Drowned in Dark Disappointment

By John La Costa (Centenary College of Louisiana Undergraduate)

I neurotically hit the “refresh” button every fifteen minutes, nervously fidgeting in between clicks—skipping songs on my iPod, aligning the pencils on my desk,—and staring at my computer screen in dismay as the states turn redder and redder…

Horror. Shock. Melancholy, disbelief, belief, anxiety, and acceptance cascaded over me in whirlwinds and I crumpled my head under my hands, trying to melt in to my desk as poll after poll declared Donald Trump the President-Elect.

Anger swelled inside me briefly only to be drowned in dark disappointment. Disappointment that this was my country, disappointment that I may never get to marry the man that I love, disappointment that our system chose Him when our people chose Her, and an especially deep disappointment that the Democratic Party could be so arrogant, that they decided from the beginning that they must chose the “safe” candidate, that their choice was the best choice, that they would not dare to be bold, that they would be so complacent with turning a deaf ear to cries of my generation—the generation they always paraded as the best, the brightest, the future—that they decided that they knew better, that their choice woulddo better than Donald Trump, when almost every poll in April suggested otherwise.

I am disappointed. I felt a need to apologize to the rest of the world, to yell “We are so much better than this! I promise you!” I felt a need to cry. I felt sorrow for all those less privileged then I who would have it so much harder than me. Fearfully I contemplated the horrible unknowns that would stem from the hatred and intolerance that I knew a Trump victory would now validate. Invalidation mocked me as conservative friends told me to calm down, that I can’t be that bad, that I’d get over it. “You could not understand what this means to me—what this means to millions of minorities,” I thought as I finally drifted to sleep as the grey dawn peaked through my window.

In the last few days I have found solace in small consolations: despite the last four years of Republican hegemony in Congress and governorships, they have accomplished very little; perhaps the next four years will bring little change. Progressive Keith Ellison, who has been endorsed by Bernie Sanders, has been gaining traction in his bid for Chairman of the DNC. Senate Minority Leader, Harry Reid, has come forward and acknowledging that the Democrats need to make some progressive changes within the party.

To me, these are positive steps forward. They are signs that progressives have a chance to build something new, something my generation can respect. These signs give me hope. I pray that my country will not just weather this storm but rise above it, and soar to better places that we will leave behind cynicism, and that the world will one day get better.