The better part of a month and a half has passed. Yet it feels both like 500 years and no time at all. It’s still painful to think about the course this election took and to be honest, even my best attempts at self-care (half hearted though I suppose they’ve been) haven’t really helped. I don’t even know what to think anymore. Somewhere I hoped it would be easier, that eventually it wouldn’t be as painful, not that he won but that she lost. But like a breakup with America, I can’t help but feel like I’m stuck in a horrible horrible dream. All I want to do is lay in bed eating chocolate ice cream and watching sappy romantic movies. Only I haven’t been broken up with, and I can’t afford to do either of those things.
I don’t know if there has ever been a time where people were more heartbroken over an election. It seems almost ludicrous to say. And I’m sure many think we should just get over it. But it isn’t that simple, because this isn’t a small thing. The vague possibility of some woman in the future being our president gives me no comfort in the now. No amount of it gets better style promises make me feel comforted. If anything, this event almost makes it gets better laughable on it’s face. A while ago I argued, on my blog that the project while good intentioned simply wasn’t good enough as it did nothing to address the problems people were facing in the moment. And as we sit on the precipice of our nightmare come true one can’t help but realize that this feeling is more true than ever.
We need more than to know that some day in the future a female president is possible, we deserved it now, almost 3 million people certainly thought so. In the grand scheme of American population that seems rather small, but three million is almost double the population of Manhattan and just under the population of Los Angeles. Three million is A LOT of people to win an election by. It’s unprecedented in our history. For clarity note that in Bush/Gore Al Gore won the popular vote by less than 550,000 people. The next closest was Tilden/Hayes who won Popular by 252,000 adding those up you still don’t get to where we are now. In fact if you added up all 4 cases in which a candidate won the popular vote but didn’t take office, the four other losses you still would not even equal the amount Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by. You’d still be -1,935,741 people. That is how unprecedented this is. And if that doesn’t piss you off, I don’t know what will.
The only thing I can hope to do is look ahead to 2018 though that really doesn’t comfort me as much as it should. If the time between November and December has felt like an eternity, and he hasn’t even taken office yet, one can imagine the next two years, let alone the next four would feel even longer. I’d like so much to be in the position that some in power find themselves where they can afford to simply ‘give him a chance’ but being transgender, means I don’t have such a luxury. The LGBTQIA community is my family, people of color and immigrants are not only the backbone of this country they are what makes us great to begin with. The very people this soon to be ‘president’ has mocked and threatened are what makes us who we are. We cannot afford to forget them. Do not let the media, pundits, or the results of this election con you into the mistaken belief that abandoning identity politics is the way to win in 2018. We need identity politics now more than ever. Like I said last Monday, the personal is political, and it matters.