Donald J. Trump has been Elected President by the American People.

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I’m numb. To the bone. I started to cry, but there are no tears. Not yet. It doesn’t feel real.

This isn’t about Republicans versus Democrats anymore. I’m not just sore because my candidate lost.
We lost so much more than an election, this night.

Some outlets claim Trump is privately musing how to punish his opponents and naysayers now that he’s won. He promises to fix the cities, the roads, the schools. He says it like the schoolyard bully would.
“I’ll show ‘em. Then they’ll think twice about messing with me.”

Who are you trying to show, Mr. Trump? The world, as a whole, respects the United States greatly. There’s a reason it’s called the effective leader of the free world. Even those who hate us, hate us because we’re considered the most powerful and free-thinking nation on the planet. We’re the Big Bad Wolf, one way or the other.

I’m afraid.
Forget my health insurance.
Forget my right to choose.
I’m a citizen only by naturalization. I took a test. I passed.
Trump mused at one point whether that was something he’d like to abolish, perhaps retroactively.
I could lose my status.
This isn’t just baseless fear, either. His party controls the house, controls the senate, has the option to control the Supreme Court. He may very well be able to do whatever he wants, whatever whim strikes him at 3 am, whatever perceived slight of the week sets him off.
I’m worried for my son.
We’re living in the ‘Events leading up to…’ paragraph in the history books. I’m just not entirely sure yet what they lead up to.
Trump has threatened mass deportations. He’s threatened to cannibalize freedom of the press. He’s suggested war crimes as effective strategies. He’s threatened to punish everyone who opposed and continues to oppose him.

Some, perhaps many, are sure he won’t actually do anything terrible, that the checks and balances system would never allow it. That most of it’s been a show, for ratings, treating reality like reality TV. Maybe you’re right. I certainly hope you are. I hope, beyond reason, that President Trump is NOTHING like Presidential Nominee Trump. That he’ll wake up today, refreshed, calm, happy, and aware of the responsibility he’s inherited. That he will do as he promised, and serve the American people the best way he can. I hope that more than anything. But if history is any indication, these hopes may very likely not be realized. He’s come too far, been validated too much. He knows his lying, brash, beat them over the head til they quit tactic works.

Why would he change?

At four in the morning, after putting my restless son to sleep AGAIN (I wonder what his nightmares are), I sit up, cradling coffee, the news flicking by on my phone, the only light in the house.
It feels like giving up.
Like there’s nowhere to go from here, the only chance to run as far as possible and hope he doesn’t come looking.

But we mustn’t give up. Scrolling through my Twitter feed, that is the message I’ve taken away from the massive outpouring of love and support. The world will keep on turning. It needs our art. It needs our voice. Whether that voice is from a woman, a black man, an Asian transgender individual with non-binary pronouns, or a poor immigrant kid. All voices matter. They need to be heard and shared now, more than ever.
Tomorrow I will get back to work.

But at least for today, I mourn. I mourn not that I lost a race. I mourn the future we could have had, and the path we are now damned to tread for at least four years. I hope our system is strong enough to withstand his villainy.
I left Germany and its bleak history. I won’t go back.
Donald J. Trump has been elected President by the American People.

What have we done?

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