Why This Is Different For Us

I've heard and read a lot of people who voted for Trump shouting to the rest of us to "Let it go!" and "Move on." What's most startling is the amount of venom still being directed at those of us who are grieving this election in a very visceral way. For those who continue to shout us down, I'd like to try and explain why it is we feel so empty, angry, and terribly confused. And I'm going to try not to detail our political differences. That's not the point of this.

First, anyone who loses anything they feel strongly about is entitled to mourn and it's not up to you to decide how long or how loudly we should grieve. We voted for real things that we feel deeply would have helped the country and the world. We're not only entitled to mourn, but it's essential that we do. Don't just take my word for it, take the word of every single religion and culture on earth. A ritual for grief is as common and fundamental as a ritual for birth and marriage.

The second reason we're so upset is that we don't see this as one candidate beat another, or one party beat another. You may not like it or agree, but that doesn't change the truth that we feel with every fiber of our being that we're living in a horrifying fairy tale, wherein the villain killed the hero using a wicked arsenal and was handsomely rewarded with the keys to the most powerful kingdom on earth. It doesn't simply upset us, it horrifies us. Again, you don't have to agree, but to deny that half the country feels this way will ultimately imperil you as much as our not understanding you has imperiled us.

The third reason we're reeling is something that will be the most uncomfortable for you to hear, but it also happens to be true. Whether you're a stranger, an acquaintance, a close friend or a family member, you are suddenly and shockingly completely unrecognizable to us. This isn't like other elections, we don't just feel like the losing party, we feel like strangers in a strange land.

Finally, you have to understand that your anger is bizarre to us and even surreal. I've read on friends' Facebook pages that we're everything from "stupid," to "ignorant," to "Evil," even "Devil worshippers," and I've been called a "bleeding-heart monster." To be clear, what I believe is that climate change is real. Let's say I'm wrong about that, does that really make me a monster? I believe that people should have health care, and I'm willing to pay much more in taxes to make that a reality. Does that make me a devil worshipper? My core belief is that we should do whatever we can as a society to help lift those of us who unfortunately find themselves crushed under it. You are entitled to disagree with any of that. My question is this: If the things I just said make me truly evil, how do you reconcile that with the teachings of your church or temple?