Breaking News: Donald Trump was a joke, and Hillary Clinton will actually be the next President of the United States. That's the national broadcast I've waited days to hear--but it never came. And so I've had to do the unthinkable and accept the reality that Donald Trump is going to be my president. It hasn't been easy, but for anyone else wondering where to go from here, here are five ways I'm coping with the outcome of this election:
1. Take a digital detox. While history may be written by the victors, The New York Times seems to be written by wishful thinkers. I'm tired of pundits, pollsters, political wonks, talking heads, and projections. They have all been wrong or rather, devised by a like-minded tribe of people who I generally have trusted. The first thing I am doing is unplugging. We need a break from the onslaught of media that feeds us. Not only do I not want to look at our new orange president on any media outlet, but I also cannot, at this point, watch Hillary Clinton be impossibly brave when I feel so weak.
2. Hunker down with love. My immediate instinct has been to spend time with my family and shower them with attention and affection. In a bitter election where we watched hate, invectives and lies being tossed out left and right and far right, goodness and love were in short supply. My children are bewildered that a bully and a bigot won. It has been hard for them to understand the dynamics that brought America to this place. I listen to my kids' questions tinged in worry: "Mommy! How could this happen?" "Will there be World War III?" "Do we have to spend time in the US?" But at the end of the day, I still believe that love trumps hate, and that sharing love with family and friends is the first step to rebuilding my inner strength.
3. Moan a lot. It won't change the Electoral College system or the outcome of this election, but it does make me feel better. There is something comforting about moaning. Loudly. Besides moaning, talking with others helps too--this is the time to reach out to people to commiserate on what has happened. You'll feel better than if you bottled it up.
4. Focus on the positive. Like Melania Trump's hair. And Alec Baldwin on Saturday Night Live. And that four years is only 1,460 days. And that Trump could end up governing like a Bloomberg Republican (measured, pro-business, socially acceptable billionaire unfettered by the need to please donors). And, if not at the very least, that California, Nevada, and Massachusetts have voted to legalized marijuana.
5. Consider what globalization costs. My Pollyanna view of the world, having grown up in upper middle class suburban New Jersey, is under serious review as angry people have reared their heads and voted in huge numbers against the established elite. I have taken for granted that the system works and that anyone who works hard and gets an education will have opportunities. This is clearly not the case. EF Education First, the company I work at, brings people together and fosters global understanding through our educational programs. This is still vitally important. And I still believe that globalization can be a force for good. But I also believe my worldview just grew up in the past few days--call it a loss of innocence or call it getting smarter to the way the world works.
Ultimately, we all pledge allegiance to the same flag. We all have the privilege of voting. We live in a free society with a free (if not wildly misled) press. That said, I still plan in the next few days to unplug, love, and do alot of moaning.