Of course, at five times the normal cost, but that’s life under Trump.

  51. As an old (67) woman who fought throughout her career to get to work in fields which were reserved for men, I sometimes feel as if we are going to have to go through the whole battle again. All the battles. Civil rights. Human rights. Women’s rights.

    I sure hope it isn’t so. I am not feeling optimistic…

    On the other hand, This is the victory of the current version of the Luddites, socially and economically. And we know how that went. How do you help people who cannot fit into the present and the future, who cannot function except as ants in the great military-industrial complex, which is dying?

  52. And my writing output has tailed off. I thought “great, with the election behind us I can focus on writing!” But even though yesterday was decent, outputwise, today was less than half that. I don’t expect tomorrow to be better…

  53. My apologies, John; didn’t mean to derail. How am I coping? LIke I said, haven’t gone near the news since Tuesday night; didn’t sleep at all Tuesday night; feeling everything through a dull layer of What’s The Use. At some point I’ll want to do something constructive, though I’m not sure what that will be. Everything seems so futile.

  54. In response to a comment upthread,

    I am absolutely gutted, but not surprised. As a straight white male, living in what people disparagingly refer to as a liberal bubble, (San Francisco) I’ll weather this (although I’m certain that my heart will be breaking continuously for the next four years.) I teach music in the public schools, working with the “little littles” as a friend of mine once put it. What makes me the saddest is thinking of my students; I fear that the world they grow up in will be a meaner, colder place. On a positive note, I saw a photo taken by a colleague of mine on social media, in which a half dozen of his foreign-born, beaming first graders were dressed in the attire of their home countries. Knowing that I’m not alone in this gives me some hope. I’m happy for this thread, John. Thank you.

  55. The thing with me is I literally cannot look at the news (Print, TV, Facebook, anything) without feeling an overwhelming sense of dread. I have always been a huge news junky. When I tried to look at the news feeds, I would cringe on articles concerning Net Neutrality, Dismantling Obama’s legacy, acts of hate, post-election protests, etc. I feel like I now live in a dystopia. This does not feel like my country anymore. Strange.

  56. I expected to be much like you, John. And I expect I’ll still get there. I am a straight white male and while I may not be quite as well off as you, I’m firmly in the upper middle class these days. I was worried about my kids and granddaughter and many friends and family members, but barring a complete apocalypse I assumed I could whether. I did have the additional issue of being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder earlier this year, so I was especially aware of the proposals and attitudes displayed toward the disabled. But I coped for 51 years without a name and though it expanded the people I was worried about, I didn’t view it as something I couldn’t personally weather. I even half-expected the result, so it didn’t come as a complete shock to me as it did to some.

    Then reality slammed me in the face. Apparently this particular toxic combination hit some vulnerable spots in my psyche from the first half of my life I didn’t even know were still present. One of my ways of coping with always difficult to identify and manage emotions has always been to distance myself from them and contain them. I could tell something was wrong, but wasn’t sure what it was. Perhaps to compensate, autistic perseveration and restricted focus kicked into full gear in ways it hasn’t in a negative sense in quite a while. Unfortunately, the focus and thoughts were cycling through the election results and comments on them. And in one of the ways it has some similarity with OCD, you don’t get to choose the object, and you can’t switch it off.

    Fortunately, I had an appointment set that day with the therapist I’ve been see to help me work through what it means to be autistic and develop better strategies for managing things. As soon as I sat down and tried to speak, my control slipped and I experienced a small version of a meltdown, something that hasn’t happened to me (even though I didn’t know what to call it) in years. She helped me connect the dots and talk through it, which was good, since I had no clue what was going on with me. Since then I’ve been rebuilding my supports and I think I’ll be back on an even keel soon.

    But this hit me hard, much harder than I expected it to. If I hadn’t been diagnosed earlier and wasn’t already seeing a therapist, it would have been much worse. I truly would have had no insight whatsoever into what was happening to me. And that has always been very bad in the past when it happened.

    I should be okay, though. Still very worried about my kids, however.

  57. So I thought I might offer some words of…realistic reflection. Trump won’t be president for two more months. He hasn’t done anything yet other than say the occasional batshit crazy thing at a rally. We don’t hate Hitler cause he said batshit crazy stuff, and this ISN”T Wiemar Germany, or even 1920’s Italy. And he will be facing about as much opposition as Obama did from democrats in his first two years and about all he got done was passing the ACA (which was deemed constitutional by a conservative supreme court). The senate still has more than enough democrats to filibuster anything egregious. Trump is JUST the president. He isn’t Hitler, or Stalin or Mao-hell he isn’t even Huey Long. He does NOT have the loyalty of the army, the FBI, CIA or any other agency. In fact I predict most of the them will be pretty damn hostile to Trumps crazier schemes if he actually tries to move on them. And i have come to believe the slowest moving thing in the world is bureaucrat being forced to comply with policies he doesn’t believe in. There will be no FEMA ‘re-eduation’ camps for democrats just like there wasn’t for republicans when Obama got elected.

    Since becoming elected Trump actually seems to be really, really toning it down and trying to be polite and reasonable (BTW this is very, very common development with developers-they will say the craziest damn things putting a deal together and getting permits to build and just be a huge asshole, but as soon as the deal is made and the (literal) bulldozers start rolling, they are everyone’s best friend and can be quite pleasant to deal with-and my whole professional career has been dealing with real estate developers).

    Just like the words of panic and feelings of dread evident on this, and other, online forums are there are a LOT (about 50 million) Americans feeling a sense of relief that Trump won. NOT because they are looking forward to beating up some dark skin neighbor or anything but because they feel like the stuff they care about is safe for the next four years. Obama wasn’t the end of republican concerns and that view of world and Trump isn’t the end of democrat concerns or minority rights. This country still has a constitution and that is taken very, very seriously by most folks. This countries system of governance is designed to make getting shit done hard and to preserve the rights of the minority against the tyranny of the majority.

    There is another election coming in two years and another chance at president in 4. Have faith in your fellow countrymen and trust to the system-the wheel is always turning.

  58. John, this question came from your other post but you closed it before I checked your site today. But it’s more of a general question than your valid point on voting for trumps racisim.

    You said ” I live among Trump voters, and the ones I live among are lovely and kind and perfect neighbors.” You have commented on how good your neighbors are in the past as well. I grew up in a rural area in Michigan and know the kind of people you live by. My question is how do you think they would respond to you if you weren’t white male straight with a Christian upbringing? If the Obamas moved to town how would they be treated? Or a gay couple? Or muslims? I am generally curious on your thoughts, not trying to call out your neighbors.

  59. Pkeet99:

    Having seen my neighbors with people very similar to how you describe, I think they’d respond just fine.

    However, this is off topic to the conversation, so let’s snip it off here.

  60. ‘A bunch of spoilt cry-babies’ is how one of Trump’s buddies described young people marching in protest at the situation where Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but lost the election; this too echoes the response in the UK to protests about the Referendum result. Over here the mantra of ‘You lost; get over it!’ has been on automatic replay until, that is, the High Court ruled that the Government must get the approval of Parliament to invoke Article 50 to leave the EU.

    Unsurprisingly, for those who saw the numerous lies told by the BRexiteers prior to the Referendum, the people who had campaigned for “British laws determined by British Judges’, as well as the supremacy of Parliamentary Sovereignty, decided that it only applied to judgements they liked, and that Parliamentary Sovereignty should be ignored until such time as the Government decided we were allowed to have it. They really don’t like their own slogan being reversed, and the verdict is being appealed to the Supreme Court.

    Nigel Farage, another of Trump’s buddies, is organising a march of 100,000 people on the Supreme Court, presumably intended to persuade all 11 Justices to ignore their judicial oaths and provide a verdict that Nigel Farage likes. This isn’t going to happen. There have been vile personal attacks in our media on the three Judges who reached the original decision; words like ‘betrayal’ and ‘treason’ have been bandied around, along with the claim that an ‘openly gay’ Judge should obviously not have been allowed to hear the case.

    Farage is also notable for having called President Obama a ‘creature’ ie subhuman, along with even nastier racial insults; I think it’s not unfair to say that there is a pattern there. Racism and homophobia aren’t just bits incidental to the Farage and Trump world view; they *are* the F&T world view.

    So, I don’t think people are exaggerating just how disastrous the Trump Presidency will be for those who are not Trump’s buddies; I understand how gutted people feel because I’m gutted too. But we are still going, we are still doing everything we can to improve things across a wide range, and we are not quitting. I take comfort from that fact.

    Even the headbangers who hate our same-sex Marriage Act, because they hate gay people, know they can’t reverse it, just as they know they cannot reverse the laws permitting the use of contraception and termination of pregnancies here.

    I realise that we are very, very fortunate in that respect by comparison with the US; legal challenges attempting to do those things here are almost entirely funded by US evangelicals, who tend to get depressed because our Judges are not political appointees, and they are not elected. This removes the routes favoured by the Evangelicals in persuading Judges to agree with them.

    But I just wanted to say to those terrified by Trump that ‘you are not alone”. More people voted for Hillary Clinton than for Trump, you are in the majority, not the minority. And now I should try to get some sleep…

  61. I hated it when GWB was (kind of) elected, but never before have I felt this kind of sinking, gut-chilling fear. I wasn’t afraid Bush would impulsively order a nuclear launch or be the kind of petty sociopath who’d use the power of the office to ruin anyone who made fun of him.

    The most optimistic things I’ve heard have been about the possibilities for a turnaround in 2018 and 2020. That only works if we still have elections. And a country.

    I want to get over the stress and start feeling normal again. But it wasn’t a one-time event; it’s a continuing nightmare we’ve got to face day after day.

    Somebody like Hitler was able to rise because Germany was in such a shambles in the 1920s. Our country’s actually been doing okay — yet millions of people got conned into believing it was in horrible shape and needed an elderly bully “leader”. Baffling. That’s a criminal level of willful ignorance.

    Just a few years ago, I thought it was hyperbole whenever I saw a reference to misogyny. But I’ve read statements lately from hostile, frightened little men that sound like something from “The Screwfly Solution”. And those men feel emboldened now. Same with anyone who’s been itching to commit some atrocity against a fellow American for being gay, or Muslim, or anything else that’s the Other to them.

    And now Leonard Cohen is dead.

    I’m going to sleep to hide from the world for a few hours.

  62. I just wanted to thank you John. I have been drifting away from the Republican party for years. Especially since the Tea Party became a thing. Environmental and social equality issues have become just too important for me to continue to support them. Was hoping someone reasonable would show up. Unfortunately we all have seen where that went.

    Throughout the entire election season your posts have been informative and have really put into words a lot of what I have been feeling these last few months/years. They also make great sharing with family, friends, and coworkers. It has been especially hard with the family who are pretty hard core Newt Rudy and Rush groupies….yuk. At least I have the ultimate retort for their comments calling me the un-American commie liberal socialist etc. I am the only one who spent 9 years active duty with 5 tours in Afghanistan/Iraq.

    Its been an incredibly stressful few days and I am so glad that I have been able to calm my mind with meditation. My mindfullness practice has allowed me to have the feeling, acknowledge the feelings, and then let the feelings pass away.

    I am very thankful you write. Your posts certainly made a difference in my life.

  63. I am coping by imagining California and other big blue states breaking themselves up into many small ones so that they increase their share in the senate and electoral college. If enough states threaten to do that, we might see somebody fix that flaw in the system. Why should my vote in texas count like 1/3 of the vote of somebody in a big empty state?

    I am also thinking it’s time to kill the fillibuster and let these folks really govern for a while. If the dems fillibuster everything, then the repubs will blame them when stuff doesn’t work. You gotta heighten the contradicitons in the system for some of these sheeple to wake up. But, then, I realize that’s my white, straight, male privelege talking. I just don’t know: is it better to suffer severely for a short period to usher in a longer period of better government? Since I’m not the one doing the suffering, I can’t really say. Are we too tribal to ever admit our mistakes and switch our allegiance to a different set of policies? Are our political norms like vaccines: they’ve worked so well that a huge number of people have forgotten how horrible the alternative was?

    So, I’ve gone past depression and anger, and am a bit adrift trying to find a silver lining. I’m worried for all the people I love who could be hit hard by this. Luckily, even if Trump appoints a Scalia clone, the court will be no worse than it was with Scalia. So, there’s one bulwark still standing. That and a few months before inauguration give me some time to figure out whether Trump will undergo a conversion now that he realizes he’s going to have to govern and will be held accountable publicly for his failures. Maybe the press has finally learned that sometimes callign out lies and horrible behavior is more important than appearing impartial.

    Crossing my fingers that some kind of good can come out of this.

  64. The best response is to get organized and get active. Put aside your differences over ideological purity. Every successful political party or movement is ultimately a coalition. If you stay pure you never have enough votes to change anything. To get anything accomplished you have to work with people you may not totally agree with or even like. We’ve got two years. Channel how you’re feeling now to get ready for the next election.

  65. Wow. I was upset that people elected an all-Republican government, but having read the above comments, I have to recognise that I understood only a tiny fraction of how bad it is. I’m going to say “this too shall pass”, but you-all are correct that this doesn’t help the people who are literally going to die because of this election.
    The GOP has successfuly perpetrated a “big lie” on the American people. I cannot comprehend how much damage this will do, but the world – not just the U.S. – is a scarier place than it was a few days ago.

  66. Coping? Well, I’m a well-off older white male, childless, so I’m somewhat insulated living here on the far left coast, in the bubble of Santa Cruz…but: I’m Jewish, fervently progressive, human, Luddite(selectively), and I’m scared…

    I’m pledging myself to cuddle the cats and dogs more, to play board games with my wife, to escape into good fiction, to exercise and to enjoy being outside, without electronic screens…

    I’m comforted by thinking of longer timespans, of Pluto orbiting the sun in 240+ years, of our tectonic plates sliding under/over, just a few miles from my home…

    I’m taking a bit of time to breathe, and then contemplate what (positive) actions are feasible, to contribute to community and society.

    Thanks for the forum. Peace.

  67. After learning of the death of Leonard Cohen, I looked up a few of his videos and posted them to my timeline on Facebook. I listened to them with tears running down my face. I don’t think it was really about Leonard Cohen. I think it was catharsis.

  68. Paul Ryan has just announced in a Fox News interview repealing ObamaCare will include ending all of Medicare. The rest of the new deal likely won’t be far behind (privatize social security into oblivion) and poverty among the retired will return to pre-war heights. The jokes about eating cat food when you get old weren’t always jokes.

    This is going to be so much worse than you imagine.

  69. Ahhh, Kevin. If Leonard Cohen is still making us cry, is he really dead?

    Watching all this from Australia, and just feeling sick and powerless. I have family in the States, and the dearest of friends. The family will be OK, I think; they have health benefits and are the Right Sort of Immigrant (gods, what an awful sentence); hell, for all I know they voted Repub. Thank heaven they live in California.

    But my friends; my non-Caucasian, chronic disease having, kid on the spectrum friends. I just want them to come here and be safe. For definitions of safe that include coming to a country that’ll ship you to hell if you are desperate enough to seek asylum here. But they could come for a nice long visit. Say, four years.

  70. I’ve passed numbness and hate+rage and now I’m just trying to get all my friends and family to stay safe.

    The hate crimes are starting to make me want to start a communist revolution, though.

    My mom’s still in shock, Dad’s getting an exit strategy ready just in case. I’m pitching in by looking for secondary locations in case Canada is invaded.

    Best countries to run to if you’re on Trump’s enemies list or on the KKK’s hate list:
    –Denmark (wealthy, good education system)
    –Sweden (likewise)
    –Germany (wealthy, good education system–the military is weak, though, and there are some right-winger issues)
    –France (wealthy, has a supercarrier albeit not one that can take a Nimitz-class, good education system. However, it’s been the target of a lot of ISIS-related attacks)
    –Finland (has beaten Russia before, back when its military was a threat rather than a giant walking joke, wealthy, good education system, excellent vodka, very nice and friendly people for the 2 mildly warm-ish months of the year, has a lot of saunas and fjords, but the language is hard (if pretty) and the Russians are right next door).
    –New Zealand (nobody gives a shit about it, near-US standard of living, nice mountains)
    –Australia (nobody cares–downside is they have their own right-winger issues and all the wildlife wants to kill you)

    AVOID Eastern Europe. Most of the former Warsaw pact is extremely socially conservative, has active far-right groups, and is on Russia’s shit list. Likewise avoid Spain and Italy, their economies are in the shitter. India is a no-go, Modi is a Trump fan. China is too autocratic, as is Russia, which is also pro-Trump. South America and Africa are having strife and economic issues at the moment. The UK is also a risk because of the resurgence in UKIP nuts thanks to Brexit, and the Middle East is a no-go due to the ongoing conflict.

  71. I seem to remember a phrase from I think it was “Brideshead Revisited.” “It fell like a blow upon a bruise.” I had made intellectual peace with this outcome after Brexit. Smugly, I watched it go down Tuesday night. Calmly, I made ready for bed. Ten minutes after staring into the darkness, I bolted from bed, hurling cats behind me, and vomited. Again, and again and again (hadn’t had drugs, alcohol or too much food) A blow upon a bruise, indeed. Maybe two hours of sleep.

    Wednesday at work was painful, unproductive and sad. Your blog and the comments were/are a welcome lifeline. I am white, well educated and well employed. However, I work in the soon to be extinct public sector and am a woman. Trying to remember my work will still he necessary and I will probably triple my salary by contracting out my services. Yeah, that makes me feel better…

    Booked a once in a lifetime trip to Florence today. Screw the money. Birthplace of the Renaissance seems be he the best antidote to my sucking chestwound of dispair. That, and anticipating “The Collapsing Empire.”
    Keep writing, John. Everyone else, my prayers are with and for you and all of us. First time ever posting a comment, further proof of my altered state of being…

  72. I really wanted to add this to the “if you voted for Trump, you signed on to racism” thread, but OGH closed the thread before I knew of his earlier-than-usual deadline. This was too apropos a line to *not* be quoted at the website of a sci-fi author.

    “What you want is irrelevant. What you have chosen is at hand.”–Spock, in ST VI: The Undiscovered Country.

    How am *I* doing? I’m not even a US resident/citizen, but I live in a border city, so I’ll be a lot closer than some *Americans* to what’s going to unfold. If this makes me a nasty person, then so be it, but I’m thinking of taking a crack at that schadenfreude pie recipe in honor of all of those in marginalized groups–women, visible minorities, low-SES folks, gays, Jews, etc.–who still voted for the Orange Lardsack because they thought that, somehow, they would be exempt from the reaming they’re going to get, as they’re not *really* like the majority of their cohort. Trumper women in particular are going to find out just how little they’re *actually* valued by the alt-right, and exactly what it is they’re valued for. (Hint: It ain’t their brains.) And I’ll make a second one for the ones who sat this one out and didn’t vote at all–when you don’t think somebody that odious is worth standing up and being counted against, you’ve still made a choice. Sometimes people have to learn the hard way, especially when they ignore repeated and emphatic warnings.

    If I were a US resident/citizen, I’d do exactly what has been suggested by a few people above: Prepare for the midterms LAMF. Not least by helping anybody who doesn’t have the requisite ID, in states where it’s become unnecessarily necessary, to get that ID by driving them to the DMV, or whichever relevant agency, by the carload. Identifying people who would make good candidates and backing them to the hilt; the teabaggers learned this lesson early on, leaving the left wondering how the guy elected dogcatcher eight years ago in Fuckbone, Wyoming is now its junior US Senator (R). Dems historically sit on their asses during midterms for reasons that can’t be logically explained, then piss and moan about Congress constantly having Republican majorities, not to mention the majority of state legislatures in the R column. Break the cycle in 2018, and MAYBE you can keep the unchecked damage down to two years rather than four. *Don’t* wait for that 2020 census redistricting–get a head start, fer chrissake.

  73. What worries me most is seeing Kobach and other racist vote-suppression artists added to Trump’s cabinet list. I suspect the Master Plan is to engineer a form of apartheid via financial qualifications and ensure white and increasingly male rule, backed by white male militias and special police, guided by the FBI. I would like to think that protests might stop these people, but Trump is on record as saying that the Chinese government was right to crush the Tiananmen students by any means necessary. I fear he will soon apply this pattern to any and all people who challenge him. I hope I am wrong, but I see no reason to think that the GOP have any decency left – and they control all the levers of power.

  74. I’m in a relatively privileged position myself, aside from being female, BUT, I have friends and relatives and students who aren’t as secure, who could lose rights, even be in danger, in this new era. More than with past elections that have disappointed me, I’m feeling bruised and battered and very, very sad. It’s as if someone I love has died.

    I don’t know what my long term plan will be exactly, but I want to find a way to help our country to come back from this. Over 50% of Americans didn’t vote for Trump, I have to keep reminding myself. There’s still hope for us becoming the kind of culture I always thought we were moving towards being. I’m not much of a leader, though, and I hate conflict. Short term, I’ve given some money to a couple of charities that help marginalized people and am making a point of reaching out toward people I know who are more vulnerable than I am and letting them know I’m there for them.

    We’re going to have to find ways to support one another and to step in to help people who need it.

  75. I stayed up all Tuesday night until it was final. Then, I sat in shock, finally crying. I still could not shut down so stayed awake until 4 pm on Wednesday, breaking down and crying many times. I felt numb like I did when my parents and then my brother died. Then, I could only sleep four hours. Today was the same–four hours sleep in the afternoon. Both days, I had to take something to shut off my brain. Plus, I ate little then thought I should eat to sleep. I am a white woman, well-educated, 100% disabled, straight, own my home, poor, and living amongst Republicans. Only 12% in my county voted Republican. I am afraid for my adult children and teen grandchildren, two of whom are girls. My brain cannot stop thinking about the ramifications of Trump’s win. I try to put it away, but as of yet I cannot.

  76. Here is an opinion from someone who is not an american or living in the US. I’m an eastern european living in Western Europe, in one of the most liberal countries in the world.

    I think the first issue is not that Trump is president, but that he had almost 50% of the votes. Trump will be gone (dictatorship is not something that can realistically happen) in 4 to 8 years; his voters will still hold the worldview that made them vote for Trump. And sorry to say that, even if your neighbours are nice people, they still walk with racists. This, I suspect, is something that you will have trouble reconciling with.

    More to the point, this obviously doesn’t affect Europe as much as it affects the US. Probably France will turn more nationalistic. Probably here also, though I doubt it will have as large an impact as in France (people are extermely pragmatic). The impact will be in relation to Russia. Best case scenario, the statement that Trump made about NATO is enough for Russia to push in the Baltic countries. Realistic scenario is that Trump will be played by Putin (“Yes Mister Trump, you are a great and powerful man, here is some gold, see how shiny it is? What? No, those are not troops, they are just russian people on vacation in Estonia.”). I honestly believe he is stupid like that. This means my home country (not Estonia) will be in a more precarious situation.

    Personally, I expect a economic crisis that would impact the EU. We are postponing spending on upgrading the house and we are saving more. I also expect that EU leadership, instead of getting off their asses and strengthening the union, will talk and do nothing. If Greece couldn’t make them react, Trump definitely won’t.

    All in all, there are shitty days ahead.

  77. “dictatorship is not something that can realistically happen”

    It can happen all too easily – and, as the response of Preston Brooks shows you, some people are already delirious with joy at the thought. As Benjamin Franklin said: “A republic – if you can keep it.” Rome failed, the Greeks saw democracy replaced by monarchies, there have been countless dictators in human history – yes, it can realistically happen and does.

    Since you mention the European context, remember that Franco died in 1975. Not so long ago, really.

  78. Just so you understand how much faith I have in my prediction, here are some of my previous ones:

    “Brexit is not something that can realistically happen”
    “Trump will definitely not be president”

    Regarding Europe, Viktor Orban is already here. Not a dictator yet, but working on it.

  79. To people impacted by the probable repeal of the ACA: I’m horrified too, but I’d like to point out a few partial coping strategies. There are a lot of health care services, especially generic prescription drugs, that are less expensive than insurance companies would have you believe. Especially for your friend, Mark S, there are high-quality treatments for blood pressure and cholesterol that are less expensive than what he might be spending on copays right now. There are articles and websites that describe how to do this. One is here: I’m not sure it’s absolutely up to date, but it should be close. The best thing to focus on is to get his doctor to write prescriptions for inexpensive generics. Believe it or not, they’re almost always as good or better than the expensive ones.

    I understand that life without insurance is very hard, so please don’t think I’m saying that you don’t need it. A year ago I was sure the ACA would survive. Now I’m almost as sure it won’t, and I don’t know how to come to terms with that. But many of the more common chronic illnesses can be managed affordably if you’re reasonably lucky, even if you don’t have insurance. And it seems like the next few years will be about trying to find luck where you can.

  80. A lot of the things I saw months ago came true and I have not been referring to these earlier statements on social media because: I did not believe those things when I said them, not really. They were intellectually sound, but they felt abstract, nobody agreed with me and on an emotional level I really did not want them to be true.

    Another parable. Iowa bothered me. I mean on an irrational, almost emotional level. Every time I saw Iowa projected as safely Red at 538, I got a frisson of disgust and betrayal. Iowa is a true blue state. How dare it turn on us? Iowa is not even doing that badly. WTF Now I know. The reason that Iowa bothered me was because it meant that the rest of the Midwest could not possibly be as dark blue as the maps painted it. Iowa was my subconscious doing its best to imitate the Monty Python fish slapping dance. But the fins whiffed.

    This whole year was one big Iowa for a lot of us. One sees something obvious. One remarks. All the people in your social bubble either shout you down or gently persuade you or ignore you. One says, “hey, I guess I did not really see that. I am just a depressed angry jerk with no grasp on the real world. I need to get my bearings and rethink my attitude.”

    Getting the answer right and not being able to convince anyone is almost as bad as being wrong, maybe worse, from a political perspective.

    Not sure what the right response to the world is today. Is it time to challenge conventional beliefs on the “left” or to circle the wagons round what’s left of the Democratic establishment? It feels like a very personal decision.

  81. embertine — Indeed.

    I was on an SSRI for about 4 years to help manage stress. My problem was anxiety, not depression, but antidepressants are used for both. When I (semi-)retired earlier this year, I tapered off them.

    As I contemplate the future, I can feel that an SSRI may be in my future again. Assuming I’ll be able to afford it after Obamacare is gutted.

  82. Went through a process similar to you, John. I was up for about 36 hours as well, feeling gut-clenching feelings kind of like what I felt on September 11, 2001. Actually went to work and tried to survive on intermittent catnaps. Then crashed early and slept for a long time, woke up feeling much better and more angry than numb.

    Last night, my daughter and I went to a fundraiser at a local restaurant for her dance studio. I was sitting there surrounded by all these happy little girls, many of them black and brown little girls, wondering how much they knew what was going on and wondering what was going to become of them.

    I still don’t know whether this is anything we can resolve through normal political channels (will the spectacular failures of Trumpism, say, lead to a bunch of state houses finally flipping Democratic, which could be a basis for something more?), or if US democracy as we know it is just permanently busted and we’ll need to wait out a few decades of violent authoritarian rule and survive however we can. Trying to maintain both possibilities in my head at the same time and think how to pursue the implications simultaneously. Suspect African-Americans might have a lot to say about how to do this.

  83. I’m very angry about the result of the election. I should not have been as surprised as I was considering I am originally from Kansas and I know how bad many of the voters are at voting for a good candidate rather than voting their party or for the small number of issues they care about. This is worse in some ways since I live abroad and can’t do much to help my immediate family with their problems let alone do anything about this political stuff.

    I just have to hope that Obama and the Democratic leaders thought through the bills like the ACA well enough to make it tough to repeal without damaging the GOP enough that they won’t follow through. And that enough Americans are willing to fight for the rights of minorities that the bigots who want to take them away will fail.

    Religious conservatives care a great deal about abortion, for example, but don’t care as much about Dodd-Frank or even gay marriage as you’d think. There are other divides in the GOP that can be exploited as well. It’s going to be a hard fought term and we won’t win every battle but we can win some, and maybe more than you’d expect.

  84. Definitely, if they’re hurting, help if you can. “I told you so” isn’t going to do any good at that point. My problem is I’m an old biology teacher, and the question you get wrong on the exam is the one you never forget the right answer to, and it seems like there should be some opportunities for illumination in there somewhere.

    You’re right though. Worry about it if happens. Not very likely.

  85. Gigi, I’m with you on the predictions. (Sounds like you’re living in Holland :))

    We also got our second sight at the same discount store. I’m with you on this too:

    “Just so you understand how much faith I have in my prediction, here are some of my previous ones:

    “Brexit is not something that can realistically happen”
    “Trump will definitely not be president”

  86. Well. I’m pleased for all of you that feel you will be ok. But how ok are you going to be without clean water and breathable air? ? Or when poorly vetted medicines and such come on the market Do you also have your own underground bunkers stocked with food and other necessities? This is not sarcasm–would really like to know.

  87. Yes, from the Netherlands (they get mildly annoyed when you call it Holland). Regarding the prediction, I realised the stupidity of it right after I clicked Post. It seems pattern recognition is not something I can put on my resume.

  88. Mostly in the same situation as you John. I’m angry over all the harm that will come when the ACA gets repealed and at all the empowering that the racists seem to be feeling.
    I renewed my ACLU membership and am trying to think of ways to help get through this. Two years until the midterm election in which hopefully the Senate can be Democratic. Hopefully the more liberal Supremes can hold out until then.

  89. As a member of the LGBTQ community I’m extremely worried. My anxiety levels are over 9,000 and not sure what to do next. Seeing reports of pride flags being burned on people’s doorsteps and nasty messages being left on cars. Although better off than some, I don’t have the resources to immediately up and leave. Maybe some countries will start offering asylum.

  90. Wow, I’m having the same reaction. Although my fight-or-flight reaction is flight. I have to find a place to move my family that fits in more to my belief structure than what America has become. I’m done living in an idiot red area that doesn’t believe in facts or science, and need to find a place that actually gives a shit about the future generations so my children can thrive.

    Is it California? I don’t know. Is it Europe? Or do I head to Costa Rica?

    I hear a lot of my friends consider this a call to arms, that the fight will begin, but I honestly don’t see the light at the end of this particular tunnel. After seeing the results of this election, the savages have won. There’s no converting these idiots into actual rational thought. Where are the gains going to come from? Are we going to convince the ignorant rednecks with facts? They’ve proven immune to that.

    What America will result from republican control of ALL HOUSES of the government? There is no insurgence. We have been marginalized and have absolutely no power any longer. The real question is do we escape before they come for us, or we die because we lose health insurance, or the seas rise? Germany couldn’t overthrow Hitler themselves. Will there be anyone left to liberate us?

  91. Hey, @scalzi, just thought I’d pop by because this might be important to you, I don’t know:

    Are you aware of jury nullification?

    Basically a jury can find someone not guilty, even if they’re guilty, if they think the law is unjustly applied.

    Never let the prosecution know you’re aware of this, or you won’t have a shot at getting on the jury.

    But be aware of it.

    Just a PSA, in case you hadn’t heard.

    I have the sinking feeling that it’ll be extremely relevant for the next two, four, eight, or twenty years.


  92. Maryann, that is why I left my country.
    To explain: I was in a good position. Well paying, stable job. Homeowner. Nice place in the country to spend the weekends. Friends and family – all there. More than enough money to define my immediate environment as I see fit. My bunker was safe and stocked.
    However, at one point you realise that a bunker is not enough. You open the windows, gasoline air gets in. You get out of the house and step in dog shit while trying to not get run over by a car on the sidewalk. You spend a few hours in traffic. You do not drink the water if you don’t want kidney stones. The percentage of grey vs green that you see each day is depressing.
    These are things you can’t change alone, no matter how much money you throw at them. Partly because you never actually have that much money, partly because other people need to cooperate by at least not messing them up after they are changed. So you either try to convince people or you leave.

  93. My wish is for someone to now record these perceived issues and threats with a Trump Potus and then fairly evaluate actual results in 6 months, a year etc. to track what actually transpires. I predict that the extreme concerns expressed here will not materialize. I suspect that Trump will turn out to be much more of a moderate in many areas.

    I would say the MSM should do this, but their biased diatribe against Trump’s every move will be even worse than is was back during the last Bush term. (The difference will likely be that, unlike Bush, Trump will not just ignore the MSM’s attack .. this should be interesting to experience!)

  94. I think Trump should ask his loyal supporters to ALL get tattoos on their foreheads, to wit: “I Voted TRUMP”!

    Then we would know when we were around a fascist…

  95. I had to consume large quantities of alcohol (half a bottle of something we had in the house) to sleep election night (passed out around 5 or 6 am). I started drinking beers around 6pm the next day so I’d be drunk enough to sleep at a normal hour that night. I cant watch the news. I cant do NPR.

    I feel a horrendous wave of nausea, at the thought of how this will affect people close to me, the nation, the economy, or even if Donald will do something so stupid as use nukes.

    I also feel sick knowing so many people who gladly embraced bigotry and fascism. People I know who have been posting about Obama being born in Kenya, and how all lives matter, are now insisting there is not a shred of racism in their vote for trump.

    Its like I went to bed and woke up in the middle of the night to find everyone around me is a werewolf. I knew there was latent racism all around, but I didnt think it was bad enough to go for trump. I know so many people who embraced our new hitler and I can barely function right now. How do you even respond to that?

    I feel like we probably turned the clock back to Reagan, and the damage will last another 20 or 30 years to correct, once you take into account scotus appointments and decisions, landmark legislation that they are going to overturn, etc.

    I used to have faith in humanity that overall it tends towards making things better. I knew there were individuals who wanted to burn the place down, but I thought they were a shrinking minority. But now it feels like a huge wave of people just happily embraced a 50 year regression in progress. I can remember that feeling of faith in humanity i had, but now it seems so, so, so naive.

    Whats the point of making incremental improvements if we’ll always have these kind of shotstorms? Whats the point of building a better world if we are surrounded by pyromaniacs who simply dont care about their fellow man and are willing to burn the whole world down?

  96. I’m with you on the not eating. I’ve been picking at my meals and putting away a lot more leftovers; there’s really only food in front of me because my kids (ages 2 and 5) need to eat their meals too. I normally love to cook, but all of my CSA produce has just been wilting in the fridge. My husband, who usually eats too much anyway, hasn’t had much of an appetite either. I did think, with dark humor, that this was probably for the best, given that I tend to eat a bit too much of the kids’ Halloween candy every year. Not this year.

    I’m coming down slowly from the freakout, though, and settling back into a state of heightened caution. I’ve lived two places in my adult life: a very red state and a very blue state. When I moved to the blue state, everything just relaxed for me; I didn’t automatically assume, for instance, that if I got into an altercation with a white male, the white male’s word would be believed over mine. Basically, I had the luxury of assuming that society had my back.

    Now, even though I’m still living in the blue state and nothing has actually changed for me, I’m finding myself in the tense ready-for-flight attitude in which I lived my entire existence in the red state. It’s an unpleasant experience, for sure, and it breaks my heart that my children might have to learn to live like this as well.

  97. Gary: “My wish is for someone to now record these perceived issues and threats”

    Thats already done. Trumps campaign promises are recorded in video and text right now. Either he fulfills on his promises, or somehow enough people stand up to him that he breaks those promises.

    If Trump turns out to be not as bad as he said, it will because he was forced down by good people, not because he campaigned on fascism but was secretly progressive. If it turns out that Trump is not as bad as his campaign promises, Trump doesnt get any credit for that, Trump voters dont get ay credit for that. The people who stand up to him will get credit for that.

    Leave it to a Trumper to want to give Trump credit for not doing every horrible fascist thing he promised to do.

  98. And again, the Maya Angelou quote keeps running through my mind. “When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.” I believe Trump, the GOP, and their adherents are precisely whom they have said they are and whom they have shown themselves to be.

  99. Many of my symptoms echo yours. Good to hear I’m not the only one who gets quiet when I’m freaked out.

    The biggest issue for me is I keep waiting now for the other shoe to drop. What is the other shoe? Who knows? There are so many possibilities from likely (ending of Obamacare and many other programs that help those in need) to the less likely (millions deported) to the at best, very remotely likely (the end the world or at least democracy in America. The problem with fears is, especially the worst of them pray on your brain as this sociopath takes office and installs others intent on doing harm to our country and our planet.

  100. I had the “we’ll be okay” conversation with my 14-year-old daughter at midnight on Tuesday night, when we both realized that Trump was going to win and she was upset and scared. She said, “I know we’ll be okay, Dad. I’m worried about the people who won’t be.”

    So thanks, Trump. In the midst of all the miserable fear and hate you’ve created, you showed me I’ve got a pretty good kid.

  101. One other thing worth noting. Trump is not like Reagan or Bush. He is far, far, worse and is surrounding himself with people far worse. Even some of the right-wing Republicans are scared.

  102. First thing is to take care of myself. I have no idea what will be coming, but no matter what it is I’ll be better off the healthier I am. So I got real serious about getting back in the best shape/health I can be. I won’t match my 20-something Airborne Ranger self from 40 years ago, but I can be the best 60+ guy I can be.

    Don’t know what will happen financially, but more resources are always better than fewer. Cancelled satellite radio for my vehicles and Netflix, downgraded my cable and phone plans, and cut off all non-essential spending. I can put away more cash in the bank than I have been, and have begun doing so immediately. Killed off plans for the deck extension/pergola we were going to do next year. (The snacks, sodas, and other junk/nonessential food along with meals out I was eating that I’m not now will also contribute to the cutback in spending.) More cash is better. (And yes, I do recognize the irony of what I’m doing. If many others do so the resulting decrease in demand will lead to the very situation–a significantly depressed economy–I’m preparing for.)

    I want to protect my investments, to the extent I can. Trump is a blank slate economically, where you can write whatever message you want on him and no one can tell you you’re wrong. I went from somewhat aggressive to highly conservative in my investments yesterday, pulled almost entirely out of the stock market and ran to safe conservative investments (although if Trump is willing to default on T-Bills as he mused about doing one there’s probably nothing safe except bags of rice, beans and flour in the basement). Might be a lifestyle thing, being in my 60s and wanting to protect my retirement investment/savings, but I’ll feel much less stress in the looming future knowing that my financial future isn’t going to rise and fall in a day’s time based on what an uninformed, ignorant-and-proud-of-it charlatan twitters.

    Help my neighbors. I live in a swing state that ultimately went for Trump, but I live in a pretty blue portion. I can let my LGBT, Muslim/foreign, and minority neighbors and friends know that I (and many others) have got their back without being patronizing.

    Staying away from news; this is the first time I’ve turned on my computer since the election, and it’s going off after this post. Same with the TV–haven’t watched news report or a cable news channel since late Tuesday when the election results became apparent. With a Republican Presidency, House, and Senate there’s not much I can do politically, so I’m not going to make myself crazy following every twist and turn, rumor and supposition, over the next few months. There’s nothing I can do about that, so I’ll focus on dealing with what I can. (Like Paul Simon wrote a long time ago, right now “I can gather all the news I need on the weather report.”)

  103. I’m still grieving. On a personal level, I’m likely to be OK. I’m a woman, so that’s against me, and I’m half-black, so that’s against me–but I look white, and that’s probably good enough for Colorado, where most people share my views. And my field is female-dominated, particularly at my home office.

    I’m also engaged to a white man who’s a software engineer. We both voted for Clinton, but I had a much stronger reaction to Trump winning than he did. (Him: playing blues guitar night-of. Me: crying at regular intervals for the past 60 hours.) Particularly through my online circles, I think I know a lot more people than he does who are likely to be negatively impacted by a Trump administration. Who very rightly fear for their and their loved ones’ safety.

    But grief is starting to shift to anger and determination. I’m still sorting out what I can actually do to help my friends and keep them safe. But I know the answer to that question is not “nothing.”

  104. Read following report to learn how a single mom was able to make $89,854/year in her spare time on her computer without selling anything.>>>>>> MomJob70.Tk

  105. Eight years ago, some friends were called racists and bigots for voting for an inexperienced politician from Illinois. Those same friends are now being called racists and bigots and worse for voting for an inexperienced politician from New York that they see as helping them get back the jobs they lost under Obama. I don’t believe they voted out of a sense of hate or bigotry in either case, but simply out of a hope for change that would improve their lives and their community. They don’t feel they got it the last eight years, so they changed instead.

    No sense bitchin’ now; the barn door is open. Mostly, I just try to get a good night’s sleep and go to work every morning while avoiding all the new protestors. As Obama said, the sun will still rise each day and there’s work to be done.

  106. Spoon: “they see as helping them get back the jobs they lost under Obama.”

    Unemployment was cut in half under obama. They’re lying to take on oppressed victim status.

  107. The thing that’s got me, at this point, and I really don’t know the answer to is…

    What do we do with a country where, no matter who is elected president, 45% of the country will feel like strangers in their homeland? How do you go anywhere from that?

    (It doesn’t help that these people broadly don’t live in the same places, of course.)

  108. Scott Morizot: The Angelou quote I’ve been remember is “Still I Rise”–someone posted in on my FB page on Wednesday, and I’ve been rereading it compulsively. For whatever comfort might be found, here is a link: Still I Rise

  109. The link doesn’t look like it works, but it does, I promise–or if you can’t get it to work, just google “Angelou Still Rise” and click on the link to the Poetry Foundation.

  110. I still think Trump won in spite of his racist anti-Muslim rhetoric. He won because he was able to acknowledge the fears and problems of a lot of Americas, and he said that he had a plan for fixing them, and it would be beautiful. All that hope and change for Obama got redirected to Trump, although many of the people who voted for hope and change in 2008 were not this year’s Trump voters.

    At the same time, Clinton was not a candidate for hope and change, she was the candidate for more of the same. Bill had it right when he commented on Obamacare, in many ways, it is broken, but it’s broken because the Republicans in Congress wouldn’t let it be fixed, and knew that this was one of their chances to have the Democrats kicked out. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention, but I never heard Hillary have a campaign speech or debate question where she said “here’s what we need to fix with Obamacare and how we’re going to do it, and if you don’t elect me and the Democrats to Congress, you’re going to lose keeping insurance for your kids, for pre-existing conditions, for businesses too small to be of interest to the big insurance companies, and if we don’t also start looking at price controls on the health care providers, and the drug companies, insurance prices are going to go up because that’s where the price increase pressures are coming from.”

    Also, even though automation is probably the biggest threat to blue collar manufacturing jobs, it was much easier for Trump to claim it’s all the fault of bad treaties that she or Bill was involved in the making of (even though it’s not true, Bill signed NAFTA which was negotiated by Bush the elder and passed by Congress, and it’s rare that a President is going to junk a treaty even under those circumstances), and cheating by foreign countries. Clinton needed to provide alternatives to help small and large businesses start or grow, especially in the rust belt, and she didn’t give them that message loud and clear.

    Finally, not only did she have 25 years of baggage from false claims by Republicans, she also continually blew her responses for her email server, the questionable interactions between her as Secretary of State and her family foundation (even though she wasn’t running it), and the shenanigans of the DNC made it that much harder for people to trust her. This was her election to lose, and she never figured out how to respond to the fears and anger and problems, and a lot of the people she counted on to vote for her just stayed home.

  111. I’m with you, John, in that sense that I’d like very much to be proven wrong about Trump and the GOP. I keep praying that maybe, just maybe, one or two genuinely good things might come about under their watch. But that doesn’t give me much comfort, nor will it comfort my LGBT friends or my relatives from Mexico. And it doesn’t help me when I (a Latino who passes for white) get to sit by and hear certain Facebook friends lump together all Mexicans as criminals who’ll “get what’s coming to them” in their online Trump victory lap.

  112. I have been pretty hopeless since the election. I don’t see how anyone can think things will be ok when you already have Paul Ryan saying they will privatize Medicare when they repeal the ACA. It looks like the Dreamers might be number two on the deportation list and will probably actually be number one since the government knows where they live and don’t know where the criminals are. And look who Trump is going to appoint to government positions. Deadly combinations of evil and incompetence.

    The climate denial alone dooms us.

  113. The Saudis just called HRC
    They want their money back.
    I know those of you who voted for her are hurting, but come on guys, get a grip! It’s not the end of the world.

  114. Richard H

    There is no source, but the people flogging it knew that all along. I am falling back on tried and trusted methods of stress relief, viz pictures of kittens and ‘Making of the Hobbit’ videos, in between rereading some of my favourite books…

  115. Stevie:

    Thanks for the reassurance. :)

    Myself, I’m avoiding the “Doom!” articles in favor of the “the fight isn’t over” articles.

  116. Mary Frances: Thank you for that poem. As my friends and I watched the results come in on Tuesday we ended up reciting poetry and Shakespeare. I will suggest Langston Huges’ “Harlem” (also known as “What happens to a dream deferred?”).

    OMW504: It very well might be the end of the world, fast via ICBMs, or slow via climate change.

  117. OWM 504: if our new dear leader gets us into a nuclear war, it will be the end of the world. Otherwise we just wait for the inevitable climate feedback loops – such as massive methane release from melting permafrost – to kick in.
    Until then let the grifting begin. The press never really reported on the scale of the financial games the banks played until the crash, and then they blamed – poor people taking loans pursuant to a statute that had been on the books since the 1970’s.(I am a lawyer who worked on litigation related to the bank bailouts. I know whereof which I speak.)
    I have been so enraged all week that a friend started recommending antidepressants. I am thinking she might be right.

  118. This just in from Uncle Screwtape: “Make sure to keep the patient in a constant state of angst, frustration, and general disdain towards the rest of the human race in order to avoid any kind of charity or inner peace from further developing.”

    I never did like Uncle Screwtape very much . . .

  119. Lastly , I am Sooooo relieved that Clinton was turned back. I was so afraid that her militaristic bent would get us involved in a shooting war with Russia over Syria and/or other hot spots. I feared my relatives would be ‘called up’! Another fear was our country being over-run by 100’s and 100’s of thousands of illegal aliens who would freely arrive and sap what’s left of our economy and jobs. With no real vetting of this arrival of people, my family would be seriously threatened by the very real flow of criminals as part of this open border. I would have to rush and arm up for self defense before it was declared illegal to do so. My retirement income would be seriously impacted by the many additional taxes that she would enact. Her likely pay to play income for the Clinton Foundation money machine from a number of non-ally countries would probably end up with some form of black-mail against her and there for US. Her demonstrated lack of attention to routine protection of security information would mean we have no secrets … kinda like an open book on our security info. Her sexist and accused rapist husband living in the White-House would legitimize this behavior and I fear for my female relatives to be in open society around males. And so it goes …

    Whew!!! I know what many of you feel here. I dodged the bullet on this election!

  120. I feel like it’s going to still take some time for this to go away. I felt numb and going through the motions that night/morning at work after the elections. I still do. I’m trying to figure out what I can do on my end.

    Another thing is that I’m of mixed race (white and hispanic) and the problem is some people think I look white and others think I look hispanic. True, I live in a liberal state (CA), but I have been stopped before at night by the cops because I fit the ‘stereotype’ (and this was all before this happened). So I now have to be more cautious than before.

    But mostly I think what is stressing me out more is the fact that I fear for this country. The USA is in trouble.

    I’m sure I’ll get to a point where I’ll be in the ‘normal’ zone again (maybe my b-day next week will help). Until then (and after) I’ll keep up the good fight. (Maybe this will finally push me to write my novel I’ve been putting off for all of those short stories I’ve been working on.)

    Thanks for being there, John.

  121. I’ve bounced back from disbelief and depression pretty quickly myself. But I’m a eternal optimist and I keep hoping it won’t be that bad. I do get some pretty intense waves of anger though. I’m trying to hang on to that anger, so I can harness it for the hard work we have ahead to protect people.

    I have some friends who are losing their minds though. They’re regularly suggesting suicide. That worries me a lot. The ones that have been able to use the ACA to get their health under control and seriously considering emigration. I can’t blame them. If they can’t stay and fight, then I’ll miss them.

    I think the first 100 days will give us a clearer picture of what’s up. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  122. Truth really doesnt matter to people, does it?

    I dont know if I will ever really grok that on a visceral level.

  123. John Scalzi: you’ve had a few spams get through today in a couple of threads, like placii1564 @:
    November 11, 2016 at 3:53 pm.

  124. I have alternated between apathy and rage since Tuesday. I should get off Facebook for a while, because the mealy-mouthed Good Christians on my feed trigger my rage by saying we have to give him a chance.

    So, this guy told me he was going to firebomb a school and pick off the survivors with a rifle as they flee. But, he hasn’t done it yet.

    I think we should give him a chance.

    Sure, he SOUNDED serious, like he was promising, but he hasn’t DONE anything yet. That I know of.

    So, give him a chance.

    I mean, I don’t go to school, so *I’M* not going to get hurt.

    Give him a chance.

    He probably won’t REALLY do it.

    Give him a chance.

    Maybe he won’t.


  125. Hey, don’t be so hard on the spammers. Those might be the best jobs available starting very soon. I’m kicking myself for deleting the email I got last week from a very nice Nigerian gentleman.

  126. It should be interesting to see whether the Republicans in Congress will be willing to pass a trillion dollar infrastructure bill for Trump when they refused to do so for Obama. I think you’re far more likely to get a job from that than your Nigerian acquaintance.

  127. This is in response to the last posting; if inappropriate, my apologies. Those kind, good people (and I do believe they are there; I know at least one personally) who voted for Trump: I wonder if they will be able to see any of the negative consequences of their choice, and if they do, how they will respond to that.

    Oh yes, and: I too am having trouble eating in reaction to the stress. But eating proper food (if even a little bit) does help, I am rediscovering.

    Mr. Scalzi, I hope I can work up to “Bring it,” too.

  128. I don’t much appreciate you Mr.Scalzi because on more controversial and important articles you say to behave and leave opinions yet you close off comments sections.

  129. Three thoughts:

    1. You know yourself best. One commenter already mentioned a friend who committed suicide rather than face the prospect of dealing with her health problems without insurance and go into debt and possibly bankruptcy. If you are feeling overwhelmed–even if it’s not suicidally overwhelmed–and the suggestion to get involved with the ACLU, or start campaigning in local elections, or be bold enough on social media that you might attract hatred and personal attacks feels like impossible pressure: just take care of yourself first.

    If you need someone’s permission to take a breather and take care of yourself before jumping into action–or, even if you know there are some kinds of action that would put you at too much mental and emotional risk to handle, and you want permission to forgo it entirely: you have mine. As a queer, disabled and chronically ill young woman, and just as a friend in the crowd: you aren’t letting me down if you’re not up for fighting. You aren’t letting me down if you can’t afford to donate to causes. Sometimes, all a person can do is take care of themselves and comfort those around them, and they are just as brave as the people who are protesting and volunteering and posting information.

    Mainly posting this because I just had an irl conversation with a friend suffering from *extreme* activist burnout and feeling like that makes her weak, and it’s like, no. Self-care is not weak. Avoiding news for a while isn’t weak or willful ignorance. It’s re-charging and regrouping, and that’s okay.

    2. MIDTERM ELECTIONS ARE IN 2018. If we can get the Democrats to take back the House in 2018 (a mere two years from now!) we can stop all passage of regressive laws from that point on. We unfortunately won’t be able to prevent a Supreme Court nomination to replace Scalia; *however!* replacing conservative Scalia with another Conservative just brings us back to where we were before–the court that legalized gay marriage. Knock on wood that no other Justices die or retire before 2018, and the Supreme Court will be on lock. 2018! Midterms are less glamourous, but are, legally speaking, more important overall! So, if you ARE interested in supporting a specific candidate’s campaign, you might want to start soon.

    3. Much love to everyone here, Scalzi and everyone else. A few liberal commenters are arguing still about Clinton versus Sanders, or the latest DNC-courruption-Wikileaks reveal. Here’s the thing: the contest is no longer Clinton versus Sanders. That is done. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is no longer head of the DNC and, more vitally, the DNC is much, MUCH less relevant in Midterm elections. I am all for taking time to heal before pushing oneself to move forward, but that healing process shouldn’t involve dwelling on DNC corruption, or on the merits of two candidates who are not running for anything anymore. Instead, I urge you to come back together, as one party, and unite around the liberal and Democratic candidates who are running for the House of Representatives and the Senate.

    Thank you. I hope everyone has a goon night.

  130. Luis, sometime earlier this year, OGH was taking it easy with online activities what with lots of travel and deadlines for a new book decided to have this blog AUTOMATICALLY close all comments after two days. This was to save himself the headaches of moderating while he didn’t have time to actively police misbehaving commentators.

    He found this new arrangement much more congenial and decided that it would new policy for here.

    You should note that while comments are open he generally takes a hands-off policy unless a comment steps over the line.

  131. So. I tried to discuss my reaction tonight with my soon to be 20 year old daughter and again found myself reduced to tears.
    I can’t even talk about it. I’m a 51 year old white man. That’s fucking ridiculous.

  132. I know of five suicides in the past two days.

    I personally intervened in another one tonight.

    It’s a long road ahead.

  133. I know of many LGBT, African Americans and women who have been menaced, harassed and threatened since Tuesday. The forces of hate and intolerance has been legitimized and unleashed and it will take at least a generation to repair? I don’t even think ‘repair’ is the right word.
    I’ve had people tell me to just get over it. I wonder how easily they would have ‘gotten over it’ had Clinton been elected? I just need the time and space to step back, lick my wounds and regroup. I will begin to look at my options and see what I can do to protect those that need protecting and do whatever I can to ensure that my rights as a woman are impacted as little as possible.
    Like you John, me and mine will be fine. I fear for my friends who truly understand what has been unleashed. There is no where for them to hide.

  134. Is there a program to get a personal trainer and dietician to Ruth Bader Ginsburg? Maybe an “Adopt a Judge” health program?

  135. Greg, sadly RBG looks like she was just slightly warmed up, given a blood transfusion, and dumped into her seat. She looks fantastic for age, however, her age is quite advanced at this point. Statistically speaking she has a better than even chance of being forced into retirement this term.

  136. Greg: while the official national unemployment may have been cut in half, there were many work sectors (such as manufacturing) and parts of the country (in almost every state) where the unemployment rate was much, much higher than the “official” rate, and it just wasn’t recovering well in those areas. Not necessarily Obama’s fault, but a long term effect of policies on the state and national levels that increased minimum wages, increased taxes, and provided unfunded mandates that absolutely kill small businesses (who employ the large majority of workers), small towns and cities, and working families. Not a surprise to me that such people wanted something new in the White House.

  137. To get back to the original topic of the thread (how are we doing):

    My wife: heartbroken. She was heavily invested in both Hillary Clinton the person and Hillary Clinton the symbol. So she took a beating on both counts.

    Me: apprehensive, on several levels.

    I’m nervous about our personal future. I retired a few years early. Thanks to Obamacare there was reasonable individual health insurance we could use until Medicare kicks in. OK, that’s gone. And although we have enough resources to retire, we don’t have time to recover from another wild ride on the stock market. My feeling is that the next global financial crisis just moved a whole lot closer.

    I’m nervous for people who don’t have my advantages. I’m white, male, straight, and nominally Christian. I probably won’t get kicked out of the country.

    I’m nervous for and about Trump’s supporters. The rocks under which the alt-right has been hiding have been turned over and ideas which should fade into nothingness in the light have instead been legitimized.

    But what of the many good people who voted for Trump? In a way, Trump 2016 was the obverse of Obama 2008. With little track record in the public sphere, both were blank screens on which people could project their hopes and fears.

    People who legitimately felt that the recovery (such as it was) had passed them by anointed a champion of the forgotten little guy: a (supposed) billionaire who aggressively manipulates the system to make sure that someone else always gets the short end of the stick, and is loudly proud of this. Even for someone as cynical as me, the irony is breathtaking.

    Maybe “deeply fearful” is more appropriate.

  138. To get back to the original topic of the thread (how are we doing)

    My wife: heartbroken. She was heavily invested in both Hillary Clinton the person and Hillary Clinton the symbol. So she took a beating on both counts.

    Me: apprehensive, on several levels.

    I’m nervous about our personal future. I retired a few years early. Thanks to Obamacare there was reasonable individual health insurance we could use until Medicare kicks in. OK, that’s gone. And although we have enough resources to retire, we don’t have time to recover from another wild ride on the stock market. My feeling is that the next global financial crisis just moved a whole lot closer.

    I’m nervous for people who don’t have my advantages. I’m white, male, straight, and nominally Christian. I probably won’t get kicked out of the country.

    I’m nervous for and about Trump’s supporters. The rocks under which the alt-right has been hiding have been turned over and ideas which should fade into nothingness in the light have instead been legitimized.

    But what of the many good people who voted for Trump? In a way, Trump 2016 was the obverse of Obama 2008. With little track record in the public sphere, both were blank screens on which people could project their hopes and fears.

    People who legitimately felt that the recovery (such as it was) had passed them by anointed a champion of the forgotten little guy: a (supposed) billionaire who aggressively manipulates the system to make sure that someone else always gets the short end of the stick, and is loudly proud of this. Even for someone as cynical as me, the irony is breathtaking.

    Maybe “deeply fearful” is more appropriate.

  139. Sorry about the double-posting, there was a WordPress login hiccup.

    Spoon’s comment overlaps mine. When something isn’t working, you hit the reset button.
    – When hitting the reset button doesn’t work, you cycle power.
    – When cycling power doesn’t work, you throw it across the room.

    In this case, hitting the reset button will only release a gust of hot air. I’m not sure what the analogies are for the next two steps. I expect that we will find out.

    An airplane was about to crash. There were 4 passengers on board but only 3 parachutes.
    The 1st passenger said, “I am Steph Curry, the best NBA basketball player. The Golden State Warriors and my millions of fans need me, and I can’t afford to die.” So he took the 1st pack and left the plane.
    The 2nd passenger, Donald Trump, said, “I am the newly elected US President, and I am the smartest President in American history, so my people don’t want me to die.” He took the 2nd pack and jumped out of the plane.
    The 3rd passenger, the Pope, said to the 4th passenger, a 10 year old schoolboy, “My son, I am old and don’t have many years left, you have more years ahead so I will sacrifice my life and let you have the last parachute.” The little boy said, “That’s okay, Your Holiness, there’s a parachute for you. America’s smartest President took my schoolbag.”

  141. lgmerriman: Unfortunately, Trump gets to pick any Supreme Court nominees through 2020, not 2018. If Trump does poorly enough that the Democrats retake the Senate, there’s now precedent that any vacancies in an election year don’t have to be considered by the Senate.

    spoon: Don’t expect Trump to bring back manufacturing in the way that it was. If he’s able to bring it back at all, it will probably be much more automated, there will be fewer new jobs, and the people who got laid off when it went away probably won’t have the skills needed to get rehired.

  142. @Bruce: Manufacturing is back in the US. It’s not employing many people, for the exact reason you mentioned.

  143. I’m not sure what bothers me more, Trump, or talk of Newt Gingrich back near the levers of power. Gingrich has been poisoning US politics since the Clinton administration. Him I detest more than Trump, Hillary or even Liz Warren.

  144. I understand John’s sentiment, but disagree with the name-calling. Name-calling (racist! sexist! homophobic!) will not persuade one person – ever – to change their mind. It just puts them on the defensive and pisses them off, and no more words are heard. So, if you want to continue to pursue that strategy, John, knock yourself out, but you’re just singing to the applause of your echo chamber while further alienating the people you want to bring over to your side.

  145. You mean if somebody IS a racist, we shouldn’t say so? That’s–well, silly, at best. Disingenuous, at worst. What should we call a racist, then? Or a homophobe, or a sexist?

  146. Mary Frances: “You mean if somebody IS a racist, we shouldn’t say so? That’s–well, silly, at best. Disingenuous, at worst. What should we call a racist, then? Or a homophobe, or a sexist?”

    Well you did say so. So did John. So did many commenters on this blog and in the media and elsewhere. This happened repeatedly and intensely for the better of part of two years!

    And let’s not forget the reflexive charges Fascist and Nazi .

    Metaphorically speaking, you shouted Racist when Trump took the bait and got trolled hard for his remarks about Captain Khan’s parents.

    You shouted Sexist when woman after woman stepped forward (in orchestrated fashion) to accuse Trump of being a creep.

    And in the end, what difference did it make?

    The Game has changed. The standard social shaming tactics of the American Left failed. And they will likely continue to fail.

    How can we know this with certainty? Because Donald J. Trump is the President-Elect of the United States of America.

  147. Pedro: “Social shaming tactics”? Okay. Look, I’m not going to argue this any more after this comment, because the three of us are about to take the thread off-topic, but. (Not saying you shouldn’t respond; your choice, obviously. Just warning you that I won’t respond in turn.) Words have denotations–objective meaning. Not a Trump Supporter said that calling someone a racist was name-calling, by which I took to mean an insult, a cause for offense. In my opinion, “racist” is an insult only if that person is not a racist. If he is a racist, then it’s a description. I’m not using the word in the hopes of changing the racist’s mind. Refraining from telling him what I believe he is–or from saying that I believe someone is a racist, in general–isn’t likely to make anyone less a racist. If someone asks, “why do you think I’m a racist?” I’ll point to actions and statements he’s made. If he can answer me with evidence/logical argument that those statements and actions aren’t racist, then I’ll concede that he isn’t one. Otherwise–well, keeping silent doesn’t exactly change people’s minds, either. In my experience, in fact, keeping silent or ignoring a particular problem tends instead to lead people to believe that I agree with them.

    My point is, I don’t think I can call someone out for racist actions or statements without acknowledging that those actions or statements are racist–and hence the person is demonstrating that he is a racist. If the actions and statements aren’t racist, then what is wrong with them?

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