There is no silver lining here. Donald Trump is the leader of the free world. For the next four years, the name of the President of the United States will be preceded by the same four adjectives: Racist, xenophobic, sexist demagogue. There’s going to be a lot of time for finger pointing, but there’s no point in that right now. It doesn’t make anyone feel better. I will say this: There wasn’t anything any of us could realistically do to change the outcome.
Basically, there were a lot of disenchanted white people in America whose lives aren’t going well, and whose lives haven’t been going well for a long, long time. They wanted change. They didn’t care what kind of change it was, they didn’t care how destructive it was. They just hoped that some kind of change in the White House would make their lives better. There was no amount of knocking on doors that was going to change their minds.
Trump won, but his vision of America is not better than ours. It’s not. Everyone reading this right now is a better, more moral, more welcoming, and more loving person than that man, and having a President Trump won’t change that. You’re good people. Having Donald Trump as our President is not going to make you lesser people. And if there’s one thing this election did, it was to highlight a lot of amazing efforts by truly great people. Those people aren’t going anywhere. In my town, an Africa-born Muslim named Pious Ali won his city council seat by an overwhelming margin. That’s our future, America, regardless of what happens in the next four years.
There is not a bright side to look at here, and I don’t want to minimize the harm that Trump represents for this country. It could be catastrophic. But we can take comfort in this for the first time in eight years: Our government bureaucracy is a quagmire, and gridlock in Congress is a nightmare, so Donald Trump is going to have a hell of a time turning back the clock on America. Obama could barely get anything done with a Democratic Congress in his first two years. We’ll just have to pray that Trump meets the same fate with a Republican-led Congress. He’ll probably get some things through, but there will be no wall.
We all need to pray for the good health of Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
We can also take the tiniest bit of solace in this: We are a country ruled by capitalism for better or worse, and not even the POTUS can stand in the way of that, so Rogue One will still come out next month. Game of Thrones will still finish its final two seasons. Movies will still come out every weekend, and they will probably get better, because this country is more creative in times of distress.
John Oliver and Samantha Bee and Seth Meyers aren’t going anywhere. Westworld will continue to confound and impress. This American Life will still provide comfort. iZombie will be back in January. Trump may be the POTUS, but Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix, is going to wield much of America’s power.
I don’t know what’s going to happen here in the next few days. Courtney is probably going to yell a lot. TK is going to express a lot of exhaustion and disappointment. Rebecca is probably going to trash some food you love, Kristy is going to find some Lin-Manuel Miranda to keep you sane, Petr is going to comfort you with extra British u’s in his words, and the amazing women of this site are not going to stop taking aim at the patriarchy. I’m probably going to find a yarn wall I can focus on to keep our minds off of politics.
We’re going to be OK, because what brought us together — genre television, indie movies, crappy blockbusters, podcast recommendations, Marvel and Star Wars movies — aren’t going anywhere. We’re probably going to need to swim in those waters for a good long while before we find a way to pick ourselves back up. A movie called Arrival with Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner comes out this weekend, and it looks really good. That’s two hours we don’t have to think about what’s going on in our country.
Look: There’s a lot of good in this world. Seek it out. Take solace in it. Surround yourself by it. Take your iPad, find a loved one, hide under the couch, and watch The Crown for a few days until we can pick ourselves up and figure this out. Together. In the meantime, pray to your Gods to keep America safe from the dangers that Donald Trump represents, and if you don’t have one, pray to ours, the almighty Godtopus, who will wrap you in loving GIFs of John Cho and Hayley Atwell.