A Dutiful American Citizen

Last night I was raised up by the dignity and grace of the president and Michelle Obama. No matter what spectrum of politics you come from, you know there was not even a HINT of scandal during his administration, or a hint of the anger and frustration he must have felt with opposition arraigned on every side of him. That said, as a lover of the political process and a policy wonk, I know his wins and his losses and I believe the American people won on the energy of his commitment to the poor, the young, the elderly and the under-served in our society. It occurs to me, as it did during President Obama’s time, that this election is like a mini-civil war. It is pitting spouse against spouse, family against family, community against community. I’m grateful that this is not true, with a few exceptions, in my family and friends. So I will watch the changing of the guard, and share with you my day, November 8th, 2016.

Tuesday morning; Voted at my small town’s humongous edifice known as “Town Hall”. Looks more like a hotel, but that’s another story. Wore white to honor the generations of women who fought fiercely for women’s right to vote, to have their own bank accounts, to own their own homes and to marry whoever they damn well pleased. The poll people were thrilled at the large turnout—over 100 people by 10:30, a record number. Two men near me, standing behind their wives—or partners—telling them how to vote.  Precinct person came over and asked them to go sit down while the person finished voting. Am happy to have a mate that shares most of my political leanings! Saw couples in a special on television that watched the debates in separate rooms and will not go to vote together. Anger was palpable.

My partner and I confess to a strong feeling of optimism for no obvious reason. Maybe just living in a country where you can freely vote is enough to celebrate? Being a practitioner of emotional energy, it felt as if the blue skies and 77 degree temperatures were telling us a story of positivity. Or maybe it is just wishful thinking. We went to the “Frog Pond” for breakfast, feeling good. We’ll know sooner or later. Depending on the so-called “swing states” it could go either way.

Tuesday: 2 p.m. Heard from a friend that women were leaving their “I Voted” stickers at the gravesite of Susan B. Anthony. So we have not forgotten. Also heard from a friend who had moved to Mexico in the midst of the ugliness where she tries to explain how our democracy is different from others when it allows one person running for office to threaten to jail the other one when he wins.

Tuesday: 4:30 p.m.  A county in Pennsylvania requests an extension of voting hours to accommodate all of those waiting. Judge in Arizona throws out the Donald’s attempt to sue over voting hours in predominately Democratic district. Lawyers ask for names of poll workers. Reports show long lines of voters waiting two hours or more to cast their ballots, even considering all the early voting. My partner beginning to get “gut” feelings of unease.

What is my main worry? Speaking to really nice people, Christians in the main, who will hold their noses and vote for Trump in spite of his foul mouth, angry rhetoric and misogyny. Why? Because he is against abortion and will appoint conservative judges to erase Roe v Wade.  How can this great nation vote on one issue in these numbers? This gives me chills as I imagine going backwards and having to do it all over again. It’s time to shake it off and recover my optimism.

Tuesday: 4:45 p.m.  Saw article where wheelchair bound boy in Tampa, Florida convinced his mom to let him attend a DT rally so he could show him how it felt to be handicapped. The family was ejected amid a chorus of boos and shouted epithets and shoving hands on his wheelchair. The next day, he got to meet President Obama. The universe expresses balance in its energy—sometimes right in front of our eyes.

Tuesday: 5:30   It made me nervous to hear CNN talk about how close it is going to be in Pennsylvania and Michigan and maybe Florida. I’m beginning to catch some of my partner’s nervousness. I hoped for a mandate but will settle for a win. Another report has voting machines breaking down and hand tallying going on. Shades of Florida and Bush vs Gore! Please God, not again! Our Republic cannot take another constitutional crisis. I confess it’s time for a small glass of Jameson’s neat.

Tuesday: 6:00   We will watch the BBC news, as we do every night. Hope for a break in the tension. Reminder: People in Mosul couldn’t care less about the darn election. They are terrified. Ron Christie, Republican Political Strategist, says that no matter what happens: “The Republican party as we know it is dead.”  Whether Hillary or Trump wins, they have to rebuild. Into what, is the question.

Tuesday: 7:50   Oh no. A close race! Talking heads until early morning. Can we take it? Of course! It’s democracy in action. BULLETIN: According to MSNBC Beyonce didn’t sway the vote. Hello! Chris Mathews on MSNBC: No rigging, obviously. A testimony to: “The power of the media to influence opinion? Zero!”  In North Carolina, people still waiting in line backed up for three hours.

Tuesday: 8:21   Oh jeez. Razor thin in Florida. Hanging chads anyone? Whites are rising up, especially in red counties. Energized by what, exactly? Rubio wins. He sold his soul to back Trump when he knew it would matter. It will be interesting to see what candidates gain support or lose support by standing with Trump. Hillsborough county—Tampa and environs—thin margin for Hillary. We are becoming isolationist and we should have paid attention to Brexit!

Tuesday: 9:10   We are in a civil war, but it is rural versus city. The maps are so obvious.  Trump’s troops came out in droves following his siren call to kick the intellectuals in the butt. Trump ahead in Florida by 130,000 votes at this hour.

Tuesday: 10:30   “It will come down to Michigan,” says James Carville. Florida may be gone already. Stock market in a slide; our allies are in disbelief. Will he do all he said he would do? Disband NATO. Take away the health insurance people just got. Isolate, isolate, isolate. The pollsters are hiding out. I am in a nightmare, but know I can’t just wake up and tell my partner “I had this awful dream. A misogynist, racist just won the presidency of the United States. Can you imagine that?”  The states are so close, but it doesn’t matter. Close doesn’t matter.

Tuesday: 11:06   European markets falling with fears of instability in an already unstable world grabbing hold. My phone is beeping constantly with people wanting reassurance that they are in an alternate universe. People celebrating in bars in Michigan saying: “He will make America great again.” Reporter asks “What does that mean?” “He will bring back the way we used to be.” “What does that mean?” The answer doesn’t come, but it means a lily-white country that closes its borders and escapes its fear of the “other.” We’ve been here before and we’ve survived. In the swing states, people who voted third party gave us Trump. I hope they sleep well.

Tuesday: 11:38 Steve Schmidt says “The party of Reagan is dead.” Turkey says they will deny the U.S. the use of their air bases should Trump win. At the Trump rally, they’re chanting “Lock her up!” I can’t fathom this. The people of the world have no idea where we are going or who we are. At a time when the world needs stability we are creating chaos. If the trend doesn’t change, I will take to my bed until I can figure out what happened to us.

Wednesday   It appears to be true. The Canadian immigration website has crashed! Nasdaq has halted futures training. I am going through a strange stage of grief and have arrived at a very personal conclusion about Hillary Clinton. The press will blame her for not going into Wisconsin, etc. but I myself will remember a press who included “un-trustworthy or most unpopular” in every story they did on her. I will hear Trumps supporters shouting “lock her up”. And I will wish her well as she is able to help women, children and others through the private sector or the Clinton Foundation. She will be free of the attacks and the hatred and can spend time with her family. I will wish her a long, healthy and vibrant life as she enters her seventies. But oh, what a loss she is: the most experienced, steady, talented and insightful candidate for president ever. There is a sense of loss for me and for the country, but a sense of relief for her.

Wednesday: 3:15 a.m. I, as a dutiful American citizen, listened to the acceptance speech of the man who will become the most powerful man in the world. Outside in my neighborhood they are firing fireworks. I pray for all of us.

Therèse Tappouni is the author of six published books—four of which have received major awards—and creator of two meditation/visualization CDs. Her latest book is The Gifts of Grief: Finding Light in the Darkness of Loss. Therèse is the founder of the company Whole Heart, dedicated to helping people live a balanced, loving and creative life. She teaches workshops for women in mid-life, grief workshops, women’s history classes, resilience workshops and one-on-one coaching created from her certification as a HeartMath® Trainer. She has also trained in many other modalities, including Somatic Intuitive Training™ and Time Dimension Therapy™