I think Democrats and liberals are in a strange psychological state right now.
Usually, the most prestigious polls are right, and we get the president-elect that we expect. If we lose, we’re unhappy, but we can see the loss coming and prepare for it.
But not this time.
Usually, the Republican is a normal politician like Jeb Bush or John Kasich. We oppose his policies, but we assume that in general he’ll probably work within American politics as we understand it.
But not this time.
The election shocked us, and the president-elect upsets us more deeply than most other politicians do. We are traumatized.
Oddly, I have a touch of experience with versions of this trauma.
A few months ago, I was working for Investor’s Business Daily, a prosperous and stable newspaper where some of my colleagues had worked for decades. Suddenly, management called in nearly half of the staff and told us that the company was going almost all-digital and that we were to be laid off.
A few months earlier, my beloved nephew Eric — a smart, healthy young man with a wonderfully promising future — died suddenly in a violent accident.
Bad news is painful enough. Bad news that comes as a sudden shock — I hope you rarely have to experience it.
Two things helped me heal, and I recommend them to Democrats:
1) Reach out to each other. My colleagues, friends and family (especially my wife) gave me love, sympathy, and other forms of support. Without these people, I can’t imagine how much pain I’d still be suffering.
2) Make progress toward your goals, including political ones. When I lost my job, I grieved, I wept, I raged — and then I updated my resume and took on other job-hunting tasks. I felt stronger, less frustrated and less helpless.
The road ahead is long. The pain of losing my job has shrunk but is still with me. I still miss my nephew, and his parents and sister miss that beautiful young man more than I can imagine.
But even though you may never get over a sudden tragedy, you can learn to live with it.
Good luck, Democrats.