How I Survived A Brutal Hillary Hangover — & You Can, Too

Photo: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images.
Yael Kohen is a writer, editor, and author of We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy. The views expressed here are her own.

First, I Was In Denial
I never believed Donald Trump was actually going to win the election. Not really. The man is a failed real estate developer turned marketing genius and reality-TV host. He taunted Obama with his birtherism. His campaign was a mess. Contrast that with Hillary Clinton. I love Hillary Clinton and though I knew she had her flaws, I believed in her tireless energy and her toughness. She also spent the general election ahead in the polls and was, frankly, the responsible choice.

There were points in the general where I feared she might lose, but I guess I never really believed it. Which is why last night, as battleground state after battleground state went red for Donald Trump, I wondered: Would we need to have a recount? Did the Russians hack the voting machines? What the hell happened? I finally went to sleep at 3 a.m.

Did the Russians hack the voting machines? What the hell happened? I finally went to sleep at 3 a.m.

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This Morning, I Mourned
I woke up crying. I voted for Hillary Clinton, who I hoped would be our first female president. I thought she was the best candidate, definitely, but I was also excited to put a woman in the White House. Not only did I believe — do I still believe — she would keep our country safe, I also believe strongly that a woman in the most powerful position in the world would be a game changer for women and young girls in this country and around the globe. The psychological effect of that can not be measured in data.

But I also cried for Hillary. She is a feminist icon who got too little love and appreciation for her sacrifices. She was an ambitious first lady — indeed, I was 12 years old when Bill Clinton came to office and she shaped my entire view on what a first lady should be. It wasn’t enough. So she ran for senator; I rooted for her in 2008; then later, when she became secretary of state. I was excited when she announced. And now, after long, brutal, humiliating campaign, I am crushed.

I was excited when she announced. And now, after long, brutal, humiliating campaign, I was crushed.

Then, I Got Angry
The litany of offenses are endless — the wall, the pussy-grabbing, the KKK-baiting, his taxes, his lack of charity, his complete disregard for America’s immense role in the world. He is also a grotesque misogynist who comes off as if he’s a caricature of a character on Mad Men. Abortion rights could end. Gay marriage could end. Gun control (what little of it we do have) could end.

That the first woman to have a shot at the White House — an impressive, formidable woman who kept her cool as this reality-show blowhard descended into incoherent blather at three debates — had to suffer this humiliating defeat against this man. Well, this is what rage feels like. That President Obama has to now pass the baton to a man who questioned his right to be president until recently, that is what rage feels like.

We lost the presidency and both houses of Congress to the Republicans...But now we must rise up and fight like hell to win back at least one chamber during the midterms.

Then, I Got Inspired
When Hillary Clinton finally emerged this morning to give her concession speech, her eyes were glazed. Here she stood before her supporters, and the world, to concede. She told us:

I've had successes and setbacks and sometimes painful ones. Many of you are at the beginning of your professional, public, and political careers — you will have successes and setbacks, too.

This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what's right is worth it. It is, it is worth it. And so we need — we need you to keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives. And to all the women, and especially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and in me: I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.

Now, I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday, someone will — and hopefully sooner than we might think right now. And to all of the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.

It was the best, most authentic speech I’d ever heard her give. She urged us to be resilient and hopeful.
And So Tomorrow, We Fight
Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. That means that though it seems most Americans voted for this monster, when it comes down to the actual people who voted, we did not. There is hope in that. We lost the presidency and both houses of Congress to the Republicans. Much damage will come from that. But now, we must rise up and fight like hell to win back at least one chamber during the midterms. We must unify and we must fight.

Some of you were not as inspired by Hillary as I was. But she is tough as nails. No political figure in history took more knocks and managed to pick herself back up. Trump’s presidency will be a punch to the gut. But Hillary, I hear your call. We will channel your energy, your hope, and your love of policy and process to fight for a better a country.

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