As the Tues night voting returns started to add up toward disaster, I started getting lots of messages from friends. I heard suicide watch centers were lighting up. I became worried about some folks’ despondency. I called a meeting for the next night. A few friends showed up. I think we were all still just too much in shock to say much. But it was good to see some people I know and care about. Here are some early messages, followed by my invitation letter, with the letter I got from MoveOn, then more responses from friends.
Do you believe this? Two disliked candidates. & it appears Trump will prevail. Can we get together tonight and talk? —healthcare worker
Trump leading in Wisc. He’s going to win a tight race. I don’t know what the hell is going to happen, just trying to absorb it at this point. I’m watching coverage on PBS. Really, the pollsters, as well as TV politicos had it all wrong. As with Nixon in ’72, the Silent Majority is apparently alive and well. —fellow worker
FBI coup d’etat. KKK police state now. — professor
I really did believe our country was in a downward spiral but I still thought that we’re basically good people who wouldn’t vote for someone who is as corrupt and lies and manipulates as Trump does. Our educational system is completely failing us. People don’t understand how to think and assess information. I don’t know where to go with this, part of me doesn’t want to leave the house. Usually I can believe in the individual goodness of the people around me, but that asshole swept the country. I need to regroup. —professor
Trump was seen as the agent of change.–school teacher
Canadian immigration office websites have all crashed, many yanks will flee. —professor
Yes, it’s impossible to imagine living under one-tenth of the hateful violent things he has threatened.
The Canadian immigration websites all crashed as the votes came in, and people started scrambling to look to escape the fascism now to come. I think Americans serious enough to look into what’s involved in leaving have the right idea. Except, of course, a Trump U.S. will be busy destroying the entire world-planet. But it would be best to just step as far to one side as one can for as long as we have left to enjoy daily existence. I feel too stuck in factors to leave again, but it’s going to be quite the horror show here. Maybe he will be indicted for various crimes and kicked out of office before he gets too far. But then there’s his cabinet of villains to contend with, too. And as you indicate: it’s not the handful of evil idiots who represent such a mindset, it’s the millions of racist white male (& women!) fascist idiots who WANT things to be this way. Unbelievable, but true. The majority of people I’ve talked to in the area in the past year, including many female & male students, were in favor of Trump. Frightening. Ignorance, stupidity, racist self-absorption, and yes intense ill-will toward scapegoats of all sorts, seems thick and tall as a brick wall in just so many Americans of all ages. It really feels like the dark aspects of the 60s all over again.
Well, if Arpaio can finally be indicted and voted out, maybe Trump will be indicted on multiple federal and lesser charges and removed from office.
If I had any secured income/savings, I’d much rather watch the destruction from retirement in Vancouver, or Bali, or Amsterdam, or any number of places, but I don’t, so I guess I’ll have to stay on semi-active-duty fighting this insanity and just trying to wrap my mind around how zombified and blood-thirsty so many Americans are. It does look like Trump lost the popular vote by a thin margin. I’d say by numbers only about half the population is insane with Trump disease. What a horrific miasma. —writer
Blue-ness has set in from the election ( I though it wouldn’t). Trump’s dogmatic, bombastic way of speaking is so unsettling. We could meet half way if you want to visit. –fellow worker
Luckily somehow I am blessed with sane students. Not a one of them for Trump. They all came in talking full speed and wondering how this could happen. Maybe the demographics of a community college is different enough from university, or it’s an art class, or some combination of the two. It was a work day and I just started asking them for stories of things in their lives that they thought were funny and enough shared that it helped to lift the gloom.
I’m just stunned at so many things he did that the media didn’t expose, and things he continues to do, while constantly going on about the stupid emails. The death of the fourth estate is seriously to blame for this. The checks and balances the constitution was based around assumed a free and vocal press— and without that the public can’t know what is going on. What a perfect storm of a mess, we have a citizenry that has been taught not to explore ideas and think freely and then they get warped news so unless they work for it (and they don’t) they have no idea what are the facts.
Yes leaving the U.S. would be nice, not going to happen anytime soon… Was surprised that I actually liked Mexico but I don’t think I would live there forever. —professor
Here’s my letter:
Dear Friends and beloved fellow humane human beings,
Join in me tonight (Weds) at ____ in ____ 7pm on, just to reassure ourselves together that we can survive this national & planetary disaster. I’m sending out this invite just so we can clap eyes on one another to comfort & reassure ourselves that humane natural goodness survives. But if you belong to organized efforts and want to bring sign-up sheets for mailing lists, phone-trees, grief counseling or triage massage appts, Canadian immigration info tips, exchange shock-alot cookie & brownie recipes, etc. that’s fine with me. I’m more than ready for mo’ better organized resistance/expat exit-relocation-escape plans (& there’ll be lots of that going forward), but personally, tonight I just want to visit with folks who are real, who I admire. Some of you have expressed similar feelings/needs. Let’s just share some immediate friendly-faced togetherness. As you know, I don’t drink, but I understand ____ has some very good beers if you need a glass in which to spill some (more) tears. & it’s a café, so you don’t need to be of legal bar age to come in & join me/us.
____ is not too far from main campus. It’s a food/beer bistro started by some friendly ex-Uni rockclimbers/ mtnbikers. It’s just a friendly place I thought of to gather. Hope to see you there.
Easy to miss, drive slow.
I got this idea from a letter from Anna over at MoveOn. Copied below:
The new president-elect and many of his most prominent supporters have targeted, demeaned, and threatened millions of us—and millions of our friends, family, and loved ones. Both chambers of Congress remain in Republican hands. We are entering an era of profound and unprecedented challenge, a time of danger for our communities and our country.
In this moment, we have to take care of ourselves, our families, and our friends—especially those of us who are on the front lines facing hate, including Latinos, women, immigrants, refugees, Black people, Muslims, LGBT Americans, and so many others.
People around the country are coming together tonight to hold peaceful gatherings to signal our solidarity, resistance, and resolve. These are simple, straight-forward, grassroots events from coast to coast. Can you host one tonight in your area? We’ll invite MoveOn members later this afternoon to sign up for events—but someone needs to step up to serve as the host for folks in their area.
In the days to come, we will have to pick ourselves up and fight for America’s better ideals.
We’ve known vast darkness before. Each time, brave Americans have risen to the challenge. This time must be no different.
The MoveOn community and our allies will continue to work—tirelessly—to resist Trump’s agenda, contain the damage, defeat hate with love, and begin the process of swinging the nation’s pendulum back towards sanity, decency, and the kind of future that we must never give up on.
If you are afraid, know that you are not alone—because we stand together. If you feel despair, know that things will change—because we will change them together.
More than 250 million Americans did not choose Trump. In fact, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. The millions of us—MoveOn members and allies—who spent countless hours knocking on doors, making phone calls, and defending democracy, can be proud of what we did together.
We need to take time to process how this happened, what it means, and what kind of country we now live in. One way to start that process is by gathering together tonight.
We’re hosting gatherings tonight for those of us who want to be surrounded by friends, neighbors, and others who share our shock, grief, and resolve. Can you host one in your area? If you do, we’ll help spread the word.
Together, we will fight to keep our light and resolve alive, sustain our gratitude for each other, and stand unwavering in our conviction that we will never, ever give up.
Thanks for all that you’ve done—and all that you will do in the times ahead.
–Anna, Jo, Manny, Mark, and the rest of the team
Want to support our work? The MoveOn community will work every moment, day by day and year by year, to to resist Trump’s agenda, contain the damage, defeat hate with love, and begin the process of swinging the nation’s pendulum back towards sanity, decency, and the kind of future that we must never give up on. And to do it we need your ongoing support, now more than ever. Will you stand with us?
PAID FOR BY MOVEON . ORG POLITICAL ACTION, http://pol.moveon.org/. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
Here’s some more responses from friends:
What a wonderful idea to come together tonight. Here in the South Bay area the mood today was somber. Take care and I’m glad you’re keeping your friends close. I remember so clearly how we first met at the cafe by the bookstore and bonded over Stockhausen. —professor
Sorry, I can’t make it. Feeling too unwell from it all. I’ll try to talk to you maybe tomorrow. I’m just ill right now. –retired school teacher
Oh, how I wish I could be there tonight. I need comfort and reassurance. I am devastated. I always feared this would happen but in my heart I never thought it would. I am working tonight. Too far away to come but I did tell J. Thank you, for asking. —working grandmother
I SO SO wish I could join. Instead, I’ll be going to a gathering here in Nacogdoches. Sending you love and hugs. I cried many times today. I’ll be in town December. Maybe see you then!
–professor, whose grandparents were murdered in Holocaust death camp. “Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.” W. E. B. Du Bois
I appreciate this invitation, friend, and hearing from you on this day of mourning. Am working as dad, taking care of my two-year old tonight so am afraid I cannot make it. Be well and hope to see you soon. —professor & dad
I’ll join you! We both might. I need to be around sane humane folks for a bit —grad student
I’m still shocked how most American voted yesterday!!? Thank you for the invitation but we can’t make it tonight. D. is traveling. But we hope to have a chat with you another time soon. —laid-off school teacher
Hi from a long lost friend now in LA. Thanks for this! —artist & community cultural center administrator
Great idea! Thanks for the heads up. Will see if I can make it. Peace and love❤️✨!
–journalist & former city councilmember
I’ll be glad to join you. Text me for any changes. —scholar
I’m sorry I won’t be able to attend, but thank you for doing this and providing hope and positivity in such dark circumstances… Today I am still traumatized from the election results and its going to take time to get over this feeling of disgust. Thank you so much for everything you do and stand for! It’s certainly needed!!! —laid off business office worker