The Best Policy

Knitters, thank you for the time and space to think about what to say here, and thank you too for the absolutely polite, kind and respectful conversation in the comments on the last post. It was a stunning display of civility in the face of some pretty uncivil approaches elsewhere. I’ve always thought of this space like my virtual living room, and I am very grateful when that’s how you all think of it too, like a gigantic knitting party where we don’t say anything in the comments that we wouldn’t say in person, while looking the other human in the eyes with the whole group looking on.

I respect all of you. I think that’s clear, and I’ll always be interested in your points of view, and appreciate that you are not the same as me – not even those of you who voted the way I would have, were I American, and entrusted with the privilege. I think honesty is the best policy, and you’d see though me after this many years anyway, so I won’t pretend that I am not disappointed in the outcome, much the way I’m sure some of you who are interested in our politics were disappointed when Canada chose the opposite direction.

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada.  I think of my Grandfather all day long, and I held his memory especially close to me during the minutes of silence. It’s also Veteran’s day, and since I’m here in the US for the Strung Along retreat, I’m really noticing how different the two days are. All day I’ve heard “Happy Veteran’s Day!” and I have to tell you, I was initially horrified. In Canada, we don’t put the word “Happy” in front of Remembrance Day. It’s a day of mourning, and the day we express the sadness we feel that war or fighting was necessary. That’s how my grandfather felt, he wasn’t at all proud of what he had to do. He thought the war he fought was terrible, and horrible, and…. necessary.  There is no celebrating in Canada today, just sad somber faces at the Cenotaph, poppies, gratitude for the sacrifices, and two minutes of silence at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

You can imagine then, with this being our vision of the day, how I felt when people here told me that Veteran’s Day and Remembrance Day were the same thing, and then saw sales, banners, parties and cupcakes, I thought (since I am being honest) that it was… wrong. Fine. There’s no other way to say it. I thought it was flip, and too lighthearted and I couldn’t understand it at all, and I tell you what, I didn’t like it either. Then I figured out that it’s not the same thing at all. Other than the fact that the two events both have to do with Veterans (sort of) that the point of them isn’t the same at all. They’re totally different, and that makes it not jerky at all to say Happy Veteran’s Day.

Then I started thinking about the election, and I decided that the same way that making a batch of Veteran’s Day cupcakes looks like move only someone dead inside would make, that’s only true if you think it’s the same as Remembrance Day (when, for the record, there are no sales or cupcakes or parties… at all. “Remembrance Day Party” doesn’t get a single result on Google. Not one.) I was gutted about the election of someone I think is neither respectful nor kind, and I wondered if maybe I just don’t get it. I’m certainly in no position to fully grasp the thing.  I do know that my ethics being what they are, it is not possible for me to think that President-Elect Donald Trump is a good person, and that is still true if I disregard the media entirely, and only listen to the actual words that came out of his actual mouth.  We simply are not in agreement on a human level, all politics aside.

Most of my disappointment around the election happened when I assumed that most people who voted for Donald Trump agreed with him. I was sad, because I thought that a person who voted for him voted for all the things he said, and agreed with them. I know that I’ll probably have a hard time explaining this, I’ve been looking for the right words all day, but over the last few days, as I listen to and talk with Americans, I’ve come to understand that many people who voted for Donald Trump see it differently. Some of them were single issue voters, and the way the feel about one issue defines where their vote goes, regardless of the candidates other positions. Some of them are heartbroken that all his views came in one package, because they know that he shouldn’t have spoken that way about women, or people who have faiths different from their own,  but they did what they thought was right because that one issue was so important to their heart. Others were concerned about something else – things I understand less well, but they are well aware of the things he said and did, but feel the way about him that my grandfather felt about war. That voting for him was terrible, and horrible, but necessary, and I’m doing my level best to understand them. I don’t now, but they talk like good people, so I’m listening respectfully.

The last group is the one that I thought was the largest, and actually seems like it might be the smallest. People who chose him not despite the many hateful things he said, but because of them. People who are racist. People who are bigots. People who are mysogynistic and sexist, and liked the things he said.  I can neither listen to them, nor respect them, and thankfully, it looks like there aren’t very many of them either.

I’m going to end this now, and tell you that I really waffled about whether to write about this or not. I decided to do it because in the end, I think a big part of the solution to the way everyone feels about each other is kindness, tolerance and understanding (except for that last group, nobody needs to tolerate that sort.) I also was impressed with the way that you’ve all been talking to each other, and I trust you to continue that. Silence just didn’t seem right, and I wonder if deciding not to try and talk, listen and understand is part of what got everyone so mad in the first place.

Peace out, I love you all. Go do something nice for someone. It will help no matter who you are.

593 thoughts on “The Best Policy

    • You always say it best, Stephanie. Yes, I’m sad and disappointed with the election outcome. and worried… but I am hoping for the best. I want us all to be safe and that worries me with Mr. Trump’s total lack of experience in foreign affairs. Just hoping for the best!

      • Thank you both – lovely sentiments.
        I also am trying to be hopeful. The vote was taken, now I can only hope that with all things considered and all the people in our government here in the U.S., that my friends of all kinds are safe and feel secure.

    • I still find myself breathing shallow and I know it is stress induced. This man whatever we may think of him good or bad is placing more frightening people in power. Putin gave him the seal of approval…I was a Sanders supporter… I truly never thought Trump had a chance. Pandora’s box has been pried open. I pray that those who voted for him aren’t breathing shallowly next to me in a year’s time…don’t want to imagine that world.

      • Without an electoral college New York and California will ALWAYS elect the President. Where is the fairness in that? Our forefathers were brilliant when they gave our country the electoral college. Its a system that works. It might not always bring the outcome that you want, or that I want, but its democracy in action. I’m proud of my country. When the elections in years past didn’t have the outcome I wanted, I supported my President regardless.

        • Cindy, you are a nationalist, not a patriot. We need more people to utilize critical thinking skills instead of them being blinded with pride. I take umbrage with the statement, “I support(ed) my President regardless”.

    • There are two dates honoring the military in the US. First, at the end of March there is Memorial Day. This is to honor all military dead. I think this is the same as your Remembrance Day. Most don”t say Happy Memorial day. But stores still have sales. In November we have Veteran’s Day. This is to honor all those living who have served in, or serving in the military. This day is to thank them for their service. So we say Happy Veterans Day. The stores still have sales. Jerry Lee

  1. Thank you for the virtual hug. I needed it (i think we all do). Now I’m going to take a deep breath, pour myself some earl grey, and work on a lace-weight scarf. I think that will keep me occupied. Again, thank you, Stephanie.

  2. Thank you! Your words helped. I’ve been telling my kids to follow Gandhi’s words to be the change you want to see. Kindness is the way forward even though we feel broken and disoriented. Your words help me think about how not to feel homeless.

  3. Thanks for a thoughtful post. I am very much looking forward to my stitch ‘n sip group meeting tomorrow and hopefully escaping the reality that is now our American life.

  4. You have such a wonderful way of expressing yourself and using words thoughtfully, carefully and from the heart. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your perspective so well.

  5. Thank you for looking us in the eye and speaking your truth. It’s because of the very fact that you invite us into your living room ever time you write to us, that I needed to hear from you this week. I am grief-stricken, in mourning for all the reasons you mentioned. I live 115 miles south of Fort Frances and must tell you it is tempting:) I am pining a safety pin to my shirt front today and every day thereafter. I sent a donation to Planned Parenthood today. This is only the beginning of my action. Bless you, harlot woman!

    • Safety pin, check. Close to the Canadian border, check. Sick at heart, check. Wish I could go to Canada, CHECK. It would be hard to overstate how sick at heart and my stomach I feel. How could that repulsive predator not have automatically disqualified himself by word and deed long before, let alone decent people actually voted for him? Frankly, I don’t see how I am going to face my relatives in eastern Washington this Christmas?#uglygloating#God is a white Republican I am very afraid, not just for our country and yours, Steph, our closed neighbor but for the world. I felt that we were at the place where Germany would have been if they had only had the chance to have a do over knowing how things would play out and we blew it. It could too happen here. #LadyRidestheTiger!

  6. As usual, you are kind and honest.

    I am still depressed. Hate won and I just have not recovered. I am not going to push myself through this process. I will let it take its own path and time.

    Thank you for your kind words for an event so many of us cannot fathom.

    • Your strength will recover soon. Aussie here, we somehow have enough people who voted in a rascist fish and chip lady and 3 more of her party.
      Everytime she says a rascist thing I’ve noticed it encourages talk shows, morning programs, extremist groups to comment on her remark positively and then we will get articles on how wrong and shocking it is. She first was elected when I was a teenager, I’m Asian and now I’m 40.
      The first thing I do after I hear her comments is to walk up to any Muslims or Asians in my community and tell them that I love having them here. If I have to get their child to translate or use my hands to make a love heart over my chest I do. I tell them I want to make sure they feel safe and respected and if there’s any problems come and see me. This works in my children’s school and just on the street in my suburb. It feels great to do what I can in my community.
      I hope you guys feel better soon, I felt ashamed of my country too. And I haven’t even started on Indigenous or Refugee rights yet! Much luck and love to you all.

      • Thank you for expressing in words how I feel, but have felt so angry and disappointed that I couldn’t find the words myself. My family raised me to have high ethics and morals, yet they decided to vote for this man. I have struggled with this mixed message for months. Basically for them it comes down to money. They believe the man will help them gain more wealth. Their priorities sicken me. I just can’t be that kind of person. I’m mourning the loss of my vision for America and for our future generations. This man represents everything I don’t want my children to learn. Thank you again for your reassuring kind words amongst all the craziness.

    • I don’t think hate won. Many underpaid or unemployed workers voted for Trump because he made promises to renegotiate trade treaties that have lost us millions of good paying jobs. 38% of workers in the U.S. make less than $20,000, 51% make less than $30,000! HIllary on the other hand called the TPP, a really horrible trade treaty that would give big corporations power too much power, the gold standard.
      I agree with Stephanie that most Trump voters aren’t haters. I think they either feel that the rich and powerful have bought the Clinton’s ($150 million in ‘speaking fees’!) or they were one issue voters.

      • I know a lot of Americans agree with Lydia. There are 90 MILLION unemployed people in this country and 43 MILLION on food stamps. The media has misconstrued so many real issues.

        • The sad fact is that anyone who voted for Trump expecting to be helped economically is going to be sorely disappointed. He’s just a con man who is looking to enrich no one but himself. I want to be sympathetic to these voters, but I can’t. I live in what he would call “a disaster” of a neighborhood in an extremely expensive city. My neighbors and I are just as poor as these people, but the lines at the polls were around the block and no one, believe me, was voting for Trump. Even if some of his supporters were holding their noses and acting in what they think is their own best interest, how could they ignore the upcoming fraud and racketeering trial for Trump University or the many unpaid workers and small business owners he stiffed.

        • Sorry but the current unemployment rate in the U.S. is 4.9% which translates to 7.9 million people. Even if you think that is under-reported and you double it…that is say 16 million. NOT 90 million. I am not unsympathetic to the unemployed. I have been there. But folks, and esp. Donald Trump, need to speak in facts and not with hysterical incorrect data. I am always surprised when working class, non-rich people think that a Republican has their best interests at heart. But that is the USA, people get to think what they want. I just would plead for some moderation in the hysteria on both sides.

          • But that is just the unemployed, that isn’t counting the many millions who are underemployed, who get paid so little they have to work two jobs to barely get by. There are too many Americans just one pay check away from financial disaster because wages are so low while rents, etc. are very high!

          • I’m a Texan that proudly voted Trump. I have never listened to the media lies. Trump is not a racist, a xenophobe or a misogynist. I’ve read or listened to his entire speeches, not snippets the media sliced and diced.
            Yes, I am for deporting all illegal aliens, but not because of their skin color, or nationality. Instead, I have several sound reasons. Number one: I would never sneak into another country, knowing it is a criminal offense, expecting the tax paying population to forgive my crime at some point. As a citizen no one forgives me of crime! Secondly, there is an impact on jobs. For instance, my son in law is a superintendent of a construction company that builds large edifices all-over the south. Before Trump was elected his co hired all illegal workers under him.that would be hundreds on each job. Since the election the co is switching over to all legal labor. My son in law said these men and women are so glad to have decent paying jobs again. So there has been terrible issues with illegals taking legals jobs.
            Thirdly, there is a crime problem. Illegals cannot get driver’s licenses in Texas. Therefore, they cannot get insurance. Every driving member of my extended family has been hit by an illegal alien with no insurance. My husband was totally disabled by one who fled the country instead of taking responsibility for his actions. My son in law was carjacked by one. My daughter was rearended by one then nearly shot because she wanted to dial 911. Every member of my family has a similar story. When does it become wrong that Americans that are not hurt financially or physically by the actions of those here illegally and they try to force others that are damaged to keep being impacted by people that didn’t care enough about America to come here legally?
            Furthermore, you’re probably telling yourself that this poster seems likes an uneducated redneck. Not the case! I matriculated with a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, and a PhD. I hope this post sheds some light as to why people voted for Trump. I also am a fan of his trade policies. Globalism is killing the US middle class. Moreover, I believe that draining the DC swamp of corruption can only benefit every tax payer. Politics as usual is not working for all Americans.

      • I actually voted third party, because I could not stomach voting for either of the major party candidates.
        But Clinton lost my vote years ago, when President Clinton signed NAFTA and she strongly advocated it. When I first heard of it, I knew it was a bad idea. And then she supported the TPP, which seemed to be NAFTA Part II. What shocked me was the number of lifelong Democrats I know that turned and voted for Trump (their first Republican vote EVER). And the reason is they feel that not only is the economy disappearing, the Dems are not listening to them. They have been ignored and shut out, and finally the public is realizing the phrase “liberal media” is true. The media blinded itself to the middle of the country, and it cost them.
        Also, I am from coal country originally, and Clinton was very patronizing in her speeches there. Yeah, she said they would get job training and such, but the tone was condescending and glib, and then other articles mentioned “service jobs” and “tourism” jobs. Sorry, hotel desk clerk isn’t going to make up for mining. Plus there’s a very long history of the government just making things worse when it intervenes in mining country, so miners don’t want handouts–they want to work and provide for their families themselves. I also feel most Trump voters know he won’t keep most of the promises–what president can/does? But he listened to them, which the Dems were not doing at all.
        The media was so caught up in promoting Clinton, they missed the discontent outside of the cities. The media and the RNC also helped push Trump in. Remember, he didn’t win the majority of votes in the primary–the majority of votes went to other, better candidates. But the RNC failed to control the debates, letting him interrupt and run on and on, and the media lapped him up. I got so aggravated hearing every day what Trump’s outrageous comment of the day was, and hearing nothing on what Rubio, Carson, or Fiorina said. So when the public was left with Clinton or Trump as the choices, a lot of voters felt like voting for him was a protest against both parties.
        And the reason no one saw it coming was that many conservatives and Christians have been pushed off of mainstream sites. The level of rudeness and outright hatred when they made a dissenting comment, even one that was just asking for a clarification, was appalling. So for the last 2-3 years, they have stopped posting on mainstream sites or social media, because the vitriol blasted at them for simply disagreeing was appalling.
        Yes, there is a minority of racist and bigots that need to shut up, but I am talking about intelligent, decent, respectful people simply saying I do not agree with this movement, legal decision, whatever the topic was, and here’s why, and getting flamed off of the web. This has been getting worse and worse every year. Journalists were even mocking Trump supporters, to say nothing of late-night talk shows, etc., so a lot of people were feeling left out and ignored by modern America. But they are still there, reading and watching and listening, and made up their OWN MIND about how to vote.
        I totally get how smart Hillary is, but her past policy choices and the way the Dems have decided to concentrate only on the coastal powerhouses are two of the reasons she lost votes. The Dems could have won the election had they nominated any other candidate–Mrs. Clinton is not trusted by many, many Americans. Fair or not, her past policy choices and sometimes superior attitude cost her.
        I come from a family that voted Dem, Republican, and third party in this election. We don’t hate each other, and respect that everyone cast their vote the way they they felt was best. Sorry for the length, but my FB is beyond toxic right now–both sides to blame.
        Love the blog Steph, and that it is a pretty safe place to talk. I rarely post due to time reasons, but it’s a great blog. You are an inspiring knitter.

        • I also voted third party and it warms me to see what you said.

          I couldn’t vote Trump because of his views, and I honestly believe Hillary Clinton should be in jail for violating national security. Because of this, I absolutely couldn’t vote for either. I didn’t disagree with the third party I voted for and with his record, I trust him as much as I can any politician (not very, but enough).

          Not long after the announcement, I got a call from my otherwise lovely mother where she basically said that it was all my fault that Hillary lost. This is why I avoid political discussions with her and my sister.

          Thank you all for being a respectful place to voice an opinion that none but my boyfriend has heard. I don’t feel judgment or disrespect from anyone and with a sensitive topic that’s hard.

          Thank you Stephanie for creating a safe space.

          • Sheila, I am sorry you are getting grief from your family. I am realizing that I apparently grew up in an unusual family–an opinionated Rep one in a majority Dem state. Political arguments were, ummm, intense, to say the least. But nobody was every disowned or personally insulted for having an opposing view.

            Something I am saddened to realize, via FB, a lot of my grownup friends never learned to do. A small minority of Trump voters are outta control, and at least 2 Clinton voters have requested all Trump voters on their feed identify themselves so they can be “defriended.”

            I don’t get that, at all.

            I am proud that everyone gets to cast their own vote in America, and I don’t choose my friends based on politics.

        • So Trump listened but if he can’t do what he promised you are no better off. May I point out that the majority of American citizens did not vote for a misogynistic uneducated bigot. And the media that you so disrespect did not get that wrong.

        • Thank you for your words. I, too, voted third party and knew I was going to be sad and disappointed no matter which of the two won. You are perfectly correct when you say government has messed up things it has gotten involved in. Both sides of the aisle have ruined so many things. And yet, I don’t blame the votes so much as I blame our “two party” system. We’ve been conditioned to believe that we have only two choices and what’s a person to do then? Both parties tell the voters that to vote third party is to throw their vote away. I honestly don’t believe that the majority of our voters are haters. There’s this select few and our crazy media that likes to stir up the people to sell papers that makes things seems so bad.

          Here on the ground, out in the trenches, we all basically want the same things. We just want to get through our days unscathed, raise our kids, take care of our families and carry on with our lives.

          Our two main choices were each vile in their own way and there was no way I was voting for either of them even though one of them promised something I really, really want. But, I could not in good conscience let that party think I approved of their choice.

          My biggest disappointment comes in the voters that 1. did not get out and vote at all because they didn’t like the two main choices and 2. the voters that hated both choices and picked one of them anyway. We need to clearly make our voices heard and not just pick the lesser of two bad things placed before us.

          Disclaimer: I have no heartburn whatsoever for those that voted for one of the mains parties and was perfectly happy with their choice. Carry on and good for you for making yourself heard.

          Peace and love, everyone, and write, write, write, write to all of your elected officials. Let them know what you want.

      • I don’t think voting in a billionaire who hasn’t paid taxes in 20 years (and who suspiciously REFUSED to release his tax returns) is a good way to help out the lower classes. Republicans believe making the rich richer allows wealth to trickle down, rather than helping out the lower classes directly. This has been proven ineffective. They do not care. Taxes will actually go UP for lower-income families under Trump’s proposed tax plan. (He probably lied and said otherwise, but economists and other people who actually know what they’re talking about did the math and figured this out.)

        Did you hear about how he negotiates down property taxes for all the hotels, golf courses, etc. that he owns?

        This is money that could be used to pay and hire teachers, policemen, firemen, etc. The man will not even help create jobs in his own neighborhoods!

        He lied to you. Plain and simple. People will see through all his lies soon enough. I only wish they’d seen through them before voting for him.

        • Another third party voter here. I know people who voted both sides, all good, nice people. Most who voted for Trump are party voters, regardless of candidate. I couldn’t stomach either of them, and while I am unhappy that Trump is going to be our next president, I do not think that kind people will suddenly stop being kind when he takes office. None of us will fundamentally change, and he does not rule in a vacuum. We have congress and our representatives who have the real say in things. Anyone who acts like a jerk after the election, was a jerk before the election, and that goes for those who are rioting and looting and destroying property in the name of “protest.”

  7. Many of us are wishing we were Canadian right now. I live just over the border in WI and always enjoy the pleasant company of visitors from up north. We are different in many ways, but the same in others. Thank you for being who you are.

    • A few folks have commented about moving to Canada due to DT’s being elected. Canada has strict immigration policies which they enforce. Moving there is not as casual a thing as it might sound. The United States is the only country in the world that people risk their lives every day to get to our shores to escape the tyranny of Cuba or the abject poverty of their own countries. Unlike Canada, who’s PM praised the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, we have no love affair with Cuba and it’s horrific treatment of it’s citizens. While some here struggle to grasp the election of new U.S. President, I struggle to grasp the Canadian concept of Castro as a great leader.

  8. Thank you for your wonderful words, so needed right now. Thanks for letting us into your living room and being there for us. Thanks for being kind when so many have not been. You’re the best. And you are so right.

  9. Right on, Kristine.
    Thank you Stephanie for your eloquent post.
    Being in California, and a fourth generation Californian, it is hard to identify with the ideas held by so many to the east of us. We see the world in such a different way.

    • If you mean the eastern US, there are those of us here that feel the same way you do. We don’t all ascribe to those ideas.

      We mourn together.

          • Funny, I live in a county that is so blue (Arlington, VA) that for local elections we almost never have a choice between candidates from the two major parties. I am a moderate, basically a small-L libertarian (yes, my LGBTQetc friends should be able to marry, adopt, and use the restroom of the appropriate gender, but I’m generally economically conservative). If I’m lucky, I can choose between Democrat and Independent candidates. I wish I really had a choice, and I wish my neighbors weren’t blind party followers but actually considered issues. Actually, I wish everyone could and would vote based on issues rather than emotion. As my BFF says, our general feeling about politicians is “Hate ’em all.”

            Not sure quite what I’m saying here, except that I’m pretty disgusted with the level of political discourse these days. And I’m especially disgusted by the roughly 53 percent of eligible voters in my country who don’t vote. I know there are voter suppression issues, I don’t deny that, but it doesn’t account for HALF of our potentially voting citizens staying home. Want to “Be the change you want to see in the world”? VOTE, people! And no matter your place on the political spectrum, demand better candidates, people you aren’t ashamed to vote for.

  10. I have to say that I am embarrassed about how our election looks to the world and you. It’s like when your child behaves badly in public or does something horrible that makes you say, “this is not acceptable behavior in our family” to whomever. I have been somewhat silent because, I don’t know what to say. The poem of Maya Angelou, “But still I rise,” has been running through my mind. There is much to be done. But in 2 weeks when our Thanksgiving comes, I will be grateful.

    • Yes, our election seemed like one big joke. A reality show guy, seemingly with attitudes towards women and minorities straight out of the 50’s running against a corporatist whose husband sold American workers out big time and who the DNC broke its own rules of remaining neutral to push her forward and defeat the one candidate with the right answers!

    • Hmmm, I so hear you on this. As a Canadian, I really, really hope that we are taking very serious note: if a country, a whole generation, does not take SERIOUSLY the need to safeguard and cherish the democratic process–if we allow the whole environment to get so toxic that only candidates you really don’t trust to be responsible for you can survive it–then we too are in danger of having our elections degenerate into a terrible new Reality Show–with real-world consequences!! We’ve inherited so much from our forebearers (esp our foremothers)…we need to lean in, care, participate, protect the forum so it has a chance to work in heathy ways!!

  11. I, too, will begin to wear a safety pin daily, for myself, for my friends, and especially for the Americans who seemingly do not understand the horror of what has just happened in our democracy. We must maintain our kindness and love for one another. We must keep each other safe in those things.

    • The safety pin is suppose to signify that you will take action if witnessing someone being attacked or harassed because of their color, religion, sexual orientation or race. It isn’t just about making a political statement.

  12. Yes, I’ve been hearing this as well. People voted for him despite his terrible flaws, hoping that a true political outsider would produce big change. Believing that the constitution will protect us from his more outrageous intentions. But I have concerns that his lack of experience in politics may lead him to be a most pliable puppet in the hands of quieter yet more vicious and experienced political types. My family waits to see what happens next, what powers he truly has and exercises. It’s scary to have such an unpredictable person as president.

    • My sentiments exactly.

      I saw someone quoted as saying that they hope he’ll be a wrecking ball to the status quo. This election seems to bring out one’s inner anarchist.

    • Conversely, many voted for Trump because they were afraid Clinton would disassemble the constitution with her nominations to the supreme court. Many people voted specifically because of the supreme court and against deep rooted corruption. Don’t let media talking points cause you distress. Wait & see with an open mind.

      • As of today, President-elect Donald Trump has appointed a white supremacist as chief White House strategist (Stephen Bannon). Wait and see…I’m waiting and I’m watching. It’s not looking promising.

        • that is just totally false! Try reading sometime. It is a conservative voice out of California with offices in London and Texas. The media fills the airwaves with such lies! Bannon took over several years after Andrew Breitbart’s death! Honestly, I would have to say they became more mainstream Republican after Bannon took over than their previous Tea Party ideology .

  13. I’m terrified for myself, my child, the people around me who don’t fit the mold of what others think is worthy of respect and basic human dignity. I will also wear a safety pin everywhere I go. Thankfully my husband is on track to tenure overseas very soon – we cannot exit this country fast enough.

  14. I’m actually very worried about our country. I have taught 7th and 8th graders for 25 years and have always sought to instill values of respect and kindness for everyone. We talked about not understanding what someone is going through until you ” walk in their shoes” when reading To Kill A Mockingbird. We cried together when reading Anne Frank and Of Mice and Men.
    I despair that I (and my fellow teachers) didn’t do a good enough job.
    I’m feeling really, really discouraged right now.

    • Faith–Do not be discouraged. Do not blame yourself or your valuable work. Society, and teachers, forget, because of the pressure placed upon them, that the job of teaching children decency and responsibility belongs first and foremost to their parents. While a teacher and other adults in their lives may (hopefully) reinforce this lesson, it is not their sole responsibility. And once a child reaches a certain age they must look at themselves, and look at others, and decide for themselves their place in the world. We hope they have been shown that choosing love and hope, decency and respect is the way to go, but we can no longer influence them. They have to choose for themselves. Educators do their best to exercise young minds, teach them how to think, grow and problem-solve. Parents are, whether they do it or don’t, responsible for the rest. Please don’t despair. I don’t doubt you have made a lasting impression on hundreds of children. What a legacy.

      • Thank you for your kind words. It’s very difficult to try and reconcile the passion for fairness and justice I heard every day in my classroom and then find the majority of voters in my town (many of whom are former students) voted for Trump!
        (insert a silent scream here ala Edvard Munch)

    • I hope you realize that the majority of Trump voters aren’t haters but were either one issue voters or underemployed workers who felt desperate for someone to renegotiate the trade deals that have cost us millions of good paying jobs the last three decades. The Rust belt has so many dying towns because of those lost jobs and it created a lot of suffering. So when Trump promised to do something about the lost jobs while Obama pushed for the worst trade deal ever, the TPP, which Hillary called the gold standard for years, it made lots of desperately poor workers vote for Trump!

      • As a non American I am baffled by this argument when Trump out sources the manufacturing of his clothing to China! How many jobs could he have already created by having the clothing made I the US. Many countries including the UK have this economic problem too. Many of our brand names have closed our factories and made work forces redundant, then gone to the far east to manufacture the goods because of the cheap labour and lower material costs. His clothing lines though I would imagine are expensive enough to cope with the extra cost of being made in the US, it’s not like they are knocking out garments for next to nothing.
        I also read several articles about how he has bankrupted many businesses by not honouring contracts for either work done or goods received.
        So it really confuses me when on top of this he has gone broke himself, cannot/will not provide proof he has paid any tax to help support his country yet he is held up for his business acumen and people voted for him to create and build the job market when his own practices for years have done the opposite.

        • I have tried to make all the same points you have, and added the sexual predator aspect and just cannot fathom how anyone could vote for him. That he is representing us to the world is horrifying. I am heartbroken and disappointed that people were able to ignore all of the above to vote for him on anyone issue, and cannot see their votes as anything but a vote for hate. As a lesbian, the mother of a young adult daughter, and a homecare nurse, I am very afraid of what will happen once he is in office. I am afraid for myself, my LGBT friends, my low income patients, and all the Muslims and Jews. My partner and I are going to try to get married before the inauguration, forgetting about any pomp and circumstance, and hope that it will be grandfathered in to any laws banning same sex marriage.
          I cried the whole next day after the election, but because I am a reasonable person, I am willing to give the office of the president the respect it deserves, but each time Trump spews hate, discrimination and vulgarity out of his weird mouth, he will lose some of that respect. Frankly, I don’t think I will have any respect left after the first year, but…

        • There are a lot of one issue voters in the U.S.
          as evidenced by Bush Jr. being elected twice!
          I think the economic desperation that a lot of people are feeling contributed to Trump winning as well as Hillary being a known corporate shill as well as a war monger.

        • Remember Trump is a terrific salesman and after Bernie was shut out of the nomination process by the DNC, there was no one else but Trump talking about the need for more good paying jobs. Trump never said he didn’t take advantage of our current terrible trade treaties but he stated that they needed to be renegotiated or cancelled in order to balance our trade deficits and get some manufacturing jobs back here.

    • Faith, I could have (chronologically, not geographically, maybe) been one of your 7th or 8th graders. One of the first few years’ worth. You did. I promise. Learning to climb up inside of someone’s skin and walk around in it was one of the most important lessons I learned as a kid, right after “whole eggs shouldn’t go in the microwave,” and I remember it was Mrs. Gordon who taught me how to see people. I’m sure your students will remember you just as fondly when they (groan) near forty.

  15. So many of us in the States have been walking through the week as if in a dream, not able to process that this election really had the results it had. But so many of us have looked at each other and realized that we must go on. We must be brave, we must be kind, we must be the people we have always been and not let anger and hate win. We are resilient. We will make it through this.

  16. Many, many of us are horrified. And maybe voting for one particular issue seems to make sense at the time, but in all actuality you are voting for all the issues. I am living in fear that my adopted special needs child will lose more of his services, it is already a fight to keep him in the specific Medicaid he needs. There is already talks of changing Social Security, abolishing healthcare for 28 million people and of course changing Medicare that so many of our 65 and older population need. I am trying to stay positive but it is hard. I am glad your readers are kind, the majority of mine have been too, but there is always that few that really get you down.

    Peace my friend.

    • Sadly, I see the single issue voter as just as bad as the active bigots. Their personal beliefs were more important than the safety and liberty of their fellow citizens. I saw one man note that T’s tax cuts would mean $400 more a month for his family and that’s why he voted for him. How can that ever justify T’s abhorent plans for our country and fellow Americans? I just weep for us all.

      • I agree with you. Putting one’s own comfort and economic priorities above other people’s basic safety and human rights is selfish. Supporting a bigot and racist, even “despite” his bigotry, supports bigotry and racism.

        • Sorry but not putting myself first, putting my children first. With no job prospects due to over regulation that put my and my partners industry out of business and no longer having the money to do more than barely put food on the table I voted TRUMP. People tell me to suck up the job loss and just move. well we lost the house, have not the money to move and wish people understood that all we want is a chance to work again, not take handouts. so NO not putting myself first. BTW I and my partner are BLACK and LGBT

          • I have no fear that Trump is racist I educated myself, read his words going back many years and feel he was the better choice. He understands the plight of the working class, his opponent lived off the government almost her entire adult life and I am old enough to remember what she has said and done in the past. Trump has not changed his beliefs by polling the masses. I am content with my decision and do not need a safe space I am comfortable in my own skin. Also my former employer is hoping to be able to re-open now and that would be the icing on my cake. I do however feel for those who feel threatened by his election and hope THEY keep an open mind.

          • I am sorry for your economic pain. There are so many folks who just don’t get why Trump won. The Dems running Hillary, a known corporatist, instead of Bernie, was a huge mistake.

          • Thank you, a look at the electoral map explains it all. The big cities, the ‘elites’ all chose Hillary because most of them probably have not had their lives turned upside down by the present administration. Even those who lost jobs during the recession blamed the previous one so they voted for the status quo. I do understand those who are in fear but really safe zones? safety pins? Please people, don’t get your news from news bites, research for yourselves, Mr. Trump fought against discrimination in Florida, I can find no references to being a homophobe before he ran, no ‘sexual allegations’ before he ran for President. Don’t let the ‘crude’ language color your judgement. I have worked with men and women in construction and although many use salty language they are the most tolerant, kind, wonderful people I know. The fear and violence must end.

  17. Veterans’ Day is not the same as Remembrance Day–the equivalent would be Memorial Day, when we remember the war dead. Veterans’ Day celebrates the sacrifices of those who came home alive, for which we are happy.

    • Beautiful explanation of the differences in the two days! I believe that both the lost and the ones that return deserve to be Celebrated and Remembered. I am proud to be both a child and the spouse of Canadian Military Veterans.

    • I’ve been reading through all the comments before I made my own to see if someone had explained Veterans Day and Memorial Day..great explanation.

      • Yes, it was honestly quite distressing for me to find someone so badly mixing up Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day and thus admonishing us for it?? Veterans’ Day *should* be celebrated, not just “observed”. And while there are also people that stupidly “celebrate” memorial day, they’re not the majority of educated people, in my experience.

        • You hit on something that’s bugged me for years about Memorial Day. Maybe because it’s the bigger, better known one here in the US, it’s become the catch-all for honoring all military, and thus too celebratory (in my opinion). Also, its position as the unofficial kickoff of summer seems to have made it a happy holiday. I would like Memorial Day to return to the solemn reflection of the British/Canadian Remembrance Day, and Veteran’s Day to be the day when we thank our living war survivors (and their families!) for the service they have given and the sacrifices they have made for this country. It seemed rather incongruous to me this afternoon when the news mentioned President Obama laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington Cemetery. That should be (and is, I know) a Memorial Day thing. I’d rather have the president visit the Walter Reed/Bethesda military hospital, a VA hospital, an American Legion post, a VFW hall, etc. to meet and honor the living vets today.

          Then again, all veterans–living and deceased–have my gratitude for their service, no matter what day of the year it is.

          • Agreed. There is also the fact that the big remembrance ceremony at Arlington is on Veterans Day, not memorial day. We really should switch the holidays so people can celebrate those who returned during nice weather for picnics.
            Memorial Day’s origins are from Decoration Day after the Civil War. In many areas, it was almost a Day of the Dead thing, where you went out on of the first nice days of spring and decorated your loved one’s grave and then had a family picnic. That part of it has been forgotten.

    • But we’re still weird Americans because we all have picnics and barbecues and sales and parades on Memorial Day. For many it’s the first party of the summer season. I just don’t think we Americans do solemn well. We’re uncomfortable with it. So we turn it into a party.

      • I also think that world war I (whose armistice date is the day of Remembrance Day/ Veterans’ Day) wasn’t as devastating for the US as it was for the UK and Canada. We came in late to the war, their young male population was decimated. And although the Civil War WAS devastating for our nation, it has passed far enough into history that the “remembrance” aspect is not as poignant anymore. Although I agree that we Americans don’t do “solemn” very well or for very long.

    • Steph, to me this is such a blow to gender equality. I know there are lots of other issues, but that’s the one that I think is being skipped over now. The glass ceiling is very thick and heavy.

      • But Clinton won the popular vote, did she not? In my book, that means she broke the glass ceiling, or at least put a really big crack in it.

        • As a Canadian who is mourning the loss of Leonard Cohen – your remark about putting “a crack in it”, reminded me of his song that says “everything has a crack in it, that’s how the light gets in”.

          Don’t know if the thought of light helps at all?

          Chris S in Canada

        • If she wasn’t such a dishonest person with a scandalous past she would have blasted through the glass ceiling. She is not without flaws either. Most people I know did not consider gender when voting. They considered the issues, and especially the supreme court.

    • Thank you, JK, for clarifying. We celebrate and thank the veterans we personally know on Veteran’s Day. However, it does seem crass to say, “Happy Veteran’s Day.” Sorry, Steph, not sure why people said that. We certainly don’t.

  18. We have Memorial Day like your Rememberance Day in May. We honor the living vets by giving them parades and respect, and sadly now days fundraisers for their needs.

    I voted for Johnson as both were not for me.

  19. I have been waiting for you to post something since Tuesday in the hopes that your way with words would maybe wipe away some of the ickiness I and so many others are feeling. Thanks for doing just that. I appreciate your perspective.

  20. Stephanie, thank you for the thoughts you expressed. We are all in pain here. But let me point out to you in regard to Remembrance Day and Veterans Day that we also have Memorial Day .Memorial Day is when we honor our dead. That’s not to say that it is not also on which cupcakes are baked and sales are held! Veterans Day is usually thought of as being for living veterans. There is a lot of confusion about this, obviously.

  21. Thank you for your words Stephanie. I am horrified that so many good people I know voted for him because they think he can fix our country. I did not because I cannot in good conscience vote for anyone who’s moral code is so opposite my own, and I do not think he could fix our country because from the words he said in his own voice his ideas of fixing it are very wrong and full of hate and misunderstanding. I hope the next four years are better than I fear.

    • This is exactly what I have been feeling. I could not vote for someone who is so morally repugnant and feel physically ill when I think about what our country has done. I work with children and have spent the few days since listening to them and trying to calm their fears. Not sure how to do that when I also feel afraid,

  22. I too am frightened about what the voters did last week. I’m focusing on the fact that we have a system that has worked for 200+ years. We will overcome…
    However, I hope that as soon as trump starts trampling on peoples’ rights… there is anarchy… but, as Great Big Sea sings, only the nice kind of anarchy…
    Bless you, Canadians, you are truly kind and I hope the US doesn’t do anything else so foolish.. Thanks for your kind words Stephanie.

  23. Your Remembrance Day is what I believe our Memorial Day is in May, although it saddens me that we also have sales and they make cupcakes at stores and such around that event too. I’ve never really understood it, but I don’t understand a lot of things.

    I appreciate your honest words about our election. I am the mother of both a homosexual son and a transgender son, and my heart breaks for my boys. I don’t even have the words to express to others how I already worry and fear for them, and now this. And decent people I know, who voted for Trump (and that’s there business not mine) have said, “It’s all going to be okay, don’t worry”, and I want to just punch them. There, I said it out loud. Because how dare they minimize how I feel, and my worry, and the fears and worries of my children, and their friends, and my friends who are handicapped, or minorities, or anyone else feeling marginalized by this election? One of them actually said to me, “Well, now you know how we’ve been feeling for the last 8 years while Obama was in office.” Oh, really? It was the same? I don’t even understand how. My heart is sick and I don’t even know how to express it. So thank you for your words. For being honest and open, when so many of us feel like we can’t be. XOXO

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. One of the men I work got engaged to his boyfriend earlier this year, with the wedding scheduled in April 2017. They have decided to go to the courthouse and get legally married now, because they can’t be sure they will have that right in a few months, and that breaks my heart. I have already heard of hate crimes committed in conjunction with our elected President’s name. My only hope is that these terrible acts will push the vast majority of us to whom they are absolutely intolerable to stand up and say as much. I can only imagine how you and your family are feeling right now, and I truly hope you know you are not alone. So many of us stand with you, and will do whatever we can to ensure the hard-won rights you have do not disappear.

      • My moms have been married four a couple years, but they’re not sure Obergefell will remain standing and that a new decision won’t nullify their marriage entirely. Encourage your coworker to make sure he and his husband (mazel tov to them both, btw) have reciprocal wills, each others’ powers of attorney, and that both names appear on any deeds and titles. Make sure their living wills and care directives list, specifically, that it will be the other in charge of making decisions regarding health care. That way no one can take away their ability to care for one another even if they manage to take away their marriage.

        • Trump is for states rights, not for the federal government meddling in the laws that the states decide are right for them. If you are worried, get involved in your state politics.

      • Thank you everyone for your kind words. Christopher, my biggest heartbreak is that many LGBTQ kids don’t get the support they need from their parents. I wish there was so much more that I could do to help them.

        • Hugs to you, Beth, from a Canadian as anxious as you are. Your boys are lucky to have you in their corner – and I read your post with tears in my eyes and an ache in my heart.

    • I hear you Beth. It’s okay to be dismayed. I can’t abide it when someone tells me to buck up…like it’s something simple to do…lol.

    • My husband is a trans man. We were married just over two years ago in Georgetown, DC, as it wasn’t legal for us to marry here in NC. We are going through the immigration process (I’m from Australia). I don’t know what to say except ya’ll are not alone. You are part of the LGBTQ family,.

      • My best friend, someone who I have the most profound connection with, is also trans. She’s trying 5o make plans to move to England now. I am heartbroken and terrified for her. It was hard enough before for her, but now…Beth and Sue, we are all family. And we will fight to keep that love shoeing to the world.

        But mostly, I just want her and anyone who does not “fit the mold” to be safe..

  24. Yes to all the kindness. We need it.

    I live south of the 49th parallel, but I like to kid myself that I am a Canadian Internet citizen. Sites where I comment that put the little country flag by each comment always give me the Canadian flag. I am honored.

    In my family we do not celebrate Veteran’s Day. We do not have parties, bbqs, or go shopping. We remember. I guess that means we lean Canadian.

    All four of my grandfathers were veterans. (Yes, I had four. I was lucky.) Two great-uncles were soldiers who did not return from war. My father, uncle, and nephew are veterans.

    In the past week I have carefully backed away from the internet, radio, television, and the media. Instead I knit. Today, I knit a poppy. Tomorrow, I will hug my dad and wish him happy birthday. That will be a day to celebrate.

  25. I did not vote for him but I am viewing through the eyes of one of the most important parts of my religion: “We are our deeds.”

    People can say anythings, but their actions define them. I am viewing him the way I do with teachers I may noot care for: make the best of the situation, be happy senators and congress elections are every couple of years and be more involved in 4 years (when both my kids and their friends will be old enough to vote) to push aand support a candidate I can agree with more who I think will be able to get us out of whatever sittiation we will be in then.

    Happy knitting everyone! Christmas is less than 50 days away!

  26. Stephanie, thank you so much for this post. As someone who is shocked, heartbroken, astonished and terrified over the results of this election, it is a releif to have someone put my thoughts into words. I don’t know what the future holds, I just hope there will be enough good left to salvage.
    Thank you for your honesty, and for keeping me laughing all the other times.

  27. Parts of two songs have been running through my head since Wednesday morning. One is a verse from a hymn written during America’s War Between the States:
    “And in despair I bowed my head, ‘There is no peace on earth’, I said, ‘for hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, goodwill to men.'”
    The other prays, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me”.
    I choose peace. I look toward to — or try to imagine — the future, and I cannot. I only know with all that is in me that it has to begin with me.

    • Ah, but Longfellow’s next stanza turns back toward hope:

      Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
      “God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
      The Wrong shall fail,
      The Right prevail,
      With peace on earth, good-will to men!”

  28. Say yes to kindness.
    Say yes to love.
    Say yes to tolerance.
    Say yes to respect.
    Stand with those who believe in these things, not strong and violent, but in solidarity.

    That’s how I’m choosing to deal with all of this, despite the crazy that’s going on around us.

    • Ann – I agree with your ideas here. I am adding to my list the following:
      Say Yes to beauty, it is around us everywhere.
      Say Yes to laughter, it heals us.

      Thanks, Ann for your words.

    • I’m awaiting the arrival of some stickers I had made. They say simply “You have value, and I love you.” I can’t wait to start handing them out.

  29. As others have said, Memorial Day is when we honor those who have given their lives in service to America. I think it is worth noting that the information you were given re: Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day was incorrect. Yet I’m sure the people who shared it, thought they were sharing correct information. I would keep that in mind when listening to people who are saying that their choice, when they voted, had nothing to do with misogyny and racism and classicism, or xenophobia. The only pass I might give them is that sometimes in is hard to see how those things have been internalized or normalized by an individual’s community. History has shown us that people are remarkably able to rationalize choices that cause suffering for others. I hope for mercy and compassion such as yours as the days unfold and the man who has told us exactly what he plans to do, executes those plans.

    • ❤️ I do as well. Though I am angry, sad, and afraid, I realize that allowing these emotions to rule my actions will only create more hate. Hate never solves anything. Hope, kindness, tolerance, and patience are the only ways to work towards a brighter future.

  30. Thank you for this. I’m a Canadian living in the States and you expressed exactly how I feel (and the perspective I am still trying to gain). I never thought I would cry over an election and yet Tuesday I cried, and I’ve cried more since. I will also be wearing a safety pin and try to figure out what I should do to be more of an activist to support the rights of women, minorities, and the LGBT community.

    • Julie, I am in the same boat – a Canadian now residing in the States. I am baffled by all of this, and struggling to find the way through. Steph’s words capture so much of what I’m feeling and wondering and grieving. It was good and grounding to have this spot of peace and reason.

  31. thanks for your kind comments. I am still in a state of shock and can’t believe what has happened. I never never thought he would really win. I can’t bear to even see his face so have stopped watching or reading the news. until I can do so without raising my blood pressure I am confining my Internet to ravelry and other yarn or book related sites.

    • I feel exactly the same. So very sad, frightened and angry about the election. I still find it hard to believe this has happened in my country.

      I also had to step away from TV and social media for awhile. And I was a real news junkie, but it just hurts too much right now.

  32. As an American who is struggling with her country right now for many of the reasons that you are, I really appreciate your wisdom tonight. Thank you for being patient with us Americans and for listening to us. You’ve helped me to better understand my own people a little bit. Thank you, Steph. You truly have an amazing gift to remind me what the best of humanity looks like.

  33. Well-said. I spent a thoughtful Remembrance Day at work, in a Long-Term Care Facility where we honoured our residents who were veterans and all other veterans. Adding to my general sadness over the American election outcome is the sad loss of the great Leonard Cohen – it’s all a little too much.

  34. November 11 is also the day we honor one of the oldest treaties between the US government and Native Peoples, and I attended the ceremonial walk to the Peace Rock in front of the courthouse in Canandaigua, NY where that treaty was signed in 1794. An Onandagan elder spoke of the outcome of events on Tuesday (election day), “…the wind does not care, the water does not care, the rules of Mother Nature still prevail, and always will…” I needed that reminder!

  35. Thank you for sharing. I’m always fascinated that despite our shared border, we have different ways of looking at things. Your comments on Veterans Day are an example of this. We have Veterans Day and Memorial Day. Memorial day is intended for those who served and gave their lives for the country. Unfortunately, it has gotten wrapped up in “support the troops”. Veterans Day is for all who served, thus the “Happy Veterans Day” I don’t like the sales around either day. Serving in a war is something my father did out of duty to his country, but I don’t believe it was the highlight of his life. I don’t I like that Memorial day is the “unofficial start of summer” and Labor Day is the unofficial end (don’t get me started on that one).

    Your thoughts reminded me why Veterans Day exists. I posted Flanders Field on my Facebook page, late, but it’s there.

    As far as the election, I’m sad and concerned for the US. I guess having lived through many disappointments in Wisconsin over the past 5 1/2 years, I’m working hard to the return of my State as I knew it for over 50 years. I’ll do the same for my country.

  36. Bless your heart, Stephanie, for your kind words. I cried the night of the election and was in a fog the day after. I am, and this may seem odd, taking solace in the fact that so many of us are also upset. To me it signifies that we will not quietly wait and see until our values and rights are eroded but we will remember what a terrible thing has happened. I was very afraid that we could have a slow erosion of our rights as happened in the 1930s in Germany but if this week is any sign I don’t think it will be allowed. I see intolerance and disrespect being confronted even more this week and it makes me feel a bit more hopeful.

    That said, I’ve made my donations, given rides to protesters, spoken up to ignorance, and made plans to support those who can be more physically active than I can. I hope we all can continue to do this, in love and respect.

  37. I’m pretty horrified about the election results. Despite long lines at polling stations, though, voter turnout was low. This gives me hope that we are *not* a nation of hate but one of apathy and/or frustration instead. Maybe the end result will be change for the better (some day). Today I contributed to the ACLU, which helped me feel better. I will continue to contribute to the organizations that protect our rights, as it is going to be a long four years.

  38. Thank you, Stephanie. You are always wise and kind. We Americans who did not vote for Trump are going through the same process of trying to figure out what to say and how to react to this situation. I hope that most of us are trying to figure out how to understand and heal. Thank you for sharing your living room.

  39. Your beautiful country gets it right. Veterans’ Day should be somber and not a reason to make a buck. My father and grandfather survived Vietnam and World War II, respectively, and there’s no “Happy” in Veterans’ Day for them, other than the fact that they made it home changed forever, but alive.

    I am still heartbroken and reeling over the steps our country has taken this week. Instead of retreating, I hope it spurs me to take more action than I have in the past in social justice and peaceful movements that I’ve always held close to my heart. May we heal and learn from the history we are creating.

  40. Today Canada is not only mourning the soldiers but celebrating the legacy of Leonard Cohen – his songs, poetry and words. A wonderful respite from the news from the US which just seems to get worse each day. The coverage on CBC has only been broken by news and the Rememberence Day ceremony in Ottawa.
    I am sorry you are missing this celebration of a great life well and fully lived.

  41. I’m actually afraid to even wear the safety pin. It’s as if it’s a target. I feel as if I’m being silenced and pushed back into the closet. Knitting has been a constant comfort and reading the post here has helped to relieve some of the tension. Thank You!

  42. I am crushed and trying not to give in to anxiety and fear. I will wear the safety pin in solidarity with others who are not giving up. It’s just so scary.

  43. Thank you. I understand your conflict. I am taking a women’s and gender studies class and yesterday, the professor gave us the option of writing about this election instead of the writing we were assigned. I initially thought I would, then in putting my thoughts together I felt like a crazy, conspiracy theorist, you know, the kind who spends the weekends in the woods hoping to film Bigfoot. In speaking to people including my daughters, I again changed my mind. I posted the paper and it has sparked a wonderful dialogue. I’m not less angry, but I have a glimmer of hope. Or maybe it’s the oncoming train.

  44. Thank you for your eloquent words on a difficult subject. I am a secondary school history and English teacher in Canada. With Tuesdays events, I feel like the world has stepped into a dystopian future so reminiscent of the 1930s. I am pinning my hopes on the many who will resist and refuse to be bystanders. Those who will not appease. The day after the election, our school had our Remembrance Day ceremony. A thousand students were silent as we honoured those who fought and died in the fight against authoritarianism; a thousand students sang “Imagine” together. Perhaps that dystopian world isn’t as close as it feels.

  45. Thank you, Stephanie. Your thoughts and feelings go a long way to help me, a heartbroken American, understand why I feel the way I do. We are usually a joyous, exuberant nation, moving from an election to a get-up-and-dust-yourself-off-and-get-to-work new view of our future. Your words help me to understand why none of us are feeling that way this time.

  46. Hi Stephanie –
    I really appreciate this and your last post. It helps to know that you care about what happens in the U.S. I feel so disheartened and embarrassed that we elected such a crude, racist, misogynistic man as president. I’m afraid of our losing all the good things we’ve gained – Affordable Care Act, marriage equality, environmental protections, abortion rights. I fear that we will devolve into further incivility. But I feel some hope too, in knowing that Hillary won the popular vote and people are protesting. I am grappling with how to exercise my voice and beliefs in light of our new reality. Like you and some many of the others here, I believe in kindness and peace. I will continue to practice lovingkindness and compassion in the hopes that putting out love and compassion can change the divisive negative energy in this country.
    Your blog and knitting provide solace. Thank you so much. I hope that we can all rise above this terrible situation.

    • It is that all I’ve worked for all my life (above) will be negated. And I started being politically active 50 years ago. So this isn’t just what the other side felt when they lost – they are personal.
      It is like a baton that dropped in the hand-off of a race, and another
      Country, or nation-state, or entity will have to pick it up and run forward with it.
      History is long, and we have done big things; They will be negated now, but I hope that others are able to look back and say there was ‘a golden age’.
      Your thoughts on demographics explain a lot Stephanie, but here is another: Near the end of the election cycle, I also encountered many women (dems) who were not able to vote for a president. To that I say what Madeline Albright said.

  47. This Veteran’s Day was special because my daughter was able to honor her veteran grandfather in a ceremony at her school. It was the bright spot in a hard week. Remembering the fallen in Canada in a more solemn way and celebrating the living veterans in the US are both lovely gestures.

  48. I am disappointed and embarrassed for my country. I just can’t understand how people can vote on one item alone. When I was younger, I joked about driving the 150 miles to Canada when elections have gone a way that I didn’t agree with. But now… Now is the time to act. Democracy is based on the people telling the politicians how we want our country run. Now is the time to run for office, donate time to campaigns, donate money to the organizations that embodies your values. I’ve never been real political. I only used to show up every four years and only vote for the president. It’s time for me to start learning about all of the issues. It’s time to get political. We can make lemonade out of that orange.

  49. Thank you for your post, Stephanie.

    I caught your P.M. addressing the U.N. What an amazing (and attractive) statesman. I still remember a quote from his speech, “No one has ever been fed by fear.” Then he added that “Canada got it right”.

    And you have.

    Pray for us. (A little wine or wool wouldn’t hurt either.)

  50. As a US citizen, this is the first year that I only voted for office of tax collector (locally in my district). I didn’t care for either presidential candidate, and although I am not delighted that Trump won, I am relieved that Hillary didn’t. I do not care for her policies and do not find her any more polite with respect to speech (since you brought it up) than he. She called those who are not with her “deplorables,” and I do not think her policies best for this (and therefore your) economy. Nonetheless, I do not rejoice with his winning. But I also am disheartened by the behavior of many who are violently protesting the results. We are not on a good path.

        • Not a minority, but many won’t speak up for fear of being harshly judged and accused of being a long list of -phobics that just isn’t true. Being a woman admitting to have voted for trump, or even just saying you understand why others did, is asking to be accused of awful things. Tolerance is not the word of the day.

    • Susan,
      I did not think I was going to find a post that expressed my feelings as you did. I can’t stand our new president either. But, I was unable to vote for the Mrs. Clinton because of what she said about black people. I am a black woman of 59 years and I have watched her and her husband since 1990s. Her comments about black people over the years, and especially the ones release by Wiki leaks were just too much for me. Many people in the US say our new president is a horrible person. But I am mystified by the lack of concern for what Mrs. Clinton said about people of my color. Not to mention the problems she had with congress, the emails, Bengazi and all the turmoil it has caused. I felt that he loves this country and would not purposely do it harm. I am also disturbed by the violence displayed by those in the country who do not like the results of this vote. Why burn down your own neighborhood and destroy the property of others. The name calling on both sides MUST STOP! It serves no purpose and only causes more pain. It was so hard for me to vote as I did and have suffered terribly at the hands of my neice who has vowed never to speak to me again. I have shut down my Facebook account as a result. No, this has not been a good election cycle but, let the chips fall where they may. I will pick up my knitting, spin some wool and silk, and pray my rosary each day for America. It is all I can do.

      • I stand with you both, Barbara and Susan. I cannot understand how people think that ugliness and violence is the answer because one candidate won and the other didn’t. Tolerance needs to go in both directions. Respect must be mutual between all people – not just when your candidate wins. For the record, I wrote in a candidate of my choosing. But I don’t feel it is my place to criticize anyone’s choice – no matter who their vote was for. This right – this freedom – is what all our dear veterans fought and continue to fight to protect.

      • Precisely Barbara, there is no place in this country for name calling, bigotry or destroying property.

        Everybody needs to remember Mr. Trump is just the President and he can only propose legislation. Congress has to pass it; and if the Supreme Court says it’s not constitutional the other two branches have to start over. In four years, if you are unhappy with his policies; vote him out and we will try again. Been doing this for 240 years.

      • Barbara R,
        I am grateful for your comment. I am a white woman about the same age as you, and although I do not know what it is to be black in America, I do know what it is to be an American, and I have not felt so much division between people of our two skin colors as I do today, and this under a black president (who has a white mother rarely acknowledged). This is discouraging. I am saddened by HIllary’s and Bill’s ongoing division of the demographics and especially treating blacks as if they are somehow a body of people who all think a certain way. The same can be said for how they divide many peoples by color of skin, gender, religion, etc. It saddens me to read what you’ve gone through as a result of your vote for him. Although I did not vote for him (or her), I have friends and family members who did and I completely understand why and will always love and support them. God bless you, Barbara.

      • Very well said Susan and Barbara. I am also an American who is not racist, not sexist, not homophobic, not xenophobic, not greedy, not selfish, not uncaring, not a warmonger, not “deplorable,” nor any of the horrible things I have heard myself unfairly accused of being for far too long. I did vote for Trump – with one hand, mind you, because I needed the other to hold my nose. My reasons for doing so were a lot like Barbara’s. Our system failed us this time in giving us two very flawed candidates from which to choose, but there is no question in my mind that one choice was far more potentially disastrous than the other – both for the citizens of our nation and for the world at large. For preserving our right to make these choices, even the painfully difficult ones, we thank our veterans – the ones we celebrate on Veteran’s Day and the ones we mourn on Memorial Day. For the record, a lot of us observe the latter by planting flowers and flags in cemeteries, not by flipping burgers on the barbecue grill. And now I’ll go back to the gorgeous sweater that I’m making for ME. Haven’t made anything for myself in quite awhile and I’m loving it. Peace, everyone, and calm.

    • This election should not have been about personalities. I don’t like Hilary but I voted for her. This election was all about what will happen to the Supreme Court. What Roe v. Wade is repealed? What if climate change is not properly addressed? How will these things affect our childrens’ futures? Is the election of Trump a green light for bigotry?

      • No Katy, it is not a green light for bigotry. Those of us that are center-right and center-left are very very tired of bigotry and inflammatory rhetoric that causes division. We don’t care about which end of the spectrum of brown you are on. We don’t care what consenting adults do in the privacy of your home. What we do care about is how you treat your neighbor.

        • The crime figures will say whether it has been a green light for bigotry or not. After Brexit in the UK there was a huge rise in race hate crimes. It seems some people feel their racism has been legitimised by the way the vote went.

  51. Today I ran into the mother and daughter who used to own the knitting shop in my town (now closed). I said, “Hey! I used to shop at your store! I still knit, and I’m really good now! Thank you so much!” Then I talked about what a comfort knitting was to me, especially a few years ago when my husband died. I thanked them again (she taught me to cable, and little did I know she was teaching me a way to keep a grip on my life when things went wrong), and they both went away beaming.
    We will be okay regardless of the election results, because America is full of good people. Some of whom, knit…

  52. Eloquently put.

    When I was young, it was called Armistice Day. I like that better. It’s more defining.

    The election? Horrified…and totally gobsmacked that the majority of my own family supports this…abomination. I think they fall into the one issue group…immigration in this case, as we live in Southern Arizona.

  53. Thank you, Steph. We needed that.

    I hate all the holidays in the US because it is all about sales and consumerism – just like “he who shall not be named”. Stores will be open all day on Thanksgiving – a day that I celebrate religious freedom for ALL religions, not just mine.

    I am a second grade teacher. My children are frightened. Two of them wrote that “HWSNBN” hates blacks and wants to kill them. It broke my heart. 7 year olds should not have to live in fear. Another said she may be moving to Mexico.

    The reason I have hope right now is because of these comments I am reading here: good people are doing good things in spite of this election – even because of this election. Maybe we needed something this horrible to cause us to rise up with our voices and stand for love and justice and mercy for ALL!

    Thank you to all of you who are speaking up and taking action! Thanks Steph for allowing us to voice our concerns here.

    • I loved your comment.
      I think that consumerism has ruined so many holidays because corporations have way too much power in this country. And workers have too little power or retail stores wouldn’t be opening on Thanksgiving Day!

  54. Thank you Stephanie for your love and understanding of our country. We have been trying for 240 years to get it right, and I hope that this is just a bump in the road as we strive to reach the goals we have set for ourselves. At least it will make many of us, myself included, more aware and willing to get involved to set things right in 2020.
    Also, I want to send thoughts and sympathy to the people of Canada for the loss of the great Leonard Cohen. I have been listening to his music today, and the world has lost a wonderful talent. He was amazing.

  55. I am still in shock and fear for our future in the US. My 9 year old bi-racial grandson heard what’s been happening here and he’s afraid he will be shot. He was already a target for bullies at school so the election seems to allow the small minded children of small minded parents to taunt him even further. I fear for my wonderful son that someone will think it’s ok to hurt him because he’s gay. And I fear for friends who were not born here that they might be targeted by someone who thinks it’s ok to hate someone who isn’t like them. All I can do is pray and make sure my behavior sets a proper and good example to others so that we as a country can go on with light and love. Pray for us please. We really need it!

  56. Thanks for a thoughtful reflection.

    There has been little listening to contrary points of view of late. Perhaps this will give us all pause to listen more to others thoughtfully and openly…both on the United States and here in Canada.

  57. Thank you, Steph. I’ve also been checking here hoping for a post once you had your thoughts together as I certainly haven’t been able to be coherent with my own. I have been trying to wrap my head around how anyone, let alone some of the women in my family whom I adore, could vote for him, policies/issues be damned, given the person he showed himself to be. (And yes, just going by his own words and actions.) These are intelligent and loving people and I am trying to understand it. I don’t yet. But your words and thoughtful response has helped me get a little closer. Thank you.

  58. Thank you for your thoughtful remarks. I’m a Canadian, married to an American, living in Canada–we have felt crushed since the election results came in. I’ve been waiting for your blog post. I knew more than likely you would articulate pretty much how I’m feeling, too. Today has been a day of listening to Leonard Cohen’s wise, healing music and words.

  59. My heart is broken and I want to light a memorial candle and sit shiva for my country. (At least no one has ever wished me a “Happy Yom-HaShoah.) And just when I thought that this week couldn’t get any worse, I learned that the great Canadian poet, singer, writer, and voice for love, Leonard Cohen, has died.

  60. I live in a tiny village in Canada and the results of the election were so upsetting , but reading the comments from so many Americans makes me feel that knitters are good people.

  61. As a Canadian living in the US, I am torn between staying and helping where I can and simply packing up and moving back home. Maybe once I figure out how this could even happen, I’ll be able to make up my mind.

  62. Btw, Steph, FWIW, although I as a US citizen did not vote for the man, those I know who did were not single issue voters. They were concerned about the national debt rising to double digit trillions over the past eight years, national security and border control, increased taxation and its effect on the middle class and business, increasing costs of health care and inability to keep insurance policies as promised, care of the military, and more. In other words, most people I know who voted for Trump even without liking the man had far greater concerns related to the future of our nation above and beyond one single issue. Even so, I couldn’t attach my name to his in a vote, but I do understand why some (many) did.

  63. I am so very glad you chose to write. I have been waiting for your voice. Through a week that has been surprisingly difficult (given that I am a Canadian, living in Canada), I have been checking in multiple times a day, hoping that your always-wise, always-compassionate, always-articulate words would somehow make it better. And they have. Thank you.

  64. Wow. The first thing I’ve read about the second worst day in America (9/11 the worst —-> 11/9 the second worst) and these comments give me so much hope! Not a mean one in the bunch and that isn’t true anywhere else.

    The words a friend of mine said when your Prime Minister was elected ring in my ears: “Why can’t we have nice things?!” It was a joke but not really. You all must think we’ve gone insane. But as of today Hillary is up over 400,000 in the popular vote, which makes me feel a tiny bit less crappy about my country right now.

    Knit on.

      • In actual fact, politically we are not a democracy. We were set up by the Founding Fathers as a republic. It is one of the least mentioned facts and one of the least understood by our citizens.

  65. I so appreciate everything you wrote. It helps me frame what i have been thinking. And it makes me so happy to know that you are. Just that you are there in this crazy world. Keep doing the things you do and thank you for sharing yourself with us.

  66. Here in Missouri I cried for hours. The worst was trying to explain to my children how this utterly horrific man got elected, despite losing the popular vote. I am appalled and embarrassed at my country right now and I don’t care who knows it. I honestly thought we were better than this.

  67. Thank you. Many times I have taken refuge in the words you share in your blog–and today especially. Wishing you the best.

  68. A somewhat different point of view here. For the record, I heartily dislike both the major candidates, and didn’t vote for either of them. That being said, I understand why so many people did vote for Trump, and for the vast majority, it had nothing too do with bigotry, or hate. It had everything to do with being ignored, overlooked, and denigrated by the political establishment on both sides. I am a native of indiana, that most “flyover” of the “flyover states.” We’ve heard from the politicians, the press, and the so-called intelligentsia that we are ignorant, probably inbred, and definitely too stupid to understand what both coasts are telling us. We should just shut up and follow along, because we’re too stupid to be allowed to think for ourselves. Our issues, of jobs, and farms, and economy, just don’t matter, apparently. Trump made a lot of outrageous and frankly despicable statements on his way to the election, and I hope to goodness he didn’t mean most of that, but he also talked to us flyover folks about the things that matter to the vast middle of the country: jobs, the economy. I didn’t vote for him, can’t stand him, to be honest, but I can understand why so many people did. I grew up in a farming and manufacturing town, and though I’m a lawyer and author, and live in a bigger city, Indianapolis, I find the assumption that the only American values and views are the ones espoused in the large cities on the coasts deeply offensive. I’m sure you hear me, residents of St. Louis or Nashville or Tulsa.
    Let’s keep in mind, too, that it was an election. There will be another one, and another after that. Some of them will have surprising results, some won’t. If you were thrilled with the 2008 election, and disappointed by this one, you may be thrilled by the 2020 results. Keep in mind as well that we have a tripartite system of government for a reason. Each branch exerts a check on the other two. And if you’re about to erupt in outrage that the Supreme Court is going to be ultra-conservative and take away all your rights, take a cleansing breath and remember that Justices, once on the Court, often render surprising decisions, not necessarily in line with their prior politics.
    This is not the end of the world, not would it have been had the election gone the other way.
    And before you decide I’m just an educated redneck and a racist to boot, you should know that I’m white, my husband’s black, and we have a beautiful biracial daughter. The hubs (who is a doctor, a black doctor, remember) voted for Trump, btw, because Obamacare, and he’s just that Republican. Still black, too.
    Nothing is as black and white as it’s painted in the press, and America is strong enough to withstand a lot more than this. We will be okay.

    • I too have often heard that those residing in non-coastal regions are somehow inferior (it’s been cased in so many different terms), but please be assured that not every coastal resident has that narrow perspective.

      • Totally agree. I am on the east coast, but my perspective involves ALL of us! 🙂

        Julie, the only thing you said that does not compute: “educated redneck” . . . Is there such a thing? :p

        • One can be born to red-neckery, or it can be acquired. It’s a point of view, based on a pro found desire to be left alone by the government. There are redness who are bigots, and those who are not, just as there are liberals who are bigots, though they would be incensed to be described thus.

    • Julie, I am a lifelong Hoosier and have not felt marginalized on a national level. It is so interesting to read about how you feel. I have always thought “Crossroads of America”, rather than “flyover”. I have felt and do feel very marginalized by my own state government. Obviously even knitters can have very different views of the same place.

      • A friend forwarded me a link to a graphic which illustrates this point perfectly. Someone, “anonymous,” posted the red-blue map of the election results, with arrows drawn on it. Arrows pointing to the east and west coasts are labeled “America”. An arrow poining to the middle off the country is labeled “Fuckheadistan.” I rest my case. (Apologies for the language; their word not mine.) This is deeply, truly, offensive to me. Not only am I a f**khead, but I’m not even American.

        • There will likely always be those with that attitude & poor choice of language. A writer friend of mutual friends, originally from NYC, considers those outside NYC to be provincial & unsophisticated. Doesn’t make it true.

          Still waiting to see more lovely Advent ornaments. Tick, tick, tick….

          • It certainly does not make it true. I texted my good friend in LA, where we lived for some years, and asked her if I was unsophisticated. Her reply: “Good grief, no! You have three degrees and published novels and you’re a lawyer!” I was glad to hear it. You know, just in case a lack of sophistication had snuck up on me, since I don’t worry about my fashion choices or the Kardashians. At. All.

    • My sentiments exactly. As for the fear, protests, and negative comments from people who didn’t vote for the winning candidate, my hope is that they will look at our near and long term future with a positive outlook. Some of my friends and coworkers are nearly hysterical, making comments about ‘what if’ situations that are waaaay out there. The sun will come up tomorrow, the earth will still go round and round and our system of checks and balances works.

    • Well said. When one considers that 38% of working Americans make less than $20,000, it is not surprising that many held their nose and voted for Trump instead of Hillary who is okay with the past trade treaties that have shipped millions of good paying jobs to low wage countries.

  69. Do people really think that the majority of conservatives really care if you are gay, straight, black, white, purple or polka dotted? We don’t,as a rule it’s very much “the content of your character ” .
    Do think that media misrepresents us horribly, and it’s very hurtful that peoplevel believe those lies.

    • Ok, but when the conservative politicians chosen are racist, homophobic, misogynists those who voted for them are condoning such behaviour and viewpoints. I hope you and Stephanie are right and most people aren’t full of hate, but I don’t understand why a candidate with better character wasn’t chosen as the Republican candidate in the first place.

  70. Thank you, Stephanie. The election results have been such a big blow to so many of us here. Deep down in my heart I’ve always believed that the people of my country were basically good and decent and that love and humanity would prevail over terror and hate. Turns out I was wrong. It’s earth-shattering to have your core beliefs decimated in one night.

    I’m trying so hard to remain positive and to continue to do good but it’s difficult right now. Thanks for your understanding and your support.

  71. Steph, though I’m American, Veteran’s Day for my family is more like what you describe–perhaps because it is my grandmother’s birthday, and she always remembered it as Armistice Day, the day that we once thought would end war. Of course, that turned out to be not the case; she spent the first years of her marriage separated from her husband by a war, that necessary war.

    I’ve been thinking about them both today–this is the first time since her death that I’m glad she’s not here (though I miss her terribly) to see how much her country despises women. And my grandfather, who fought fascism because his country asked him to, and because it was right–will we now embrace that which we once fought? I don’t know what it is that those who voted for Trump felt was so important that they would pay for it with other people’s lives; it seems to me a devil’s bargain. I greatly fear we will all have cause to regret it.

    Still, I can’t help but believe in my country; we will continue to fight for fairness and freedom for ALL our people, and someday–win.

  72. Forgive me if I get this wrong. The federal constitutional convention in 1787 in Philadelphia was held in complete secrecy. When it was over, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin what they had done. Franklin said something like: “We have created a republic — if you can keep it.”
    The next four years will be a real test of our form of government, and I hope our Congress and our state governors will be able to help us keep our republic.
    Thank you, Stephanie, for sharing your thoughts.

  73. Thank you for your lovely and heartfelt comments. It’s a hard time for many of us and having someone openly, calmly talk about it helps. I’m also upset, embarrassed for our country and concerned with it’s direction. How we treat others isn’t a light issue to be ignored. But what can we do? I’m also starting to wear a safety pin to signify support for those that get downtrodden. At least it’s a peaceful protest. I’m hoping so many will be so upset that we can be united to make a positive change in four years. Thanks for bearing with us Yanks.

  74. I’ve been in Brasstown, North Carolina all week at the John C. Campbell Folk School. Only a handful of people chose to sit in the common area watching some of the election coverage on Tuesday. Most skipped it. On Wednesday there was no real discussion of the outcome. We were like in a little bubble that didn’t have politics. And today, Veterans Day, during lunch they played the anthems from all the branches of our armed forces asking the veterans, men and women, to stand when their anthem was played. It was moving and brought me to tears. It will be difficult to leave this place to,orrow and go back to the real world.

  75. Been trying to focus on doing positive things rather than worrying about the negative things that might happen. On the latter front, right now I can only hope and pray that some of the campaign rhetoric was just posturing and that there won’t be follow through once Trump takes office. But it’s a struggle.

  76. I too was troubled by the “Happy Remembrance Day!” memes I’ve seen on FB today. I don’t get that, either. My father died from injuries suffered in WW II — in 1952, six years after those wounds were inflicted and 7 months before I was born. My step-father lost 2 fingers on his right hand and took a bullet in his right arm, and only the new ‘miracle drug’ penicillin saved his arm altogther. (Thereafter he was totally allergic to it, having received massive doses.) There’s nothing “happy” about it.

    And while the numbers of people who actually believe Mr. Trump’s words may be small…they seem to be causing problems already, and teaching their kids to cause the same problems at school and on the playground. I’m willing to listen, but I’m still very, very concerned about our American neighbours.

  77. I’ve thought about my grandfather today, too, who participated in the liberation of Dachau, and what he would say if he were here to see the swastikas that were spray-painted and flown in his country this week. (The hate crimes that occurred on Wednesday alone were horrific.) I’m a lesbian who just made an appointment to get an IUD before I lose my health insurance, which Voldemort has promised I will, because I can’t rely on access to Plan B or abortion if I am raped, the likelihood of which just increased dramatically.

    That’s what they voted for. I don’t care why, or how nicely they talk about it, that is what they voted for, and I can’t respect that.

    I hope Americans who are praying or concerned or who think will somehow be all right are backing up those thoughts and hopes and prayers with action, or no, this will not be all right.

    • My daughter is queer, my best friend is trans, and I’m terrified. Nothing anyone can say will make me believe this was in any way a good choice. A vote for him was a vote for hate, because we all knew where he stood before we cast our ballots. Say what you want, but we knew. We all knew. Peace and love to all in the LGBTQ community, to all women, Hispanics, Muslims, African-Americans, and anyone else who feels frightened and threatened by his hateful rhetoric. We MUST unite and stand up against this hate rhetoric and xenophobia.

  78. For me, one of the only ways that I can stomach the result of this election is to remember that only 27% of Americans voted for that man. Nearly half didn’t vote at all (I can’t explain this) and then he received fewer votes than Mrs. Clinton. Hardly a mandate let alone a reason to think that we will accept any of his hateful ideas, should he try to enact them. As a Canadian Permanent Resident, I suppose that I have already made my decision but, as you say, the two countries are closely linked and our fates rise and fall together. May we all be safe and protected….

  79. I could not vote for either of the major party candidates, for in my view, both are very corrupt. We should have a woman president, (we will!) but it should be someone far more honorable. I’ve been horrified by the lows to which both the campaigns have taken the USA. I very much fear that this will be the new norm. But millions of great people outnumber those leading the federal government. Now we’ve got to do everything we can to support fairness, kindness, patience, and yes even gratitude in our everyday discourse and actions.

  80. This is a disappointing but obvious article.

    First off, of _course_ most people won’t claim to agree with everything Trump says, because most people _realize_ that the things he says are racist. People will not publicly admit to having specific horrifying racial biases. So asking people for these reasons was inherently pointless in the first place.

    Second, even for the people who _genuinely are_ “single-issue” voters, they are not in any way excused from being horrifyingly racist. Put simply, anyone that can be “single-issue” in favor of Donald Trump thinks that that issue is more important than all of the horrifyingly racist (and misogynistic) consequences that will also arise from the things he has _publicly promised_, and that thought in itself is fundamentally and definitionally racist. The only Trump supporters who get a pass are the ones who are so mind-numbingly stupid and out-of-touch that they literally don’t understand Donald Trump’s platform. So, pick one: bigot or moron? You can unequivocally assign at least one of those labels to every single Trump supporter.

    • Good work interpreting the part of the post where she talked about acting like this is her living room and you look others in the eye and talk to them like humans, “Someone.” Tolerance and kindness are only for people you agree with, right?

      • But remember – we have all already been told we are deplorable!
        And that is in my opinion why the polls were all wrong. God help us if we speak up. There is no polite discussion, no attempt to understand another’s “view of the elephant” just unmitigated judgement!

      • They’re only for people who aren’t LITERALLY nazis. This was not like other elections. I’ve disagreed with the GOP for decades. I have never once called them nazis before this election. This time, they were. If you don’t understand that, read a fucking history book.

    • being unable to see beyond what you think you know makes you very narrow minded. You think things are quite so black and white, not really. The irony of the fact that you are judging and calling names would funny if it weren’t so ridiculous.

      • I know, right? You expected a whole bunch, but what you got was zero – zero pieces of racist trash responding to your vitriol

  81. Thank you once again Stephanie for your kindness, understanding, and sensitivity. I,too, am gutted and I am unsure how long it will take to grieve this. So I will drink enough tea to almost drown and cast on until I feel better and gain some clarity. The openness of you and “the Blog” is heartwarming.

  82. Shock. Dismay. Disgust.
    That hate filled man is going to sit in the office of Abe, FDR and JFK? I have never been more embarrassed in my life.
    The only sympathetic thing I can say is that having just been through this with my dad, I really believe he is in the early stages of dementia. My father would say the most outlandish, hateful things and had illusions of grandeur mixed with paranoia when it all began. He also became fixated with women’s weight making terrible comments to complete strangers. He would bounce between normal and peculiar and at times even be inappropriately sexual with me and my sisters. Behavior of this type has been reported by those covering Trump but no one is connecting the dots just yet. It took 14 years for it to become so apparent in my dad that I could finally get him help. He’s full time in nursing care now spending his time talking to dead relatives but the past 14 years were a roller coaster of horror with no one believing me when I said there was a problem as I watched him slowly descend into madness. Maybe I am being too kind or naive but I am hoping all his hate speech is from an illness. The thought that the leader of the free world is really that evil is just too much to bear otherwise.

  83. Thank you. I’m in one of the groups he and his VP have railed about. The world hasn’t ended — yet — but we need all the calm, sanity, and good thoughts we can get. (P.S.: Cat videos help, too.)

  84. It seems that every article I have read about how horrified and disappointed they are about the election has not even considered that a vote for Trump was a vote against Clinton and liberalism. A continuation of bad liberal policy was not the way to continue. A return to scandal after scandal and Ken Starr investigations is not the way to continue. It was a choice of to evils and in the end, I voted against Clinton.

  85. Steph, thanks, as always, for sharing your wise thoughts and profound observations. This was a masterpiece of forebearance and gentleness considering the topic!!
    The past three days have found so many of us physically frozen with mourning and/or fear yet with minds churning trying find a way forward. For me, the observation of Veteran’s Day (Armistice Day!) was welcome in that it finally encouraged the tears to flow. Next comes action and being even more vocal about issues. Thank you for spurring me/us on!

  86. Thanks Steph, for your well thought out words and emotions about both our leaders and days of remembrance. I have hope because I have seen some statements have been dialed back since the election, and I agree, that not everyone who voted for him agreed with all of his statements. I will keep knitting close by my side to deal with stress. I also have hope that many people have pledged to work towards supporting people who were targeted in the election.

  87. Thank you for this. As an American woman who voted the way you would have, I am struggling so deeply with this. Not just with the figure our nation elected, but with the idea that so many people agree with him. I am trying not to be crushed by the weight of fear and sadness, and I am trying to hug my little girl and not think about the fact that my preschooler will be in second grade before US voters have a chance to make this right. It’s just all so much. But thank you for the reminder than maybe not every person who voted for him is a horrible bigot.

  88. Amen and thank you for putting this so eloquently. I am ashamed of my country right now and pray the good in the majority of Americans comes out to support the groups of people that have been marginalized and hated on in the past months.

  89. Stephanie like many others, I’ve been waiting for this post. Your words have helped me take the first deep breath since Tuesday. Thanks so much for your thoughts & thanks for all the beautiful comments fello knitters. Peace everyone.

  90. Sorry this is so long but my son posted this on Facebook, I thought you might find his comments a good response to the elections results which were not what we were hoping for. “Ok, here we are. Day two, post election. My biggest complaint about Republicans after the last two elections was that they didn’t waste one minute trying to undermine President Obama. I won’t sink to that level. If President-Elect Trump is truly going to make “America Great Again”, we hold him accountable. Starting today. If he truly intends to improve the lives of the marginalized people in this country than we all work on that. If they want to go after the social issues, such as healthcare, woman’s reproductive rights, lgbt rights, civil rights in general, the active bigotry, the persecution of non-christian religions, then we fight like hell.
    But, and this is a big “BUT”, the reason why Trump won is that there are a tremendous number of Americans that feel left behind. They don’t have the means of transitioning into new careers as their jobs left them behind. They lack the educational opportunities to train for different skill sets. Their faith is important to them and they feel like it’s mocked by Democrats, (many of whom they supported over the years.). They are multigenerational families of coal-miners, timber industry, mining, agriculture, manufacturing, textiles, auto-workers, etc. This was and is their identity and many of their jobs were lost because the world moved on. I’d love to blame just the Republicans for that, but Nafta was a huge nail in the coffin of American manufacturing and that was a darling of the Clinton administration. There is a reason that Bernie Sanders had momentum, and why Donald Trump won. They talked to the people in Michigan and Indiana, the people in Wisconsin and Iowa. People who are proud to be American’s but feel like their government failed them. I get it, especially today when I feel like American democracy failed us. These people have been asking for help for a long time and were told that the government is working on it, great. The country is more prosperous than ever, great, if you have an investment portfolio, but not if you’re working poor. The country is rebounding from the recession, adding tech jobs and jobs in the cities, great. But only if you have the means to move to a city and the training to compete for those jobs. I have loved the Obama administration, and felt so positive about the future of our country for the last eight years, but that’s not everyone’s feeling. They couldn’t look past their immediate needs and I get that. More now than ever. We hold Trump and the Republican party accountable. They say they’re going to bring jobs back and work on improving the infrastructure of the country, great. Than that is what you do. They make life better for all american’s, great, we’re going to hold you accountable. All american’s includes, all races and religions, all cultures and creeds of citizens in this country and frankly anyone who wants to be a citizen of the United States. Today, tomorrow, the next day. And maybe just maybe things will get better. People didn’t want Donald Trump, they wanted to show every other politician running that they were desperate, they were pissed and they weren’t getting any attention. This was a distress signal and if we ignore it, we will keep getting Donald Trumps until the Republic really fails. There is a reason why the middle of the country looks like a giant red gash on an election map. They are wounded and keep hoping that the Republicans really will live up to their campaign promises, because the Democrats don’t speak to them. Today we start listening, we work on this together, not for political wins, not for party unity, not because Donald Trump won, but because I never want another person to be so desperate that they need to scream this loudly to be heard in America.”

    • Thank You Juanita. Thank You! Even thought there are many that voted for Trump and will never say so, you said what they feel. Insulted, left out, ignored, abandoned by BOTH parties. . Sometimes you really do have to scream before someone listens.

    • Your son is absolutely correct. In the end, only one candidate was showing concern for the working stiff and their families. And if either party wants to survive; they better stop sucking up to the special interest groups that pour money into their campaign coffers and figure out who actual elects them.

  91. My brother passed away in August and I’ve been in a funk ever since, which means I’ve not been knitting. Just yesterday I got out my knitting, I’m making sock monkey hats. It’s been a real comfort to me. This election has left me feeling devastated. I’m glad I came here and read what you wrote Stephanie, thank you so much. Today I came to the realization, maybe it was the knitting time, as to what has me feeling like I’m grieving a death (again). Beyond the fact that I’m disgusted by this man’s character (I use that word loosely) I’m devastated by the character that has been revealed of friends and family who voted for Trump. The things they are saying are so violent, malicious and militant. It frightens me. They say they are protecting our freedoms but it’s obvious that it’s only the freedoms of those that agree with them. Coming here and reading all these comments has given me more hope and peace than I’ve felt all week. Thank you!

  92. Someone may have mentioned this in the prior posts but I’m currently watching my grand daughter and don’t have the time to read all of them.

    In the US we have 3 distinct dates to honor our military. Memorial Day in May is to honor the Dead. Armed Forces Day, also in May is for those currently serving and Veterans Day in Nov for those that have served and are still with us.

  93. Over the years I have always told my children how great it is to have a peaceful election and a smooth transition of power in the United States. This is not how elections are in many countries.
    After this election children were so upset. Kids at school wondering if we were going to be bombed because Trump was elected. Children crying in the hallways because they are afraid for their friends and families. This election played on fear and the children are paying.

    • My 9 year old asked if he was going to bring back slavery. SLAVERY. It may sound silly at first, but that’s the type of thing that children think of when they hear his hate-filled rhetoric – the most horrific thing they can understand. That my 9 year old son equated this horrible man’s hateful words with something as awful as slavery breaks my heart. Children hear you, Trump. And all the Trump supporters, our children are listening. I won’t have my children believe that any of this is ok.

      • Did slavery really go away? (And it’s not just a racial thing; Black men could vote before women could.) There are degrees of slavery; limitations to our freedom are supported by racism, sexism, economic/social class disadvantages. Some people start out with much more “freedom” and opportunity for choice.

  94. Thank you, Stephanie, for your blog. I have been nauseated most of this week, often feeling that I was walking through a nightmare. While never a big fan of HRC, I voted for her because, as a victim of sexual assault, I could never, ever vote for the mess that was elected. Pence and his history scares me more than he does regarding the LGBTQ Community. DT is already stepping back on issues that he ran on – is now willing to amend the ACA instead of abolishing it the day he takes office. That’s what needed to be done in the first place. Beyond those issues, this was the most awful election cycle we’ve ever been through – fed by social media in a way that spread falsehoods and incited fear and anger from both sides. We can continue to live that way or we can say STOP. Like it or not, the election is over. These are the results we will live with for 4 years. A lot can be said but, for me, the best thing I can do is rise above. I will support – including the safety pin – and I will speak up against racism, bigotry and persecution. I will do my very best to do it peacefully. I will love my family, even those I don’t agree with, and life will go forward.

    • “I will support – including the safety pin – and I will speak up against racism, bigotry and persecution. I will do my very best to do it peacefully.”

      Yes, Pat! May we all do this!

  95. Thank you for your post. You are very kind and I hope we all live up to that kindness.
    In our family, Veterans Day is the solemn day. I spent the day sharing, via text, with my children photographs of both their grandfathers who served in the US Navy in WWII (both enlisted as teenagers) and visiting the graves of my father and a few other veterans who have no local family. No sales, no celebrating-our tradition on this day is to remember. But then, my father was born in Canada, so maybe that explains it!

  96. Steph,
    As always you are insightful and sensitive. I consider Canadians to be among the most reasonable people in the world. I have visited and over the years (prior to this election) have considered a move there. To your point about “Happy” Memorial Day; I ran into a friend today who was coming from a veterans’ memorial ceremony with a friend. Both have served in the army. My friend served in Kosovo and has struggled with PTSD. I wished them both Happy Memorial day and I immediately felt foolish and took it back. Instead I thanked them. The U.S. has been in a state of war since 2001. It is sad that we have not shifted our perception about the true sacrifice of military service.
    I appreciate your patience with our political situation. I am waiting to see what will happen in the near future with our changing administraton. I personally do not understand how anyone who wants change voted for the wild card candidate who spewed intolerance towards so many. Children are scared, people of color are being attacked and people who felt that they were living in a balanced America are confused. We have a complicated history in the U.S. Anyone who voted for a candidate who told you that he was a bigot, a misogynist, etc. and expects something different is a bit delusional. I realize that as a society we must all be politically involved beyond voting in every other election. We must engage all of our elected officials and hold them and ourselves to a higher standard. Until then, many of may be crashing your immigration website. Do you have room for a knitting public defender?

  97. Many of us that voted for Mr Trump do not agree with everything he said. It’s unfortunate that many of his great ideas are muddled in with racism, anti gay and anti immigration. However having lived through one Clinton co-presidency I could not fathom living through another. Should he not follow through on delivering health care reform, trade decifiects with Asia and keeping jobs in America he will not serve another term. He must deal with the mess and terrorism of the Middle East. Should he attempt to tinker with the civil liberties of our LGBT communities I will disinherit him. I am only cautiously optimistic about president elect Trump. I cannot jump for joy or go running through the streets. He needs to deliver. His first 100 days should be very interesting. We Americans need to give this person a chance. Many of us felt that change was in order and we had nothing left to loose.

  98. At some point during the election campaign, I changed my mind about Trump supporters. I still feel that Trump is unpresidential and unfit to lead, but I no longer feel that everyone who voted for him is crazy. I always felt that Hillary made a mistake when she called his supporters “deplorables”.

    • Hi Sara,
      As a black Catholic who voted for Trump, she also has yet to apologize for her remarks over the years about black people nor has she ever addressed comments by her campaign manager Podesta about wanting to get rid of the Catholic Church either. Wikileaks…strikes again. I could not support her. It has been forgotten by many that 60% of black people voted for Trump along with a great many Cubans in Florida. He flipped 4 blue states to red. I guess in her eyes we people of color who voted for Trump really are deplorable. We deplore not having jobs. We deplore being on welfare because there are no jobs. We deplore the bad schools in our neighborhoods. Democrats have been promising us things would get better for 50 years and nothing has changed. So…we changed. What else could we do?

  99. Beautifully said. I wonder if part of the difference in holidays is we have a Veterans Day and a Memorial Day. To me today is for those who served and are still with us. But that doesn’t explain why Memorial Day, which for me is for those who have passed, is an even bigger party. Sorry, there are many levels of not being able to explain my nation right now.

    • Thank you Stephanie for your thoughtful writing. I read your blog on Wednesday morning, right after I learned the election results. Knitting is orderly (even when it gets wonky and I make mistakes). Fiber and knitting needles work together to create something new and beautiful. And if it doesn’t work you can undo, start over or give it away. Unless you sit on the needle point it doesn’t hurt. I wanted kindness and respect, which is what you wrote. I choose to knit kindness and respect for others throughout my day in whatever I do,to the best of my ability. Thank you for all you do and share!

  100. I learn more from this blog than I do from any book, news broadcast or any other source!! I have been reading this blog for years. I love it. Thank you for sharing so many interesting thoughts and ideas to those of us lucky enough to be knitters and drawn to your blog Stephanie.

  101. Thank you Steph for trying to understand the other side of the issue. Too many right now are simply shouting and not listening. And this hurts us more than any other result of the election. You listened. And I appreciate it more than you will ever know.
    As for Veteran’s Day. I agree with you completely, but that may be because I have lived in the UK. I’m not sure why we Americans feel the need to turn everything into an excuse for a party or a sale.

  102. Thank you for your well thought out and kind words. As always, you have a way of saying what I am thinking.

    As an American I never could get behind the idea of Veterans Day or Memorial Day sales. and I feel both should be more somber. Yes, we are recognizing and thanking our Veterans but we should also be remembering the travesty that is war. My grandfather, uncle, and father-In-law never treated their time in the service as anything other than serious, horrible business.

  103. I don’t reply often, though it is one of only two blogs that I religiously follow. You are old enough to be my mom and I like this space because you feel a little like a mom and a lot like a friend and, well, you have often made me think more deeply about things.

    I am heartbroken by the way the election turned out. I have been registered as a (moderate) republican since I was 18. My whole family is republican and I live in a state where you basically have to be republican to participate in the political process. When Trump announced he was running, I thought it was a joke. I literally laughed out loud. After he started talking more, I became angry. And I became a democrat. Permanently. I can never forgive the things he has said, even if he only makes good on a small number of his ‘promises’, he has made my friends, my family (especially my children), and my home less safe. There has been hatred shown in the last two days that I never thought I would live to see. I thought they were serious when we were taught in school to ‘never forget’ WWII and the cost of fascism. As I posted on my fb wall “And if he builds a wall, I will raise my children to tear it down.” My country may have forgotten, but my family will never ever forget.

  104. Thank you for your kind words. I, too, will be wearing a safety pin. And, as noted, America does it’s solemn remembrances in May, on Memorial Day. We wear poppies, read “In Flanders Field” and go to the cemeteries to remember our war dead. This day is for thanking and celebrating our veterans, living and dead. We kinda forgot to do that during Viet Nam, so are making up for it now. But this year, this is a sad day for me…so I’ll go put on a safety pin.

  105. Wow you have a lot to read; I’ll be brief. Thank you for your words. I was crushed and trying to decide if I should unfriend my few friends who supported him. But you make a good point that some of those people just tried to do what they thought was right and maybe didn’t really like him or agree with his ideas. So thanks for the other perspective.


  106. Thank you for this. It’s reassuring to see a point of view that is trying to understand different opinions rather than vilifying them. I have found the lack of willingness to understand (or at least try to understand) the other side’s point of view this week pretty disturbing.

  107. Steph, Thanks for the eloquent lifeline. Many of us feel as though we are drowning in disappointment and despair. I’m sure it took a lot of time and thought to pen that post. I want you to know that I appreciate it.

  108. I Have been so tearful since the election but reading these posts has left me feeling less alone in this. Thank you Stephanie for providing this platform. Also thank you to Kathleen Dames who offered the kindness of her gorgeous knitting patterns for free to help us all feel better. I love knitters.

  109. I am a Canadian who will wear a safety pin in solidarity with my neighbours to the south. The election result frightened me, but many of you have restored my faith that American people are mostly like me, and mostly not like Trump. Thank you Stephanie for helping me understand my feelings. Off to find a pin now. It’s a lovely symbol of peace and friendship.

  110. I was brought up in Indiana in the 1950s by conservative, small-business-owning Christian Republicans who would be appalled by what their countrymen have done. Though far from liberal, they refused to help when neighbors tried to buy a house to keep a Jewish family from buying it. They explained that even if they could have afforded to chip in, they believed it would be wrong. “After all,” my mother pointed out to the leader of the group, “our Lord was Jewish.”
    More than a decade later, the ringleader of that atrocity criticized my parents for renting to a black man.
    The tenant, as it happened, was from Africa, and the apartment had been rented through the university, which had a nondiscrimination policy. When the ringleader had said her piece about renting to one of “them,” my mother calmly told her:
    “Why, Margaret, we’re happy to have Obie (the nickname he chose because most Americans couldn’t be bothered to say his name correctly) as a tenant. He’s working on his doctorate in chemical engineering, and his master’s in electrical engineering, and tutoring Ed (my younger brother) in calculus. And, besides, in his home country, the Communists tell evryone that all Americans hate all black people, and we are happy to show him that’s not true.”
    That day, my mother spoke truth to power — the power of peer pressure — and Margaret went home chastened but not ridiculed for her bigotry.
    I’m 72 and a devout, heartbroken liberal/social Democrat, and I have resolved to be like my mother: I will speak the truth as I see it, but with respect for the other person’s right to a different opinion. I will even do this with my brother and sister-in-law, who I am sure voted for Trump: They are very well off, and she (who never wanted children) very strongly opposes abortion. I do not have to like their views to continue choosing to love them. We will never agree, but he is my only surviving sibling, and she is the love of his life.
    Thank you, Stephanie, for your calming, loving words.

  111. Thank you Stephanie all those who have commented. My heart is broken and reading your words has been the hug I’ve needed. I have a hard time imagining right now how we can fix the terrible divisions brought to light by this hate-filled election. I was (stupidly) trying to knit lace while watching the election results and am now faced with tinking close to 500 stitches to fix the mistake. But I’m a knitter and I do what I need to do, one stitch at a time, because I care how it turns out. It hit me that this is what all of us, especially worm, need to do now: we’ve got some huge challenges but we know what it’s supposed to look like . We need to hold each other close, protect each other, and let it be known that love wins. Reach out in your community and be a force for positive change, in whatever way you can. Wear your safety pin proudly. Be one of thousands coming to Washington D.C. On January 21 for the Women’s March to show that we stand together for human dignity. i hope to meet you there. Peace.

  112. How do you think my husband and I are coping? He is what is known as a “yellow dog democrat”, meaning he would vote for a yellow dog before he would vote for a republican. I’ve been known to vote for one (a republican) in a local election if I knew them personally AND liked them. We live in the rural south in a blood red state. I’ve even had to stop attending my knitting group because of the animosity toward my political beliefs. It hasn’t been fun. I thought things would calm down when he won, but the Facebook posts are just as obnoxious as ever.

    • Isn’t it amazing? I’m wondering how long this is going to go on. (I’m a democrat-leaning independent. I live in a blue state, but my family is very much red. Makes gatherings interesting.) Know that you are welcome to share your views with us at any time.

  113. I thank all of you- especially Stephanie- for putting your feelings into words and sharing them with us. This is a very uncertain time in our country but I have to “keep the faith” and believe that our system of government will continue to serve us- We the People. I pray for peace and understanding. Knit On!

  114. Dear Steph. Thank you for your kind post. For the last two days I have been trying to embrace the reasoning behind the election of a man that most of us find repugnant. Well lots of us. There must be so many people in so much pain. I had no idea. Anyway, reading your kind response to our national – what? I don’t even know what to call that outcome. Thank you for helping me process.

  115. What a thoughtful post. Thanks so very much. This has been a rough week, trying to wrap my head around such an unexpected outcome. But your post has helped, particularly the summary of the types of people who voted for Mr. Trump. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

  116. Thank you, Steph. There are no more words than those you chose. As an aging great-grandmother I am relieved that I will be gone soon but horrified at the world that will remain for my descendants. I can only wish peace and resilience and comfort to all good people.

  117. Look. I get that you’re trying to be kind and respectful of American voters, but that isn’t really necessary. Many are exactly as racist and sexist as you think they are.

    I deactivated my Facebook account so that I would not tag my various relatives with their racist comments over the last few years. I could have easily tagged 20 of them and their comments in a five minute period. This is my own family. And they are pretty moderate as far as these things go.

    Canadians have this wonderful characteristic called “politeness” but I don’t think you need to waste the effort on us.

  118. thank you for not ignoring the entire event as too many knitting blogs are doing. It creeps me out severely.
    On the other hand, many of us in the U.S. are now in fear of our lives, livelihoods, health and health insurance, and our basic civil rights. I fear the majority of people in the largely red state where I live. This transcends “terrible but necessary”. I do hear you, Steph. And this is still another horrible order of magnitude. Much love and peace for us all.

  119. Stephanie, thank you so much for your most beautiful and kind words in this most ghastly and dark time. What so many of my fellow Americans do not realize is that they did not simply vote for a Republican and prevail in the voting booth. Donald Trump did not run for President in the spirit of public service and leadership.

    He did not run for President at all.

    He ran for BOSS.

    And his very first act as President-Elect was to FORBID the press to accompany him to meet President Obama. An unprecedented act. He acted like a celebrity, not a leader, and treated the press like unwelcome paparazzi at a posh event. He denied the public the right to know a most basic piece of information.

    I fear for this nation.

    But I am grateful for you. Thank you for this.

    BTW, “Veteran’s Day” was still called “Armistice Day,” and veterans sold paper poppies, and Americans treated the day with proper solemnity well into my childhood. At some point in my late childhood it became “Veteran’s Day,” probably to dumb down the event both for the many Americans who cannot spell or define “armistice” and who disdain history as “boring” and so doom themselves to repeat it.

    At that point it became a retail event.

    I still wear my poppy and recite “In Flanders Field” each November 11. My mother is in a nursing home now, recovering from a stroke. My Dad’s framed WWII Army photo is at her bedside. I remembered him on Facebook today. And as Mom dozed off before visiting hours were over, we talked about Dad and I softly recited “In Flanders Field.”

    This is how I treat Armistice Day. To me, is not a day to make cupcakes and shop for discount mattresses and wide screen TVs. I don’t care what American muggles do. But I will explain it’s true origin if they care to listen.

  120. I did some research and learned that Americans have Memorial Day as their day of solemnity and remembrance. Whew!

    Remembrance Day isn’t big in NZ where I’m from (i live in the UK now) either because they wear poppies on Anzac Day, which commemorates the single largest loss of life in NZ (and Australian) military history. Sometimes there are biscuits. Though Anzac biscuits are for every day.

  121. Thank you for this post. It is a frightening time.

    In the U.K. our Remembrance Day follows the same approach as yours – yesterday I was in a meeting but we still took 2 mins at 11am to be silent. Extra poignant this week.

  122. You have such a gift for kind clarity. Thank you.
    And thank you for the coffee and conversation in your virtual living room. It is one of my happy places. I always leave with a smile.
    Perhaps if we teach the world to knit/crochet/spin/weave and dye, we’ll look back in amazement THAT was all that it took for world peace and inner utopia.
    Doing my share one skein at a time.

  123. I certainly do not agree with the awful things Trump said about women, but I also do not believe that Hillary is a kind, caring person. I am hopeful for positive changes in the American government, and for a better economy, so people can provide for their families. I respect your opinion and love your blog, and am thankful that people can have differing opinions, and still be civil to each other.

  124. He did not get the popular vote. So most of us are devastated and deeply ashamed that this person could be about to live in the White House. I feel embarassed for us all. And frightened for the whole world.

  125. We were left in a terrible position for voting. I did not want either candidate. I was horrified after the primaries that it narrowed down to these two. I thought HC would win. I voted for DT as he was “the lesser of two evils”.

  126. Our election system is worse than ridiculous since Clinton got more popular votes and still lost the election. I will never understand why anyone would vote for a totally unprepared, unqualified, and undeserving person over an experienced and qualified candidate who will do a creditable job, whether or not one likes that person. Members of my own family made this grievous mistake. I’m trying very hard not to lose respect on Wednesday for people I loved on Monday.

  127. I am a socially liberal, fiscally conservative Libertarian. I have family and friends who voted for both big party candidates. While I disagree with them, I remember, and respect, their personal freedom to choose who they vote for. The time for peaceful discourse was before, during, and after the election.

    • Well said, Vickki! I am saddened that so many are hopeless because their fellow Americans did not agree with the choice they made. We all have a right to choose whom we think has the policies that would be help our country. The fear spread by the media and the fact that so many Americans believe these things is so very unfortunate. I am shocked that anyone would “unfriend” a friend because they didn’t vote the same way. That is not what America is supposed to be about. No one that I know who voted for Trump approved of his offensive comments. But they did believe that his policies would start getting this country working again so that we can all live the American dream in this land of opportunity. I wrote in a candidate that I thought best represented my beliefs on the issues. But I would never disparage anyone for making a different choice than I made. That is their right. Tolerance means we accept that we may or may not have the same belief. Tolerance is not accepting only those who believe the same way you do. How can so many not understand this? I do not fear those who think differently than I do. I am glad to live in a country where I can think the way I want and I can let others think the way they want and we can ALL live in peace together! Love and kindness to all people – not just to those who agree with us!!

  128. I haven’t read all the comments so this may be repeititive but in the US Veterans Day is to honor all the living veterans and Memorial Day honors all those who died in wars. Big difference in the meaning and tone of those days.

  129. Happy Veterans Day is not a common expression that I am aware of. I think of the day as a time to honor those,both dead and alive, who made an enormous sacrifice for the country. In no way is it glorifying war.

  130. Thank you for this, Steph. I’ve been struggling with this for days, trying to find words that might help bridge the gap among groups of people in my life that just don’t understand one another’s actions. I’ve spoken to those whose views differ from mine, read their Facebook comments thoughtfully and (I’m really trying hard on this one) without judgement.
    I return to one thing that gives me hope, misguided or out-there as it may seem: I have found there are times in my life when I’m confronted with situations that I just don’t want to deal with, times where I dig in my heels and protest and don’t want to do the work. There’s always something to be learned there, and if I don’t learn the lesson, I will be presented with it again and again.
    There are many things that need to change in the U.S. Maybe the results of this election will work similarly: as a catalyst, promoting real, difficult conversations and hard work and change. I know many good people, who are not racists, bigots or misogynists, who voted for the President-Elect. I have to have faith that they want things to be better here just as I and others who voted the other way do.

    • I am right there with you, Lori! Love your perspective that we can all grow and learn from here. And so glad to hear someone willing to acknowledge that a vote for Trump was not a thoughtless, selfish, hateful thing, just as a vote for Hillary was not without careful consideration. Thank you for your thoughtful post!

  131. Never worry about your opinions for they are shared by many. We are in a total panic that Trump got elected. We like to say we live in a country of stupid! I am most worried about a woman’s right to choose and LGBT marriage rights. He is only in it for himself and we are hopeful that those in power in our Senate and Congress can keep him in line. For now, I too, am knitting away for a grandbaby due in May.

  132. Say what you like about the new President elect ( I personally don’t like him) but he is a very astute business man and used to get his own way. He is very aware of the climate and how people are feeling and he pushed all the right buttons. Now comes the test. Can he deliver the promises or are there going to be lots of u-turns. It’s one thing to promise and another to deliver. There are an awful lot of sensible, compassionate people there that will do their best to curb the hate and hopefully will win. Have faith and hold your heads up.

  133. Thank you. You’ve encapsulated perfectly how I feel about this election. What I am trying to take away from the outcome is that we need to be better at listening to and understanding each other. We need to show others kindness and respect. I have resolved to do more to help my community and those whose voices were not heard in this election.

  134. Thank you for your thoughtful post. I understand and agree with you about how we “celebrate” Veteran’s Day here in the United States. My father, grandfather, husband, brother and nephew have served this country and though I could have sent greeting cards to the later three I simply sent messages to thank them for serving our nation. It is a solemn occasion indeed.

    I’m also disappointed with the outcome of our election and yet, as my husband and I have been discussing over the last several days, the process is larger than the candidates. PraegerU has a good explanation of the workings of the Electoral College as established by our Constitution and the explanation gives the rational for the feelings of the founders of this nation. Peace to you, I enjoy your blog and the knitting.

  135. Stephanie, Thank you for your courage in addressing this issue in such a thoughtful, thorough and sensitive way. It is a confusing and bitter time. I feel like someone has gone into my stash and pulled apart every skein and hank and then let a squirrel run rampant through it all. But my anguish has made me want to reach out to everyone I meet with greater kindness and genuine concern and I’m glad for that.

  136. As a member of one of the groups you’re trying to understand I appreciate your comments very much. Thank you.

    I’m sorry to see that some commenters have not absorbed what you wrote and are still flinging insults at people they don’t know. “Country of stupid . . . ???”

    So, so tired of being reviled instead of merely disagreed with. I think that very thing caused a lot of people who don’t like his character and many of his statements to vote for him anyway.

    • Well, it would do to remember that many Republicans- yourself perhaps not included- spent the last 8 years reviling the current President. Relentlessly. The level of vitriol being thrown about did not begin with the election cycle, and was not initiated by the Democratic candidate. If Republicans can have 8 years to spit on Obama, then they could give Democrats a little time to regain their self-control.

      • Don’t forget all the smug, self-satisfied reviling of President Bush done by the Dems.

        It’s really done by whoever is not in power.

    • Perhaps knitters as a group can set that aside & provide the same kind of unexpected example they have in their support of the Bike Rally year after year.

  137. Thank you, Stephanie. The funny thing, if anything is funny about this, is that the folks who voted for our president elect have no idea what they voted for, and no one knows what they will get. Honest, consistent, and reliable are not adjectives that come to mind when describing him. We shall see. I do know that America is better than this; we will not let fear and hatred tear us apart.

  138. As far as celebrating on a serious occasion goes, remember the Mexican tradition of celebrating the Day of the Dead with picnics in the graveyard. It’s not bad to be happy when you remember someone who is gone. It normalizes death, and keeps the person’s memories alive in the family. Remembering WHY someone died is a somber occasion, but remembering the person should bring joy.
    On the other hand, the US tendency to over commercialize every holiday is a little nauseating, but that goes for every holiday, from Valentine’s Day to New Year’s Day. It’s up to us as individuals to decide to stop spending money on plastic decorations and stuff, and to resist stores that want to sell us Christmas in October.

  139. Thank you for your beautifully written and thoughtful post. It took a lot of courage to write it. All the women I know are trying to make sense of this election and we are in wait and see mode. I try to follow Elizabeth Zimmerman’s philosophy to “knit on in confidence and hope through all crises.”

    I’ve never understood the connection between honoring our Veterans and giant sales either! This should be a day of quiet reflection and a prayer for peace.

    • Maybe the sales were originally “in honor of veterans”/to give veterans a diacount? But then it became a sales for everyone thing?

      Idk, but I don’t like it. It’s why I make a point never to shop in suchis days. It cheapens the meaning behind the day.

      • On the US military bases over seas the PX (Post Exchange/store) is about the only place open for business on Veterans Days. All other offices and places are close for the Federal Holiday. Always seemed ironic to me.

  140. Thank you for talking about this, Steph. I’m 61 years old and have voted in every election, city, state, and national since I was 18. Sometimes my people won, sometimes not. This is the first time I’ve cried at the outcome of an election. My heart is broken.

  141. Dear Stephanie,
    You forgot one of the – perhaps largest – groups of Trump voters…those who voted, not FOR him, but AGAINST HIllary Clinton. Many people I’ve spoken to voted againt her because they see her as not trustworthy, honest or having the best interests of America at heart. There are many women who didn’t vote for her NOT because they didn’t want a first woman president, but because that’s not the type of woman we want representing us.
    Yes, Trump is offensive and tactless. Yes, we will have our own set of problems with him. But that’s better than how we perceive the alternative – self-serving, conniving, big government business as usual.
    Thank you for allowing me my little rant. Now back to what’s REALLY important – knitting!

    • Hmmm. My ballot did not contain an “against Hillary” choice. You could only choose to vote FOR someone. And I suspect you had too, as well.

  142. P.S. I agree with you about Veteran’s Day – it should be more somber and reflective. Unfortunately, retail make a “BIG SALE!!!!” opportunity out of anything.

  143. Yes, I voted for Trump. Why? My family has seen their standard of living tumble under President Obama. I did not vote for him in either election but I accepted that he won and moved on. I didn’t take to the streets and protest and beat people up and destroy things because I did not get my own way. In another 4 years you can vote him out of office. I will if he does not fulfill some of the things that he has promised. I do not consider myself a bigot. I am for gay and lesbian rights and I have many friends that are of races and religions. I guess that I am one of the deplorables. I have become one of the working poor. My husband lost his manufacturing job early this year and has not been able to find another. As you get close to 60, many employers don’t want to hire you. He is working temp jobs and driving for Uber to make ends meet. I cried when I saw what my healthcare will cost us for next year. I live in a suburb of Chicago and I an being given two basic choices. Stay with Blue Cross and pay 30% out of pocket with huge deductibles of many thousand dollars or take a more affordable plan with substandard doctors and drive 30 to 40 minutes to a hospital, while passing a few really good hospitals along the way. This is why I voted for Trump. I have a very sick son and I don’t know how I am going to pay for these bills. We always lived within our means, bought a house that we could comfortably afford and didn’t rack up credit card bills. We gave a few hundred a month to different charities and our religious organizations, but that is all over. Nafta and Obamacare have done their damage and I could not vote for Hillary and just let this continue. My family and many others need change and need someone to stand up for us and get jobs back here and get rid of Obamacare. I hope a female does get elected President, but a great female, not one who has had many scandals follow her and her family around for decades. I want one who will go down in history as being a wonderful leader, not one who will just continue with business as usual.

    • Patti, though I detest Trump, thank you for helping us to see another side. Sending prayers that things improve for you and your husband.

    • Thank you for this, Patti! I think many people don’t understand that a vote for Trump was because of real issues. To my mind, it was not about who we like or dislike, but about who we believe can fix the problems you described – problems that we all feel. Wishing you and all of America brighter days ahead!

    • Patti,

      I understand why some people voted for Trump. But when you give someone power, you are giving them power to carry out ALL of the parts of their platform. You can’t pick and choose for them once they’re elected. You put the ability to oppress citizens based on sexual orientation, creed, skin color, gender, etc. into his hands with your vote whether you wanted to or not.

      Yes, blue collar workers need help. But govt programs that would help your family are NOT supported by Republicans. Under Trump’s tax plan, lower income families like yours will pay MORE. (Republicans believe that if you make the rich richer, their wealth will trickle down, so they don’t support helping out the poor and lower-income classes. This trickle down theory does NOT work, however.)

      Healthcare being expensive has very little to do with Obamacare. It is the fault of the healthcare companies. Obamacare actually limited how much they could raise prices for certain things. That will NOT happen under a Republican plan (see above re: the rich getting richer). They also will probably not help subsidize plans. I guarantee that if they replace Obamacare, your premiums will be just as expensive, if not more so. I have health insurance through my husband’s work and we have a good income, but our health costs are still insane. It’s NOT Obamacare. It’s companies using people’s lives and health to generate huge profits. Most of it is doctors charging lots of money for their services. Again, a Republican plan will NOT change this.

      The middle class is being squeezed, the poorer classes are even worse off, but electing a party that has a history of only helping and protecting the wealthy is not the way to go about it.

    • Our ACA costs went up this year too, but without it, we would not have any health insurance. My husband spent months in hospital this year, and I’m disabled. Sometimes medicare costs less, but you get less too. I see most Doctors getting less than they are worth.
      I’m sorry for your situation, and I’m on the other side.

    • Patti I work at a Career Center (state/federally funded) and see people in your husband’s situation all the time. I believe Career Centers are nationwide. They may have different programs depending on whether they are a direct service provider, but look for one in or near your area. Go in and ask about WIOA or the TAA programs. Is he a Veteran? If so, ask to see a Vet Rep. Ask if they have a Hire A Vet campaign.

      Career Centers exist as a resource to help people get back to work, or assist with making retraining possible if one should qualify for it. If your husband lost his job to layoff or closure of business, then there is a good chance he should.

      I hope you see this, and I hope there is a center in your area that can help.

      Peace. We may have different politics, but I really appreciate your thoughtful, measured reasoning about it. If only our country thought moreally in a “we’re all in this together” way, it might change thinga a lot.

    • Well Said. The best years for my family was the Reagan years. I too am tired of just making ends meet. I just ended an 8 day shift with gross hrs of over 92. I worked 7 days of 12 hours followed by one day of 10 hours. I work in health care and see just how unaforadable the affordable care act is. My hospital is cutting staff. In NYS you cannot be denied health care even if you cannot pay. So the hospital must write off your bill. Guess what. If you are forced to write off enough you go into huge debt and the insitiution and patient care suffer. So why don’t people have jobs. Well many had great jobs. Those jobs are gone. Mexico, SE Asia, India. I felt I had nothing left to loose.. nada. I felt give the billionaire a chance. Patti, you and I are in the same chapter of a long book. Blessings and I hope that your husband finds fulling work that is worthy of his tenure in the work force!

  144. The problem is the media lives on the coast, and then there is the rest of the country. The changes Obama made were good, but they were so rapid, and the media really made them such a big deal it scared people. Trump saw that, and he spoke directly to people’s fears. When you are scared you cannot think logically – so the vote goes to who they feel will keep them safe. I think the media makes the people who voted for Trump (I did not) out to be racist, but I believe if he tried to do racist acts as law you would see so many voters stand with the minority. The average Trump voter is hoping he embellished a lot. But Hillary, we’ll she doesn’t. She continued spreading the fear. The fear wasn’t against the changes for human rights, it was just against change. Think of this, when a move happens from one town to the next a child can be scared, depressed. We agree that’s normal. But after enough time, and calm parents soothing the kid they adjust and love the change. Obama rapidly changed America, and they were scared and needed someone to calm them.

    I like to think of Henry David Therou, “The majority is not always right.”

    In this case, the media is not right about why people voted, but it was not right to vote that way.

  145. Thank you for talking to people and trying to understand both sides. I find that that is lacking a lot in this country right now. Inflammatory words and accusations instead of coming together to understand each other better. In fact, the last decade or more has seen less civil debate and discussion of issues and I think that is why we are where we are today.

    And I agree with you that our remembrance of those who gave their lives in service for their country should have gravity – and there are ceremonies to do that – but we here also want to thank and celebrate our current servicemen and women and recent veterans on this day too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts… and your self… and your knitting.

  146. “We simply are not in agreement on a human level, all politics aside.” Amen. Just remember, an estimated 74.5% of Americans did NOT vote for Drumpf. Wearing my Safety Pin, working and praying for justice.

    [And yeah, ‘celebrating’ Veteran’s and Memorial Day is just weird to me, too. Honoring our veterans, both living and gone doesn’t need a 60% off sale.]

  147. I am probably sharing nothing original here. I appreciate having a place to share my feelings of despair and downright fear. Everything about Trump and his message of hate scares me. Sure he is being a nice guy now when he is happy with the results. What happens when he is crossed. After I recover from the disbelief and grief, I will try to find a way the counter what he will try to do. A way to do good. A way to move on with hope. for now it is the best we can do.

  148. The front page of the Washington Post this morning reports that “Trump team is hedging on some pledges”, so I think that the people who voted for big change are going to be very disappointed in the end

  149. That’s interesting to hear the difference between Remembrance Day and Veteran’s Day. It is true the the US can turn anything into an excuse for capitalistic excess. But the feel of Veteran’s Day is more one of honoring and celebrating the lives of veterans, living and dead, than of mourning. Of course individuals recently bereaved are mourning. In the spirit of celebration my cousins posted a message from their dad on FB. Uncle Joe is a 93-year-old veteran of the Battle of the Bulge.

    On the Trump thing, my husband and I have been discussing it all week. It appears that he was mainly elected by rural voters who need jobs. Clinton was popular among college-educated women, but not the working-class ones whose husbands are out of work. The other thing is that the US has a kind of historic or cosmic pendulum that pulls it back towards the center whenever the government swings too far right or left. The Obama government went left, so now the pendulum will swing right. Personally I feel frightened and unsettled, but I am trusting that cosmic thing to stop it going too far to the right.

  150. As usual, a thoughtful, thought-filled, post in a difficult time. Those of us who did not vote for this must stand with and care for those who were already vulnerable and who now feel so much more exposed and so much more at risk.

  151. Thank you, Stepahnie, for your very thoughtful and insightful words. You are correct in everything. I may be intolerant, but There is nothing that justifies voting for this man. No single issues or anything else. What is the point of teaching our children that bullying, bigotry and cheating are unacceptable if we then elevate someone like this to the highest position in the land? He doesn’t deserve any trust and he certainly doesn’t deserve to hold the future of this great country in his hands. I believe that the president should be held to the highest level of honor, and I think that the next four years are going to be very, very difficult. And remember…..he is not going to do away with trade agreements and bring jobs back home. He uses those trade agreements to produce his products in China, and you can bet that he’s not going to do anything that hurts his own business. I abhore confrontation and I’m usually a very nice and accepting person, but there are limits.

  152. Stephanie, thank you for your thoughtful words and please understand that as I disagree with you, I am trying to do so in a way that I would if I were a guest in your home, drinking a cup of tea at your kitchen table, a cup of tea that you had poured for me.

    I am a woman of color. I am not a Christian. And while I understand that only a small percent of people voted for Trump because they are pleased by his racism and misogyny, all of the other people who voted for him decided that (however unhappy they are about it) his racism and misogyny were acceptable. I have always liked the idea that love is not only a feeling, it is a set of actions and it seems to me that the hate has to be the same way. Your actions can hate even if your feelings do not. And so, while I can understand that people who would not espouse racism or sexism might vote for Trump, that doesn’t mean that their vote did not give support to some of the hate crimes we are now seeing and was not, intended or not, a vote to erase my humanity.

    • Thank you for saying this. I am devastated by the acts of racist and sexist harassment that have already begun to multiply in what I thought was my progressive, peaceful, lovey-dovey hippie town.
      Stephanie is much more gracious than I can be about the outcome of this election or what still looks to me like the moral cowardice of many who participated in it.
      Samira, I don’t know if you will see this comment, but I hope you know somehow that some of us are working very hard to counteract the horrible results of his campaign rhetoric.
      I was disappointed that my chosen candidate did not win, but truly heartbroken at the ethical bargains so many seemed willing to strike as they made their choices.

      • Mary, thank you. I am a professor in a small, economically depressed Pennsylvania city. At the moment, I am on a fellowship/sabbatical year in DC and actually spent the evening at a candle light vigil outside the White House and it was wonderful to see the sea of faces, all crying and all trying to fight hatred. (And, I think, all understanding that votes for Trump were, intentionally or not, votes for hatred.) But I have to say, when my fellowship year is over, I am too afraid to go back to my small town. I am moving to the nearest big city and commuting in, so that I am not afraid whenever go to the grocery store.

  153. I’ve done a lot of searching my heart since Tuesday.

    I hope everyone takes all their sadness and fear and hurt and anger and maybe guilt about not doing enough and uses it to strengthen their resolve to hold the line on things that matter to them.

    Now is a good time to look at the NRA. Their membership isn’t all that large. Public sentiment isn’t really on their side. But they fight for what they want like their lives depend on it. They stay informed and involved and they invest financially in their cause and they will not be moved. And so things have stayed the same.

    We can do that too, ya know. We shouldn’t have to, but we might have to, and so then we should.

  154. Thank you for the framework for thinking about things. As a Canadian living in California, I needed to hear what you said. Thank you so much, hugs right back.

  155. Thank you, Steph.

    As a fellow Canadian, the process to the south of us has left me confused, and disappointed. Voters were caught between a rock and a hard place – there were so many better candidates in the primaries.

    This week, I keep going back to the final letter Jack Layton wrote. For those who haven’t heard of him, he was a Canadian politician who died of cancer a number of years ago. Just before he died, he wrote an open letter to Canada. He ended with the words, “My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”

  156. Dear Stephanie – For not the first time, your blog has brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for your thoughtfulness (in the very broadest sense) and your uncanny ability to cut to the chase. This election has devastated me and those I love. As has been said “every nation gets the government it deserves.” Dear God, I hope not.

  157. There is a cafeteria at the company where my husband works. The cook is someone he’s seen at lunchtime every day for years, and she’s created new dishes from time to time and tried them out on him, things she thinks he’d like, just because she can and just because she’s nice like that.

    Thursday she broke his heart by telling him she’d been called the n word five or six times in the previous two days since the election had been called for Trump.

    He was devastated. Here in Silicon Valley, where we fancy ourselves above that type of ugliness.

    But by being devastated for her he offered her the kindness that heals, in return for all the kindnesses she’d shown him over the years. Those people still have to live with themselves and what they said. But let that burden be on them alone.

  158. p.s. And thank you, Stephanie. I’ve never liked the commercializing of Veterans’ Day. Thank you and thank you, Canada, for showing how it should be. Thank you for an exceedingly gracious post after our (unfathomable to me) election results.

  159. Hard to explain the vote. I was worried and I was right to be worried. I did not think the outcome would be this. There are people that believe lies because they have lost the ability to see clearly. These next 4 years will be a slog of troubles. I can only hope that he is successful but I fear he will not be. He has a lot to learn as do the people that voted for him.

  160. I live in Phoenix, Arizona, so the fear that most of the people here feel with Trump is very real. however, that’s not why i’m commenting. I’m from a family of veterans over multiple generations, and I myself was a nurse for the U.S. Navy, trained at LAFB here in Az. For us Veterans Day is a day of gratitude and remembrance. The only happiness is that we’ve been blessed enough that we’ve never lost a family member during war. For most veterans and their families, it is a day not of happiness, but of remembrance.

  161. I’m sorry, but this definitely had a lot more to do with race than voters will admit to. Very few people will openly say, “YES, I’m racist” but the experts analyzing this election know better:

    For those who truly aren’t racist, yet still voted for him, I will still judge them as complicit if he carries out his horrible threats against minorities, Muslims, etc. If you know someone holds certain views, and you give them POWER by voting them into office, I believe you have a hand in their crimes. Once they’re elected, you can’t prevent them from carrying out the parts of their programs you claim not to support.

    I don’t know, I guess as a liberal I will never understand those who need social programs the most (ie the white, non-college educated voters who made up a large section of Trumps support) voting for a party that believes wealth trickles down to the lower classes if you let the rich get richer despite it being proved that this is completely and totally ineffective. I also don’t understand voting for a candidate whose tax plan will increase taxes for lower income families and those with lots of kids (again, a large section of his supporters).

    I’m saddened, but I’m mostly angry. I think many of the people who voted for him did not actually examine what his policies would mean for their own families. Or their fellow Americans.

    I accept that he’s the next President, but I will not idly stand by if he tries to oppress my fellow Americans.

  162. Thank you for your kind words. The election has gutted both my husband and I. Just… There are no words for the level of devastation that we feel.

    Re Veteran’s Day, I have issues with the way the we trivialize it, as well as Memorial Day. I can wrap my head around things like Memorial Day picnics, since in theory, we’re memorializing friends and loved ones, My family always approached it as more of a solemn occasion. So we’d often have a gathering but it always has more of a “family gathering after the funeral” tone. Quiet, not really super sad, but respectful of the reasons we’re here today. And yeah, some fun is had. You can’t get that many people together without some giggling. But now Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day are all about the sales and the three day weekend, and hey, the casino has a special for the weekend, and can we get a hotel right on the beach? The sales really bug me.

    Anyway, thanks again for your kind words about our election woes. Most of my friends and family have been pulling in and indulging in self care for the last few days. But now we’ve moved into planning mode. Making plans to carry our loved ones through the next four years as safely as possible and working to prevent this sort of thing in the future.

  163. I have been through so many disappointing (understatement) elections that I understand we have to suck this up and voice our outrage in the next election. I am concerned that a lot of newcomers to voting did not understand that the “swamp people” they want out of Washington are mostly Republican and were confused because Trump ran on the Republican ticket. Anyway, what a mess and who knows what will be next but have to hope for a better tomorrow. I don’t understand the riots and harm going on right now. In fact, I am stunned this would be happening from what I had hoped was a peace loving group of people.The majority of US citizens voted for peace, compassion and getting along with others. It’s the only small thread I can find to hang on to for now. As for those, such as you, who are coming to visit or work from another country to the USA and turn on a TV, yikes. I grew up right next to Canada (25 miles from the border) and spent my summers there. I love it and hold the Country in my heart as much as my own country. Our holidays, such as Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day, are not celebrated by everyone as a grand big party. That is commercialism and that is what the world sees when they check out the USA. There are many, many families who spend the day in sorrow and/or reflection over the lost lives for wars that never should have happened, for those who willingly gave up their lives to support their beliefs and to those who came home but will be forever altered by their experience. So we aren’t all the “in your face” type although they seem to be the ones who always get the attention and I am embarrassed that we are represented in that light. I think most citizens of the USA are good people who want a better tomorrow and are willing to work and live side by side with a vast variety of people. I think people need to become better educated as to the political system (and then they still wont understand it but that’s another topic) so next time they are absolutely positive they understand what they are doing when they press or check each button.

  164. Thank you, thank you for speaking out in such a level headed way. I hope you are right and that the nation continues to understand the many differences that all go together to give us a shared understanding and a shared humanity. I too cried on Wednesday as it appeared hate had won. Let’s all hope that’s not the case and also the man finds some grace in the office he now holds and rebuilds ties and not walls. But just in case it does not happen, do you have room at your place for about 59million of us 🙂

  165. Thank you for your beautiful words. I am totally with you on the Remembrance Day thing. We treat Memorial Day as the day to remember those who gave their lives in battle but we have cupcakes then too. It’s when we kick off Summer with cookouts so it really doesn’t feel that somber either. We Americans are not good at dealing with pain. It’s probably one reason we love drugs so much.

    And this election, oh this election. I was out of the country for the last four years and picked one heck of a time to come back here. Bizarrely it’s really the energy independence of the US thanks to fracking that brought me back. I’ve been called a cry baby, a murderer and told I should go on a hunger strike until I’m dead and that’s from a relative who seemed to like me before. I console myself remembering the time he grabbed someone’s breasts right in front of me and I did speak up.

    I wish I was surprised but I spent several months this election cycle in small town America and heard from people who did think this outcome would make their own lives better. With many prayers for that to be true and open eyes to fight for justice, I pick up my needles, finish a sweater and contemplate whether I can do without it so it can go to someone in more need. Having only one warm sweater after life in the tropics, it may be a big sacrifice, but I think it needs to go to someone without the possibility of turning up the heat.

  166. Stephanie…I was watching the BBC news last night here in the US, and was absolutely stricken by the difference between the UK’s reverent observance of Armistice Day and the nearly “dismissive” way in which so many of my countrymen and women perceive the significance of this day. Ours is a military family and we honor the service people who have given a measure of themselves, and in many cases, the FULL measure of themselves, for the benefit of us all…may God bless them……

    In no way do I condone the vicious rhetoric that we have been subjected to for the past year and a half from both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton…it has been beyond the pale, in every sense of the word, and it has saddened and frightened me. I credit you for being able to separate those of us who support Mr. Trump from his inflammatory words, e.g., we neither ACT nor SPEAK like him, even though we support a portion of his vision for our country.

    The American people have spoken, and in so many cases, Donald Trump represented the “lesser of two evils”…we are DONE with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and their ineptitude in the international world of words and actions, their angry and mean-spirited words to those who disagree with them, and their pandering to and continuing disdain toward the oppressed among us so that they could remain in power. Obama said that his legacy was on the line with Hillary’s candidacy…why, oh WHY would we want a continuation of the actions that have made our country more vulnerable than it has ever been in recent times? Why, oh WHY would we want to be made to feel that no matter how diligently we work, and how many taxes we pay, it is “never enough”…?? WE ARE NOT STUPID, Stephanie…!!! We work hard, and we take care of our families and fellow citizens, and we said, in no uncertain terms on Tuesday, that WE CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS….! Obama campaigned 12 years ago on a platform of “Hope and Change”, and he was given the opportunity to make good on his word…we owe Donald Trump the same privilege, whether people are happy with him as a person and as a leader or NOT… The problems that we face in this country are legion and frightening, and we need a “new set of eyes” to try to BEGIN to solve them…..

    I hope that you will read this, Stephanie, and understand that I am NOT an “anything-kind-of-phobe”..I am a patriotic American, knowledgeable of and proud of the heritage of my country, as you are of yours, but frightened for the future of our country. We will give Mr. Trump a chance to bring his perspective and skills to the solution…if he fails, as Mr. Obama has done, he will be gone next time around.

  167. Very well said, Yarn Harlot. Although I’m a Canadian too, and don’t follow American politics as closely as our own, I appreciate that someone can point out there are multiple reasons an individual may cast their vote in a certain direction. From what I’ve seen and heard about the current President-Elect, I’m not sure that as a voter he would have my support, and I know many who would agree. This is no reason to blatantly judge those who do support him, and I’m glad you said it (unless of course, as you mention, they support him because of his unsavoury remarks).

  168. Words and feelings from a thoughtful heart are never wrong!
    On another note, we here in the north Dallas area are ‘chuffed’ beyond measure that Jenn Rinella, (TinyTyrant Designs and Soft Kitty Balms), is part of your goodie bags for Port Ludlow. You and she are two of a kind in all the good and strong ways.

  169. Thank you for your wise words. I’m German, and over here in Europe quite a few countries have elected right wing, because of all the poor refugees. Something I will never understand, cause all our countries including the USA are one of the reasons that there is war and unstableness in Syria and the east, and of course now all these poor people have to go somewhere. And then comes a politician like trump or others in Europe and promises a lot of things and people fall for it. None of these voters seem to questions their lack of education and intelligence! And these people then rule a whole country. And what I think is worst that you have the atomic bomb. Thinking Bush was bad, with his actions in the middle east it could now all escalate with trump. I’m really worried about this all and hope he will have some people with brain round him. I’ll keep knitting hats for my two boys now since winter has started and wish you all a peaceful weekend❤

  170. Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words, Steph. Like so many, I am horrified at the outcome and baffled that so many women seem to have voted for him. However I take solace in the fact that our government is so huge and so clunky that it will be very difficult for the President-Elect (I can’t bring myself to call his name) to screw us up too badly. I fear for my daughter in her same-sex marriage and my most gorgeous drag queen grandson. Holding my breath and hoping that we, and he, will rise to the occasion. I’m holding onto the hope that we can be polite and kind in our disagreements despite the example that’s been in our faces for months. Should be an interesting time down here in the US of A.

  171. I live in the south; grew up here but lived on the east coast for 22 years. This has been difficult for me because so many of those with one issue misquote the facts. Including on this space. There are about 8 million unemployed in the United States, not 90 million. I don’t mind people having their opinion, just not their own facts. It is hard to heal when it continues.

  172. “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” In this election, all those good men and women who have their reasons for voting for Trump – they have not done nothing, they have actively done something in furtherance of evil. They have voted for the evils of racism, sexism. misogyny, xenophobia, hate-mongering, bullying, incompetence, ignorance…..Trump has actually celebrated all of these evils. Those good men and women voters may not be evil but their actions are. Is that a distinction that really matters?

    I am Canadian, too, and I have refrained from commenting on the US election until now because it was not my election. I am horrified, though, and heartbroken.

    • Well-said. I agree that not every Trump supporter is any or all of the things the candidate espoused. You didn’t have a great choice this time. As a Canadian, I know my thoughts are irrelevant, but for me, Clinton’s use of the private server shows either that she is inept and of poor judgement, or relied on the advice of the wrong people. I still would have voted for her, though, due to the consistency in most of her words and actions during her career. I could not have voted for Trump under any circumstances, due to his willingness to apparently say anything and court/accept support from some truly abhorrent groups.
      That being said, from the comments that have been issued from his camp since last Wed, it appears possible that he played it very broadly for the election but that his actions may not follow his earlier pronouncements. So I guess I’m saying let’s hope he lied a lot on the campaign trail?
      It’s a very unusual situation.

  173. While Trump won the election, Hillary garnered more votes and as many combined did not vote at all! Hopefully Trump and Congress will find a way to represent us all in a helpful and constructive manner. Our job is let our representatives know what we think in an equally helpful and constructive manner while listening to each other civilly, even those who discourse may not deserve it. That is a big enough job that we shouldn’t have time or energy to be anything but kind and generous to each other. Thank you for your thoughtful comments on life in these mostly United States.

  174. Thank you, Stephanie for your beautifully thoughtful post. I had to touch the light bulb to post today. I would like to share these words from the Native American tradition: “This morning, I greet Mother Earth, Father Sky and the Life force in all its creation. This morning, I greet my brothers and sisters here, and in all creation. This morning, I greet the seen world in its beauty, the unseen world in its Mystery, and the cycles of creation, and dissolution. This morning, I greet the breath that breathes me, the compassion that sustains me, and the love in my heart. This is a prayer for the freedom of all beings.”— And another which speaks to me: “Spirit, who comes out of the East, come to me with the power of the rising sun. Let there be light in my word. Let there be light on the path that I walk. Let me remember always that you give the gift of a new day.
    Never let me be burdened with sorrow by not starting over!”—– We survived 9/11, we will survive 11/9. Keep the faith. We can do this with respect and kindness. Peace.

  175. Thank you for your thoughtful reflections on these events. I had a much longer post which I just deleted because, well, I’m not sure why. Seemed a little silly all of a sudden. What I will say, however, is that I feel more committed than ever to take action for healing. I don’t know how else to write it without it sounding like a fanciful notion, short of writing a book. I don’t agree with the Hate, I am trying to understand the Anger, to keep diversity and difference together at my own “table” of conversation- all with an eye towards Peace and resolution. We’re going to need every little bit, every little “stitch”, it’s all-hands-on-deck.

  176. Not only am I glad that you addressed this but I think it’s very important that you did. What this whole ugly mess needs most of all is rational discourse by intelligent, clear thinking people with a strong moral compass and you are certainly such a person.

  177. Oh, thank you, thank you, for your kind words! You are such a breath of fresh air in a very dark and terrifying time. I appreciate your calm and your generous spirit. And you are right, these are not days to be silent.

    I agree, “happy” should not come before “Veteran’s Day,” just like Thanksgiving is no time for shopping. There are a lot of us trying to fix the ugliness. It’s a long journey…thank goodness there’s yarn.

  178. Democrats had the chance to find a qualified decent female candidate that both parties could consider as good options and they didn’t. I’d never vote for a woman like Hillary Clinton, my vote was based on keeping her out of the Oval Office.

  179. Very well said. I appreciate that you wrote this, knowing it could be tense. As usual, you have earned my affectionate respect.

  180. Hello Stephanie, and thank you for your thoughtful and wise words. I’m an American who also is not happy with the outcome of the election. However, I intend to continue being the best human being I can be, and find a way to help heal my nation.

  181. Thank you Steph.

    I live in Maine, where we also had a referendum on legalizing marijuana.

    After this election, clearly the world is going to pot, so we might as well legalize it.

  182. Dear Dear Stephanie,
    Thanks for the post, which expresses better a human side to the U.S. election than most of the commentators I’ve read in the last few days. I appreciate particularly that you have and express your own line in the sand on what is and is not o.k. for behaviour. I’m another Canadian, feeling numb, and trying to read enough viewpoints to grasp this. Being a paperwork person, I’m making a file of articles … I write margin notes … helps me think. And being in the States during this time! I can’t imagine! In some ways, perhaps, it’s a useful place to be to learn and sift. Very best regards, Maureen

  183. This is the first presidential election in the over 40 years I have been able to vote in which I did not cast a vote for President.I simply could not square a vote for either with my conscience. Thank you for the kind and reasoned perspective you brought to this.

  184. I said it after the last post and I will say it again: I admire you and your blog so much. You just have the most wonderful way with words – so thoughtful and thought-provoking and caring. And funny. Thank you for all of it.

  185. I’ll add my thanks for Stephanie’s thoughtful post and also to all those who added comments – so many!! This elections has spawned so much dialog.. and that is great. I just want to say that it is so sad because the people who voted for Trump have put their hopes in a leaky basket (as my grandma used to say!)

  186. It is now Saturday evening & I have just read Stephanie’s lovely thoughtful post. I have also read through the comments and am heartened by the overall caring thoughtfulness of them.

    May I add a comment I read from Bernie Sanders, one of the best from any of the politicians. “To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him. To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him.” Like it or not, and I don’t like it, this is the reality we have to live with. I can control only my own actions so I need to do the best I can and particularly to defend the rights of those who are “different” from the mainstream.

  187. I am still in shock so I can’t even comment on the election.

    But I can comment on Veterans Day, always referred to as Armistice Day in my family as my grandfather was born on 11/11/03 and he always told us how much the end of WW 1 meant to him. I find Memorial Day more somber, but find Veteran’s Day more of a respectful celebration. No cupcakes here. This past spring I visited Normandy with my daughter and her 2 friends, along with a group of high school students from Manitoba. We visited Juno Beach and the Canadian museum there, and then the American cemetery. A sobering visit.

    I still respect our troops and veterans, and can only hope that the Senate and the House can keep crazy in check. My knitting doesn’t even help.

  188. Thank you for this post. It expresses better than I can a lot about how I feel about this election. I’ve been in such a funk since Tuesday night– sleeping late, cranky towards my kids, feeling only a great compulsion to knit fast and furiously for the Mother Bear Project, in lieu of any great ideas to act locally. I’m so sad that so many Americans agree with him, and that there have been so many incidences of hatred and violence against minorities/LGBT/etc, since the election. I’m at such a loss, but also more cemented in my decision to become a public school teacher (I’m just starting out in the process), and will do my best to cement ideas of acceptance and love in my students from a young age.

  189. Thank you for your well-considered words. I too have been struggling all week, as I know many, many are. Also, Memorial Day is more like Rememberance Day but America seems to make every day a shopping day. Again, thank you so much.

  190. Thank you for your heartfelt words. I have been on a newsfast for days now because I can’t handle this horrifying situation, but I never miss the yarnharlot!

    You are being lovely and kind to bend over backwards to give benefit of the doubt to Trump voters. There are those who want to give them a pass because they voted for one issue etc. (as you articulated). But the truth is they voted for a racist, misogynist, know-nothing, sociopath and they should own that choice because it has thrown our country into chaos.

    This was not an election about competing ideas. I would have been sad if McCain or Romney had beaten President Obama in our last two elections – but they were decent men, patriots and leaders – and while I disagreed with them I would not have worried for my country the way I am worrying now.

    Trump voters should own their votes for this despicable man and not get forgiven so easily. They voted for him – so they should stand up and be proud of his disgusting words and deeds.

    As to Veterans Day – people here are idiots (I say this as an American). Americans should be solemn and mournful and respectful. They should not say “happy” veterans day. It’s embarrassing. Canada and England mark the day as it should be marked.

    Meanwhile – when I had my “I’m moving to Canada” moment on Wednesday – I thought “Oh! I’ll move to Toronto and go to knit night with the yarn harlot”!

    Love and peace to all.

  191. Thank you for writing this. I know and love people on both sides, and I know so very many more… and although I have felt this way from the very beginning – that people are complicated, and our reasons for voting are complicated, and rarely do any of us agree with everything a particular candidate says, even if that candidate will get our vote – although I have always known this, I have struggled with finding the words to explain it to the people I see who simply cannot grasp it. Both sides have literate, understanding, wholesome people that you or I would love to spend time with. Both sides have issues that I (and likely you) do and do not agree with – the people, I mean, rather than the candidates. But they’re all real people, with real intelligence, deserving of respect. (Except for that tiny but loud minority, which appears on both sides.) I, for one, refused to give into national peer pressure, and voted my conscience; and even though I knew it wouldn’t affect the outcome, I can be happy with my choice. (I voted for the libertarians – after looking at their platform, I legitimately believe they could have done a better job in this political climate than any of the other finalist candidates.)

    This is why I served in our military (and though I will be the first to admit that my service was short and easy, I am still proud to have done so), to protect the right of all of us to say what we believe, and to vote how we choose, even if I don’t agree with it, even if it’s not easy to hear.

    🙂 And yes, Veteran’s Day is different from Remembrance Day. Veteran’s Day is a day to honor and thank our living Veterans. We have Memorial Day in the summer to remember the fallen. (Though I agree that it should be more like your Remembrance Day than it is – there are sales and parties that weekend, too.)

    Thank you again – I will likely share your post – and thank you for hosting a living room that encourages civility in the comments. It’s the one place on the internet where the comments are a pleasure to read. 🙂

  192. Thanks for your words, and for not pretending none of this has happened. I understand the bind that knitting blogs are in, not wanting to inflame a fraught situation with “off-topic” postings, but we all do also live in the world.

    Reading the comments has been very interesting, so thanks for providing this space. I feel like I have a better idea now of why some people voted for Trump, but I’m afraid that better idea has also left me feeling very bleak. People have made passionate, eloquent arguments that sound to me like they’re coming from some parallel universe. I respect and believe that these statements are honestly felt. But my understanding of how the world works, who’s responsible for what, who said and did what, which are the most promising actions we can take in the face of our challenges — it’s completely different from the things Trump voters (or 3rd party and anti-Hillary voters) here are saying. How can we ever move forward together if we seem to be living in separate realities? I feel a real sense of despair.

    I am willing to give the new administration and congress a chance (what else can I do?) but I don’t see how anything that’s being proposed right now helps anybody but those now planning to take power. Will the people who voted this group in actually hold them accountable? Will they speak up and protest if things go too far? Do we even have the same definition of what “too far” looks like? (I don’t mean to sound alarmist, but the thing that disturbed me most about candidate-Trump was his apparent disdain for the ideals and traditions of our system of government) I’d like to hope so, but we are all so bad at admitting when we’ve been wrong, and turning on people you voted for comes pretty close to admitting you made a bad call.

    I can understand the pain of feeling forgotten or condescended to. It’s awful, and people shouldn’t act superior and dismissive towards places and people they don’t really know. But there is no part of this country that’s more “real” than any other part, and we can all be awfully insular. How do we move beyond caricatures to see each other as people and find a way forward together? To stand together against the temptations of intolerance, greed, and callous disregard of others’ pain? The path has never seemed less clear to me.

  193. Thank you for your thoughtful words. As an American I worry about how we are perceived in the rest of the world and this election is weighing very heavily on me. I want to believe that maybe something good can come from this but it’s so hard when all the evidence so far points to someone I don’t respect. It’s also very distressing to see how people are treating each other (on both sides) as they come to terms with the results and I’m seriously considering checking out of the internet for a while until things settle down, I think this might be a good opportunity to trim my stash down a little and spend more time knitting and less time with the news and social media. It’s a huge comfort to know that you are a kind and safe space should the need to step out of my little world arise.

    • I too am checking out for a short while….the cliimate of fear and hate disturbs me greatly. That being said, we have survived worse and we will survive this too. Be kind to each other; there is no “side” that matters more than being a good American, with liberty and justice for ALL.

  194. Thank you Stephanie, for this post. I figured that you would post your true thoughts, but at the same time this is your workplace and you could have played it safe. I appreciate the fact that you did not.

    I can’t say that I don’t understand people who said they voted for Trump because they didn’t want Clinton. Much of the reason I voted for Clinton was because I didn’t want Trump. And I can’t condemn people for what I essentially did. I was not happy with either candidate. I have never gone to vote with more reluctance, yet paradoxically with more feeling that it was more important that I was there than ever.

    I think they were much better women candidates we could have put forward. And I know people who voted for Trump who are active supporters of things like transgender rights. Those two statements alone tell me how complex and grey our process really is. It would be so much easier if it were black and white.

    And this is what I struggle with. Going with the philosophy of peace and love I know I have to extend that to everybody in order for it to be true peace and love. And I am trying to keep hold of the belief that only these philosophies can make a change. I am trying to put positivity out, trying to quell fear.

    And trying is the key word. Because I also know that I can’t dismiss his words and actions as things he said or did just to shake up the political process. The fact that anyone would need to resort to such Behavior to do so is in and of itself deeply troubling. I do realize that only a small portion of his supporters are so hate filled, but he is a candidate who was endorsed by the KKK and by groups who use religion as an excuse for vicious hate (Christianity says love thy neighbor, and anyone who uses Christianity to condemn or attack their neighbor is not a true Christian at all, the same as anyone who uses Muslim faith for such hateful pusposes).

    However, we have seen what a small number of haters can do. Living history has shown us that; genocide. We see it in the news *every day.* Bombed countries, refugees fleeing. We ignore how much of it we, and our country’s policies and actions have caused, and I think we truly believe it could never happen here.

    But it can happen here; it could. I’ll keep sending out the hope and the love, but I will do so with my eyes wide open. Because should things turn the corner into a future I do not wish to see, a future so many in other countries are already living, I don’t want to be blindsided by it, and I don’t want to be someone who has to live with the idea I did not fight against the darkness.

  195. You have made me cry while reading this blog more times than I would like to admit. I didn’t expect to cry when reading this post. Your words have given me more peace than anything else has this week. Thank you for so much for writing this.

  196. I cannot yet speak to my disappointment about our election, but agree with all you wrote today.
    On a more positive note, I have been a fan of yours since I saw you at a knit store in New Buffalo, MI many years ago and own several of your books. Recently I heard that in your classes you teach different sock knitting techniques and since I still use your Knitting Rules book as a basic sock guide, I was wondering if you had plans to publish a new sock book to include a new variety of methods for knitting socks? Please consider it!

  197. I knew, as it so often does, that reading your blog would bring comfort Stephanie. What has also comforted me to a small extent is that about 75% of Americans DID NOT vote for him (clearly we have a lot to do when half our country isn’t voting), only a quarter of people here thought he should be president. I do understand people being anti-establishment and wanting economic improvement where there hadn’t been, I’m just discouraged people put faith in a man to do that who gave only bluster and dishonesty and so much to offset any potential good, that what plans he has economists agree would be a disaster and he has already started naming Washington insiders and people with strong self-interest, industry leaders, lobbyists, and long time politicians. My initial sadness was about a campaign fueled by hate “winning” now I’m also sad that people were so desperate for change they voted for someone who demonstrated himself to be profoundly dishonest and unethical, who shows he doesn’t listen or prepare, has an unhinged temperament and is the embodiment of hypocrisy. That was the best we could do for disenfranchised voters?! No, Sanders and any number of others would have given people hope without the hate; we need to take a hard look at ourselves and commit to demanding and supporting better options rather than accepting that party leadership who have clearly not served us well get to anoint our choices.

  198. Thank you Stephanie and for all the conversations your post has generated. I find the comments from those who voted for Trump most enlightening because it has baffled and saddened me. Recently, I was a passenger in a car driving from the Oregon Coast toward my home. It gave me a chance to really look at some of the living conditions of our rural neighbors and the thought “probably a Trump voter” kept popping in my head. I feel so much empathy and love for these decent folk who are suffering. Yet so many times in history we have seen those in economic despair take their frustration out on the even less fortunate. We may turn a blind eye to what we know is wrong because when you are drowning, you do what you need to get some air and perhaps panic sets in.

    My hope is that this new President will be able to help these folks who voted for him. America is suffering but not because of those who are less fortunate. It’s because all the wealth is in the hands of a very few. We have plenty of wealth to spread around, but it will need to be wrestled from those who have benefited from our tax structure way too long. My hope also is that all fellow Americans will call Trump to task if we see policies that only benefit those already in power and already have more money that they could ever spend. Let’s put our energy behind pulling all of America up and putting policies in place that will redistribute the wealth so there will be enough for everyone.

    Voting is only the first step to a better America for everyone. Our real job takes place now. Let’s not get distracted by walls and deportation and disciminatory policies. That is not going to make life better for us. This is a mere smokescreen to hide the true task at hand. Those policies and laws that have given the privileged more wealth and power on the backs of the working class MUST be changed. And we MUST keep our eye on the ball and come together before we can do this.

  199. I am one of those Americans who was devastated by the election results, but having read through the comments, I feel hopeful for our country’s future. Thank you, knitters–may all your projects go smoothly this holiday season!

    (PS I pile onto Jan and linus’ request to see more Advent calendar ornaments, please.)

  200. I have never thought of you as being apart from American issues. You are a woman of the world, you have given insight from a (slightly) distant perspective, and always with kindness. I know so much more about Canada, the people, customs, politics that I ever learned here – and I live fairly close (Western NY). I consider your thoughts an exchange of ideas and I value your observations. I am knitting to relieve the sadness I feel. I am looking for a positive place to put my energies. Everything will be ok.

  201. Without going into too much, it seems that many people (including me) volted for Trump because he was ‘less worse’ than Clinton. He may have been at fault for things he said, but she is at fault for things she DID. Her hypocrisy came through loud and clear. If she had not been famous and very well connected, she would have been arrested and convicted for the many felonious acts that she committed that were public knowledge. The emails would have been 90+ counts alone. Other people with securigty clearances would have been arrested and put in jail for just 1 count. She is responsible for over 90 counts, and was not worried about being prosecuted for it. A couple of very courageous people who gave our government inside information about terrorists were publicly identified by her, and then they were killed. She knew in 2012 that she had a degenerative mental condition. She felt no responsibility to our country. She concealed this and continued to run for the presidency, even though it became very evident that she is not physically and mentally up to it. That was pure greed. These are not things she said, these are things she DID. I am not even getting into the criminal acts of her husband. Apparently a very large number of people in this country did not like Obama’s policies, and she promised to continue them. Please don’t trivialize us as being racists, or greedy, or crude, woman-hating, etc. Trump was the less toxic alternative.

  202. I am sad about this election. I would have been equally sad had Clinton won. I am sad because I kept hearing this overwhelming anger over having these two really bad choices and that people felt forced to vote for one of them. If the people that voted for Trump or Clinton did so because they truly felt they were the best choice for them, then fine. Those voters did what they should. But if they voted for either of those two because they felt they were *only* choice, then shame on them. This is what makes me sad. We had other choices. I fully expected that one of the two would be elected, but I really hoped that more voters would send the message that they wanted something/someone else. I’m disappointed that the number of third party voters appears to be about the same as in other elections. This tells me that the main two choices were not vile enough to encourage voters to send the message that they are not putting up with the Only Two Party nonsense any longer. How much more vile do the two candidates have to get before this happens? Talking about ‘compromise’ and ‘working together’ is also discouraging when you have so many issues where compromise is not possible. Either a gun is head to my head and I am forced to buy a product or fined for not buying a product I don’t want, or it’s not. Either my taxes go up or they don’t. Either the baby is killed, or it isn’t. Either my rights are violated, or they’re not.

    You are correct when you say that people can vote for someone and not agree with everything the candidate does or says. Don’t get me wrong, I loathe Trump. I refused to vote for him even though there was ONE thing he promised to do that is extremely important to me, I could just get past the other things. But I also don’t see how he is any worse than many of our other politicians, he’s just less discrete. I know many good people that, sadly, voted for him and they respect women. They respect minorities. They believe that more people should be welcomed to this country and treated respectfully. They believe in the melting pot that is America. They believe in kindness to all humans and that all lives matters. I believe that most of us believe this and we are all on different parts of the political map.

    We have survived the previous 44 presidents, we’ll survive this one, too.

  203. I have a genuine question for those of you in this community who voted for Trump. I grew up with parents who both worked factory jobs. I helped my dad fill out forms for food stamps for us during the times he was laid off and spent time with him on picket lines when he was on strike. I helped my parents clean offices to make ends meet. In my first few years after moving to Chicago, I worked restaurant jobs, and there were days when, if not for the free food at work, I may not have eaten, So even though I am very comfortable now, and many would see me as one of those “liberal elites” I know what it’s like to work hard yet be desperate about your economic prospects.

    So I totally understand some of the appeal of Trump. I completely understand that he spoke to the concerns of the working class who have seen their economic prospects decline – talking about bringing good jobs back by challenging trade agreements, etc. I can even understand looking past the horrible things he’s said if that is your main concern.

    What I really want to understand, is what in his life or his actions up until now suggests that he has ever had any concern for poor or working class people, or frankly, concern for anything but making more money for himself? I have not seen any evidence that he cares about anything but making more money or that he can think about anything beyond himself. His last hotels were made with steel purchased in China, not manufacturers in Pennsylvania or Ohio. His Trump University was created to defraud people with little money who hoped to improve their economic circumstances – and we will see the details of that played out in his fraud trial. There are thousands of cases and lawsuits by people he stiffed who worked on his hotels. He lies so clearly – says he did not say something when there is video evidence that he did. So even though he says he’ll bring jobs back, what gives people the confidence that he will do anything like that? I ask genuinely because I just can’t see it. I won’t even start with his giving voice to white supremacists and being the first President in recent times to be actually endorsed by the KKK….

    I saw a con man who wants to be a Putin-like strong man, who stiffs people out of their money and can’t think of anyone beyond himself. What did I miss?

    (My only small solace is, being a con artist who has rarely keeps his word, he won’t do half of the awful things he’s proposed – the wall, Muslim ban, etc.)

    • Very well said, and I agree with you.
      What gives me shivers is imagining DT sitting face to face with leaders of foreign countries. He interrupts, he belittles, he says things that sound as if they came from the mouth of a six year old. (Remember, “I’m not a puppet! You’re a Puppet!” from the last debate?) The scary thing is, that was the REAL Trump. Nobody put those words in his mouth. I can see Foreign powers (except Putin) getting up and walking out.
      I’m so so sad that Clinton and Trump were given to the American people as candidates for POTUS. In this country of millions of people, there must be SOMEONE who could be the best president this country has ever had. Where in the world is he or she?

  204. Dear Steph

    It’s been such a comfort to read the blog and comments that followed. It seems to me that much of what has been written and spoken in the media/social media this last year (here in the UK around Brexit and I suspect in the US) has been demeaning and diminished ALL parties. Writing like this elevates us. Thank you for such kind, thoughtful words. Love

  205. I agree with you about Remembrance Day – but you got me thinking: I believe Veterans Day *might* be thought of here in the US as honoring our military veterans both living and gone? (Still, I don’t see myself putting up balloons and baking cupcakes.)
    Re: the election – I’m taking heart from the people I’m seeing on TV who are accepting the situation with grace and a strong message of “accept and carry on” and our First Lady’s comment that “when they go low, we go high” – and I believe that’s just what the rest of us are going to do. I also just read that Hillary is almost 2 MILLION popular votes ahead of you-know-who. And that gives me strength knowing that there are more of us with hearts and mind intact, than I first thought, last Wednesday…

  206. Thank you, Stephanie for your post. Unlike many here, my response to the election outcome was to breathe a sigh of relief. I am a fiscally conservative, socially liberal woman. I believe in rights for everyone regardless of faith, gender, sexual orientation. I also am willing to listen to, and try to understand those with whom I disagree. I take issue with many on the Left in that they claim to be the party of inclusion, but if you disagree with anything, in fact, you are immediately denigrated and labeled as “racist,” “sexist,” “homophobic,” “deplorable,” etc. This shuts down conversation. I am tired of being vilified if I dare to think differently and don’t fall into lock-step with how they have decided people should think. I voted for Trump because I believe his policies will take our country in a safer, more prosperous direction that will benefit all citizens. I do not agree with the things he said, but for me, the Clintons are no better when it comes to treatment of women, so that was not an issue I voted on. I voted against Hillary because I do not believe that she would make our country safer or more prosperous and because I feel about her the way many feel about Trump. To me she is deceitful, racist, self-serving, dishonest, and will say and do anything to be elected. Many are apparently mind-boggled that someone could support Trump. It boggles my mind that someone could support Hillary. There are many women I would gladly vote for, but she is not one of them. I also voted against the Washington establishment. I am tired of laws being passed that exempt the very politicians who create them. I am also tired of how easily they squander the hard-earned money of the tax payers. I want to be represented by people who have participated in our economy and have work experience outside of politics. I want Supreme Court Justices who make their decisions based on the Constitution and who do not legislate from the bench, and I want a president who is willing to try and bring us together, not be the divisive force I have seen in the president we have had for the past 8 years.
    I also can’t help but wonder, if the election had gone the other way, if there would be a forum for those of us who were horrified by the outcome to come and find solace, or if we would be immediately shot down with nasty comments? Would our schools be wringing their hands trying to figure out how to explain the outcome to distraught students? I wish I thought the answer was yes, but I doubt it.
    I have a good friend who is a Hillary supporter and before the election we both agreed that we hoped no matter the outcome, that it would turn out to be not nearly as bad as either of us feared. So I truly hope that for those of you who are fearful and upset with the results that it turns out to be far better than you expect.

  207. Thanks for giving people a safe place to share. You are right, sadly, that we don’t understand the seriousness of Veteran’s Day.

  208. Yeesh. I’m American and I still feel weird telling my sister “Happy Veteran’s Day” because it certainly doesn’t feel happy to me. I suppose it’s our inelegant way of saying, thank you for your service, and we appreciate the sacrifice you made to do it. We’re happy that someone is willing. That’s the best I can come up with.

    As for Donald Trump, well yeah. All the things you said. It’s been sad to see friends divide over this, because I think that’s exactly the wrong response. But people feel very strongly, and hopefully the last 8 years and the next 4 will help us have some of the hard conversations we’ve been avoiding as Americans.

  209. Thank you Stephanie. Thank you as well to everyone who commented. I think I’ve read nearly all the comments thus far.

    I live in a very blue state. I found the results of the election inexplicable, horrifying, and frightening. I couldn’t believe that “my” America could put a misogynistic, intolerant, bigot in the white house. I couldn’t get past his horrible behavior. And then I had to take a deep breath. Because, this is the US, and we’ve had scary presidents before. Our constitution has held up in the past, and I expect it will again.

    When my children came to me with worry and fear of their own, I explained the separation of powers here in the US, how we rely on the constitution. It helped them a bit. It helps me a bit too.

    Now that I’ve had a few days to settle down, I very much appreciate the opportunity to read this conversation. I know our country is deeply divided between the haves and the have-nots. Our middle class is too small. It’s all but impossible to climb out of poverty in so much of our country. This creates despair, desperation. I know this is a problem where I live, and we have work to do to improve the situation. I guess I just didn’t recognize that it is so widespread. I needed to know this. So, on a personal level, what to do?

    Locally, I can’t ignore the fact that there were two sexual assaults at a local campus this week, on Tuesday night and on Thursday afternoon. It seems too coincidental when there haven’t been any until now. So, yeah, I think some of the local misogynist intolerant bigots imagined they had a free pass after the election. (The response of campus security was strong and appropriate.)

    Back to the question of what to do… I will continue to practice kindness and respect. I will stand up in support of equality and justice for all. I will continue to trust our in our constitution and the separation of powers. I will continue to vote. I will do my best to be the change I want to see. I will continue to speak and to listen. I will wear a safety pin. I will hope.

  210. Oh, my dear. How perfectly said! I’ve never liked the sales and brightness that Veteran’s Day has turned into, and I’ve never been able to say why, exactly.
    As for this hideous election and its result…Thank you for speaking. Thank you for trying to understand. Thank you for being a model for reaching out and standing together. You’re my hero. Again.

  211. With all due respect to the world wide current affairs – How is your advent calendar knitting going? Would love to see some updates…

  212. Personally, Trump’s election terrifies me. I’m from the UK and we are currently reeling from the fallout of the Brexit vote. I never in a million years believed that Trump was electable. I can’t comment on US domestic politics but in a way this election was so much bigger than a homeland issue. The peace and stability of the world is at stake now. Right wing parties across Europe are now galvanised by the decisions in the UK and the US and Putin’s Russia is eyeing the prize of a US-less NATO. It feels like the beginning of something huge and ugly and era defining and I feel totally powerless and insignificant. I really hope I’m wrong.

    • Hi Sarah
      I am also from the UK and agree with everything that you say. It is as if people have forgotten about the 1930’s and what happens when people pursue nationalistic self interest. Trump and Brexit are caused, I think, by powerful people persuading poor people that their plight has been caused by other poor people. They then direct their energy at trying to eradicate vulnerable groups of people rather than at the real source of their woes which are, I believe, located in rich and powerful people like Trump and neoliberal policies world wide.

  213. As the kids these days say, “I can’t even…”

    I’m worried for friends and family.

    I’m concerned for our country.

    I’m anxious about the international relationships built up over the past eight years.

    But I’m going to keep on keeping on…continue to donate to nonprofit orgs that fight for equality, diversity, education, equity, and justice. I’ll continue to work in my field of choice (counseling) and continue to volunteer (adult literacy).

    Thank you for your amazing post.

  214. Little has been said about the rest of the world’s reaction to the results. I read a fair amount of foreign press. Half the world is laughing incredulous at the result. The other half are crying. None of the above reflects well on the US and it’s world status and reputation. They see you as on the way to becoming a third world country. A rich and richer elite and a impoverished majority. They may be right.

  215. So I think where you might be a little confused is the difference between Memorial Day (end of May) and Veteran’s Day (Nov. 11) – it’s not difficult to be confused, and sometimes, those of us in the US also confuse the two. Memorial Day is much like your Memorial Day if you take the spirit of the day correctly (and not as the marketers would have us take it with all the sales and shopping). Memorial Day is the remembrance of those who died in time of war. For those who served our country and made the ultimate sacrifice.

    Veteran’s Day (aside from the same sales…[sigh]) is for honoring our living veterans for their service. It’s more “happy” in that we are celebrating the lives of those who are here to celebrate, if that makes any sense.

    For both holidays there are parades. Cemeteries are decorated, because people will honor those who served on both days (hence the inevitable confusion). But Memorial Day is for remembering those we’ve lost. Veteran’s Day celebrates those who’ve come home to us.

    And thank you for your words on the election. So many of us are (to use a perfectly wonderful British word) gobsmacked. Your blog is a space of sanity. Thank you!

  216. Totally agree with you re: “Happy Veterans’ Day!” Found myself saying it and choked – doesn’t seem at all right. Nor does Veterans’ Day Sale. Or Memorial Day Sale. Or Election Day Sale (that one was a new one for me this year, and huh, isn’t it ironic, that I heard it first on the day that we elected someone who thinks he can run the country like a business…?).
    I am devastated by the result of our election. I am so disappointed in the outcome, in the campaign, in the media, in the 47% of voters who didn’t even bother. I am embarrassed. I am fearful. I am angry. I am worried.
    I am choosing to act with more love, with more thought, and with more strength.
    Somehow I thought life would be less demanding as I aged and retired. Suddenly it seems much, much more will be required of me, and all of us.
    Thank you for being there, please keep writing and sharing with us. You are my Canadian friend.

  217. The election talk on the TV news channels does not seem to be dying down. I blame them partially for whipping everyone up into a frenzy over the election. They repeated every hateful, evil thing that both candidates said. They made up many terrible predictions concerning the new president, whoever it would be. It would only follow that half of America would be devastated. I, for one, have seen many an administration come and go and have often heard the doomsday type predictions. I think we will be just fine. The protests will die down and life will go on. So many will be disappointed when the sky does not fall. But they can always turn to the news outlets for the latest horror story.

  218. There now, we (UK, Canada) remember those who died. The US obviously celebrates those who survived.

    Both are worth doing. Though I’m not sure that celebrating the survivors might have the same ‘& we’re not going to do it again’ effect on the general public.

  219. Dear Steph, yet again you put into words what so many of us are feeling. I too agree that we need to talk about our feelings regarding the election, if only to release the hurt, bewilderment and confusion but more so that we can try to understand why people voted the way they did and perhaps start to mend fences and reconcile. xxx

  220. I don’t understand it. I never will. I have read and read and read. I just don’t understand it. I hold onto the fact that Hillary won the popular vote. How could MORE than half of white women vote for him?

      • My family was very divided on this election. My son and I voted opposite (Trump, Hillary, respectively) but for the very same reason — not being able to support the other candidate. There is no gloating. I thought the world would end when we elected Reagan. It did not. It will not end with Trump. Good can come from this election by its having inspired positive loving activism. I am hopeful that we can begin a loving civil discourse.

  221. DT just named a well known white supremacist and anti-Semite to be his chief policy advisor. We need everyone who voted for him to call on him to stop this terrible path he is so clearly bent on. I will stand up against him and his hate, but we could use some moral Trump supporters to help us out.

  222. Women are their own worst enemies. I worked in a political arena during my years of working and I experienced it over and over again. We do not support other women. I doubt the young women understand this, since they are so angry. I believe we need to educated women that we need to support each other or there will never be equality. I also do understand the Trump supporters. They wanted change and they didn’t care how they got it. we will pray for him and support him because he is our president. He can do little if the congress doesn’t support him. His post election interviews have been thoughtful and respectful, so here’s hoping.

  223. Thank you- so much. I was shocked and saddened by our election outcome. I actually wept because I didn’t feel that a Donald Trump presidency was actually a real possibility – just a circus that would go away after the election. I too have remained silent since the outcome because the past week feels a little like I woke up at the beginning of a dystopian novel. I don’t live in the country I thought I lived in. Thank you for your words, and your perspective. I’m trying to see something good in the future, but for so many of us, we feel unheard and embarrassed by the newly elected leader of our country.

  224. Thank you for this, your thoughts on the US election. I have dual citizenship (US/Canada), and have been upset beyond belief. I have even thought briefly about moving back to Canada, family and financial burden though it would be. But your comments helped to put things in perspective wonderfully. I’m still upset, but I can hold those thoughts close, and soldier on with a little glimmer of hope in my heart.

  225. Take a look at the states Obama won in ’08 and the ones Hillary failed to win in ’16. She lost the backbone of the Democratic party which was never the social justice feel-good voters.

    It was the Great Lakes Region and the Rust Belt Hillary always needed to win. The urban populations aren’t enough to put a president in the White House. The Dems never ran the numbers right because they believed their own press.

    This was the Left’s election to lose. You couldn’t beat Trump, who was considered a joke by everyone when he decided to run. The political party that failed to beat a Reality Television star thinks we should trust them to run the country and improve the broken relationships between Americans? Whatever you guys are smoking, you really ought to share.

  226. I’m glad that your commenters were kind to each other. It was a very divisive election and the results were a total surprise to many considering what was being presented to them by the pollsters and the media. We here in Portland still are experiencing protests and wish that Canada would adopt us as another province.

    • I never understood this attitude. You are going to abandon your country because you lost an election? What about your friends, family and neighbors? What about your fellow citizens? What about all those who fought and died in the armed services to protect you? You just walk away from all of that?

      On top of that, you think you are going to take our land with you? Those nice interstate highways we helped build? Those schools we support and fund? Those police departments we supply and help train? Obama’s right. You didn’t build that. We helped. You can’t just take it and walk away.

  227. Let me add my thanks to those above. I didn’t read every single comment but I’m saying here I decline to respond to any of the negativity or scolding above.
    I love my country; I hate the outcome of this election (I admit I naively thought: NO WAY could this happen); and I’m still trying to sort it all out for myself. Brief thought was given to just staying drunk for the next 4 years, but that seemed unhealthy, unrealistic, and likely to interfere with the knitting (and life in general) in a major way. (haha)
    We’ll get through this and words like yours will help, Steph. I spent some time regretting my decision to give up my Strung Along spot because I felt it would’ve been so nice to be there. Instead I spent a lot of time knitting, most of it for charity, and that at least kept me from raising my voice. Mostly. ;-/
    P.S. I’m not the only one of my countrymen who wishes you’d clone Justin Trudeau for us. But I remember you put up with years of a less-than-great PM and survived. I’m trusting that we will, too.

  228. Actually, Veteran’s day isn’t the same as Rememberance day. It’s the day we celebrate our living veterans. Hence the parties and thank yous to people for their service.

    Memorial day is the day we celebrate those who sacrificed all for their country.

    I was confused about this too, until I wished my veteran father a happy Memorial day and he stared at me shocked… then explained the difference.

  229. Thank you for your words, Stephanie. I would like to say as an American who lives in Canada, it was jarring to find out that Rememberance Day is NOT Veterans day, despite sharing a date. I am grateful to the Canadians who politely explained what it actually is.

  230. Remembrance Day is a beautiful tribute to those who were lost in war no matter what country they lived in/fought for. I have a lot of Canadian colleagues so I’m aware of some of the differences, maybe more so than others. As to the elections, I’m just calling it the lowest common denominator. Poor us! Poor balance of the world if they have to interact with us… it’s just a shame that the better choices lost to big money.

  231. Hi Stephanie, It’s so hard for people, even in the US to understand the VETERAN’S DAY is for the living who have served in the Armed Forces, and MEMORIAL DAY (in May), is the time to remember those who died while or after serving in the military. Memorial Day was set in May after our Civil War or War Between the States, and has come to include all those who have served our country in all wars since then. Je me souviens! (We travel to Canada for our summer holidays…) I saw photos of the Remembrance ceremonies in Ottawa…quite stirring…and brought tears to my eyes.

  232. Thank you, thank you for your heartfelt thoughts re: our election. I am 75 years old and have never felt so emotional following any election – I felt gobsmacked and all out of kilter. I fear for the next 4 years with Trump as president – people are talking that his rhetoric and plans will get him impeached, but that leaves us with Pence who is, in my opinion, as bad for our country if not worse. Thank you again and, yes, I have considered moving to Canada – my grandparents were from the province of Quebec.

  233. All I know is that now I am profoundly ashamed to be American and that’s not going to change until this is all over. I have lived the last eight years believing my President cares about me, even if he has no idea who I am, simply by virtue of my humanity, I have known Barack Obama has my back. I no longer trust my country, and now that the veil has been lifted and I see my fellow citizens for who they truly are, I no longer trust them, either. As a Californian I know I am safe but I get zero comfort from the knowledge that hundreds of millions of my fellow American women are not. This is worse than 9/11.

    • I find it beyond belief that you would you say this is worse than 9/11, the worst attack ever in our country, 3,000+ people dead at the hands of terrorists. This comment was just shocking to me.

      • I see your point, but I took her to mean that the election result felt “worse” to her than 9/11 in that it was generated by fellow citizens, not by external enemies. I think we all agree that the terrorist attacks were horrifying in cruelty and in lives lost. But those were attacks from outsiders, not compatriots.

  234. Thank you, Steph for your words of insight. This election outcome has been a nightmare for me. I am seriously concerned for the well-being of my country. And I think you’re absolutely right about Veteran’s Day. Several of my family members served in the military, and some died in WWII and Vietnam. It just doesn’t seem to be a fitting day for mattress sales.

  235. I’m reasonably certain this has been mentioned, but Veteran’s Day and Remembrance Day aren’t at ALL the same thing. In America, the observance of Memorial Day is supposed to be our somber occasion. That’s the day that I, as a Veteran, grieve my fallen. That’s the day that I wear a poppy and lament the horror of war. Veteran’s Day is for the living. It’s the day when businesses and people show their appreciation for former Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who no longer serve. Armed Forces Day is the day for service members currently enlisted.

    It’s SO HARD to impart this to my country sometimes, when Memorial Day has become the “unofficial start of summer” and people have barbecues and parties. No moments of silence. And most of us really dislike when people thank us for our service on Memorial Day. It’s not for us. Ours was Friday, and it was fun. 🙂

  236. Thank you for giving us some perspective – here in the midst of the fear and worry, it’s hard to remember sometimes not to demonize the “other side.” My children and their friends are beside themselves with fear for the future, as many of them are LGBTQ or allies. The mother hen in me wants to tell all these young adults it’s going to be ok – but I can’t promise them that, so I won’t. But I can advocate and ally and do what I can to mitigate the harm that might come their way – and knowing Canada survived Harper and elected Trudeau gives me some hope.

    And thanks to all the commenters who pointed out the difference between the US’s Veterans Day and Memorial Day. One of those things that I once knew and had mostly forgotten.

  237. I wish there were places that could remain politics free, especially knitting places. It’s sad to me that we can’t find knitting as a safe topic of conversation, a “language” that we can all speak without worrying about if we agree or disagree about politics.

  238. We are horrified by the nomination of Donald Trump. My son teaches 5th grade. On Wednesday morning, a smart and kind Muslim girl wearing a hijab asked him if she had to go back to her country now (Somalia). Mr Trump, do you know any little girls who like school who worry about the loss of their education? What would YOU say to her? Would you want one of YOUR daughters to move to Somalia right now? What about the boy, legally adopted by American citizens years ago from another country, with tears in his eyes during this conversation? Will his adopted country force his friend to leave, while he gets to stay? God bless my son for being able, despite his outrage, to formulate a kind answer to her question and move on with his day. Let’s all work together for the fair and kind treatment of all people, regardless of their race, gender, age, religion, etc.

    • Anne, I’d wish I could respond to you off-thread, but here goes. My 25-year-old daughter teaches high school math in another state. About 50% of her students are ESL and many are low income. She phoned me in the middle of the day, distraught about the sobbing teenagers and her inability to say anything to reassure them in all honesty. Although most of the kids are citizens, many of their parents are not and their concerns are real and valid about being deported. Thank heaven for your son and my daughter and all the teachers trying to be there for our youth.

  239. For me, Veteran’s Day is to remember, my family members who served, and to expand that to all who have served. It will be somewhat more somber this year as we will be taking my Mom’s remains to be interred with my Dad at Arlington Cemetary this week.

  240. Stephanie, you are a much kinder person than me. I can’t believe the hate that this man brings out in our country. I can only hope that he shows himself to be the liar he has been all along and does not do the things he “promised”. Thank you for your calming words for those of us to your south. Our president-elect could stand to take a few pointers from you.

  241. I am heartbroken that my country excused a man who insulted Muslims, Latinos, blacks, POWs, people with disabilities and more. He sexually assaulted women and that is ok?? He swears, bullies and mocks people openly. This is ok?? What message have we given our young people and the rest of the world? I have a heavy heart. This is not the country I have always loved. I am ashamed of my country for electing a man with no moral compass. God help us. I have to remind myself there is always hope. Hope for healing and that will come from love and kindness. America cannot give up hope.

  242. I love your small knitted ornaments and have decided that ( since we are travelling during the Holidays ) that I will make several and use them as luggage ID tags. They are just charming. Seems we all travel with black rolling luggage and it can be confusing at the carousel. I am thinking of tiny Christmas stockings, acorns and candy canes on my handles. Thank you for the link to patterns!

  243. Remembrance Day in Canada sounds very much like Remembrance Sunday here in the UK. We have 2 minutes of silence both on the 11th day of the 11th hour of the 11th month, but also on that Sunday, which is when the formal observance happens, with the Queen laying the wreathe of poppies etc. It felt especially important this year, somehow. I was doing my weekly shop, and everybody falls silent and still and pays their respects and I think that’s important.

  244. The only mildly humorous thing I have noticed in the wake of the election is the fact that our president-elect seems shocked that he’ll be expected to live in our two-story White House. I read he wants to split his time between Washington and his deluxe penthouse in New York. So far, he has begun to backpedal on everything he said he was going to do, with the exception of making abortion illegal and destroying the livability of the planet. I’ll admit, keeping the planet inhabitable by humans (and other species) was my main consideration when deciding how to vote, although I lean liberal on social issues for the most part. I am one of those people with “more yesterdays than tomorrows”, so I will miss the worst of what is to come, but I have a daughter, nieces, nephews, and grandnieces who will not. I still feel waves of sadness about it, and I don’t expect that to end anytime soon.

  245. You are kinder than I have been or will be.

    Though the bigots may be the smallest group, the larger group is more dangerous. The larger group says “Trump and Pence said terrible things, believe terrible things, but…”

    There should be no but.

    They are willing to accept the terrible things. They are willing to take a step (or many steps) backwards, around or over in order to get something that they believe will solve their problems. They are willing to ignore their neighbours’ pain, their daughters’ hurts and put their country on the wrong side of history for their own advancement.
    That makes them selfish. That makes them ignorant. That makes me frightened.

  246. I had to vote who I voted for based on my personal convictions, and really .. what it came down to was such a pointed issue that it was really a needle in the haystack of the political mire. Do I like who I voted for? Not at all. I honestly wish that there was a “none of the above” option when voting for President of the USA. None of the candidates left a good feeling for many of us. As a country and a people, we are so broken. I am afraid for our country.

  247. You put into words something I have been experiencing for a while. So many people have told me that they just couldn’t vote in a career politician and thought that someone outside politics could do a better job. It will be interesting to see if he can remain an outsider or if he will find as so many have that it’s impossible to run the system and not be IN the system, or at least be brought into it. I hope that the things he said that made people vote for him are things he can actually do. And that they will make our nation greater. I don’t have a lot of confidence he can, but at this point, the most I can do it hope and pray for my broken nation.

  248. Stephanie, thank you for your apt description of how voting went. I have been deeply disappointed and sad since last Tuesday and baffled about why this happened. It has been very hard for me to reconcile my feelings about Trump and be able to accept the fact that people very close to me voted for him even after all the things he has said and done. Your explanation helped, especially the reminder about single-issues. I have my own that drives my voting.

  249. Dear Steph, I admire you. Not only for your knitting, or writing but for your kindness and your passion for your country. I have learned a lot about Canada that I never knew. I used to be as proud of my country (USA) as you are of yours, but now I am heart broken and shattered and embrassed of our recent election. I know will get over the disappointment and sadness. i know I will find my voice and find my way to help and support those who need it, I know I will keep doing the right thing but for now, just right now, for the shortest time, I need to be a guest in your living room and be distracted and moved by your wit, your passion for your country, and your love for thoses in your life and by your creativity. I need to be inspired by how your do the Bike Ralley and support the Doctors with Out Boarders. (Both of which I contributed to.) I need to heal. I want to thank you for your living room that has helped me in the past take a break from what ails me, so I can continue to live my life and give to where I need to give and to help when help is needed. Your blog is a well needed hug in the middle of my stressful day. Please bring on the crazy-knitting grandma and all the tineey tiny bits of Christmas that are coming to this “Hug” that is your blog. Thanks Steph.

  250. Thank you for your post. It really helps. As for Nov 11th – from Wikipedia “Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day, a U.S. public holiday in May; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day honors those who died while in military service.”

  251. Well, I am feeling such a convoluted mix of emotions, it’s hard to pin point exactly what I’m feeling at any given time. Mostly I am embarrassed about how poorly this election cycle was run (on both sides), shocked and disappointed in the results, and absolutely panicked about the future. I just keep telling myself to stay calm and carry on (and keep knitting), and to just wait and see what happens.

    Since I’m having trouble finding the words to express everything I’m feeling, I found this article that seems to say it best – And here is an even better one that explains what happened (at least it helped me understand it) –

    Hang in there people. It’s going to be okay. (I hope.)

  252. Trump lost my vote long ago and it was on common, everyday things. The way he’s treated his wives, the 7 YEARS of completely moronic birther idiocy, his sneering & bullying of people for the most infantile of reasons.
    I could never support him, no matter WHAT he promises to do for the country. He utterly disgusts me.

  253. The White House is actually 6 stories. Two levels are underground and there are two mezzanine levels. It appears to be three stories from the exterior. The family residence is located on floors 2 and 3. It is not uncommon for a President to spend time at other residences. If you recall, “The Western White House”, Kennebunkport Maine, Hyannis Port RI.

  254. I’m from a very blue state and was also stunned by the result. But in trying to understand it …

    People vote their pocketbook. so those not happy with their current situation will vote for the party not in power.

    If your economic house is on shaky ground, the moral high ground is a luxury you feel you cannot afford.

    Two steps forward, one step back.

    The pendulum swung one way and now it swings the other way.

  255. I am stunned that President Obama, the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton have not spoken out to the American people to ask for calm. To ask for violent protests and rioting to stop. Such requests have been made in the past, why not now?

    • I think they have asked that the American people give Mr. Trump a chance. Since the protests are directly related to all the hateful things the president-elect said during the campaign, perhaps he should be the one to get out front and apologize profusely and promise to try to rise to his new station in life.

    • Anti-Trump protests have, for the most part, been non-violent. Not entirely, but primarily.

      On the other hand CNN reports hundreds of incidents of racist graffiti and hate crimes across the country. Some of them are truly horrifying. Other than a tepid “I’ll say stop in case it helps” during the 60 minutes interview, neither Trump nor Republican leaders have said anything about these acts. The virulent racists, woman-haters and homophobes that kept their ugliness hidden now feel they can bring it out in the open. Story here:

  256. Thank you for your thoughtful essay. I think that this election will fire up more people to become politically active and hopefully, realize that their vote does count. 97 million citizens did not vote and that is horrible. Also, thank you for being a good neighbor up north. I hope Trump doesn’t screw that up. We, as a nation, need all the friends we can get.

  257. Stephanie,
    As a non-knitter, I have friends who think I’m crazy for reading your blog. Have have had many strong women in my life who did knit-my grandmother, mom, and a very good friend. I understand the terms and have tried to knit but find I am too un-coordinated to do it well. Especially with the wonderful items turned out by the three mentioned above but I will keep on trying.
    I too am unhappy with the results of our election and am hoping for the best in our future. That said, as wonderful as Canada is the US is my home and I would find it extremely hard to leave.

    Additionally, you find it strange that we say “Happy Veteran’s Day”. I like to believe that we are saying this because we are celebrating those who served. We all remember those who have fallen, at all times.

    I look forward to your thoughts and musings. Thank you for keeping us in your heart.

  258. Touch the flag – !!! I’m a Canadian who lived in the US and travelled a lot in my youth. The US election results appalled me, as did Brexit, as has so much else in recent years. It has been uplifting to read so many caring comments – our world seems to have completely gone off the rails since this 21st century began, and it’s a sad thing to observe as one ages wishing only for peace and some modicum of security. But your views, your sentiments, your absolute humanness, come across as inspirational, on the whole – and I believe we will go on, at least until we’ve managed, as a species, to destroy our own nest. 🙂

  259. I understand that certain people are trying to rationalize their support for Trump by compartmentalizing– i.e., I approve of his stand on a particular issue but do not approve of him sexually molesting women, making fun of the disabled, making racist comments about Mexicans and Muslims. The problem is that in this election, the reprehensible behavior of the candidate was so overwhelming that a vote for him is going to translate into an endorsement of the behavior as well. I just finished reading about how Stephen Banning of Breitbart will be Trump’s Chief Strategist. He is a champion of the alt right, with ties to white supremacists. He will affect the day to day decisions made in Trump’s administration. The people who voted for Trump will be responsible for all of them.

  260. These comments are unreal!
    The Republican party is about minimizing the authority of the Government and fighting for the rights that were given to us by the people who initially fled Europe to get away from ruling governments and kings/queens.
    The Democratic party wants people to be indebted to the government, to provide them with food and jobs. They want people to be kept on a leash.
    The Republican party is about giving people the tools they need to bring themselves out of poverty and be able to fend for themselves. The need for less taxation on corporations is so that the corporations can continue to operate in the US and provide jobs to people. When you overtax a company, in addition to assessing all the governmental rules on them, it encourages them to close up shop. Who does that hurt? It hurts the people that worked there. If the government stayed out of the picture, the corporation would continue to grow, they would hire more people, etc. When the government gets involved, it hurts!
    We have illegal immigrants in the country who usurp any extra funds that we may have had in order to pay for their education and their medical bills. Who do you think foots the bill for that?? You say the government? Who foots the funds for that same government? The tax payers. Do you think the illegal immigrants are contributing as a taxpayer?
    How about those folks who are on food stamps and drive around in a new car, have a new cell phone every year, have the newest electronics? There are many of us who choose to sock away any extra money we have towards our retirement plan. So we do without now to have later. Now the govt wants me to share my retirement funds and give it to those that have not been frugal?? I don’t think so!!!!!!!
    I have never seen so much “woe is me”, especially in the knitting community. We put our big girl panties on when Obama was elected and put up with it for 8 years. So grow up folks!! Enough “mourning”.

    • I am a lover of wool and knitting. And I proudly voted for Trump. So did my entire family. We believe in him. I respected the last two elections and I hope that those who didn’t choose Trump will have the same respect for our new president. We are America, let’s not forget that.

      • My family is the same. It is time to stop the ugly protests, be strong and hold our heads high and support our new President. Come on America, we are better than this.

      • Happy to see someone with a like mind here. I don’t normally make comments on a blog and while I really enjoyed what the Yarn Harlot had to say, the deeper I read through the comments (my stomach wouldn’t allow me to read them all) I just couldn’t believe all I was seeing. As for the people that voted for a 3rd party, if they really didn’t want Trump to win, then their vote was wasted. Why don’t they get that?
        Trump is voted in as President and it’s our responsibility to respect that position, just as we have Obama for 8 years.

        • I really do not understand the few who are having a collective nervous breakdown about this election. As, I guess, they do not understand the rest of us. There is not much to be accomplished by wailing and whining, in my opinion. This seems to be an attitude that the media has fed and has gotten some folks whipped up into a frenzy that the sky is falling. I personally do not know, or work with anyone who is having deep emotional problems over the election. I think this is a case of a “silent majority” that is doing just fine.
          Meanwhile, I am off to Craftsy to pick out some lovely mittens and hats to make.

          • I voted for Trump because I felt his opponent was the most corrupt presidential candidate ever. People are terrified of his words, but excuse her actions.

    • This isn’t about Republican vs Democrat. It’s about the fact that we now face the prospect of a president who has literally zero political or military experience and is currently surrounding himself with actual far-right white nationalists and conspiracy theorists to serve as his advisory team. It’s about the fact that he has been endorsed by the KKK and the American Nazi Party. It’s about the fact that he has openly and proudly insulted every group of people that he doesn’t personally belong to.

      He is not a normal, rational Republican by any stretch of the imagination and the fact that anyone has been tricked into thinking otherwise because of senseless bipartisanship makes me fear for our future.

    • Here’s a fun fact: my brother used to work for the IRS and he told me that every year there is a bunch of money paid in in taxes that the IRS can’t attribute to anyone. That is because undocumented workers choose random social security numbers and pay taxes even though they’ll never be able to receive any of the money back in the form of social security checks after retirement. Also, I think there have been efforts to get U.S. citizens to take jobs picking vegetables and fruit in the hot sun all day and amazingly, no takers.
      If we really want to stop people from coming over the border to take crummy jobs here, we should go after the employers with a vengeance. The employers WANT hard-working employees they can underpay. That’s just one reason we need our government to slap some restrictions on businesses.
      And in closing, I would suggest that when the KKK celebrates the election of an individual, that should be an eye-opener for a lot of that individual’s supporters.

      • I would do it. I just aint been asked yet! I have picked grapes,on a commercial orchard, apples, blue berries and strawberries at a pick your own, and my own veggies in the hot sun. It is back breaking work and you have to not mind the sweat, but it is so rewarding when you are done. Plus! I got to eat a lot. The owners came and ate fruits and grapes with us. We were never hungry. There are those of us who WILL do this work and love being outside. We just aint been asked yet.

        • But there really are not enough of you who are desperate enough to feed a family to do it for substandard wages, live in substandard housing and expose yourselves to the pesticides and chemicals.that are the everyday reality of actual real agricultural workers. Sadly, your comments demean their hardships. I, too, have picked my own and have enjoyed it. That experience in no way compares to migrant worker employment.

    • Actually, illegal immigrants do foot some of the tax, social security, medicare and in California, the state disability insurance bill. Their SS# may be bogus, but when they get paid, the employer takes all that out of their checks, and it is registered under the bogus #. They, of course, will never be able to make a claim with those bogus SS#s, so they will never see a dime of it, but they contribute just like any other employee.

  261. 500 posts later, you likely won’t see this, but…

    You were waysovery brave to be honest while doing your waysovery best to not hurt anyone’s feelings. Nevertheless, the feelings came spiraling out..and out…and out…

    I hope you’re feeling okay about the parade of feels. In my humble opinion, you done good.

    Cheers, Nicole

  262. I don’t normally leave comments on your blog posts, but this was everything I needed to hear. To be honest, I didn’t vote for either main choice. I couldn’t stomach her track record or his lack of civility. But, as someone who has true friends on both sides of this debate it almost makes me cry to see someone, if not offering an olive branch, but at least stepping back to think, and not demeaning or devaluing any person’s opinion. I don’t know a single Trump supporter who is the last group; and I don’t know a single Clinton supporter who wasn’t a completely rational individual. It’s been painful to watch my friends tell each other “WELL JUST STOP BEING MY FRIEND IF YOU VOTED THE OTHER WAY.” It’s been painful to hear my friends lumped in with such organizations as the KKK, and just as painful to watch my friends be so brokenhearted and torn that they feel like such generalizations and awful sayings are the only thing to do. Thank you, for attempting to find sense in a world full of negativity.

  263. I just want to say, you have brought me to tears with this lovely post.

    I will not get into the political discussions going on around me because I am in a small minority, having voted neither for Trump nor Clinton, because I’m not convinced either is a worthy leader. But I do want to say that I am just thrilled to read your kind comments about those who disagree, and to see you try to understand those who have a different point of view.

    I love you and your blog so much, even though we are so very different in terms of faith and politics. It is almost ironic for me to find the most comfort and hope in the post of someone so opposite me in so many ways. And yet, isn’t that what it’s all supposed to be about? Love and kindness to all in spite of our differences. Thank you so much for this little oasis in your giant living room!!

    P.S. I don’t get trying to honor those who have served our country by having barbecues and sales, either. War and death has never quite seemed like a party occasion to me, either.

  264. Thanks for that summing up – it’s what I’ve come up with too, talking to just a few people. It doesn’t prevent some of the awful things that will happen here in the next four years, but it does help to know that I am not surrounded by people who agree with the stuff this guy said on the campaign trail. Perhaps more than you think, but less than it at first appeared.

  265. Politics is a rough business here. We are all doing what we feel we need to do to survive. But I desperately need to know what tiny miracles you have finished recently and also to know how you are fighting off the baby knitting feels. Politics is life, true, but knitting is IMPORTANT! Please come back.

  266. After my doctor explained that uninsured people could seek care at Planned Parenthood and didn’t realize Mike Pence whom she voted for had attacked it’s existence it was obvious she voted without any knowledge which is disturbing for an educated woman. My lesson is don’t talk politics with your doctor.

    • I was at knitting group one night and we briefly touched the costs of insurance premiums, even through our employers. One woman (who buys very nice yarn frequently) admitted that she had insurance available through work but opted not to get it. She just goes to the ER to get treated as an uninsured. it’s people that abuse the system. Who do you think funds Planned Parenthood? Do you personally donate to PP to help the uninsured?