How Did This Happen?

I can’t stop crying. I feel sick, my chest hurts, and I cannot believe this is the country we live in. How did this happen? How did a man who espouses hate, bigotry, sexism, intolerance, and everything this country does not should not stand for become its president?

Larry told me as I shuffled out the door this morning that it was going to be OK. And I’m usually a glass is half full kind of gal, but this time, I don’t think so. Because we now have a president who has very explicitly stated for the past several months that it is not going to be OK for a lot of people, namely women who deserve control over their bodies, people of color, people who want to marry whomever their heart chooses, people who aren’t from this country, people who need access to healthcare, and so many others.

How did this happen? How did we get here? How do we reconcile this as a nation when the cracks are so deep we don’t even know where to begin? And not only as a nation, but with our own friends and family? I keep thinking about someone I know with young daughters who voted for that man. His daughters will grow up knowing that a man who has multiple assault accusers can still be elected president. A man can brag about forcing himself on women and no one will punish him. A man can say the most hateful words about Mexicans, Muslims, really anyone who isn’t white man, and he is rewarded with the highest office in the country. Our country will be led by a man and his even scarier vice president who believe it is their right to punish women for having agency over our own bodies. I don’t want young women to grow up with a president who will perpetuate our lack of self worth, and I can’t make sense of how people I know, people with daughters, could possibly have supported him. I thought they were better than this. I thought America was better than this.

The only thing giving me hope, other than sweet Tippy, who loves to lick the tears off my face, is the kindness of a stranger I encountered this morning. I was crying at a Starbucks on campus before meeting a colleague for a meeting, trying to get myself together. As I dabbed my eyes with disintegrating compostable napkins, a young man approached me tentatively and said: “You and I didn’t have the right to vote for 120 years. We’re going to get through this.” And then he gave me a hug and told me to watch this on Colbert.

This, of course, made me cry harder, but my tears were of gratefulness.

So. What now? Today I am choosing to cry, question, and give in to my crushed spirit. But tomorrow I fight.* And I hope those young women I’m thinking about heard Hillary’s incredible speech today, especially this part:

“And to all the little girls who are watching this: Never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”

P.S. Please go read Kate’s post, which sums up my feelings better than I can. And then read this one and this one and please consider donating to and volunteering for these places. Send Hillary a thank-you note for taking women further. And finally, pray for the Notorious RBG to stay alive…forever.

*HT Wendy, who is having the worst birthday ever.


4 thoughts on “How Did This Happen?

  1. Sending much Nasty Woman 💙 your way. This country has made many mistakes in its 240 year history but it’s citizens have risen up and demanded wrongs be righted. Power in numbers (and pantsuits).


  2. Hi Kara! This is Rachel Lohrmann (now Rachel Sheets). My mom just sent this link to me (i’m assuming from your mom on FB). Thanks for sharing your thoughts and suggestions. I cried hard all throughout the day yesterday at work and at home. And then I talked to my dad on the phone, which only made me cry harder, but it also grounded me and made me feel a lot better. Below is what I wrote on FB last night. We are in this together. Blessings to you!

    “After many, many tears today and overcoming a strong desire to curl up into the fetal position and just give up, I will instead take my dad’s advice and will take a long bath tonight to soak in the baptismal waters, remembering who I am and whose I am. And then tomorrow I will rise up again to carry the cross of Jesus – loving my neighbor, seeking justice, and striving for peace. The cross may be heavy but it is not ours alone to carry. Christ has already gone before us and He promises to go with us. Death does not have the final word. We shall overcome, friends. #Lovetrumpshate”


  3. Hi Kara,

    Your old friend Adam L. from H-ville here. My mother forwarded me this piece. Thanks for sharing your voice in these difficult days. Me and my family are with you, and we are motivated to stand with those who have become even more vulnerable by the outcome of this election. I believe this particular political and cultural disaster will not have the last word on “we the people,” and I am going to work to ensure that it does not.

    Blessings to you and yours.


  4. Pingback: It Wasn’t All Garbage, Was It? | Kara Does It All

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