Elections - statue-of-liberty

Here at Pryme, we are still in shock and processing the outcome of the presidential election. Like many others, we’ve been reaching out to family and friends for support. In the meantime, one of our Pryme authors sent us the following note:

“I don’t know about you, but I’ve been in a rather strange place since last week’s election results. Through tears, and I rarely cry, I tried to explain to my husband what I am experiencing. Honestly, I don’t think he truly comprehends the depth of my sorrow. I’m guessing that you might be sharing some angst too. As a woman, this new culture will be a bit hard to swallow.”

Her poignant words inspired us to try and capture the feelings and thoughts on the election outcome from various women.

We asked for women to share their thoughts and this is what we heard from you – entirely unedited. This is a collection of their fears, their anger, their sadness and their hopes – your mothers, sisters, daughters, grandmothers, aunts, nieces and others. We hope you are as moved by their words as we are – whatever your leaning and/or perspective.

Out of respect for their privacy, we honored our contributors’ desire for anonymity, except for those who wanted to share their names.

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“I felt horrible about the election, I never saw it coming – I was sure that Hilary was going to win and that I would see the first woman president in our lifetimes.

What surprised me the most about my response to the election was what I noticed in my office in the coming days. My office, which I love, has 2 Democrats (Hilary supporters) and 3 Republicans (Trump supporters!). That has never been a problem for me before, and we all behave professionally, realizing that office-mates’ views can differ, but last week I noticed myself demonizing (mostly just in my head but also behaving coolly towards them) the office Republicans-and these are people I have known for years and like! I was surprised at my reaction and a little alarmed. By Friday I made an effort to engage in neutral chit-chat and this week I am back on track w/ my normal more neutral [ie professional] behavior.”

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“I feel sick to my stomach. Days later, I still feel as if I’m on the verge of tears every few hours. Not just a trickle, but a bawling, gushing, “what on earth just happened” kind of outburst that lets me vent my frustration at the past 18 months.

On election night, I was so happy thinking that I wouldn’t have to listen to any more nonsense from surrogates, the media and fake news in my Facebook feed. But sure enough, the next day, it slowly dawned on me that what I’d hoped was not to be. This wasn’t the end of a bitter, acrimonious fight, but the beginning of a treacherous journey for us all.”

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 “I feel like I’m in some strange cross between the Hunger Games (who will be our Katniss Everdeen?), a reality TV show and the basest of all, ugly, dirty politics. I want to wake up from this nightmare. I want a do-over. I wanted a woman president, and for good to prevail. Instead I hear stories about how people are being subjected to even more racism and hate than before. I grew up at a time and in a place where racism was the norm, not the exception. Now I’m afraid for my children, my friends, and myself all over again. To have to go through another period of fear for our physical let alone emotional safety, it’s almost too much to bear.  These are dangerous times, and I fear we are in the early period of the decline of American democracy, sliding dangerously towards economic, racial, and political crises. Harold James, an economic historian who is an expert on the globalization and the history of Germany and Europe, has written that when there is economic decline, people are far likelier to engage in extremist politics. I am worried that while the majority of those who voted for Trump may not be extremists themselves, they have voted extremists into power and enabled extremist politics of the worst kind. Now we wait for the political and social hammer to fall. As I slowly adjust to the fact that the road just got more winding and the journey more treacherous, I also must believe that in the long run, goodness, compassion, justice and the principles and values of this great country will prevail. In spite of everything, I have to hope it always does.” 

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“The dismal outcome of the 2017 presidential election signifies to me a monumental step backward on our long journey and fight for the equality of women with men. It signifies the continued unnecessary struggle for people of all races and ethnicities – even those born in the US. It represents a sorely missed opportunity for people of all religious and sexual affiliations. Finally, it presents a dangerous pause on our crucial march for free choice over our bodies and mind – in pregnancy and death. May God be with us over the next four years.” – Margaret Cruz

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Perhaps Trump’s election is the catalyst the nation needs to galvanize, to finally wake up from the anesthesia of the last 50 years. Trump’s victory is an urgent wakeup call, a reality check that is the legacy of Barack Obama and also of administrations since the mid-20th Century, when the business of the country became moving fake money around, and the financial industry became the overlords of the government. A notice of the dwindling middle class and that even the poor live in different worlds, divided by color and sex. A knock on the door of the Electoral College to say goodbye, you’ve overstayed your usefulness. A poster for the apathy of Americans who saw a vote for Hillary as an endorsement of more of the same or who realized their votes meant nothing at all. Americans must rise up and refuse to normalize misogyny, racism, bullying, nationalism, and hatred that will have far-reaching effects on the Supreme Court, global warming, the world’s economy, and life as we know it. Make no mistake, the USA is on the verge of a Weimar state. This is not the moment to play nice and hope for the best; it is the time to examine what the Founding Fathers imagined for the country, to jettison what no longer works, and to re-embrace the best of real democracy. It will probably be messy, and it definitely won’t be easy.” 

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“I am astonished that any self-respecting woman, or any man who loves his wife, daughters, or mother would cast a vote for someone who thinks this way about women. I have a teen daughter who now sees that, in reality, a man can grope a woman and not only will society look the other way, but secretly, in the voters booth, they will give him their seal of approval.

And here we thought we were making progress and gaining ground in being treated as equals and with respect… our progress just got dialed back 60 years to 1956.”

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“Donald Trump has been elected as president of the United States and I cannot say I am happy. I find it very disconcerting that the largest and most powerful country in the west has elected a power-hungry racist, narcissist, sexist bully who is largely ignorant of world politics, and not only won’t listen to anybody else’s point of view, but ridicules anyone who voices a different opinion to him. However, as a non-US citizen, my biggest concern is that Trump is a climate change denier that has very little, if any, concern for the environment or other people. Trump’s top-, if not only priority, is making money, and as president of the United States I’m sure the economy will be his primary focus, including expanding oil and natural gas drilling operations. But at what cost to the environment and to the people who depend on the land and water resources affected? In the not too distant past, Trump destroyed pristine dunes on the Scottish coastline to build his multi-million golf estate, completely disregarding the outcries of the local Scottish people who live there — in fact being the amicable chap that he is, he bullied them into selling him their land and threatened those that refused. Now given the power of a president, he can basically do the same across the whole of America if he so wishes. The thought of fracking wells expanding further, leaking methane gas (a potent greenhouse gas) into the atmosphere and poisoning drinking water across the country is truly scary. Trump being elected president in my opinion is really not good for humanity and the planet at large.” 

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“For those of us who have come from repressive regimes, lured by the promise of the “American dream”, this is a rude awakening. But for those around the world who see the USA as the big ugly bully, the results of this election prove once again that the hypocritical mask of democracy has been lifted to expose the diseased face of barbarism disguised as civilization.”

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 “Besides his racist and sexist remarks, overlooking his childish Twitter temper tantrums, and lack of details in his “special” plans for getting rid of ISIS and putting the already increasing US economy back on track, I’ve never considered Trump to be a good leader, let alone an ideal candidate for Presidency. He knows how to talk the big talk and tell people what they want to hear. I went to high school with guys just like him, “I’m going to make so much money with this business opportunity, you’ll see, so much money.” Then reality falls flat. Already the promised wall has been degraded to a fence, the disastrous Affordable Healthcare Act happens to just needs tweaks, and his A-team cabinet is rumored to be in shambles. I’ve known to expect this from him all along, I hope his supporters aren’t disappointed when he doesn’t deliver.
I voted for Hillary. I was truly saddened when she lost. I trust in the checks and balances of our government to keep some sort of order in our country, but I can’t help worry. World leaders are stunned by the outcome, will we lose allies? Will the Republican dominated Congress retract laws put in place during Obama’s Administration and really halt efforts to combat climate change? Will they keep Guantanamo Bay open? I am hopeful that Mr. Trump proves me wrong, that he actually demonstrates good and fair leadership for our country.
I am upset by the ignorant citizens who take it upon themselves to freely harass Muslims and commit hate crimes in the name of Trump’s victory. I am disappointed Trump has done little to condemn these attacks.
The nationwide protests actually madden me, especially those that end with significant property damage and burnt American flags. I understand in some of those cases anarchist groups turned otherwise peaceful protects awry, but why protest at all? We held a free election in our democratic government and your (our) candidate lost. That’s too bad, but life goes on. There’s no participation trophies in adulthood, no do overs. If the electoral college needs adjustment, then work up the ladders to request changes in those procedures. My mother lived in Poland before immigrating to New York in the 1970s, her mother was taken to a worker’s camp during WWII. My mother told me, “I keep seeing middle-class kids protesting, claiming their rights are being persecuted. They have no idea what persecution is, they are lucky to live in America.” They are. They have the freedom to walk around in public places while the police stand by, ready to disperse only if violence breaks out. I’m reluctant to say give Trump a chance, but that’s really all we can do for the next four years.”

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“A couple of days ago, a Facebook friend posted that for the first time in eight years, she could finally feel proud to be a white, employed, heterosexual Christian. I’m seeing posts like this and worse more and more often. My overall feeling of the 2016 presidential election is one of shame. I am ashamed that an overwhelming number of Americans seem to support the divisive hate speech Donald Trump spews. His blatant racism and misogyny has created a regressive new norm in America where overt misogyny is in vogue and racism is the new black. I am ashamed that so many Americans have rallied behind the “Make America Great Again” call to action. They feel that in order for America to be great, it needs to revert back to a time when black and brown people knew their place. They get nostalgic over the days when men could causally joke about sexually assaulting women without being labeled predators. The good old days meant homosexuals were quiet and unseen. This, of course, does not fit the description of every Trump supporter. There are some good people who, for noble and upstanding reasons, cast their vote for Donald Trump with a pure heart. But, this election has given closet bigots a renewed sense of pride and a movement under which they can unite. They are, at last, able to shed the heavy restraints of tolerance and inclusiveness that a liberal society thrust upon them decades ago. Like “dogs returning to their own vomit,” they wallow in the comfort of knowing that others share their hateful ways of thinking and being. The election of Donald Trump makes them feel safe and happy because, now, they know they are not alone. This fact emboldens them with a voice, an excuse, and an assumed patriotic duty to express everything they’ve been forced to hide for so many years. This is their right, but it makes me ashamed…and afraid.“ – E

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“I was horrified by the results, as a woman and as someone who believes in equality for all. I think what has been lost in so much of the vitriol between Clinton and Trump supporters is this: this wasn’t a typical election between a Democrat and a Republican. We had a choice between a competent, extraordinarily qualified person who desperately wanted this impossible job, and an incompetent, mentally ill person who only wanted to win, not lead. For 25% of the nation to not be able to see through his lies, hatred and disinterest in their problems is terrifying. This was not about left vs. right. This was about decency vs. hatred, and what’s perhaps most upsetting to me is that half of Americans didn’t even bother to show up. But I do believe that we’re currently raising the strongest, brightest and most badass group of young women the world has ever seen, and there’s no greater threat to a certain kind of man. This will be the last group of hateful, exclusively old white bigots to hold all the power in our country.” 

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“I went into this election fully believing that we would make history, that we would be an example of integrity for the modern age, electing a woman, and the most qualified candidate ever to run for the office of the presidency! I thought that as a country we have advanced to value grit and service and decorum, that fraud and sexual assault in a man would be a disqualifier, and that someone who’d built his wealth on the backs of and at the expense of working people would not inspire them to lay themselves at his feet – that we would not be looking to elect a king in a nation that believes in equality for all.

The sense of betrayal and despair I feel is as profound as a breach of trust by an intimate member of my family.”

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“I am going to support those around me who are frightened of the change that is going to come. I will support those who need empowerment. As an American, I will honor and respect the rights of each member of this country and in doing so, hope others will follow my example.”

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“Although I believe Hilary was the best candidate, Trump’s win is waking the masses of issues that, contrary to popular belief, are alive and well. His win also reminds us of the work we all still need to do to ensure everyone is considerate, enfranchised, educated and loved.”

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“Initially seeing how far Trump had gotten even early on was wake up call about my country’s feelings about me and those like me. When he won I wholly understood and internalized the same battles my parents, and their parents and so on fought are not remotely over. I feel young people that look like me may have had instances of discrimination in their life time but still felt it these were personal battles not indicators of “civil war”. Oddly enough as terrified as our country can be at the mention of socialism-the very reason Bernie Sanders a candidate, who was for real change never made it to the big race- those in favor of Trump are willfully blind to the clear parallels that can be made to fascism in world history. Summary: I’m “woke” and nauseated, but I’ve got work to do.”

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“I am a proud Latina that is truly vested in my culture, but I also find it extremely important to take a look outside of my circle and realize, that others may need my support. Regardless of their race or political standpoint may be.”

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“I’m absolutely horrified to be in this country under a Trump Dictatorship. I’m a Jewish woman and I’m very proud of my heritage and of being a woman that has so many rights and opportunities because I’m an American. Trump has taken all of the White Supremacists, Anti-Semites, and misogynists in the country and in his cabinet and given them a voice so they can creep out of the woodworks and pass policies against me and against all of the progress this country has made. I’ve never been invested in politics before, but now I feel that I need to be because this election has empowered me to change what is clearly wrong and unAmerican.”

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“I worry that we’re going to repeat history. That we’re going to make the same devastating mistakes that will change us forever. But then I read stories and watch videos of people standing up to hate, and it gives me hope. Hope that I, too, will have the courage to stand up to those who wish to do harm to others.”

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“The elections have affected me in a way that struck me to my core that I never thought possible. I spoke with friends and family where sometimes I second guess and actually wonder if some can fully comprehend the pain and loss because I’m a minority, a woman, and have felt the backlash of racism. It brings me sadness that I feel this way but I take solace in knowing that I’m not alone in this fight and I have to believe and put my faith in hoping that if we fight hard enough, we will find ways to win.”

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Leading up to the election, I felt anxious and unable to fully commit my support to either candidate. What scares me almost as much as a Trump presidency is how divided we are as a country. We are quick to label and judge each other when the issues are much more complex than we can summarize in a few words. I hope that we can find common ground and stop attacking one another. I can only hope that as a president Trump will tread carefully and take actions that promote unity instead of further division.

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Finally, one of our authors wrote a significant piece on her thoughts on the election. What follows here is an excerpt – you can read the entire article here.

“When we feel safe, we trust. I no longer feel safe. My country doesn’t look like the country that I believed it was and I am mourning. Hot tears are always close and I am not a woman who cries easily. I am a tough, Italian-American broad and I’ve endured nine surgeries in my life; two bouts with cancer, infertility and one divorce.  Not much causes me to weep, but this has shaken me deeply.  Something epochal has just occurred. I’ve tried to make my husband understand, but he looks at me helplessly as the tears well up in my tired eyes.” – read the rest of this comment here.

 

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