Post-election commentary from the Baroness
The “lash” resounding since Presidential election results 2016 is not a “white lash” as is being sounded on the board. The victory of President-elect Donald Trump over Secretary Hillary Clinton is not about racism, trade, bad hombres, economics, health care, education, love trumping hate, law and order, immigration policy, terrorism. Those are issues that were rallied around during the rodeo campaign for President during the past year. Issues that were supported by both intelligent and nasty, cheap rhetoric and that were devoid of clear solutions by the candidates. The rhetoric formed the boundaries of the candidate’s corrals. One lasso in the hands of a very loud, very rich, thin-skinned, savvy businessman. The other in the hands of a savvy, thick skinned, politically experienced, rich, dynasty-driven woman. Millions of voters based their votes (or non-votes) on the platforms of rhetoric and what the new framework of media world in 2016 urged them to do dependent on which digital network or print source they tuned in to. All in relentless, excruciating day-to-day time over the past year wearing down even the most hardy and dedicated voter.
Both candidates are white and I never heard either speak of the benefit of being white in the USA and the surging flip-flop of the majority and minority census percentages in this decade. So, white lash is cancelled and cannot be used as an excuse for the outcome of this election. Besides, the 2008 and 2012 elections took care of the terms “white lash” and “black lash.” A black man was elected president and that glass ceiling was straight up shattered in spite of every racist effort that ensued to catch the pieces and glue them back in place.
I heard nothing last night through all the election coverage about sexism as the elephant in voting booths around the country. The “ism” that has been around longer than any other. The “ism” that has allowed others to rise. The one in the minds of millions (both men and women) who still, as they cast their vote, held fast to doubt that a person with a vagina could lead this country as President. Voters like these from both urban and rural areas that surged in record numbers to the polls in this election to make sure that did not happen. Last night was also poised in the minds of millions of others that this was the moment when the glass ceiling of sexism would be shattered. To finally join the list of other nations with rich histories of female monarchs and leaders. On November 8, 2016, this nation spoke at the polls and denied that possibility. Furthermore, it was revealed on the day after as a yes by popular vote but a no by the presiding electoral college. Not the phenomena that millions hoped for.
I experienced Election Day very relieved that decision day was upon us. In the days leading up to the election, I had to consciously focus my mind on the issues relevant to my vote and ignore that tiny voice insisting that issues would not decide the election. I had to ignore emotional shreds of intense personal experience that denied me social and economic equity simply because I am a Baroness and not a Baron. I valiantly scoffed at the overwhelming “character” issues of both candidates all the while knowing this cloak was shadowing the vagina vs. penis gender issue that truly was the polarizing force throughout the voter blocs.
Oooo. That nagging voice. “Baroness, you want it to be this time. You want this stubborn glass ceiling to break. You don’t want the candidate with the vagina to lose because of it. You do not accept misogyny as public or private license. There is no way a candidate steeped in it can be in the White House.” But the wagging finger would pop up. “Uh, uh, uh. It can happen.” My closest confidantes worried and wrestled with it also. Something did not feel right. And so on. I did not want that nagging voice to be right this time. But it turned out to be the proverbial fucking compass in a snow storm.
But herein lies the wonder of democracy. And it especially holds true on this day for all girls and women and for all men that truly cherish the feelings of women. An election in a democratic society allows the winner and loser to do so with grace. It does not demand that an election result change your core values or those that your vote rested on.
So, on this post election day 2016, my eyes are bleary and teary but my choicest Mona Lisa smile is on my face. I continue to love my country and am grateful that I live here. I support democracy and my current president. I will always champion resistance to sexism and know that its reckoning is more near than far. I will support President-elect Donald Trump and pray sincerely that he will, as George Lazenby (blogger for the New Inquiry) states perfectly, “successfully perform the revolting calculus of international power politics” as he must for “humanity will be relying for its survival on the most delicate thread by which global politics are suspended: the absence of war.”
In my words, to President-elect Trump and a gleefully-controlled Republican Congress, “Tend to the peace room, boys.” That’s a natural instinct for women. Not so much for men who gaze at the horizon with the hunter’s DNA in their blood, rather than the gatherer’s DNA of women. May the newly elected President grow his hide to the thickness of the prey that men have stalked since beginnings. And may he and his cabinet collaborate also with the legacies of wise women, past and present, young and old. And park the “nasty woman” nonsense at the door of Trump Towers for fuck sakes. You are going to the White House next year.
And may you readers of the Baroness keep strong your flames of resistance to any “ism” that is based on fear of another’s God given strength.
Let’s face it…We are all in this together. There is enough to go around. I love you. And that is why.