Trump managed to achieve an amazing upset last night, defeating Hillary Clinton with 279 electoral votes to her 218. And this morning, Clinton supporters are freaking out--if my Facebook page is representative of the rest of the world.
I've seen "Welcome to the Fourth Reich" and "My husband and I will be out of work in less than a year." If your staff is having post-election anxiety, here's what to consider.
The President Isn't a Dictator
While the current president has more power than James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay wrote about in The Federalist, he's not a dictator and he can't make himself one. Congress and the courts and (quite obviously after this election) the people all have a say in what happens in this country. The president cannot force legislation through.
Your Job Isn't Going Away
Jobs come and go. Some people will lose their jobs in the next four years, but some people lost their jobs in the past four years. The economy goes in cycles. It always has and it always will. Unless you work in politics or were politically appointed, if your job was secure yesterday, it's secure today. If it was at risk yesterday, it's at risk today. The last point may not be too cheery, but the president doesn't have the power you're giving him.
Your Country Isn't Suddenly Racist
Yesterday, a longtime friend and Trump supporter and I were chatting. She said this is how it goes: "I say, 'I'm voting Trump,' and someone I've known for 20 years says, 'I didn't know you were racist.'"
If the people you loved yesterday were good people then, they are still good people now. Is racism a problem in this country? Absolutely. Is it a problem for 50 percent of the population? Absolutely not.
David Wong, the executive editor at Cracked, wrote this brilliant and informative essay called "How Half of America Lost Its F**king Mind." Don't let the crude title and the fact that it's at Cracked discourage you from reading it. He lists the things he think are behind the vote--as someone who grew up in a Red area and now lives and works in a Blue area.
For example, it's not about different states; it's about rural versus urban. It's about how big cities are so different from the rural areas. How popular media is controlled by the small Blue areas. How economically devastated many rural areas are.
Lots of People Are Thrilled. Be Mindful of Them.
You may not think you know any Trump supporters, but you'd be wrong. The reason this was an upset is that people were unwilling to tell the pollsters they were Trump supporters, because the attacks on them were so severe. If you want to truly change things, calling names won't help and it will divide your office.
My friend who was tired of being called a racist said, this morning, "Listen, the past eight years have been crushing for my family. Newsflash, libs: What you worry about has already happened. Just not to you."
Lots of people who voted for Trump had economic reasons and concerns about corruption in a Clinton Whitehouse. Take their concerns seriously and listen, and learn something.
Tomorrow Will Be Just Another Day
Look, the adrenaline is pumping today. It was an upset. But tomorrow everything will be back to a blissful non-election normal. You'll go to work, drink your coffee, get a call from school that your little darling just vomited over a classmate. All those normal things. Before the election cycle began, you didn't think all that much about who the president was, and you'll go back to that.
If All Else Fails, There's Chocolate
My Inc. colleague Jessica Stillman just extolled the virtues of chocolate. Buy a candy bar, and know that everything really is OK.