Despite what you may think, I have a giant conscience.
First of all, I want to apologize for my Trump vote. I hate how much fear I read in my liberal-leaning friends' words. I hear their visions of a Nazi-like environment. That, suddenly, foul name-calling will be in vogue and acceptable.
They are depressed, heartbroken, frightened, angry and feel like they woke up to a nightmare, ripped off by the process. As many of them know, I'm a Trump voter. I'm being quiet and gracious and wary of their anger and sadness. I get it. I practice yoga daily and am staying out of my friends' studios out of quiet respect.
I'm in shock. I never even considered Trump would win. At a Republican watch party last night, I became more and more incredulous at the numbers. And I have to admit, I was increasingly thrilled.
That was worth the 30 depressing minutes I sat in my polling booth, googling local justices, struggling with the dot on my paper next to Trump's name. I walked two blocks home from my polling place with an incredible sense of dismay and earnest. Like I was betraying someone, anyone.
But my vote actually counted. And, shamelessly, it feels good to be on the winning side for a change.
My Trump vote was large and in part because the economy for me. With Trump as president, I'll be able to hold on to more of my net. I'll be able to do more for my children and be rewarded financially for my hard work. I'm safer from ISIS. There will be more opportunities for legal immigrants who are contributing to our country alongside WASPy folks like me. I voted for that.
I work as a property management in Class-A medical office buildings. I see Obamacare destroying businesses, livelihoods, health. This is real. This is fact. I see signs popping up in offices indicating that yet another provider will no longer be accepted. I voted against that.
I also am tired of feeling “politically incorrect” because I'm not part of a protected class. (I'm actually an atheist/agnostic...do I qualify?) I have black family members. I have Muslim best friends whose children had play dates with mine, whose businesses are admirable, and I'm proud of them. I love Judaism and everything about it and have been wrapping my mind around becoming A Jew for 30 years.
Being called racist, bigoted, misogynistic, elite and uneducated has taken its toll. I have grown to despise the Hillary supporters who see me that way. The smug dismissal of liberals who considered me less of a debater, an intellect, and competent because I refused to argue hatefully on these topics. I voted against that.
I give a significant percentage of my take home pay to Gambia, Uganda (I've had my own little dude for 11 years), diaper providers in my community, start-ups in underprivileged neighborhoods. I do not need to be told to be socially liberal, socially generous. I already am.
I do not need to grow a conscience. I have a giant conscience. I voted against those who accuse otherwise.
I wanted to vote for Hillary. I tried to like her. I wanted a woman president. I tried to get on board with her policies and her visions. And everything I believe she stood for, truthfully, violated my own. And like hundreds of thousands, if not millions like me, I voted against her, not for Trump.
It has been so long since a Republican presidency. I don't know how to see the future with one. Donald Trump is not a Republican, not a politician. His own party can't stand him and unsuccessfully tried to eliminate him.
But now we know we will not know the alternative and we'll see how much damage or benefit this unbelievably astonishing election will do. The Dow Jones indicator this morning looked a little fabulous.