The surprise victory of Republican Donald Trump in the presidential election caught so many liberals and progressives off-guard that the number and variety of mechanisms they’re using to cope with his win is truly stupefying.
Before Election Day, progressives around the country were completely smug in their attitude that a Hillary Clinton triumph was all but inevitable; in fact, several news outlets and pundits had predicted a landslide blowout, or at least a romp through all or many of the key swing states that Donald Trump needed to win to even remain competitive in the race.
As Election Night wore on, however, smugness gave way to fear, which, in turn, gave way to nausea as state after state turned red for Trump — even states that had been considered Democratic strongholds such as Michigan and Wisconsin where Clinton had barely even campaigned.
In the end, electoral math became impossible to ignore, and Clinton’s hope for eking out a marginal victory was all but lost after her defeat in Pennsylvania was announced. Clinton herself was nowhere to be found at her campaign’s Election Night headquarters at the Javits Center in Manhattan, forcing her campaign Chairman John Podesta to announce to the crowd gathered there that Clinton wouldn’t appear to give a speech until the following morning.
Reports later surfaced that Clinton had become violent toward her staff when she learned of the finality of her loss, and there are rumors that she drowned her sorrows heavily in alcohol in the days following.
Not reappearing in public until a week after her abbreviated concession speech, Clinton admitted at a Children’s Defense Fund gala that “coming here tonight wasn’t the easiest thing” and that after the election she had “wanted to curl up and never leave the house again.”
She looked like death warmed over, leading many to suspect that she had indeed indulged in a drinking binge on Election Night, and her newfound appearance was likely closer to her daily reality than the face most of us saw throughout her campaign, which was caked with TV-studio makeup that assistants applied liberally.
Even worse than Clinton’s own reaction to her loss was the despondency of her fans and supporters in the days following the election, as tears flowed and pleas for divine intervention were uttered. There were petitions circulated online to encourage members of the Electoral College to switch their votes and calls for the Electoral College to be abolished.
Neither scenario was likely, however, and Democrats took to wearing safety pins as visual signals that they could be relied on to be “islands of tolerance and safety” in a sea of supposed hatred and ignorance.
Social media posts encouraged those who were fearful of racial or sexist violence to band together to “support” one another through this “hard time” while The New York Times published a “12-Step Program for Responding to President-Elect Trump.”
Among its steps: “avoid[ing] demonizing people,” “eat[ing] Chobani yogurt” and “sign[ing] up on the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ website.”
Celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus (who tweeted a video of herself crying) and Katy Perry communicated their messages of prayer and despair, which vaguely urged women to “fight for their lives” and that the “revolution is coming.”
Michael Moore attempted to convince a great number of his followers that Trump’s impeachment was imminent. Movie stars who had threatened to leave the country if Trump won had their bluff called and virtually en masse stated through their publicists that they never really meant that they would leave and that the correct course of action now was to battle the incoming administration.
In the initial wake of Clinton’s defeat, colleges actually handed out coloring books and Play-doh to students who were too lost in their own sorrow to be able to function as adults. At Cornell University, a “cry-in” was held, with students chalking sorrowful messages on the pavement of their quad, and tissues and chocolate were distributed to the poor suffering, shattered snowflakes.
At institutions around the country, classes were canceled, and a professor at Rutgers University was committed to psychiatric care for ominously tweeting that he planned to kill “white people.”
He was not the only one to make or utter similar threats. Startup CEO of the firm PacketSled, Matt Harrigan, was released from his company following a threat he made on Facebook to bump off the newly elected president. Harrigan later tried to blame alcohol for his foolishness.
At some private secondary schools in New York City, “therapy dogs” were supplied to anxious children, who were likely upset by their parents’ inability to deal with the upset result that rattled Wall Street markets, media companies and diplomatic consulates.
In one of the most hilarious reports of an attempt to cope with the bad news, television star Lena Dunham of the show Girls was photographed in the remote hills of Sedona, Arizona, seeking “guidance” from a rock formation there.
Dunham wrote on Instagram that the “canyon” she was hiking through told her that “this week is going to be revolutionary, and so I threw my arms open and said ‘bring it.’
Of course, for some Hillary supporters, the answer was violence, and demonstrators were captured on video smashing windows, starting fires and harassing Trump voters (whether they were real or mistaken as such). Over 100 arrests were made around the country as marches were held in at least 200 cities, many of them instigated via propaganda and organization paid for by billionaire George Soros.
There were threats made to rape both Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump. As it turns out, many of these demonstrators hadn’t bothered to vote at all, and so, the suspicion that these “insta-protests” were paid-for events grew to epic proportions.
Political and business leaders got in on the act, with GrubHub CEO Matt Maloney issuing an email to his employees that demanded the resignation of any workers who agreed with the “nationalist, anti-immigrant and hateful politics of Donald Trump.” Later, Maloney tried to deny that he had written his email (despite copies being circulated online).
In the end, all the grieving and the mourning may not bring Democrats much solace, but the remaining 45 days or so of the Obama presidency might provide some small comfort as the false hope and change promised by the one-time Illinois Senator gives way to real transformation delivered by a genuine Washington outsider — President-Elect Donald Trump.