Living In A Bubble – A Short Essay On Politics And Living In LA
A week ago, in the morning of the election, I scanned my FB and IG feed, I read the news (WSJ included) and posted the following on FB:
“Judging by my social media, there is absolutely nobody voting for Trump today. I am so sheltered. Seriously.”
It was meant to be a joke, not a prelude of the events that unfolded in the next 12 hrs. I watched the NYT political map go from navy blue to dark red, giving Trump a victory by midnight. I was flabbergasted. Didn’t text any friends. Called nobody. I needed time to think and process.
To come clean, I was not a big Hillary supporter. I was more on the Bernie side. I raised my concerns with friends only to be dismissed. Hillary won the primaries and we should stand behind her, they said, and I did. I wore white to vote because, whatever your political views, voting for a woman was transcendent. I watched the elections, believing without a doubt that the future was blue and white, but shock ensued. I was wrong, and also everybody (and I mean EVERYBODY) else I know.
I woke up on Wednesday and went to work. The day was somber. You could feel and see it. Even the freeway seemed slower and gray. There was a sadness and despair. Most of my friends shed tears, a feeling of alienation. The pain was real! But the trauma was worst- the realization of the naiveness we had in understanding this election, thanks to the inaccessibility to faithful information about what is really going on in this country.
This is when I started to feel angry, not at the results, but at the media. I foolishly bought the whole care package that was fed to me by liberal and moderate media. I had been deceived. We all had. Polls lied, journalists lied, editorials lied. Just thinking about it makes me sick.
How is this possible? How did we get it so wrong? How did the Trump voter disappeared from the mainstream media but still managed to make the difference to win? I was told that not even the Republican Party liked Trump!!! Is that true? What is going on?!? I needed to understand.
I have friends that called the NYT to cancel their subscription. I stopped listening to NPR, and I have not opened the Huff Post since then, because what is the point? They are lying to me. They are as blindsided as I am, as most of us are.
Today, this same media is telling me that racism and misogyny are to be blamed for the results. They tell me this loss has nothing to do with us, but everything to do with “them.” “Them,” the other people; the people that don’t understand the world; the uneducated voter that is voting against their own interest. Those people. The other people… but, who are they?
I woke up early morning today, peruse the Internet to buy a pair of $90 shoes I have wanted to get, had my bullet coffee readily and warm to bust my morning while my insured children prepared for a day at their wonderful schools where teachers value their opinion and want them to succeed. I got into my big fancy car, filled up the tank without looking at the gas price, and thought about which design posts I should write in the next few weeks. That is how difficult my life is. I live in a comfortable bubble surrounded by people with the same values and political views I have. I don’t get it, but I want to. I want to understand.
They say, if you believe the media, that those who made the difference in this election are from the Rust Belt. Disfranchised voters that were once Obama supporters, but, this time, decided to go the other way. Blue collar workers that have lost their manufacturing jobs and have no prospects of finding a new one in this lifetime. How does this feel? I wonder.
I don’t know really. I can’t empathize. I have a life full of possibilities ahead of me. Dreams and plans. A good income, a loving husband, healthy children with access to a future and healthcare. I am a mixed race Latina that has not suffered the discrimination that other Latinos have, mainly because I live in West LA and don’t look the part. I live in a bubble, surrounded by people that think like me and news that tell me that thinking like me is the only right way to live.
Elections turn big issues into black and white topics. They simplify complex subjects with a misleading reduction of who others are and think. It is easy to believe that a vote for Trump is an agreement with all his statements but it is not. Voting for Trump doesn’t mean you agree with everything he says. I surely don’t agree with everything Hillary says, but I voted for her.
I am not saying there is not racism and misogynists in the US. I am saying that these are not the main reasons why Trump was elected president. The truth is much simpler, people with wary prospects and uncertain futures want (need) change, a change that Obama promised but wasn’t able to deliver.
To understand and help, we need to step out of our wonderful bubbles. Demand the government help those in need. Create new jobs, embrace new programs, but more than anything, we need to stop the misunderstanding of who we are and what moves us. At the end of the day, we all want our children to have food on their table, don’t we?
A couple of minutes after my post on FB about how sheltered I felt, a Chilean friend living in London replied the following:
“Judging by my social media, nobody voted for Brexit. Hope yours is a better predictor…”
I flipped. This is what scares me, not racism, which can be clearly identified and denounced. What scares me is that my world is not real, that I am completely out of touch, and also most of my friends.
How can we change anything if we are oblivious to reality? A logical fallacy of those that profess higher education. We are our own worst enemy.
Thanks for reading till the end. Would love to hear your respectful comments.
“What scares me is that my world is not real,”.
I have these moments as well. Well written.
In Canada?? i thought that was heaven right now. 🙂
This is a beautiful post, and one I really appreciate.
Being a part of the survival industry (and being relatively conservative – except on social issues) I see a lot of the republican side of things. Even I was blindsided by the turn up for Trump. I quite honestly was telling Thomas it was basically over when Comey cleared Hillary’s name. When I woke up the morning the results were in, I was in shock and woke Thomas up to a, “Thomas – he won!” Republicans really had to rally to win this one.
Thing is, as much as you keep saying that Obama promised a change that he didn’t deliver, and he let people down – I honestly believe that’s not quite true. Things got a heck of a lot better under Obama, and I think many realized that. The issue was not Obama – I honestly believe if he was allowed to run for a third term he would have won this time, hands down. The issue was Hillary. While you may have been “not a big Hillary supporter” many republicans hated her. To them she represented everything wrong with politics – empty promises, lies, deception, and even criminal behaviour that never got punished because, well she’s rich and she’s a politician. There is talk that Bernie might’ve won if he was the one to have run against Trump, and quite honestly, hindsight being what it is, I actually kind of agree with them. He rallied the younger generation, if anyone had a chance of encouraging them to vote, it was him. He pushed for the middle class, spoke straight into their hearts and basically rode the same wave of the movement against the traditional “establishment” that carried Trump to a victory. I don’t think anyone realized how big the turn up would be for Trump, so while you thought no one would vote for him, and I knew some would, I don’t think any of us really thought he’d win for certain.
Want to understand why people voted for Trump? Watch these two videos:
The second one is Bernie talking and boy is he on point. He gets it. Hindsight is not 20/20 for much of mainstream media. They *never* understood why Trump had any sort of traction. They never got this movement at all. But Bernie’s not blinded. Unlike most, he’s not chalking this win down to the FBI investigations, because it’s more than that. As he said, democrats should have won by a landslide – they weren’t even close.
This isn’t all about racism, it isn’t not about racism either. It’s just like the Brexit vote: most of what you see around you is a bunch of liberal youngsters who will never turn up to vote using the excuse of, “Well my vote doesn’t count, I’m just one person.” Yes. You’re one person. But at this point you’ve cost the election to go the other way twice. Literally. In the same year. And yet my generation and below’s eyes are still not yet open. They still are indifferent (which will cost them a lot more elections in the future).
People voted for Trump out of anger: for not being heard, for not being taken seriously, for politics being a sham/rigged. Some just wanted to vote for Trump because they thought he was the underdog. Because they thought he would not win anyway so why not. Others were racist and took his rhetoric as a sign that if he were elected, it would become socially acceptable to be racist. Others were just suffering, and sick of doing so at the hands of people who were like Clinton – thought they’d give a non-politician a shot and see where that got them. And of course some people vote for the republican party no matter what the election is.
But my generation – who is the most vocal on social media – didn’t vote. Not as much as they should have. Otherwise, this entire thing would’ve gone a completely different way.
I have been thinking about what you wrote all day, and was wondering if this Trump election is not a blessing in disguise. After watching the video you posted with Bernie, it certainly seems that way! this is our opportunity to regroup and transform. If HC was elected, we could have never done that. Now the msg is clearer, don’t you think?
Yes and no. The issue is that Trump seems to be a wild card. I thought (as did many others) that he just wanted the presidency and then he’d be pretty complacent once he got it. But it doesn’t seem to be that way. He’s planning on building a wall. He’s planning on reforming Obama Care. He’s planning on kicking out a good chunk of illegal immigrants: all things he promised, but not many expected him to really go through with. He could be a good president, he could be a bad one – there’s no real way of knowing and that’s the issue with him. But yes – the outcome most certainly has a potential to be very good, though also very bad. Hillary was the safe route and with Trump, who knows.
I don’t think he’s a racist. I don’t think he’s at all against the LGBT community either, and the progress on that front I highly doubt will be undone. But he may end up doing a lot of bad while trying to do good or just trying to keep his promises (when reforming Obamacare for example, it may not end up better; or putting up that wall – that is one hell of an expensive project), so you just never know.
Either way, it’s not the Trumpocolypse that many celebrity liberals seem to be crying over – not yet anyways.
I agree with everything you say here. He is a completely wild card. Even my most liberal friends don’t know what to expect. “Trumpocolypse”.. did you make up that term? hilarious.
I think I’ve heard it around the net a few times. Let’s hope for the best (I’m not even American and I’m still hoping for the best; as things that happen in the US really do influence the rest of the world).
I commend you on your willingness to look past your paradigms. I wish more would do the same. I’m trying to ask questions that get people thinking; including me. And in the spirit of continued exposure to and understanding of the other side I invited several friends who I know have different political views than I do for lunch Friday. We ask that our representatives reach across the aisle, but are not doing it ourselves. As for the media, I agree and am sickened that they continue the same ‘ole, same ‘ole post election. Gross.
That is such a wonderful idea, Les. I want to hear everything about that lunch on Friday. I wonder if you should drink water only, though.