Today I feel a sadness that is unlike anything I have ever felt before. The cause isn’t one man’s new job, it is something deeper than that.
Last night, I watched the elections in one of the most liberal neighborhoods in the entire United States. Around me, dozens of extreme liberals got drunk as they cheered each time a new state turned blue on the big screen. Around 7:00 PM Pacific time, as CNN stalled to report on the shifting trend, online statistical models from the New York Times and FiveThirtyEight started to flip their prediction for president. Very quickly, the new reality hit me. Meanwhile, the crowd watching the big screen continued to cheer the sparse blue announcements.
I am not sad because Donald Trump was elected president. To be frank, I didn’t feel a real connection with any of the candidates that were running. I saw pros and cons with each of them.
Instead, I feel foolish and deeply saddened.
I feel deep sadness that I had no idea that there were so many fellow Americans who felt so scared and frustrated. Now, I join them in their sadness.
I feel deep sadness that the information bubble that is my personalized Facebook feed and Google results minimized by view of alternative perspectives.
I feel deep sadness that my gay, black, brown, Muslim, female and foreign friends have been sent the strong message that they are in danger.
I feel deep sadness that the glass ceiling for women was yet again reinforced.
I feel deep sadness from having the rude enlightenment that modern polling and media endorsements are completely flawed.
I feel deep sadness that breaking the golden rule was rewarded with the highest position in this land. (Although, arguably, this has happened many times before.)
I feel deep sadness that the American media failed to tell an accurate story of how the American people were feeling.
But most of all, I feel anxious as I now know I have absolutely no idea how this with turn out. Negative outcomes that seemed impossible to me yesterday are now as plausible as any other outcome. I just don’t know.
I just don’t know.
It is that lack of knowing, that lack of stable guard rails, that is the root of my sadness. It is an incredibly deep sadness and unfortunately, I believe many other people today (both Republican and Democrat) are feeling exactly the same way.