I feel exactly two ways about this election. Exactly two things happened.
First, this is what systematic oppression looks like, y'all. Stop telling me that shit doesn't exist--that we elected a black president twice and it's all over and done. Bullshit. This is what it looks like. Voter suppression is the reason we're facing this situation. High incarceration rates are to blame too. This is the first big election after the Voting Rights Act was gutted. Did you know that? The first. I worked the polls as an election clerk. There was a great deal of confusion. We did our fucking best, but there was an awful lot of problems. We turned people away because they hadn't registered to vote. Straight up. They were excluded. We gave out a lot of provisional ballots, y'all--far more than I thought I'd see. Systematic racism is real. We are not post-racial. This is not about the poor, ignorant bastards out in the boondocks either. Stop blaming the poor. Just stop it. This is white straight men and women racists straight up lying to our faces and secretly doing what they've always done behind closed doors: uphold the system of oppression. Is it because they've no idea that it's squatting inside their skulls? (All they know is, they're afraid and feel lost.) Or maybe they don't even give a shit. Either way, the result is the same. Women of color, other ethnic minorities, gender non-binary groups, non-hereosexual persons, religious minorities...all have been the canary in the coal mine, y'all. They've been screaming their heads off, and not enough of us listened. And the reason the media polls were wrong? It's because of people secretly voting for racism and misogyny while denying it publicly. They know what they did. They know the truth.
If you've wondered what pre WW2 Germany looked like? If you've wondered how the fuck Hitler could've come into power? THIS IS IT, y'all. My husband has been telling me not to worry this whole time. "You're over-reacting." He apologized last night.
I wasn't mother fucking over-reacting, damn it. A large number of assholes would rather vote for a moldy orange baboon than a woman. They'd rather throw a spoiled hissy fit and vote 3rd party. They knew they were wrong when they did it, and did it anyway.
Second, I feel the same way about this election that I did about the Hugo Awards a few years ago. This is one of those instances where the popular vote actually would've elected Hillary. A vocal, hate-filled minority has gamed the system in order to maintain power while claiming the system is gamed against them and using that for an excuse for cheating. Yes, they've also swayed people who were "on the fence" about it--people who will bow to power no matter how ugly a face it wears. But ultimately, Democrats in Texas struggle because we've been gerrymandered to hell and back. That's no fucking joke. It absolutely isn't. And it's going to be very, very fucking hard to crank this country back from that fucking cliff because of it. More people are going to die. More cops are going to kill people. Roe v. Wade is very much in danger of toppling. Our health care system is going to collapse. Our recovering economy is going to tank--frankly, it already has tanked. When I said that people going on about starting over because it's all too broken had no fucking clue what they were saying re: wanting to start the fuck over--this is what I meant. "Starting over" isn't clean and easy. It's hitting the fucking bottom in a great big pile of chaos and then working your ass off for decades to get out of that hole you fell into. THAT is starting over, assholes.
I'm one of those people who displays anger instead of fear. It's how I cope and protect myself and others. I wish I could grieve. It'd be useful. I just...can't.
I just keep thinking of the woman I read about in late 1930s Austria or Poland. (I wish I could find the story.) Her first hand account of doing the laundry while the German Army was marching in. Her turning to her neighbor as the echoes of bootheels slammed the pavement and buildings. "I thought everything was fine. That everything would go on as always. Yesterday, I thought the laundry and the mending were important. Everything was going to be okay." She watched the soldiers pour into her city. "I don't know what I was thinking."
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.