The Aftermath: Searching for Clues

Six days after the results of 8 November.

Every day, I have cried. This grief descends like the death of a love one. I don’t believe I’ll ever move past denial. Instead, I search for clues. Hidden codes. Words of reassurance.

I read and re-read the transcript of Hillary’s farewell to staff. I slept three hours last night. I awoke, groggy and waylaid, found myself here reading it yet again. This passage popped out:

This loss hurts. But please, please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. It’s always worth it. And we need you keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives.

“We need you,” not “I need you.”

She is speaking for the leaders of our democracy. She speaks for Barack Obama, our embattled, abused, ever-dignified President. I look again at his eyes – the moment he touched hands with the racist demagogue, man-that-I-hate-with-fury, the idiot tool, Putin’s puppet, slayer of truth, pompous ass, monster of greed, sociopath  – and I see a well of despair.


If ever I needed a clue, I look in his eyes: they tell it all. Emptiness. Loss. Defeat. They are the eyes of a man who accepts the burden of this country’s future. Those pained eyes speak of more than a loss of legacy. They say: “I fought for you, America. I did my best.” And the rest unsaid. One needs only a grasp of recent history to weigh his pain. One needs only to witness the present to see what is coming.

And Hillary’s words are also meant for me, for you, for every one of us who cheered her on, donated a few bucks, tweeted our loyalty, identified with her, called her our champion, walked door-to-door, phoned and anticipated victory. We are in the millions. And the millions more who said “No,” are included.

Hillary calls us to battle. She knows we are in for the fight of our life.

We must heed that call for the rest of our lives. This unlimited time cropped-boston-globe.pngframe of struggle and its connection with mortality is frightening. Because she is not talking about fighting back during Midterm elections. She is not focusing our gaze on the next presidential election. No, she is alerting us to a lifelong fight.

Perhaps it is semantics. Maybe I am hyper vigilant. But Hillary Clinton chooses her words with deliberateness. And the quiet acceptance of Hillary and Barack adds to my dismay.

I have not spoken of the forces arrayed against her but they form this narrative. Trump is just an old man with personality problems. It is the dark force propelling him, and the hate he unleashed that condemns us to a hellish America – one that requires we fight for the remainder of our lives.

A month ago, I said to a friend: “Hillary is our savior.”

Often, I lean toward what some people call catastrophic thinking. But I do believe this was her role – and now – our savior has left the stage, beaten, insulted, victim of vendetta after vendetta – and we are left drifting.

Who will lead us now?

We will lead ourselves. We are each Hillary Clinton – brave, brilliant and unbowed.

We are in for the fight of our lives.

Let us go forward.

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