The defeated candidate has to be conciliatory. So does the president.
But for thousands of Americans — wounded, angry, infuriated Americans — the sentiment and the accompanying hashtag was something else entirely: It was #nevermypresident and its variation #notmypresident.
That was the message of the demonstrations that swept across the country late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, blocking highways including Interstate 95 in Virginia and the 101 Freeway in Los Angeles.
“I’m disappointed, shocked, a little panicked for my friends and family — for everything that will be unleashed, the hate that will be unleashed,” said Marion Hill, 22, who joined thousands who amassed outside of Trump Tower in downtown Chicago, The Washington Post reported overnight.
Rainbow flags and signs bearing messages such as “Time to Revolt” waved above the crowd as protesters filled Michigan Avenue, cheered on by drivers who honked their support.
It was also the apocalyptic message of Keith Olbermann:
“So what is next?” he asked in a video on GQ’s website. “At some juncture soon, there will be the resistance. Those of us who warned against and pleaded against and fought against this madness will find avenues for dissent which will have enough support to at least impede this monster,” he said, predicting an eventual impeachment of Trump.
With a Churchillian flourish, he said, “We shall fight online. We shall fight in the press and on television. We shall fight on the street corners of public opinion. We shall never surrender.”
Olbermann’s comments went viral under the anti-Trump hashtags.
“Donald Trump is not my President,” wrote a woman identified as Angela Kirkland on Facebook. “I will disrespect the f— outta him like you white folks did to Obama.”
And it was evident in screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s letter to his 15-year-old daughter and ex-wife published in Vanity Fair.
“Roxy,” he told his daughter (and millions of others) “I know my predictions have let you down in the past, but personally, I don’t think this guy can make it a year without committing an impeachable crime . . . The battle isn’t over, it’s just begun.”
Mostly it was the message in liberal corners of Twitter:
“Obama wants me to get behind a man who thinks global warming a Chinese hoax,” tweeted Charlie Phillips. “Wont be happening.”
“I will never call @realDonaldTrump my president,” chimed in a person calling himself Jimmy. “This man is a monster.”
“I will never call him president,” echoed a woman identifying herself as Sheila Kraus on Twitter. “He’s a disgrace to women, minorities and the disabled.”
For some, the anti-Trump rebellion was also payback time.
“We’ve heard this a lot today: Donald Trump won the election, so let’s give our incoming president a chance to prove everybody wrong and perhaps even a half-decent job,” wrote Sean Colarossi at PoliticusUSA.
Can’t we all just be friends now?
Generally speaking, this is a fair argument to make . . . But it’s particularly frustrating hearing it from people who voted for a man like Donald Trump.
Remember this is the guy who has repeatedly suggested Barack Obama wasn’t born in America and isn’t a legitimate president — the same Obama who stepped up to a podium today to congratulate Trump on his stunning electoral college victory.
Did Trump ever apologize for his repeated efforts to delegitimize the first African-American President? No, he used it to fuel his political career and convince enough voters to buy into this conspiracy, which led him and the country to this dark place.
No those same supporters who egged him on want us, the majority of voters who rejected Trump on Tuesday, to roll out the red carpet and show the guy some love.
. . . As someone who witnessed the treatment of President Obama by the very people who now demand we bow to President-Elect Trump, I’m just not there yet.
For others, it was cause to indulge secessionist impulses, like “Calexit,” a movement to make California its own separate country.
“Now that America chose Trump,” Marcus Ruiz Evans, vice president of YesCalifornia.org, told the Los Angeles Times, “no one is debating with us that America is failing. So then the question becomes, do you want to go down with the sinking ship, knowing that you have a ship that’s able to sail the international economy on its own?”
Where this will go, and how long it will last, remains uncertain.
But it does seem apparent that just as the election of Obama spawned a new and feverish movement against him, so will the election of Donald Trump.
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