On the night of this year’s presidential election, We The People colored our American political map in concentrated swaths of red and blue. On the eve of the election I watched the television, covered in potato chips, as the numbers rolled in. It had been a tense fall and I was glad that it was soon to be over. Needing breaks from CNN’s unwillingness to call a spade a spade I muted the sound and turned to the indignation and gloating lighting up my Facebook feed. Both sides were shocked, most of us are still feeling righteous. Some folks reported spontaneous bouts of crying, feeling genuinely sick, and everyone was worried about slippery holiday conversations. Others were elated.
Never have I seen friends and family so divided. The nation has reached a fever-pitch not seen since the Civil War. Every four years we are subject to the generally polarizing effect of a presidential election, but 2016 was unprecidented. Historically, by the time the cabinet transition has begun, the large majority of us have agreed to disagree. The losers grumble and go home, the winners feel validated and hope that their candidate delivers on his promises. This year the losing team roared and took to the streets, my brother heard the crash of the Chase bank windows from his apartment in the Pearl.
Trump supporters rejoiced in the unique relief of an unexpected win. There were declarations of Trump’s deliverance from God himself, an answer to the collective conservative prayer. Emboldened, some have even dug out they’re white robes. Emotions are high, and that is the scary part. Our country appears unstable.
Many people feel both candidates fell short of representing them and this is the sentiment that brought about ‘The People’s Choice’ tee. Over 90 million people did not vote in this election. Perhaps some of us in Oregon were gagging too hard to get the stamp on the ballot envelope. So we dreamt of an alternative and Portland got right on board.