This Is Not The Post I Thought I'd Write Today ...
As the evening wore on, the gnawing sense of dread gave way to actual shaking.
I held on to hope in spite of it, continued watching the returns, even as my mind whispered, "Remember 2004, when you thought that if you just stayed up late enough, John Kerry would prevail?"
About 12:30 a.m., I walked through the house and turned off the lights. I thought about 2008, as the economy began to implode and I lost my job.
Eight years later, I've held onto my house. And I've gotten out of some debt even as I've incurred others.
I have no idea what's next.
I've spent the last months and weeks and days reassuring my friends that Trump wouldn't win.
In 2008, I was sure McCain would lose.
In 2012, I was sure Romney would lose too.
So surely, in 2016, with the most reprehensible candidate imaginable on the ticket, America would make the upstanding choice.
And last I checked, a majority of us did.
But the popular vote does not decide our presidents.
I was opposed to McCain most of all for Sarah Palin. But at least Sarah has been a governor.
And I was opposed to Romney for a host of reasons. But I never had the sense that if he won, our country would be in danger.
That's what the shaking was last night, though: fear.
So much is now unknown. Will millions of people now lose their health care and once again be unable to afford insurance? Will some of them die as a result? Will women lose their rights to their own bodies? Will my gay friends' marriages be invalidated? Will my Muslim friends be safe? Will my Black friends be safe? Will the millions of Hispanic people who have built lives for themselves here be rounded up and housed in camps until their deportations can be processed? Will people with disabilities have access to care? Will the effects of climate change worsen more quickly? Will I have to pay tolls to travel on newly privatized roads? Will terrorist attacks occur more frequently? Will folks have money to live on who rely on Social Security and retirement savings that are invested in the stock market? Will we reverse so many of the jobs gains we've made in recent years? Will people once again begin to lose their homes? Will any of it matter in the face of a possible nuclear war?
I am immersed in politics, in the deepest end of the civilian pool. I know more than most. Some might say too much.
But did the people who vote for Trump or vote for Johnson or Stein not think of any of this?
My mind won't stop reeling even as the shaking has subsided into a tremble.
Tomorrow, I may be able to think more clearly.
Today, I'm numb.