Several years ago I saw a car accident about to happen as I was walking out of an Ace Hardware store. I could see the van driving slowly down the aisle of the parking lot, and I could see the sedan pulling out of its parking space directly towards the side of the van, but there was nothing I could do about it. All I could do was stop and cringe as I waited for the inevitable collision.
This is how I’ve felt since the election. As I sit and watch the news and see the country about to fall off a cliff, I scream to myself, NO!!! This will not end well! Stop, before it’s too late!!! But all I can do is watch helplessly, unable to stop the inauguration of someone will who will cause great suffering and possibly death for so many people. (Yes, repealing the ACA will kill people, maybe me.)
I’ve had lots of assorted thoughts over the past few weeks as I’ve waited for the moment of impact that will begin to wreck our lives. I thought I’d share them in no particular order.
1) One of the worst days of my life
I know this sounds dramatic, but I think election day 2016 charts as one of the top ten worst days of my life. I’ve tried thinking of days that were worse, but this is all I could come up with:
- That time my dad told us he was going on a business trip to North Carolina, but never came back, all of which I learned about in a letter that came in a manila envelope that he had mailed me the day he left.
- The day my cat, Officer Krupke, died.
- The day I endured a 9-hour gallbladder attack, which is still the most intense physical pain I’ve experienced in my life.
- That day almost 9 years ago that I got a headache that still hasn’t gone away.
- The day I had a fight with a friend in high school that resulted in us not speaking for several weeks.
- September 11th, 2001. No explanation necessary there. Though Trump’s election might be considered worse because at least after 9/11 we were united.
And…I think that’s it. I realize I’m pretty lucky that there isn’t a lot of death, disaster or other trauma up there. *knock on wood* I have led a rather blessed life. I feel bad that the deaths of my grandparents aren’t on there (particularly since my cat made the list), but the only one I was somewhat close to was my dad’s dad, and he died when I was pretty young, so any pain of that event seems rather far away at this point. There are things I considered putting on the list that were definitely bummers or scary: the time the substitute bus driver in pre-school didn’t know where I lived and I thought I might never get home, the time I crashed my bike hard and needed three stitches in my lip, and that time I walked into work to see all my stuff on a cart because I’d been fired. But none of those felt as sickening as election night. And all of those things turned out ok in the end: the big kids on the bus knew where I lived, my lip healed, and I got a better job almost instantly. This Trump thing though, it’s not going to be ok.
2) So that’s what an anxiety disorder must feel like
It took two weeks after the election before I no longer felt like I might barf every day. I spent two full weeks stressed out. I couldn’t concentrate on work and felt a constant background buzz of stress, like that feeling you get when you have to make an unpleasant phone call or when you’ve got a public speaking event the next day. I was starting to think it might never go away. I still think my country is about to be epically fucked over in ways I can’t yet fully imagine, but it doesn’t do any good for my nervous system to stay revved up about it 24/7 for the next 4-8 years. I can’t remember feeling that amount of anxiety for that long of a span of time ever in my life. Anyone who has to deal with an actual anxiety order or PTSD has my utmost respect, since it must be much worse than what I had, and what I had was not fun.
3) The multiverse
I hope the theory that there are an infinite number of parallel universes is wrong. I’ll be seriously pissed if I find out there is a version of me in another dimension who gets to live through a Clinton presidency while I’m stuck dealing with this shit.
4) Taking the long view
When I’ve talked to my mom about my fears, she’s been taking more of a long view on things, telling me we’ll all get through this together. (Of course, my fear is that we won’t all get through this together, which is the root of the problem.) My mom is in her sixties, so here’s a list of scary national crises she’s lived through: McCarthyism, the JFK assassination, the Vietnam War, Watergate, several recessions, 9/11, the 2008 financial crisis, and now the Trump administration. If you compare that to my list, I’ve only had to deal with 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis, so she’s got several disasters on me. Maybe if you live long enough you’re bound to hit something awful in your lifetime. My grandparents had to deal with WWII and the Great Depression. And their parents had to deal with WWI. Maybe shit like this is inevitable in a human society and I’ve been blessed to deal with as little of it is as I have for someone in my mid-30’s. Speaking of which…
5) Where are WWII survivors when you need them?
As I mentioned, I wasn’t close to most of my grandparents, all of whom died before I was 25, but I’ve been wishing at least one or two of them were still alive right now so I could ask them what living through World War II and the rise of fascism was like. Were they constantly worried that someone might take away their freedom and rights and hurt their fellow citizens? Did it ever seem like the “good guys” might lose? Were you aware of how historic the time you were living in was when it was happening or did you only realize it in retrospect?
Is the fact that almost every American who remembers WWII first-hand is dead the reason people like me were so slow to recognize the threat of a demagogue in our midst? Bad things that happened before I was born seem like things that would never happen again, but the lesson I should have taken from history was that the past isn’t always in the past, sometimes it’s in the future.
6) Access Hollywood
The fact that Billy Bush got fired and Donald Trump gets to be president after taking part in the same conversation about sexual assault is the most epic example of mixed messages I’ve ever seen.
7) Scared and suspicious
For the first time in my life I’m afraid of my government. I know I come from a place of extreme privilege to be able to say that. There are plenty of people in the world who have been afraid of their governments for good reason for a long time, but this is a new experience for me. I’m genuinely afraid of what the federal government will do to me, to vulnerable populations in my country, and to the world at large. I never thought I would feel this way about America, but I do.
To some extent, I’m also afraid of my fellow Americans. How could so many people have voted for this vision of the world? Whenever I was at the grocery or out somewhere right after the election I would look at other people and wonder, did they vote for Trump? Are they ok with all the hatred and bigotry that the Trump administration is bringing with it? Do they think it’s ok someone defaced a church 60 miles from here with the words “Heil Trump” and a swastika? I’m not used to being suspicious of my neighbors like this. I don’t like it. I never expected my view of the world could change so suddenly in two weeks.
8) Glad I did my reading
I’m glad I read 1984 by George Orwell in June of last year. I did it for fun, but now I wonder if my sub-conscious knew something I didn’t because several of the concepts from the book are becoming quite relevant. For instance, the various ministries in the book do the opposite of what they say. The Ministry of Truth is about lying, the Ministry of Love is about torture, etc. This seems to be the way Trump is stacking his cabinet. The head of the EPA will be a guy who was suing the EPA. The secretary of education is someone who doesn’t believe in public education, etc., etc. The Ministry of Truth is also in the business of doctoring old records to accommodate whatever lies the leaders are telling. I bet Trump would love to have one of those considering all the times he claims to have never said things that we have him on video saying.
So I guess what I’m saying is the book should have been called 2016.
9) The Man in the High Castle
I watched the first season of a TV show called “The Man in the High Castle” on Amazon Prime last year. It takes place in a world where the Nazis and the Japanese won WWII. It was uneven, but fairly good. However, I don’t think I can stomach watching the second season that was released last week because I feel like I’m currently trapped in the sequel set 70 years in the future.
I’ve tried to have empathy for Trump supporters who voted for him because they’re stuck in miserable situations and politicians have ignored them, but then Trump does the latest atrocious, despicable, incompetent thing and I’m like, nope, there was no excuse for voting for this guy. I’m sorry no qualified politician was able both to reach out to you and secure the nomination of a major political party, but this guy is a clusterfuck of a human being who obviously should not be given power. At best you have an amazing ability to rationalize bad decisions, at worst you have serious morality issues. Yes, the government and the politicians failed you, but this was not the answer. I don’t know what the answer is, but this wasn’t it.
Here’s a photo of a Scrabble game my family played the week before Thanksgiving.
Notice the usage of the words “sobs” as well as “Pence” and “heap” of “crap.” Photo credit goes to Big Brother, my actual big brother, not the Orwellian one since there could be confusion about that now.
12) Should I be preparing?
There was a Survival Expo in town a few weeks ago when my dad was visiting and I joked to him that maybe we should go, though it wasn’t entirely a joke. I do wonder, what should I be doing to prepare for the Trump administration? Part of me thinks it would be paranoid to keep large sums of money under my mattress and stock up on canned goods, but another part of me thinks it never hurts to be prepared for the worse. Seriously though, what should one do to prepare for a possible fascist takeover of the government? If the worst happens, what simple things can I do now that I would regret not doing later? For some reason my first instinct is that I should step up my exercise routine and get in peak physical shape.
13) What a difference 70 years makes
Two weeks after the election, my brother and his wife travelled to Germany for a vacation before she attended a conference there later in the week. It was rather odd that they were leaving a country where a demagogue had just been elected and going to a country whose leader was described as “the Liberal West’s Last Defender” by the New York Times and that Germany was the latter and not the former in that sentence. Seventy years makes a big difference, eh?
14) Paying for journalism
I recently subscribed to both The Washington Post and The New York Times, which I never thought I’d do in my life. As a web developer, I know how to get around their paywalls without paying, but I think it’s important to support journalism right now. Those papers broke stories about Trump’s taxes, his shady Foundation dealings, and the Access Hollywood story, and even though that didn’t swing the election I thought it was a good effort, so that’s why I chose them. When I subscribed, they both gave me the first few weeks at a reduced rate, which was really annoying. I don’t need a free trial! Just take the money! Do the journalism! Even more frustrating, the New York Times just sent me an email saying they’re going to give me 25% off the next 12 weeks. This is the only time in my life I’m going to say this, but please stop giving me discounts!!
I’m not really sure what else I can do at this point, other than to resist in whatever ways I can and support people who can stand up to Trump. I’ve been considering going to the Woman’s March in DC after the inauguration, but will probably attend a satellite rally here in town instead. I would like to do more, but I’m not exactly sure what. These recent events have made me face the fact that I’m not a particularly brave person. I don’t want to get harmed or arrested resisting Trump, and I feel bad that I’m not willing to put more on the line personally. All it takes for evil to prevail is for good women to do nothing, right? I don’t want to do nothing, but I don’t know precisely what to do instead.
16) Spoilers, please?
If the last 18 months had been the first half of a book, I would be flipping to the ending right now to learn how things turned out. Does America make it? What happens to this Trump character? Having to live these events out in real time without knowing how it all ends is excruciating.
It also makes me wonder how I’ll look back on this time 5 years from now. Hopefully it will be with a laugh about how scared I was when everything turned out just fine. However, I find it more likely that I will look back and think, “Girl, you didn’t know how good you had it.”
17) Wow, I check social media a lot
The first few weeks after the election it became painful to check social media because it was full of reminders of the horrible thing that had just happened. As a result, it made me realize how often I distract myself with Facebook or Twitter. I found myself reaching for my phone and then pausing, questioning whether I really wanted to check Twitter and deciding, no, I really didn’t.
I’ve adjusted to the shock of Trump’s win now, and even though I still get hit with pangs of fear whenever he does something terrible, I can tolerate reading the news again. However, I’m still reading my “Less Politics” list on Twitter instead of the full feed. I like to think of Twitter as fun, not painful, so we’ll save the painful news stuff for when I’m surfing the web.
18) Great for my vocabulary
If one good thing has come from all this political unrest, it’s been great for my vocabulary. In 2016 I learned the meanings of words like “kleptocracy” and “demagogue.” It had me asking questions like, “How is an autocrat different than a dictator?” or “I know ‘fascism’ refers to an oppressive government, but what are the specific qualities that make it different from other oppressive governments?” I can’t wait to see what new words I’ll be learning in 2017!
19) Revenge plans nixed
Remember Robert C? The C stands for cowardly co-ed who fucked with my moving plans and never bothered to apologize for it. Well, I had been planning to take revenge on Robert C. I had his cell phone number and there are lots of terrible things you can do to someone if you have their cell number. Like, say, going on Craig’s List and posting free Justin Bieber tickets with their cell phone number as the only point of contact. I was going to wait at least 6 months before doing anything to be sure he wouldn’t suspect me, but in the meantime I’d taken great delight imagining my revenge. It was going to be great. I was going to cackle. There would be LOTS of cackling. I was really looking forward to it. I’d even worked out how to avoid getting traced.
Then Donald Trump got elected and I realized taking revenge on Robert C is exactly the kind of thing Donald Trump would do, and I have no desire to be anything like Donald Trump. So I have decided not to take revenge on Robert C. It’s funny that he’ll never know that the election of a petty, vengeful man saved him from having a very bad day.
20) Best case scenario
I’ve been trying to imagine what the best case scenario is for the Trump administration. A quick impeachment would be nice, particularly since he’s got so many business conflicts that could cause trouble, and he might have colluded with a foreign government to win the election. But then we’d be stuck with Pence, and liberals who live in Indiana know how horrible that would be. That said, Pence would be horrible in a conventional way, whereas Trump is horrible in an unpredictable way and has no respect for the norms that keep our society stable. And even if we somehow got both Trump and Pence out of office, the next in line is Paul Ryan who wants to take away my health insurance and endanger my parents’ Medicare and Social Security, so it’s not like there’s a frolicking unicorn at the end of any of these hypothetical paths.
At this point I think the best case scenario is that government bureaucracy makes it exceedingly difficult to get anything done. In fact, this is a known method the CIA has used to sabotage enemy operations. Then I just have to hope Trump doesn’t do anything that forces us into war or economic collapse or prevent free elections four years from now. *fingers crossed everyone!*
Photo by Mariana Zanatta / NC-ND 2.0 CC
I was hoping he’d be the first president to be impeached before he was inaugurated, but that doesn’t seem likely. I also sent money to the NYT. I should also do the same for the Washington Post. Or Vanity Fair.
On the plus side, people have been sharpening their gallows humor. Yeah. I know. It’s not a very large plus side.
The night of the election, when I saw the way things were going, a man said to me that this election had created divisions within our country that haven’t been seen since the Civil War. I think he has a point. There are people that I am related to by blood that I do not want to talk to right now. They’re very smug. People are saying “Oh, let’s all get along now” and I want to try to shake them out of their complacency, but there’s no point trying to open the eyes of someone who is willfully blind. I used to think that there were some decent Republicans out there. But if there are, they aren’t the ones calling the shots. Millions of dollars spent to “find the truth” about Benghazi, and then they shut down the investigation once Trump won. Deciding that the Flint water crisis was the fault of the EPA. The level of hypocrisy is nauseating.
I was thinking this is the year to start creating a garden. Find more ways to be self-sufficient and stockpile my savings, for what that’s worth. I read that this is the third time in our country’s history that congress and the presidency were controlled by the Republicans. The first time was right before the Depression. The second time was right before the Great Recession.
The only thing I can do is focus on things that I can control. How I spend my time and money, decisions I make that affect my health.
Jennette Fulda says
@Merry – I’ve wondered if it would be possible for us to have a literal Civil War again. I don’t forsee rebels fighting in the street or anything like that, particularly since the military leans Republican. Perhaps a coup at the top of leadership? I dunno. Maybe all this partisan gridlock the last few years has been a sorta Civil War.
It does seem weird that many Trump voters don’t understand this isn’t about liberal vs. conservative. If Trump were to suddenly change all his policy positions to be in agreement with what I believe, I still wouldn’t think he’s qualified for the job. He’d still be a menace.
I think focusing on the things we can control is a good outlook. I’ll try to view things more like that.
Thank you for your brilliant thoughts! As a German woman, I feel so much with you and I’m in fear myself, as are my adult children.
Jennette Fulda says
@Pantherle – Thanks. It’s good to know people abroad are as concerned as we are.
Amy Illingworth says
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I agree with so much of what you’ve said. I recently struggled with how I could take action. I am going to the Women March on Washington (from San Diego!) and I shared some other actions I’m taking here: https://reflectionsonleadershipandlearning.wordpress.com/2016/11/13/how-im-taking-action/
Jennette Fulda says
@Amy Illingworth – I’ll check it out. Thanks for compiling a list.
I will have to re-read your full post when I’m not working, but I felt moved to comment on what I did.
Maybe it’s silly but the whole Billy Bush getting fired/Trump getting elected is so ridiculous! Talk about double standards. And I can’t help but think that in a way (maybe this is a stretch, maybe not), Bush was a victim of a power man as well. What was he supposed to do? Risk his interview/story by scolding the subject? (who would have no doubt walked off) I realize his response was not silence either, but c’mon. The whole thing stinks. I’m glad he got a huge payday.
I’ve also subscribed to the NYT. My local paper (I’m here in Raleigh, HB2 hell!) has done a such a good job covering the HB2 & the ‘steal power from Roy Cooper’ nonsense that I re-upped my sub from weekend back to 7 days. It’s not cheap, but their work is important. I used a day off last week to go watch the NCGA in action last Friday. I canNOT wait until they re-draw the lines and there’s another election in 2017. I will be working local as hard as I can (even if I don’t know what that means yet!)
Looking forward to the rest!
Jennette Fulda says
@Eileen – If Bush had just laughed along, trying not to rile Trump, I might agree. But when they get off the bus he asks the actress to hug Trump, basically pushing her into the arms of a guy who’s said he’d like to assault her, so I have no sympathy for him.
I’ve been following the news on NC since I moved and it has been so crazy out there. I’m glad there are still people fighting the good fight out there.
My thoughts echo so much of what you’ve said here. A week or so ago, I thought I might be able to go back to seeing the news and looking at social media, but yesterday I realized that I still need to shield myself. I don’t know how long it will be until I don’t feel like it’s still too raw.
Jean R says
Thank you Jennette. I am closer to your parents age than yours, and I’ve seen some shit, and remember the Cuban Missile Crisis but the election of Trump is right there at the top of the list because the repercussions are so far reaching and won’t be going away even after his term is over. Supreme Court Justice pick for example. As a Jew who grew up hearing the horror stories of the Holocaust, Trump and his wooing of the so-called alt-right scares me to death on top of all the other things going on. I will be eligibile for Medicare in 2017 and Social Security a year later….If the programs have not been decimated by then. My health care is a result of the expansion of Medicaid and the ACA. I lost my job with benefitsand a $15 an hour salary last April and now am working as a contractor driving people who need medical transport. It doesn’t pay much. My husband was making $42,000 a year before 2008 and now is a temp making $10 an hour. People like my husband and I are going to be ground into dust by the Trump regime and I don’t think anything is going to save us.
I’ve been checking back on your site to see your thoughts on the election. You were one of the people that I was thinking of, amongst many, that I knew would be impacted by the loss of the ACA. I know it’s not gone yet, but clearly, it’s not on strong ground now. I also, wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of the poor character of Trump EVEN if you agree with his stances on the issues. There is just no excuse for voting for this guy. I live in Michigan and I was so disheartened when I saw that he took our state. It’s crazy that people with so little resources felt like he would be good for them!
I’m also so nervous as the presidency is about to get handed over to this ridiculous man.
You had me until you said that Trump’s election might be worse than 9/11. I think you went too far there. This is the first time in all the years I’ve read your blog that I was offended by something you wrote.
Jennette Fulda says
@Lori – I’m sorry if my comment caused you any personal pain, but I stand by it. I should probably clarify that as of this second, Trump’s election is not worse than 9/11. It’s the things that will result because of his election that are worse.
As I see it, the three biggest impacts of 9/11 were:
1) The deaths of about 3000 people on planes and in buildings on September 11th.
2) Involvement in the Iraq War which killed around 4,500 US service members and at least 115,000 civilians. Involvement in the Afghanistan War that killed around 2,500 US service members and at least 26,000 civilian deaths. (Numbers are from Wikipedia articles.) Combined with the deaths on 9/11, this comes to around 150,000 people.
3) An assault on civil liberties such as warrantless wire-tapping, secret FISA warrants, development of intrusive NSA surveillance programs, and the creation of Guantanamo prison where people can be imprisoned without due process.
As a result of Trump’s election, the Affordable Care Act will be repealed. At least 20 million people (including me) depend on it for health insurance. Once it’s gone people will die who would not have otherwise, people who need transplants, people who develop fatal diseases and can’t afford treatment, and people who develop illnesses that could have been prevented with early intervention. Will 150,000 people die? I’m not sure. That would be 7.5% of the people using the ACA. I think it’s safe to say thousands will die. They won’t all die within two hours like on 9/11, so the visceral impact will be less, but they will still be gone even if their deaths are spread out over years and not televised like 9/11 was.
Trump has also shown signs that he will be killing the Paris Agreement which is meant to slow climate change. In fact, his administration will probably to things that hasten climate change. Climate change will cause droughts and other natural disasters that will take lives. It will cause wars over natural resources. By speeding up the timeline on climate change, Trump will be causing the deaths and suffering of millions of people who could have had better lives if climate change had been slowed down.
Considering Trump’s lack of diplomatic skills, his recent comments about starting a nuclear arms race, and his incredibly thin skin, it’s not crazy to think we could be drawn into a war sometime during his presidency. Also, his alignment with Russia means Putin will be emboldened to do things he would not of done under a Clinton presidency. Putin supported the dictator or Syria who has committed multiple atrocities, and he took over the Crimea (and shot down a passenger plane), all things that have caused lots of death. It’s safe to say more people will die in the future because of an unleashed Putin. Add all this to the deaths caused by the repeal of the ACA, and we are well over 150,000.
As for civil liberties, it’s clear Trump doesn’t believe in them. He constantly berates the press for any negative coverage. He tweeted that he didn’t think people should be allowed to assemble and protest against him. It seems unlikely he cares about defending the constitution. It’s clear civil liberties will be under assault during his term. I’m not the only one who believes this, as donations to the ACLU skyrocketed after Trump’s election.
Trump will also be worse for me personally because the repeal of the ACA threatens my life. If I get cancer in 2018 and don’t have insurance, I could literally die. As for 9/11, I don’t live near any high-target areas for terrorist attacks, so the likelihood that I would be killed by one is exceedingly low. Climate change, however, could definitely affect my life in 30-40 years.
I hope that clarifies my position and explains why I believe Trump’s election is worse for the world than 9/11.
I totally agree. I’m closer to your parents’ age than your age, but, nothing has left me so despondent about our country, or about the intellectual and moral level of the masses. I’m Jewish ; many of my friends are gay ; before the ACA, 2 friends died due to lack of health insurance for medical issues that could have been controlled if it weren’t for lack of money. To see how much racism is still here, and how little concern for women’s rights, or anyone’s rights other than wealthy white men there is —- I don’t expect a good outcome.
I do have emergency food and water, and some assets that would be good for trade if I needed them. But — I’m not very tough and I’m almost 60, so, realistically, I don’t think I’d live all that long if I had to abandon my house and survive on the streets.
I hope we will all get through it without the loss of many lives, but I’m not optimistic.
I’ve been thinking about this post since you shared it. I fully agree with the feeling that it all seems overwhelming and that you want to do something, but maybe are not a born activist. There’s only so far I am comfortable/willing to stick my neck out or get stuck into challenging the direction being taken.
My personal approach is to pick one thing – where I know most, where its most personal, and fight for that. It all adds up if we all do it. With you I would imagine that is continuing the work on healthcare and the ACA. For me its on discrimination and rights.
Your website was recommended by a low-carb site. I came here for your ideas regarding weight-loss-inspiration and instead encountered election-loss-desperation. Can you imagine the outcry if Republicans had expressed about Obama what you are saying about Trump? There were many people deeply concerned about Obama’s ideology and liaisons (even more so now) and yet they did not show disrespect by identifying him with evil and vile historical figures — or even 9/11.
Your comments are exactly what I would expect from those who have made the liberal mainstream media their god. Oh, the liberals occasionally get it right, but only when they report facts without spin, distortion, hatred, and bias. I would feel exactly like you if I listened to them on a daily basis.
I realize that you are being honest. I can appreciate that. Yet political whining on a site that can change people’s lives? Your fear, paranoia, hate-speech, judgement and disrespect will insure that I do not return.
Dig deeper with your facts. There are writers and analysts that will introduce you to perspectives you cannot see when you are consumed with fear and hate. Many are non-partisan.
Jennette Fulda says
@BLM – JennetteFulda.com is now and always has been my personal site where I write stories about my life and share my opinions. I previously had another blog at PastaQueen.com. Between 2003 and 2008 that site was exclusively about my weight-loss journey, but in 2008 I expanded the range of topics to include anything I chose to write about. However, like you, some people were confused and didn’t get that the site was no longer just about weight loss, so I stopped blogging there in 2011 and started the new site to make the change in focus clear.
The mission statement of my blog is included in the footer of every page, making it clear the site is not just about weight loss.
All of this is also explained in more detail in the FAQ on my Contact page under the heading “PastaQueen, JenFul and my weight-loss era.” https://www.jennettefulda.com/contact/
And if you read the “About” page, it also states that the blog contains stories about my life, not just weight loss: https://www.jennettefulda.com/about/
If you’ll send me a link to the low-carb web site that recommended my site to you, I’ll contact them and ask them to remove the link or at least make it clear that my site is no longer just about weight loss so we can protect delicate little snowflakes like you from the trauma you’ve experienced.
I entirely and most sincerely appreciate your perspective, and while I have a totally different political outlook from yours, I learned something from what you said and am most grateful that you and I have the right to say it! Honesty is good! Even dissension is good, when it makes people think and learn, if they’re mature enough not to take it personally.
I’m a little older than you, although I won’t claim I’m any wiser, and while I’m most definitely conservative, I wasn’t happy Trump won, though I was happy Clinton didn’t. There were no great possible outcomes, as far as I was concerned. One idea sustains me from extreme reactions to this election — I’ve managed through 46 years, and as I sit here, I am more or less okay. Life hasn’t always been easy or fun, but I’ve done it so far, and it’s never made a huge difference who was president while I was doing it.
An ancillary idea to that is, no matter who’s president, individual Americans retain freedom over their own lives. Like, You still can find a job-job because it gives you healthcare without pre-existing condition causes. My own employer offers that to employees. Maybe such a job-job isn’t what you want, but this angst-ridden health situation isn’t either; pick the devil that takes care of your needs. You’re still free to do that.
Like you said in the post about the world wars… those generations had to deal with a great many realities they didn’t like. Life is tough, you know? I don’t think this presidency’s going to be as difficult as all those years of wars; we have a lot more options now than previous generations did then. Things were in fact harder then.
Life is going to suck at times in the next four or eight years, but that’s true matter who’s president.
I guess, ultimately, I have more faith in the American people’s enterprise and ingenuity than I do any kind of fear from who’s president.
Anyway, if there are mistakes in this comment, I apologize. I wrote it from my iPhone after fishing all morning in Corpus Christi, Texas, and I’m just waiting for everybody by the car. So blame the iPhone!
Also, I read both your books and adore them both. I feel like we are friends, even though you don’t know who I am!
Jennette Fulda says
@Dana – I don’t find the argument of, “Hey, at least you can sell your self into wage slavery at a miserable job!” to be at all convincing. Why should I have to choose between a bad job or no health insurance when I don’t have to deal with either “devil” right now? If the protections of the ACA are repealed, it means less freedom for Americans, not more. We go back to a system where people are tied to their jobs to maintain their health, something no other first world country does to its citizens. So, no, if the ACA is repealed I don’t maintain freedom over my life. That is one of the reasons I’m so angry about it.
I think you also overestimate how easy it is to find a job with health benefits. During the first few months of the year I seriously job hunted in anticipation of the ACA repeal and was unable to find any job that suited my skills and also had health insurance. I found several agency jobs that seemed like good fits, but they usually only had 10-15 employees and didn’t offer benefits. There are also plenty of short-term gigs to be found on job boards, but they don’t come with health insurance either. So if the ACA gets repealed, I’m going to be in a really bad position.