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Now what?

I've spent the day in deep and dark despair. Yesterday's election made the unthinkable a reality, and for the second time this year I find I don't have the emotional repertoire necessary to process what has happened.

Many friends and family have posted words and images and memes meant to provide comfort, to express anger and outrage and a will to fight to take our country back. Hillary made a gracious concession speech, I'm told, but I can't bring myself to watch or read it. Same with Obama's speech today. I have mostly stayed away from media. Before I went to bed last night, I reset my clock radio to wake me up to KING-FM, the local classical music station, rather than KUOW, the NPR affiliate. I have unfollowed and hidden every Facebook feed from news and political outlets, including NPR and the New York Times, and I canceled my New York Times web and smartphone subscription. I'm taking a hiatus from being a news and politics junkie. Being better informed has not proven to be an asset in today's America. So I'm going to tune out, at least for a while. I am planning to stick around on Facebook, but I will be blocking all political content, so if you share political articles, I will not be reading them. At least for the immediate future.

I'm also going to begin researching my options for moving to another country. I admire those who say they will stay and fight, and it's not that I don't want to fight, but I believe the fight will be of no avail. The will of the people has been subverted by the electoral college for the second time in the last five elections, and I don't believe the electoral college will ever go away. Gerrymandering has ensconced a conservative majority in Congress and in state legislatures, pretty much in perpetuity. We have a federal government run entirely by people whose values are so fundamentally different from mine in virtually every way. I just don't see a place for myself as a gay person in this country, and as a non-Christian, I fear that the future will bring increasing intolerance, violence, and hate speech.

I would like to think that if I were living in Europe in 1933, I would have gotten out before it was too late. And for those who say that could never happen here in this day and age, that's what people said then. Here's what the New York Times wrote about Hitler in 1922, when his rise to power was just beginning in Bavaria:
Several reliable, well-informed sources confirmed the idea that Hitler's anti-Semitism was not so genuine or violent as it sounded, and that he was merely using anti-Semitic propaganda as a bait to catch masses of followers and keep them aroused, enthusiastic, and in line for the time when his organization is perfected and sufficiently powerful to be employed effectively for political purposes.
Many of the people who have been posting words of reassurance today are the same people who were posting warnings about how Trump's rhetoric hearkened back to the language of the Nazis. So if you are now saying it's can't happen here and now, if you are saying we can fight, if you are offering words of comfort and reassurance, please forgive me if I am skeptical. I do appreciate the supportive comments, but at the end of the day they are hollow and meaningless.

So over the next months, I will start downsizing. It's time to start selling, giving away, or discarding the "stuff" I've accumulated, sell my house, lighten my load, and be prepared to flee. I will start asking questions and getting answers so I can determine what options are feasible.

Today was a day of despair. And I don't see the darkness lifting any time soon.

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