This column was going to be about a Limaland woman who had volunteered countless hours in support of Hillary Clinton.
“I’ve made more than 3,000 phone calls,” she told me. “I’ve not slept. I’ve spent every evening in front of my laptop.”
Such dedication was not unique among Hillary’s supporters, or among Donald Trump’s backers, too, for that matter. But what made this woman’s story worth telling was that she was doing all this for a candidate she could not vote for. She can’t vote because she’s not a citizen. She’s a native of India who immigrated to the U.S. 15 years ago with her husband to finish their education and make a new life.
Despite that education, and green cards they earned just six months ago, it’s a life she now feels is threatened because of what Donald Trump’s election says about the national mood toward brown-skinned outsiders like her.
“I am scared for her loss,” she messaged me around 1:00 a.m., when Trump’s upset victory over Clinton appeared secure. “I am not sure I want you to run that piece on me. I think I am scared in so many ways. I have to continue to live in this community….Please.”
She and other immigrants, those who are documented and those who are not, are among the losers of Tuesday’s election.
I lost, too, in not being able to share her story. I lose, every day, knowing my dark-skinned neighbor is just a little bit more afraid of white-skinned people like me.
Who else lost, besides me and her and other immigrants and Hillary?
• President Barack Obama. President-elect Trump has vowed to rescind the nearly 200 executive orders Obama has issued by way of getting around a Republican-led obstructionist Congress. He’s also promised to roll back Obamacare, the president’s signature issue. With Republicans in control of all levels of government, Trump is sure to do some damage to Obama’s legacy.
• Victims of sexual assault. It’s hard enough for most women to bring accusations against their assailants, due to shame, fear and a persistant “blame the victim” bias in such matters. But it will be harder still under a president-elect who characterized his claims of grabbing women by the genitals as mere “locker room talk” and who dismissed one of his accusers as a woman not attractive enough to be his “first choice” for such attention. His attitude inspired more mockery online from his supporters, who created a video and hashtag, #HillaryGropedMe, that went viral.
• Pollsters. They had Hillary Clinton winning the White House, albeit by slim margins, for most of the run-up to Tuesday’s election. They were terribly, totally wrong. Nate Silver, who had just one miss in his state-by-state presidential predictions in 2008 and 2012, could not find the strike zone this time around. His final election prediction had Clinton’s chance of winning at 71.4 percent to Trump’s 28.6 percent, with wins in North Carolina, Wisconson, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida.
As for winners? Here’s a few:
• White people. Years of talk about the diminishing numbers and political clout of white voters appear to be premature. Trump overwhelmingly won the votes of whites without college degrees. His biggest supporters were white men, especially those without a college degree. White women, too, backed Trump by enough votes to play a significant role in giving him the keys to the White House. Together, as one electoral analyst put it, they voted like a minority group, turning out to deliver for Trump.
• Chris Christie. The Republican governor of New Jersey, once a presidential hopeful himself, took a huge risk with his early endorsement of Trump. Scarred by the ongoing George Washington Bridgegate scandal in Trenton, his political career gets new life with Trump’s victory. He’s a likely candidate for a cabinet post.
• The media. Donald Trump’s presidential bid was a money-making machine for media organizations. Well over 80 million people tuned in to see Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s first debate, setting a new record in the 60-year history of televised presidential debates. More than 72 million stayed glued to their TV sets into the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday to witness his victory. That beats the record 71.5 million who watched Barack Obama become the firtst African-American man to be elected president. Trump’s celebrity and personality will continue to fuel public interest in his every move, speech and press conference for the next four years. Publishers, journalists and broadcasters everywhere are secretly overjoyed.
Reach Amy Eddings at 567-242-0379 or on Twitter, @lima_eddings.