Electoral Grief and Contribution

Today is either the day our President Elect becomes President, or something bizarre happens, depending on who you talk to. Our Electoral College casts their votes, and we will soon know the 57th President of the United States.

Watching the Pantsuit Nation crowd become absolutely unhinged over the election results is a bizarre sight. They’re almost going through the Kubler-Ross stages of grief over going #WithHer and not getting their way. Chris Matthews nearly went Bible Belt Baptist on election night, muttering with disbelief over President-Elect Trump’s plotted victory. People still can’t believe it happened, and mutter their complete disbelief eight years of identity politics were dismantled in one night. That’s textbook denial over a month after Election Day.

The anger soon followed. Cries of #NotMyPresident rang across the nation. Here in my beloved Scruffy City we had protests of “Brick by Brick, Wall by Wall, Racism Has Got To Fall.” Some protests on the West Coast turned violent. Even today some remain steadfast in their desire to unleash fury on anyone they feel responsible for a Clinton defeat. Huma Abedin, James Comey, Russia, are all targets of outrage. The potential for mob violence against an elected President is so great it’s costing our country millions of dollars per day in security costs alone, depending where you look.

With every new cabinet pick the media winds up the outrage machine. Hit piece after hit piece cranks out the moment Trump makes a new decision. One wonders if Trump, the target of immense ridicule and scorn from the press the moment he announced his candidacy, isn’t enjoying fucking with the media every day. Want to make folks upset over education? Put someone in the cabinet who loves private and charter schools. Want to get the labor crowd unhinged? Get the guy from Carl’s Jr. in as Labor Secretary. Housing and Urban Development? Ben Carson. You’d think they’d get tired after continually expressing so much outrage to the point they “literally can’t even” and move on.

It seems as if the dedicated are working their way through bargaining and depression at the same time. Many turned to the Electoral College and asked daily for electors to “vote their conscience.” Some did so kindly. Others resorted to death threats. Another bargaining tactic involved Russia again once a report allegedly linked the nation to some sort of interference through “hacking” in an attempt to make Trump President. That led the push to hold off the Electoral vote until an “independent investigation” could conclude and the Electors informed on just what cybercrime, if any, influenced the election.

Depression comes in the form of some announcing their loss of finding a partner with a Trump Presidency. Others actually filed divorce proceedings when they learned a spouse voted for Trump. Kate McKinnon, the SNL actress portraying Secretary Clinton, appeared on the show the Saturday after Election night in a white pantsuit singing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” in what appeared as a gesture of mourning. McKinnon would return to the show on December 17 in a disgusting spoof of the film “Love Actually” begging the electors to not vote Trump.

What the folks going through these stages of grief don’t understand or grasp is the root cause of why their side lost. They have yet to reach a point in their own personal grasp of the election called “contribution.” That term comes from a book called “Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most” by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen. It refers to a person’s acceptance of what they did, however small, to cause a certain outcome.

It’s easy for us to engage in “naming and blaming” according to Stone, Patton and Heen. We do this all the time. Identify the source of what we personally feel is the problem at the center of our lives and then assign a level of blame to the subject. Our blame may be justified. What takes time and effort is the “contribution,” because it requires you to look in the mirror and figure out what you personally did, however small, to contribute to the issue that caused the dispute.

For those grieving that a woman president isn’t getting election results confirmed today, the contribution factor could vary. It could be a sense of outright hubris, that the “most qualified candidate” didn’t get her way into the White House. It could be apathy, since so many people stayed home during voting hours. It could be a failure to grasp some people care more about jobs than who used what bathroom. Your mileage may vary.

Until the grieving understand why they feel how they feel, they will only remain in misery. The rest of us will move on.

“Fuck Off. We Won.”

Chuck Johnson of Got News was approached by someone #WithHer after election results were over. This individual asked him what it was like to elect a racist, sexist, transohomophic white guy into the White House. Chuck’s response was simple and to the point. “Fuck off. We won.”

Pax Dickinson, Chuck’s business partner and co-founder of WeSearchr, is featured as the front page photo of numerous international newspapers following Donald Trump’s Presidential election win. The photo is a pictorial version of Chuck Johnson’s statement: Pax with a red “Make America Great Again” hat, smiling, extending both middle fingers to the camera. He says it without words: “Fuck off. We won.”

What a statement worth unpacking, now that “Elites” are beginning to unravel and reveal their true nature. The promises to re-examine their relationship with working-class white people are telling. Now that protests continue to rise in the wake of what THEY term a “rigged” election, it’s definitely time to take a look at the “Fuck off. We won” message and what it means for those who repeat it as a mantra.

In the aftermath of Election 2016, the Elites, from the media talking heads to those playing at the highest levels of the Oppression Olympics, went through the Kubler-Ross “Stages of Grief.” It’s understandable. The loss handed them by America’s new White Working Class vote (dubbed WWC, “a pro wrestling model” in smugness by one writer) stripped the power away from those who would put genderless bathrooms and dub a green cartoon frog a symbol of hate. Those with the power lost everything, and couldn’t accept it when the final results came in. Even those who weren’t entrenched in elite structures kept pressing with smug superiority about “Faux News” and asking the President-elect’s support base if they’d accept the results, along with the President-elect, when he lost.

Then the “unthinkable” happened, and they lost everything because of their political correctness and identity politics. The “If you disagree with me on (x), unfriend me” approach didn’t work. It built an angry silent majority that wanted to have those “honest discussions” the Elites kept shutting down every time someone reached out to have them. Their ways didn’t work, and it cost them the Executive, Legislative, and arguably the Judicial branches of our government.

Within twenty-four hours of the American public’s identity politics repudiation, those who clung tightly to labels of “marginalized,” “oppressed,” and “disaffected” took to the streets and began protesting the election’s results. It didn’t matter the nation’s Commander in Chief or their chosen, “deeply flawed” candidate called for a smooth transition of power. It was time for the anger stage of grieving to begin, and it’s where we currently sit.

(Denial already passed election night and during the hours after. If you doubt this, watch this video of Chris Matthews praying to the Deity of his choosing in the early hours of November 9.)

Now anger is the word of the day. Protests, some organized by people who didn’t vote, fill the streets. The media elites are those supporting this anger, and no one thinks for a second this even close to strange. Media figureheads with major fan bases like George Takei and Joss Whedon called for open revolt in the streets. Those who would call upon our nation’s 45th President with the term “friend” would tell him they’re watching, and that he must stand for all Americans or else more protests would continue.

Even in his first televised sit-down interview, the President-elect was asked to condemn HIS supporters who committed acts of violence against the “oppressed.” He did. It was a nice gesture, and one I don’t know if I could replicate given the circumstances he faced.

One continued stance seems to seep through current discourse like water leaking through cracked pipes. Conservatives who supported Trump, or those who accept his Presidency, must reach across the aisles and comfort those brainwashed masses who think America just elected its first dictator. The folks who prance about Medium say it’s the conservative duty to demand our President-elect “disavow” hate groups who support him. Even those who reach a more nuanced worldview say it’s time to help the progressives #WithHer “de-Hitlerize” their brains by letting them know the world’s going to be okay.

Then there’s the voice of the people. I didn’t understand Mike Cernovich’s view that it was on the Democratic establishment to reach across the aisle and offer a chance at healing until Rush Limbaugh, of all people, put it into perspective for me. As he ranted last week, during every major change in power, whether conservative or liberal, the onus is always on conservatives to “heal” divides and put a band-aid on the nation’s wounds when a divide exists. It happened with George W. It happened with Obama. And now it’s happening with President-elect Trump.

As anger flows on the left, and they revel in it, maybe Pax Dickinson and Chuck Johnson were right. “Fuck off, we won” might be the mantra conservatives need to adopt.

If the progressive elites and their huddled masses in fear won’t accept the results of a free and fair election? Fuck off, we won. If those who had the power took it too far and decided naming and blaming was the best course instead of figuring out where the hell they screwed the pooch and fixing it? Fuck off, we won. Those who “can’t even” and are “literally shaking” after levers are pulled and ballots counted? Fuck off, we won.

Humility and grace are wonderful traits in any human being. When the same people are demanded to display those traits, regardless of the circumstance, maybe it’s time to consider a different approach. After all, if those who had the power can’t bother to display the same when it’s their time, then maybe it’s time for a different approach.

Maybe “Fuck off, we won” is the appropriate response to the Elites.