Donald Trump was elected America's president. Donald the dumb, the racist, the sexist, the king bloviator, the tantrum totalitarian.
I knew America was racists and sexist and skeptical of education and nuance. I've seen it work against me as a professional in a profession that's all about nuance.
But I wasn't ready for this. I thought more of us stood on the side of acceptance and of striving to be better and know more and do more for each other and for ourselves.
I am sad and angry and confused. I think it was a Washington Post article by a University of Wisconsin professor that explained Trump's win as a lash-out from rural America that sees all the power and money and voice shifting to cities. As a planner, I should have thought about that. I didn't.
Because my education also makes me aware of a vast constellation of factors converging to make that the new reality, and none of them impacted in a positive way -- in fact only in the most undesirable ways -- by a Trump presidency. I only see his leadership working out well for other brainless billionaires and for white supremacists.
And my fear and anger at empowering Trump's hatred and ignorance has completely overshadowed my sorrow for Hillary. I wasn't her biggest fan. I, too, lost sight of her accomplishments and her incredible competence because of media reporting. I let her husband's slimy behavior overshadow my opinon of her as a woman in her own right because she seemed to have made a calculated political move to stand by him to consolidate their power and influence -- stronger together, as it were. I judged her as a wife and still wish she would have divorced him when the worst was known. But I recognize and admit that I know nothing about their relationship or their marriage or their partnership. And I recognize and dislike that my instinct to judge another woman for her behavior with her man led me to overlook the solidarity we have -- should always have -- as women.
I'm enormously sad for Hillary. And all the little girls who were ready to see in her presidency a symbol of their own worth and potential for leadership. I love hearing about how much Hillary was respected by her staffers and colleagues. I'm interested in what she will do now.
I wish I could write her a thank you note for standing up for us. For her years of leadership. For her strength and smarts and steel. She will forever remind me to be a better woman, a better person, and a better American. Stronger together. All the way.