I am weirdly hungover from all the feelings I felt on Election Night. Mostly anxious, but also sad, worried, scared, amused, and finally happy/relieved/triumphant all at once. Yesterday, I was a zombie; a happy zombie, like one with a fresh carcass to feast upon, but a zombie nonetheless. Part of my post-election season ennui comes from my not getting enough sleep recently. On five hours a night I turn into a whiny, defiant teenager, which is not even a good look on real teenagers, let alone a grown woman. I also have a canker sore on the bottom of my tongue (one at a time, gentlemen, please!) which hurts. And I ate some weird sushi at lunch today, so I might die of fish poisoning tonight, which would really bum me out.
But aside from small personal tragedies, I’m genuinely unsettled. The world is changing; minorities and women are getting not only a vote but a real voice. People are listening. Marijuana is finally being decriminalized after a preposterously long wait. Gay marriage is becoming a reality for so many Americans. This is all really exciting. America’s values are finally catching up with those of our allies. I am thrilled that there are more women in Congress than ever before and that both of the GOP’s most vocal rape apologists were voted out of office, and I cannot express my immense relief at President Obama’s victory on Tuesday night. We are a lucky nation to have a leader who wants to speak up for all of us.
But this election was ugly. There are Americans who are angry that women slutty, slutty sluts helped decide its outcome. There are Americans who are pissed that the black guy got another four years; claiming now he’s actually going to take their guns and make the US all abortions, all the time. And there is a large contingency of this country who voted solely based on what the President could do for their personal tax bracket, regardless of how the rest of the country fares. We are a country divided. I hope that the politicians elected will make an effort to work together and actually accomplish something, rather than steam-rolling over each other based on racism party lines.
Tuesday night made me proud to be an American. The vitriol from both sides over the past 36 hours reminded me that pride can be hard to retain. It would be nice if elections were less about wanting your side to FUCKING WIN and more about wanting to hear two (or more) rational people honestly discuss the best ways they think they could lead the country over the next four years. It would also be nice if I didn’t have a canker sore, but in this best of all possible worlds, we must work with what we have today.