Breathing in, breathing out

We were so high, after Monday’s canvassing in Southern New Hampshire. We convinced some people to vote, even if they didn’t like the choices available to them – though all were fervently anti Trump. We talked ourselves into a Hillary landslide, a broken ceiling, the first female president.

After we had knocked on some 25 doors we travelled to Durham to stand in line for a few hours at the Whittemore Arena where Obama would be speaking later in the afternoon.

After getting inside the arena we were entertained by the university band, and then a series of rah-rah speeches, kicked op by Congress woman Gabby Gifford and her husband, and then, from the bottom up, the entire NH democratic ticket.

It was my first large election rally. It is a strange phenomenon: candidates preach to the converted. Obviously all the people there were going to vote, and vote for the right people. They had spent hours shuffling along in a line that snaked along for block after block in the hope to get a glimpse of Obama.  I was surprised none of the speakers said, “yeah, I know you are going to vote, but what about the other people on your street or in your apartment building; are there people who are not planning to vote for us, or vote at all? Go and talk with them!” The nice thing in NH is that you can vote and register at the same time.

Instead we applauded their every word, their campaign promises that we know are not that easy to realize, until Obama appeared. That was the real treat: he is a master story teller and the only one who actually engaged with the nearly ten thousand people in the arena. Many of us will miss him, what an inspiration.

And then election night arrived. I was stressed out. My gut told me tings were not going to go as we had hoped. We did not go to the Gloucester Democratic Party HQ. It was a school night and I couldn’t get rid of that bad feeling. I went to bed at 9PM when things still looked promising (with only a few percent of the votes in, eastern state by eastern state), but the running numbers all over the TV screen continued to feed my stress. I slept poorly. When I woke up after midnight I checked Twitter and the sinking feeling was no longer a feeling, but a full body sink. I slept poorly the remaining hours, got up very early and went to work.

At work everyone was in shock. It felt like a funeral – I don’t think there are any Trump voters in my workplace. One colleague wore a black armband as a sign of mourning.

We are all holding our breath to see what will happen to reproductive rights (here and overseas), foreign assistance and of course the Supreme Court (how conservative/fundamentalists will it get). Luckily Sita sent me a little video that said ‘breathe in, breathe out,’ the most sensible thing to do.

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November 2016
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