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The Morning After

The Morning After November 9, 2016

I was so, so wrong. I’m still numb. Disbelief.

If there were anything that gave me even slim comfort on this awful day, it would be that all the polls got it just as wrong as I did. I don’t feel that I did the wrong thing by relying on the best data we had. But it’s clear that this was the worst polling failure in the history of politics. A lot of pollsters are going to have some serious explaining to do before I ever trust them again.

I thought I knew my country. I was wrong. I thought the American people would see through this sleazy, deceitful sociopath – maybe not all of us, but enough of us. I was wrong. I thought his erratic and belligerent temperament would turn off voters who didn’t know enough about policy to see why his ideas were disastrous. I was wrong about that too.

I still don’t understand how the nation that elected Barack Obama twice could do something like this. I thought we had gotten past this, had learned the lessons of history, but this is a victory for racism and authoritarianism, plain and simple. There’s no other way to spin it. I can’t believe that no one else saw the parallels, recognized the danger. But then, why didn’t the good people show up?

The next few years are going to be an utter disaster. The Affordable Care Act and every other achievement of Obama’s presidency will be wiped away. The Supreme Court will swing hard to the right for decades. The religious right will get everything they ever wanted. Climate change is never going to be stopped in time now. And all of that pales at the thought of a vindictive egomaniac with the nuclear launch codes.

I have a baby son, just a little over two months old now. I’m afraid for him and for the world we’ve created for him to grow up in. I have friends who are gay, who are immigrants, who are Muslims, who are black or Hispanic or women, and I’m afraid for them too.

As a writer, especially, I feel like I’ve failed. I wish I had words of comfort or reassurance to offer. I don’t.


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