Processing the Election Results

Still processing the shock of the election . . .

We already knew that Trump had the support of a substantial part of the electorate, and we knew the popular vote would be close. Can’t be shocked that there were millions of Trump voters. We knew that.

I am not ready to protest the results of an election, because that seems like protesting against democracy itself. Protesting an election can’t possibly bring this divided country together. The electoral college sucks, but those were the rules agreed on at the founding.

But I am ready to protest illegal actions when they happen.

Trump won the election and deserves a chance to govern within the law.

We all have to stand unified to condemn acts of hatred. Our President elect was happy to take the support of bigots – he must prove his willingness to condemn and prosecute hate crimes now that he will control the Department of Justice.

We will be very busy in the environmental movement in the next years fighting to defend the laws on the books from attack. There are limits on what the President can undo by himself, and we must hold Congress accountable.

US progress on climate change is clearly dead for the next four years. But US (and global) progress on climate change has been grossly inadequate to meet the challenge anyway, and were not likely to accelerate under a Clinton presidency/Republican house. The Paris Accords were not enough to limit warming to two degrees C, and the Clean Power Plan was not enough (by itself) to meet Paris. As a democracy, we will act effectively on climate change when it becomes a top issue for a substantial majority of voters. It’s our job as advocates to make that happen. Whatever we have been doing on the issue so far has not worked politically.

Snarky silver lining: a Trump fueled global recession might do more to limit GHG emissions than the Clean Power Plan.

Republicans now own the economy and the environment. They have two years to demonstrate they can be effective problem solvers when they have all three branches of government. We will hold them accountable.

The sun still rose this morning, and the trees here in the Hudson valley cling to bright colors. An election does not destroy what is beautiful in the world.

I am so grateful for my family, friends, colleagues, and comrades-in-arms at a time like this.

Take courage.

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