One woman I know posted that "literally millions of Americans right now are telling women this: It doesn’t matter how qualified you are. It doesn’t matter how smart, capable, or experienced you are. It doesn’t matter if you are the most qualified person for your job in American History… You are still not as good as a sexist, racist, bigoted, misogynistic f*#kboy who paints himself orange."
And CNN political commentator Van Jones said "People have talked about a miracle—I'm hearing about a nightmare," Jones said, visibly choked up. "It's hard to be a parent tonight for a lot of us."You tell your kids, 'Don't be a bully.' You tell your kids, 'Don't be a bigot.' You tell your kids, 'Do your homework and be prepared.' Then you have this outcome and you have people putting children to bed tonight, and they're afraid of breakfast. They're afraid of 'How do I explain this to my children?' I have Muslim friends who are texting me tonight saying, 'Should I leave the country?' I have families of immigrants that are terrified tonight."Jones acknowledged the election "was many things" and a "rebellion against the elites." But he also described Trump's win as a "whitelash against a changing country.""It was a whitelash against a black president, in part, and that's where the pain comes from."
And yet, 60 million people voted for him. It's important for us to think about what that might be about.
I like what Mike Rowe from the show "Dirty Jobs" said, "Yeah, it was dirty job for sure, but the winner was NOT decided by a racist and craven nation – it was decided by millions of disgusted Americans desperate for real change. The people did not want a politician. The people wanted to be seen. Donald Trump convinced those people that he could see them. Hillary Clinton did not."
My guess is that many of the people who voted for Trump are people who are still trying to live through the housing market crash that hit all time lows in 2012. That was on the heals of the Stock Market crash of 2008 where it was exposed that the elite were so greedy that they were financing deals that were not going to keep the economy stable and secure but would put lots of money in the hands of the elite that brokered the deals. These people are still trying to get back on their feet and they have been watching a government try to function that has been stonewalled by the Congress and bogged down by politics. I think they are tired of the rhetoric that they hear from the elite while they are still in states of reconstruction. My guess is that it would feel like being kids in a family where the parents are fighting so much that they forget that their main function is to provide for their family economically, support and love their children and help them to learn the skills to move out into the world and grow and thrive physically, emotionally and economically. Mike Rowe said "The people want to be seen." The first stage of development when we are babies is trust vs mistrust. Before anything else happens in our brains we need to feel the bond with others and believe that they have our backs. This never stops being at the core for all of us and, for everyone, different things can trigger our responses from that fight/flight or freeze level. Over the last decade the elite lost trust of the 'common folk' that do the dirty jobs. In the media those people are not represented and are as invisible as the all of the other minorities. I believe that Donald Trump got their vote to run the business of government and, I think they probably, naively, they think he can fire anyone who is just playing political games.
So what can we learn from this? We can learn to assess systems and how well they are functioning and decide whether the issue is about us or the dysfunction within the system we are in. I believe that there is so much mental illness in our culture because people have split off from feeling their vulnerability out of self protection from our cutural norms. We have stopped being transparent and honest about mistakes because our culture has become so critical and perfectionistic. We have become greedy and materialistic in how we are portrayed in the media,leading to unrealistic expectations that make people run ragged in an effort to prove that they are "OK" by societal standards. When people come for therapy they are often diagnosed with anxiety or depression. They believe that the illness is in them instead of a cultural norm that is out of control. And this cultural norm is in our leaders too. The Donald Trump and Hillary Clintons of the world don't miss out on internalizing this,and the fact that everyone matters and we need to create systems that are sustainable long term gets lost.
So since this blog intent is about creating resilience and hope.....how do we move forward? BE THE CHANGE!!! Resist having a life full of material things that prove, superficially, to your neighbours that you are 'OK' at the expense of your having fun or relaxing. Do not stay silent when you see bullying .....of anyone. Don't put your attention on the bully, put your attention on the person that is being bullied and ask them what they need from you. So take your attention away from Trump and put it into anti-bullying movements, supporting LGBTQ or women's rights, helping with a habitat for humanity build. Whether they be a black, white, muslim, gay, poor, women, native, disabled or trauma survivors; love heals. Be the change and be grateful that we live in Canada where we have a fairly stable economy and a Prime Minister who is leading us by example in healing the wounds of our vulnerable populations.