Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice



Went to bed at one last night, the buzz from a shot of vodka and a White Russian not able to sufficiently dampen the bewilderment of what I had been watching unfold all night on the election map, or quiet the anxiety building over the prospect of a Trump presidency–and Republican control of both House and Senate. The math was not adding up, and that was even before Pennsylvania flipped from light blue to pale pink.

I went to bed hoping it was wrong, hoping that the late tally of ballots would be in Democratic stronghold precincts, while also knowing that a deficit of thirty, forty, fifty thousand votes is a lot to overcome. I went to bed hoping I could wake up in the morning, look at the results, and say, “Whew, that was a little dicey there.” Instead, I wake up and wonder how President-elect Trump will behave, how he will  govern, whether he’ll squander his majority by attacking the senators and representatives who didn’t support him wholeheartedly throughout, whether he’ll follow through on his promises to sue  the women who have accused him of sexual assault, whether he’ll actually ultimately launch (more) investigations into Clintons e-mails and throw her in jail. I wake up and realize that I’m actually going to have to put into practice–somehow–Stephen King’s words I posted here on Monday: “he’s not just the president but my president.” A good line, but it sure don’t taste too good right now.

10 Responses

  1. My reaction was similar when the news was confirmed here early this morning, especially as it seemed things flipped overnight. If he follows through on his outlandish promises, surely it will cause divisions and conflict on an unprecedented scale?

  2. From his acceptance speech last night, I don't think he'll do any of those things. What I do hope he'll do, and am fairly confident he will, is jump start the economy in a good way. Do you know median income in America is the same as it was in 1999? After all that inflation… I was floored by the results too. That was definitely an election for the books.

  3. Nick–It will be really interesting to see what happens from here. Trump wins, and has a Republican majority in Congress. But this is hardly a united Republican party, so it may not be as easy for him (nor for them). Also of interest (and something I may very well blog on tomorrow, if I'm up for it) is that now is the time for all the people who claimed, while supporting Trump, that they weren't racist/misogynist/xenophobic, etc., to prove it.

  4. Crystal–thanks for commenting. I'd like to believe that either he'll reveal himself to be the same as every other politician who gets elected on a boatload of promises that they quickly abandon, or that cooler heads around him will prevail. While I try to take a "wait and see" approach on what he will be like as a president (and, as a friend of mine said earlier today, I will *hope* he turns out to be a damn good one), I think he's exactly the man he's shown us he is on the campaign trail, which is exactly the same man he was 20 years ago, 30 years ago, 40 years ago. And from what I've seen, I don't think that speaks well of him.

  5. Even from all the way over here in Australia, my buddies and I are freaking out. We watched that election map anxiously too and I still haven't come to terms with the results. To think, we were so emotionally invested in the outcome, and we're on the other side of the world! I suppose there's no denying that we see America as a big influential country on a global scale.

    I will be more and more devastated if he successfully does any of the horrible stuff you mentioned in your post, especially if he sues the women who accused him of sexual assault. It literally makes me feel ill that he was elected despite those accusations still floating over his head very convincingly. What can we do? Hope for the best, that he isn't as much of a jerk in practice as he has seemed thus far, and that the next four years goes quickly or that he is impeached shortly.

    Thanks for your post, even if it is depressing as hell. Fingers cross.

  6. I was shocked too. The fact that a third of Latinos voted for Trump blew my mind. I guess many of them are from a real traditional background and would rather have a lying, ignorant, blowhard of a man than a powerful woman. And many blacks just stayed home. As ye sew so shall ye reap. Let's see how they like living in the new un-pc America with a president who's only interested in his own prestige. I'm SO glad I don't live in the US anymore.

  7. Thanks, Bonnee. I will likely have more to say on this subject in another post, but essentially, it's going to be time for all of us here–but especially all the people who for months have been telling us "I'm supporting Trump because the econonmy/the e-mails/border security/whatever is the most important thing to me, but I'm not really racist/misognynist/homophobic/xenophobic etc." It will soon be time for them to prove it.

    The oddball thing is it may actually be worse if Trump were to be impeached (or thrown in jail for Trump University). I'm not sure that Trump believes in much of anything beyond Trump, but Pence is kind of scary in his belief system.

  8. AND, if I've got the numbers right, over half of the white women who voted voted for him. It's a very depressing time. Thanks for commenting.

  9. I was shocked. Still kind of am. Our dinner companions on our cruise were African-American (mother & son). I asked her if she saw who won (which was pretty much the only time I brought up politics). She smiled and said she was happy a Republican won. I didn't comment further, but man, I really wished I had the nerve to ask her why she wanted someone the KKK wanted to win. It just didn't make sense to me.

    I've been saying this since my college days: we need to get rid of the electoral college. It's not needed. Popular vote is enough. I feel like my vote didn't count one bit because of the state I live in.

    I hope I'm wrong and he ends up being a good President. I just don't see that happening right now.

  10. Stacy–I will probably have one more word on this before I'm done (if ever I'm done; who knows?). I guess what it comes down to for people is they prioritize their issues–econonmy, environment, civil rights, whatever–and vote based on that, deciding to swallow hard and hope for the best on the rest of it. That or they just don't believe what they've been hearing. It's been a weird, somber week. I'm glad for some of the things Trump is saying now (though he's pretty damn fickle), but a lot of the choices he's making for people to serve in his administration are seriously concerning.

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