In a Trump World, I Am Lost

Paris Martineau, Deputy Opinion Editor

As the results of the election grew more and more apparent on Tuesday night, I — like so many others — became devastated. And as the inevitable shell-shock turned to horror, then grief, then shame, then grief again, I was at a loss. I was not merely speechless, but also thoughtless and completely without guidance. I didn’t know how to cope, or even how to begin to parse out how all of this could have happened. I felt infantilized, completely unable to understand the world around me. I wanted answers. I wanted reason — but, most of all — I wanted to call my mom. I wanted to sob and have someone tell me it was going to be okay, that everything would be alright and here was why. But I couldn’t do that.

My mother is a Trump supporter in Florida, and she’s not alone. My father, my sister, our closest family friends and almost everyone from my hometown agrees with my mom. They have championed his candidacy almost since the day he announced. Who am I supposed to turn to in times like this, when the people who have always comforted me — the ones who kissed my boo-boos when I was little and guided me through every heartbreak and disappointment I’ve have ever had — are the very same people who have brought this trauma upon our nation?

It seemed like my short life’s biggest irony, that I couldn’t pick up the phone and call my mother — the woman who used to say, “You can do anything and be anything you set your mind to,” before tucking me into bed every night — and tell her how terrified I was. A man who openly objectifies and demeans women would soon be our president. Not only was I deserted by the support system I had grown up with, but it was this very system that had thrown me into despair. I had always thought of my parents as my role models. They are both wickedly smart, funny and insightful; they have always had the wisest advice. They had always championed equality for me, and were always outraged whenever any of my LGTBQ friends faced discrimination — a surprisingly bold stance for them to take in my immensely conservative, Christian and homogeneous hometown. Yet, now, I don’t know what to feel.

How am I supposed to conjoin my pleasant childhood relationships with the seemingly alien people I know now? The people who shrugged off their candidate’s acts of sexual assault, xenophobia, misogyny and hatred-fueled fear-mongering — labeling them as “unimportant in the grand scheme of things,” or “just someone telling it like it is.” How am I supposed to speak to them, trust them or confide in them ever again? How am I supposed to ever definitively know whether the person calling me to chat is my father, the man who once told me to quite literally and figuratively “kick [the] ass” of any guy who thought he had a right to my body, or just another man who rationalizes “locker room talk” when it’s not happening to his daughter? The same sort of questions can be asked of nearly every family member and hometown friend I have, and it is ripping me apart.

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I don’t know how to come back from this and, in that, I feel like I’m not alone. This is an intra-personal crisis that our whole country is experiencing. While the 53 percent of us who did not vote for Trump are all still deep in mourning, we will eventually have to reach out to that other 47 percent. We’re going to have to try and mend these abysmally deep wounds within our country before the next election rolls around, yet the inevitability of this fact doesn’t make it seem any less impossible. Right now, the fact that 59 million people voted for a man who has explicitly demeaned minorities, women and countless others — and that those 59 million are all real genuine people, each with their own families, friends, values, dreams and love of country — is still too inconceivable. Yet, somehow, we have to find a way to prepare ourselves to take this very first step. If we ever want march on in the wake of all that has transpired, it is unavoidable. I have no answer for how this can or ever will be done, but I can say that for the sake of my sanity and my family, I’m searching.  

Opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them.

Email Paris Martineau at [email protected]

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5 COMMENTS

  1. You should definitely learn to cope.

    Trump is not hateful, he is great and is already making protesters better people by helping them exercise with their daily protests.

    Soon Trump will win in a 50 state landslide.

  2. I totally agree with you……Your parents are both wickedly smart, funny and insightful; they have always had the wisest advice.

  3. I hear your pain & you are not alone. As you progress through life you will find that sadly family isn’t always blood. Donald Trump is our country’s problemed child who is bringing our nations dysfunction to light.

  4. Those 59 million who voted for Trump: You should ask yourself what they were thinking. That’s just about as many as voted for Clinton.

    I’ll tell you what I think, as someone who did not vote for Trump but who knows many who did. They are mostly (my friends, anyway) aware of Trump’s faults, and they don’t like Trump much at all. For most of them he is the last Republican they would have wanted.

    But for them Clinton was so much worse. Now, you might not agree with this, but they believe that she was responsible for the deaths at Benghazi and she lied about it afterwards. She put national security at risk by putting her emails on a nonsecure server just so she could keep her corrupt dealing with her foundation donors secret from FOIA requests. She cares more about the Mothers of the Movement than about the problems of white working people. She dreams of open borders.

    What should you do? Watch to see what he does, and criticize him when he does wrong, and praise him when he does well. Just as you would want conservatives to do for Obama.

  5. You have no chance to succeed in life. At least your family does and realized that you were a waste of a child, and their best bet is to just simply forget you. Go run to your safe space after this micro aggression.

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