Post-Election Opinion: ‘We Can’t Allow Ourselves to Be Daunted’

Editor’s Note: One of our writers, Diane Vacca, offers her perspective on the historic election that saw the first woman at the top of the ticket of a major political party.

For many of us, the election of a woman to the presidency was something we dearly wanted to see. I didn’t realize how deeply I felt about it until I found myself crying when I finally accepted that Hillary Clinton wasn’t going to break that glass ceiling.

There is no question in my mind that if Clinton, with all she’s accomplished, were a man, she would have won. She continued to be crucified for her emails and Benghazi, even after being exonerated, while Trump was given a pass for such things as Trump University, even as he is the defendant in two class-action lawsuits that allege the university was a fraud or a criminal organization. The Clinton foundation became the focus of controversy about fundraising even though it did good works around the world, while Trump’s foundation barely raised an eyebrow despite spending its money on his life-size portrait and other personal expenses.

That said, this election wasn’t about politics. It was about class struggle, the treatment of non-white citizens and foreigners, their religion, culture and willingness to do the jobs whites scorn. It was about fear and anger among the working and middle classes, who, largely because of the digital transformation of the workplace, have seen status and jobs disappear in an increasingly diverse society. But mostly it was about money: the Haves versus the Have-Nots — with the wealthy resisting higher taxes or regulation.

I worried for years about the proliferation of gated communities and residential enclaves available only to the wealthy. You can’t shut out the hordes, I thought. Eventually they will rise and tear everything down. And that’s what happened. We are witnessing a revolution.

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  • Jan Hersh November 15, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    Trumps win sends a message to all women. It is time to educate ourselves, young and old. I did not take Trump seriously. Now I intend to be an active participant in politics and to do what I can to shatter the “glass ceiling” once and for all.

  • Julia November 11, 2016 at 7:32 am

    I am also very unhappy about the results of the election, but I differ with you on two things: class conflict IS about political, and I am not sure that Clinton would have won if she had been a man, though I am sure that sexism played a major part. I was not shocked by Trump’s win, because I think that many of us have been dismissive of the concerns and potential power of the heretofore silent majority (or almost-majority). Somewhere I read that Trump supporters took him seriously but not literally while the rest of us took him literally but not seriously. We, the ‘liberal elite’ must look at our own isms.