Eve of Destruction by
50
(99 Stories)

Prompted By Politics

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Wearing a pantsuit to cast my vote for Hillary Clinton

Wearing pantsuit to cast my vote for Hillary Clinton

I began this story on Monday, November 7. Here was my first paragraph:

I am starting to write this the night before the election. The anxiety and suspense are palpable. Perhaps by the time I finish it, we will have elected our first woman President.

I then wrote a few paragraphs about the political views of my parents and grandparents, and the development of my own political views, dutifully following the suggestions of the prompt. I got interrupted and never got back to it that night or the next day. Then the political roof fell in Tuesday night. In the aftermath of the shocking election results, I am trashing the whole thing and starting over.

I am so angry now, The only other time I can remember being this angry was when Clarence Thomas was confirmed by the Senate for a seat on the Supreme Court in 1991. I was listening to the voting on the radio in my office, keeping count of the “yea” and “nay” votes as they were cast, and when I heard the 51st “yea” I picked up a heavy desk calendar and threw it at my office door so hard that it made a big gash in the wood. Maybe if I threw something now it would make me feel better.

I have certainly been through many other disappointing election nights. McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis, Kerry are all names that come to mind when I think of candidates I supported who didn’t win. Then of course there was Al Gore, who actually DID win in 2000, but had the election stolen from him by the Supreme Court. That was infuriating, but it didn’t happen on election night. The whole thing dragged out for over a month, from the election on November 7 to the Supreme Court decision on December 12. Of course I was angry about that, but it still feels like this defeat hurts more. Maybe it’s just the passage of time, that I don’t remember how awful I felt 16 years ago, but really I think this is worse.

The idea of having a woman President was so incredibly exciting. Not just any woman of course, I wouldn’t have felt this way about Sarah Palin. I have admired Hillary Clinton ever since she first appeared on the national scene when Bill was running for President. I adored Bill, and found him tremendously charismatic, but I always suspected that she was the brains in the family. She was amazing as First Lady (“Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights”), and she would have been even more amazing as President, demonstrating, as we have always told our daughters, that women really can do anything.

On the night of the California primary back in June, I was chatting with a friend, exulting over Hillary’s primary victory, and literally jumping up and down with excitement. The final night of the Democratic Convention in August, watching her make her acceptance speech, was even more exciting, and inspiring. And last Tuesday, when I put on a pantsuit in honor of Hillary, and went down the street to vote, I was so overflowing with happiness and excitement that I was ready to burst. I posted my pantsuit picture on facebook, and people commented about how fabulous I looked, what an exciting day it was, etc. Even the poll workers told me I looked great! It felt like the best day of my life. Everyone I knew was voting for Hillary. And all the polls were saying she was going to win. And her opponent was so much worse than any other Republican candidate in my lifetime, or maybe ever. For so many reasons this defeat was a bigger blow than I could handle, and I’m still not dealing with it very well.

In 1968 I wasn’t old enough to vote, but if I had been, I might have voted for Richard Nixon as a protest against Hubert Humphrey and the Chicago debacle I had been part of, or I might not have voted at all. While the idea of voting for “the lesser of two evils” has probably always been around, it was in 1968 that the phrase “there is no lesser evil” was coined. Better not to vote for either of them. Many of my most radical friends were advocating voting for 3rd party candidate George Wallace, because he was SO awful, and SO racist, that his election would surely bring on the Revolution we were all hoping for.

That didn’t happen 48 years ago, but maybe the time is now.

 

Profile photo of Suzy Suzy


Characterizations: moving, well written

Comments

  1. Profile photo of Reginald Reginald says:

    Thank you for giving voice to the despair that so many of us are feeling.

  2. Thanks for this Suzy. As RF said above, you captured our precarious rise to hope and our horrifying plunge into grief. I loved the way you intertwined your current reality with your experiences from the torrent of previous political hopes, fears, and resistance. Time to throw another ashtray at the door and then charge into resistance!

    And a great pic, a portrait of hope and expectation that helps me understand — we’ll get there again, and soon.

  3. Profile photo of Betsy Pfau Betsy Pfau says:

    I am there with you Suzy. I voted early, so didn’t have my pant suit moment, and wrote my story before the hideous events of last Tuesday, but it all feels like a horrible dream. I want to throw up when I see clips from the interviews of the Trump family from the golden thrones. Since watching ads for “Fear Factor” years ago, I felt like we were watching the decline of a great civilization, so now a reality show carnival barker has been elected president of this great nation. This morning, I lay between waking and sleeping, thinking that I really was going to wake up and there was going to be a different outcome.

  4. Profile photo of Betsy Pfau Betsy Pfau says:

    Suzy, sorry I didn’t re-read this story before writing my new one, but obviously we have the same thoughts, since I couldn’t get the song out of my head as I wrote.

  5. Profile photo of jshutkin jshutkin says:

    Thanks so much for re-posting this Suzy; it is so well written and a vivid reminder of where we were two years ago. And, of course, the title song is perfect and sadly prophetic. This clown has been just as awful as we had feared.

    Ironically, to listen to Trump and his rabid “lock her up” followers, you would think he was still running against Hillary today. Proof of just how deep his — and these followers’ — misogyny runs. Kavanaugh certainly made that clear, too.

    I am purposely writing this the day before the election so that the “Eve” of your title remains apt. If things go badly tomorrow, I will consider simply “Destruction.” Or a suicide note. Or, maybe, as you point out in your final paragraph, it will be time for Revolution.

    • Profile photo of Suzy Suzy says:

      Thank you for your comment, John. I actually didn’t have to re-post the story – when there is a prompt that is a repeat, all the old stories come up automatically. And I’m glad I wrote it then, because I am too burned out to write anything about the political situation now. The last two years have been exhausting! I think I have PTSD, and if the T stands for Trump, the “Post” part can’t come soon enough!!

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