Like many, I was devastated on election day. I woke up excited, thinking “This is finally it! A highly qualified woman will hold the nation’s top office for the first time.” The night ended in tears. I went to bed hoping that all the news outlets were wrong, that I’d wake up in a different world. I woke up, and cried again. This was not supposed to happen. “But… we’re always so lucky” T said, implying that things were supposed to go our way. Our luck does not extend to global-scale politics.
I had a day or two of devastation, a day or two of “well, let’s at least see what the transition looks like, maybe it won’t be so bad.” Now I’m very worried and wondering… what can I do? How can I make it be known that THIS IS NOT OK WITH ME, but in a way that does something more? Trump can have a chance if he does reasonable things, but so far he has not provided any evidence that he will do reasonable things. He has picked unacceptable people for important government roles and has not addressed the huge conflict of interests between his business and his presidency. How is this real life??? This can not become the new normal.
The other day I woke up with the thought – what we would do with our dog if we had to flee the country? We can’t flee with a pet, but we can’t abandon him. We’re not target groups at this point, but we could certainly be classified as liberal elites in ivory towers. We don’t have anywhere in particular to flee to anyway. I really HOPE I’m just being dramatic here, but I am not 100% convinced.
Financially, I haven’t made any big changes. To preserve cash, I’m halting mortgage prepayments. We hit our 2016 mortgage prepayment goal already anyway – I was just tempted to send a little bit more. We’re delaying taking action on the Volkswagen diesel buyback lawsuit (because we expect to potentially spend slightly more than the buyback on a replacement) – but we probably wouldn’t be doing that until January anyway. Cash seems like a good idea. Both my job and T’s job are tied to government funding of research, albeit in very different ways to very different already small pools. Neither would appear to be in immediate jeopardy, but who knows where Trump’s priorities lie?
I’m listening to liberal leaders and liberal friends whom I respect, and I’m prepared to take action. This isn’t acceptable. I believe that there are enough of us out there to stop the doomsday scenarios playing out in my mind – but only if we all are committed and don’t allow ourselves to accept it.