Election Effects: Lost in Grief
I have been strangely calm since about 1:30 a.m. EST November 9. Not inclined to join a protest, yet glad to see them– especially to see our young people taking action, including my beloved daughter. Not inclined to rage on my Facebook page. Quiet on Twitter, except to retweet a few things I can’t remember today. I will join the Pantsuit Nation and send a card of gratitude to Hillary for her incredible strength and courage. For her leadership. But until this morning, I didn’t know what I was going to do.
Then I read a post by John Pavlovitz, on his blog Things That Need to Be Said. This is the beauty (mostly) of social media. Things float across my desk I never would have sought. The post, Here’s Why We Grieve Today, is something I will mull over for a long time. It will inform my actions. But thinking will come later; today it shook me, ever so gently, into my own profound grief.
Pavlovitz is very clear: the grief is not about losing– it’s not about politics at all. Rather, it’s that half of the people who voted stood up and affirmed a particular vision of America, built on a particular set of values they believe are uniquely American. Writes Pavlovitz,
“It’s about overt racism and hostility toward minorities.
It’s about religion being weaponized.
It’s about crassness and vulgarity and disregard for women.
It’s about a barricaded, militarized, bully nation.
It’s about an unapologetic, open-faced ugliness.
And it is not only that these things have been ratified by our nation that grieve us; all this hatred, fear, racism, bigotry, and intolerance—it’s knowing that these things have been amen-ed by our neighbors, our families, our friends, those we work with and worship alongside. That is the most horrific thing of all. We now know how close this is.”
This is my grief. That people I live next to, go to church with, work alongside of, believe these things to be American. How is this possible?
The life I knew on November 8, my world, is shattered.
Today, this grief overcomes me.