Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers, nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire. Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing, nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or a valley. For fear will rob him of all if he gives too much.

- Alan Paton


Dear readers and friends,

I have tried to write a little post, or put up a few photographs, several times in recent days. It has been impossible. Although I have no desire to write about the election, apparently writing about anything else first would be disingenuous. So I will try.

But I will try not to write much, and there will be no rehashing or finger-pointing or ranting. There has been so much of that. In this election more than any other in my lifetime, it has been difficult for even well-intentioned people to respectfully differ. Many voters who supported either major party candidate, literally could not imagine how anyone - especially a friend or colleague - could vote for the opposition. The past couple of months in particular have been a continuous strain on individuals and often on relationships.

Last Tuesday I was nearly giddy with relief as I drove to Town Hall to cast my ballot. It was a beautiful day, and seeing the Stars and Strips bright against the blue sky over the Town Common, I thought of my father - a decorated veteran of the second World War, who carried for the rest of his life the wounds received as a very young man fighting to help end Nazi dictatorship in a foreign land. As I often do at odd moments, I wished I could phone my father and talk about what we were doing that day.

On election night, watching the numbers slowly come in, I tried to knit but couldn't. I tried to eat, but couldn't. Hour after hour the Electoral numbers came in and I finally realized I was witnessing, in real time, the willful self-destruction of my own country. I was living through the beginning of the end of The Great Experiment; this very young and very blessed nation, these United States of America.

Wednesday morning the sun came up, and the world had been changed. Not just my world, or the US, but The World. The effects of this election will be far-reaching and long-lasting. And I am very, very frightened.

I am also glad that my father is not here to see it. And that I have no children or grandchildren looking to me for an explanation.

I remember in the first days after Brexit, feeling that I was tiptoeing around the blogs of friends in Britain and leaving the comment-equivalent of a few hushed words of sympathy offered at a wake. I didn't know if it was the "right" thing to do, or if my inadequate words could matter even a tiny bit to those people who were reeling from a vote they could not believe had happened in their country. Well, now I know: those words mattered. Because the brief lines of support I've received from blog-friends - or even from twitter, where relationships are built on 140-character communications - have meant a great deal to me.

And now I'm crying again. I have had tears in my eyes more often in the past seven days than I would have believed possible.

That is all I have to share. I will leave the comments open, because I trust my readers to be respectful of me and each other, regardless of our differences. I hope you understand that I did not write this post to invite debate; I simply found that I could not write with sincerity about anything else without first trying to express the impact this election has had on me, personally.

If you've read all the way to the end, I thank you.
And I hope to return to "normal" blogging soon.

Edited 16 Nov 220 PM
I'm not going to respond to every comment, because that would be exactly the debate I don't want to engage in. But seeing the direction comments are taking, I will clearly state my personal position just once.

I supported Hillary Clinton 100%.

Not because she was "not as bad as" a hate-mongering, misogynistic, racist braggart with zero interest in ordinary working people before this election, and the attention span of a gnat. Not because "Bernie lost the nomination so that just leaves Hillary."

Because I have watched Hillary Clinton's career for most of my adult life, and I have faith that she is tireless in her efforts to make our country a better place, in ways that matter to me.

There have been many times - going back decades - that Hillary Clinton has done something, said something, achieved something - that left me speechless with awe.
Not my usual state, as you know.

And she has taken endless abuse for her efforts.
But kept doing the work.

I have followed the candidates' own words - not just the news media - their own words - throughout this campaign, and I am genuinely heartsick and, yes, terrified, at the thought of the USA in the hands of the president-elect.

I do not expect ANY candidate to be perfect.
I do not expect to agree with ANY candidate on every issue.

But I would have been delirious with joy and thrilled for the future of my country had the Electoral College truly reflected the voice of the people, whose individual votes would have taken Hillary Clinton straight to the White House in January 2017.


  1. Well said Quinn. I can't say that I was a Clinton supporter, but I definitely would not have supported the other one. The world is reeling and I can only begin to imagine what will be coming. Already I can see the inroads that have been made to any sort of equality have been eroded and we are transported back at least two generations. I do fear for the world. Most of all I fear for our young people. I know I live in Canada - thankfully - but this situation will affect us because what the US does has a direct impact on us. At this point I don't know what can be done to mend the damage and my heart aches.

  2. Well like you said you do not want a debate... and i agree.. What has happened since the election bothers me more than the election itself... This is not how we Americans behave... Never have i seen this behavior in my adult life after an election.. It may nor may not be want some people want... we are very divided as a country... but its time to come together and make this work... Tell me their were people behaving this way when Obama was elected TWICE... or any other president in my recent memory.. No .. its disgraceful.. I'm more embarressed over our behavior in the streets rioting and burning like some third world country than i 'am about the outcome of the election..........

  3. Alan Paton would without a doubt "Cry, the beloved country,..." if he saw what was happening here in South Africa now. What a mess - all due 100% to corruption, greed and a skewed sense of entitlement which supersedes all reasoning. I feel for all those ignorant voters who keep electing them into power thinking that finally they will keep their word. What they don't realise is that the corruption in the education portfolio / deliverance is purposeful - keep your voters ignorant, and they won't know / choose any better. Grrrrrrrrr!!!

    As for the US - honestly, had I had to vote, I do not know who I would have chosen as both main candidates were as bad as each other - in different ways. And as for their respective campaigns (or lack thereof) - WHAAAAAAAT was that all about?

    However, with that said, I do not envy this planet with DT in the position he now holds...

  4. My commiserations, I'm sorry you have to go through this. I agree that this result would be damaging to your country. As for the rest of the world, it has already been burning for quite a while now.

  5. I feel with you--your pain--your worry--your can't believe this is happening--but it is--so now what--????
    I tell myself each day--don't worry about it will work itself out--but to what end--that is the question--
    and like so many others--I am not sure if we would be feeling any better (well maybe just a tiny bit better) if the other one had been elected--at least for the most part she kept her mouth shout and did not start fires with a twitter account!! but what other crisis might we be fearing!!
    so I will just bury my head in my quilting --plan for the holidays and pray and know that God is the one in control here--and he will win in the end!!
    Love, di

  6. Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child
    had Hillary been elected

  7. Thank you for your thoughts today. I am in the same place both heartsick and upset for our country. I voted as you did for the same reasons. Is appreciate your taking the time for all your comments and your blog entry.

  8. I hear you! Perhaps just consider this post closed, and no further comments? After mine, that is! But do leave your words up. They're heartfelt and true to you.

  9. You and I are in the same emotional space. I feel the same way. Everything is different now, and I am terribly afraid. I am starting to realize that there's an America that I didn't know existed. A group that is so desperate to change the direction of our country that they've done this. Yes, this will change our direction but it may also be our destruction.

    Do you follow honeyrockdawn.com? Her latest post has a story about a heyoka. I think it's worth reading for people like you and me.

  10. I know exactly what you mean when you said it felt as though you were watching the wilful self-destruction of your own country - that's exactly how I felt about our EU referendum. It has totally rocked my view of the world and I still feel shell-shocked, by both the referendum and the US election.

    It is a constant battle not to feel angry and judgemental when, even if it wasn't the motive behind most people placing leave the EU/Trump votes, the overall outcome feels to be one that represents racism, division, self-interest and in the case of the US, a reversal of women's rights.


  11. I've been frightened and frustrated for eight years so I voted Trump. The direction this country has taken over the last eight years is extremely frightening. The hate I've felt because I'm a white, conservative, Christian female scares me to death. Hate didn't elect Trump; people who have been totally disenfranchised and left behind voted for Trump. Good people who have had enough of being frightened and who don't recognize the USA. Good people who want hope and change in a positive direction, for all, and not just some.
    I want a business man in the White House; I'm sick of lawyers. Clinton says Margaret Sanger is one of her hero's...that would be the same Margaret Sanger who advocated the killing of the 'feeble and ill' as well as blacks. On national television, during the last debate, Clinton said she supported partial birth abortion. I do not. She acknowledged she was responsible for the 60,000 employees in more than 200 locations when she was Sec of State. Yet, she left men to die in Benghazi. A true leader doesn't leave men behind. Trump said stupid, harsh things...he apologized. Clinton said stupid, harsh things...she apologized. Why are people accepting her apology and not his? I've worked in a man's world and am used to men (and women) saying harsh, stupid things.
    When Obama was elected, there was no rioting, no looting, no handing out of coloring books and stuffed animals to those who didn't vote for him. The infantile behavior is embarrassing, further, it's not helping the situation. Do what needs to be done...pray for Trump and move on.
    The good news is...the unborn child is safer than s/he would have been.

  12. Quinn, I've found your blog from a comment you left on Florence's blog. What you've said here has articulated so perfectly the bewilderment and despair that I feel at this result. Thank you for speaking up, I know it's not always easy or welcome and takes courage.


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