Tuesday dread settles over me like a heavy coat, lead in the pockets. I fall asleep with a candle burning and a ceaseless prayer. Please don’t let him win. Wednesday I wake up and cry. I am surprised it hits me so hard. After, I do my sitting meditation. I practice metta. I don’t try to love Trump. I don’t try to love the people who voted for him. But I can hold them anonymously when I say metta for all beings everywhere. I can be inclusive of them in my practice because I believe we all deserve to be safe and free from harm. I believe we all deserve to live with ease and well being. We all deserve to know both deep joy and deep peace. But I don’t try to single them out for this, as you would in a traditional metta practice. I don’t want to try. Not yet, at least. Not now. Right now I am still too raw. Right now it is all I can do to keep my fear from grabbing me and sprinting off. Will he begin deporting people, pulling apart families? Will he try to take away our right to choose, strip away gay rights? I hear he doesn’t believe in global warming. Will he undo everything good people have fought so hard for for so long? I tell myself people who voted for him wanted to overthrow the government. It’s an understandable desire. But how could it not matter that he hates people of color? Women? Foreigners? How the hell could it not matter that he bragged about grabbing pussy, claimed Mexican immigrants are criminals and rapists? How can there be no lines drawn for the kind of person we even allow to run for president, much less elect? I cringe to think of all the white women who voted for him because their husbands told them to, women who have internalized the misogyny Trump embraces. (And there, perhaps, is my truer entry into compassion.) I know racism and misogyny and xenophobia never went away. But I never expected almost half the voters in this country to exalt them. I’d hoped just the fact that Trump was in the running was enough of a backlash. That it meant we were making progress in this world of ours. Now it looks like it will have to get worse before it gets better. So I’ll pray it doesn’t get too bad. I’ll pray it doesn’t last too long. I’ll pray this is how we expose and exorcise this kind of hate. And I’ll cling to being grateful and proud to be a Californian. On Wednesday morning when I look at the nice little west coast block of us, of Clinton states—California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington—I can’t help but wonder. Could we just secede? But maybe that’s the coward in me talking.
What can I say, but “I am sorry”? My timeline has been full of similar despair Riba. Every single American friend and relative, including a sister in NH, is inconsolable. Makes me wonder who voted for him?
Hi Madhu–we don’t really know who voted for him altho there are plenty of theories going around. The polls seemed to hover within their own margins of error, imo, indicating that it could go either way. Many are at a loss; some are working towards believing it’s part of a larger shift that could lead to a better, more inclusive, way of being with each other. But first we have to go through this muck. Thank you for posting about it here. Your sympathies are well-taken.
Thanks for your condolences, Madhu! ;-)
It has definitely taken me a while to move through this. Today I feel pretty much recovered from the news! But what might unfold in the federal government as we go forward is of course still an unknown. California legislators are talking about fighting against possible deportation orders from the federal government, so that feels promising to me. I guess we’ll just need to keep breathing and see what comes. ;-)
I read a good article in the L.A. Times today about why people voted for Trump. The main message seemed to be that they wanted out from the status quo. They believe he can help the economy and such. Though there was definitely an element of racism against Mexicans and Muslims, as we’d assume, there were also examples of people who were involved in inter-racial relationships who voted for him, so somehow for them his ability to be NOT what we had in place was worth it to them. And I do actually feel hopeful about that, I think—not hopeful about Trump, but that if we do dismantle things here, maybe we can build something new and better on the other side.
Thanks for both of you for commenting! Sweet to find these waiting here. :)
Glad you are starting to feel better. Same here, but still a lot of pondering to do.
I read that article too, Riba. Was in a comfortable cocoon and now the wake up call.
I’ve noticed my extra scrutiny of the news about what he is doing, Laurie! If this gets more people paying closer attention, that can’t be bad. But for me there is a flavor of obsessing in it that I want to let ease off. ;-)
Tomorrow is my book contest deadline! I am all excited. :)
Are you ready for the deadline tomorrow already?! ; > Yes, hard to balance how much energy to put into keeping up w headlines; also seems more important now to watch which sources I choose to follow for news. Have fun and good luck on the exciting book contest. : )
Thanks, Laurie! I am not ready yet, but I will be tomorrow! I am feeling really lucky and glad and a little proud of myself for sticking with what seemed like maybe a crazy deadline. I knew it would bring my manuscript forward whether I made the deadline or not. But it is exciting knowing it worked. :)
Yes to your sources of news, by the way. I’ve thought I would like to check out some reputable international sources to see what they are saying, too.