When he first started his campaign up again in 2015, I thought it was going to be just like the previous election. He'll be a loud buffoon during the debates, an amusing buffoon. He'll make a spectacle just to promote himself, pick up some more Twitter followers, sell some Trump steaks or whatever. However, something was different this go around. It's a combination of things - social media is more prevalent now, people have become more jaded and desperate.
I watched the Republican debates with a bit of glee. It was more about the spectacle of it all. When Trump bragged about the size of his penis at the debates, I thought he was done for. It was amusing but VERY immature behavior coming from a Presidential candidate. But as Trump picked up more and more votes, it was becoming quite clear that he was going to be the Republican nominee. Seriously, anyone would have been better, even Ted Cruz.
But given that Trump was going to be the Republican nominee, I thought it meant that the Democratic candidate would have been a shoo-in for the Presidency. He has no experience. He's thin skinned. The rallies were insane with him telling his followers to beat up protesters. Given all of this negative stuff, caught on tape, I thought that there was just no way he could become President. Heck, "binders full of women" or 47% comments were enough to ruin your presidential run in 2012. Calling women fat pigs, cursing, etc should have meant that you wouldn't get as many votes.
Then, there was the "grab her by the pussy" debacle. It was so horrid. That entire weekend after that was rough for me. The thing is, I was sexually assaulted in college, when some guy did try to grab me by the pussy when I was at the local dance club. I was wearing a short skirt, as many girls did to that club, and this guy comes up behind me, while I'm talking to my table of friends. He then tries to shove his fingers up me. There was no, hi, what's your name. Nope, straight to the pussy grabbing. Before I could even realize what was happening, the guy had fled into the crowd. That same night, I was dancing with a guy, and he grabbed me by the nipple and twisted. Sexually assaulted twice in one night. Being the naive 22 year old, I just kind of brushed it off. It's what I got for dressing "slutty". It's what you expect to happen to you as a woman at a club. Now, I know that it was sexual assault and horribly wrong. I was completely innocent in all of it. I have spent many hours reliving that trauma everytime pussy-gate got brought up.
I thought Hillary did so well during the debates. She came across as very knowledgeable and acted professionally. Trump, not so much. Still, the whole email thing got the best of Hillary. I did vote for Bernie in the primaries. However, I was definitely very much pro-Hillary before Bernie announced his run. The email debacle was suspicious as well as not releasing the the speeches. But when the speeches were released and emails leaked, they really didn't contain anything all that controversial or horrid. I tried to read through them without my pro-Hillary bias. And even then, they weren't THAT bad. Trump's behavior was still far worse, with the name calling, lying, and just all around bad behavior. But somehow, because he was not polished like we expect from politicians, he got a free pass.
Then came election night. I had my election night drink of choice - champagne. I figured I'd either be celebrating or I'd need to drown my sorrows. I had been religiously checking 538.com multiple times a day, to make sure Hillary was in the lead. It was midnight and the election was yet to be called. In 2008 and 2012, the results were easily called by midnight. I tried staying up a bit longer, but that's when they were saying that PA, MI, and WI were too close to call, and it wasn't looking good for Hillary either. I tried to go to sleep, but I couldn't. I was exhausted, but my mind wouldn't stop racing thinking about a Trump presidency. No matter what I did to try to calm my mind, it wouldn't shut off. Here comes 4 AM, I check my phone, and Trump had one. My heart sank. I was supposed to be getting up in 2 hours or so for work. There was no way I could function on 2 hours of nervous sleep. I called out of work. Thankfully, my Democratic boss was understanding. Still, I felt ridiculous for calling out because of election results.
So here I was, trying to make the best of it all. I wanted to hope now that Trump was going to be President, he'd stop with the petty name calling, the insults, the blowhard behavior. But he didn't change. And I don't think he will. He get's off on the controversies and seeing his name all over the news. The conflicts of interest are HUGE! I'd like to think that they would have been up for more debate during the campaign. But there were just so many Trump controversies every few days, it was hard to follow them all.
I fear for the worst. Am I going to lose healthcare coverage because of pre-existing conditions? Will I still have access to birth control? What if I do need an abortion? What about my LGBTQ friends or immigrant friends? What will happen to their rights? What about the poor people I know that do rely on government subsidies to get by? It's scary times. Although, I hope that the slow pace of government will mean these things won't happen. Or there are enough moderate Republicans who won't put up with this garbage.
“Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. Don't let the bastards grind you down.” ― The Handmaid's Tale