November 8, 2016. I woke up and went to work. Every nerve in my body seemed to be doing a bicep curl and holding it. My racist Trump supporting co-workers talked quietly amongst themselves. Everyone was tense and on edge.
I probed the news for any nuggets of value during the day and then went home and had dinner with my wife. Around 7 p.m., I turned on my laptop to stream the returns. Nervous, I folded a massive pile of laundry to take my mind off of the results that were about to come in.
The start of the evening appeared to be going just fine. Things were playing out like the Clinton campaign predicted they would. Early returns indicated that turnout was definitely down, but the results still appeared to be positive.
Then Florida started to get a little closer than expected. It was still all good, until the results from Pinellas County rolled in. It was a key swing county that Clinton needed to win and a barometer for her performance in the rest of the state. It went for Trump.
I felt a feeling in my stomach that can only be described as a train rolling slowly off of a cliff. Florida went down and North Carolina soon followed. Later that night, Trump’s midwestern version of an overkill in Halo played out. He won.
I stayed up all night. I shed some tears for fears I had about what his administration would bring. He hangs over all of us every day, a cloud that draws moisture from the worst elements of America, a storm that throws thunderbolts of the ego that no magnetic field can deflect.
My wife tells me that ever since the election, I’ve changed, I’ve become more easily upset, more down in the dumps. While I will never give up hope or stop working for positive change, she’s correct.
I hate the fact that Trump is in my marriage, in my house with my daughter, that I turn on the television and his face is plastered in politics and not in the tabloids where it belongs. I know that Trump has destroyed some marriages and familial relationships and put many people into therapy. I try to find optimism, but sometimes I just have to express the fact that (forgive my language) this shit sucks ass and I fucking hate the fact that we have to live with Trump and his baggage.
In his amazing obituary of Richard Nixon, the late, great Hunter S. Thompson wrote: “you don’t have to know who Richard Nixon was to be a victim of his evil Nazi spirit.” We all know who Trump is, we all know Trump loves Nazis.
And the people of color, women, Muslims and members of the LGBT community in America have been the first victims and borne the most acute effects of Trump’s regime.