I'm not here for jokes about moving to Canada. This is my country, too. I am a real American, too, whatever "real American" means. I'm not going away.
In terms of responding pragmatically, I donated to the ACLU and I have set up recurring monthly donations to Planned Parenthood, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Lambda Legal, and I have encouraged my friends to support organizations that are important to them as well. I have hopefully shared a bit of understanding with my moderate friend - I am eternally the flaming liberal of our friends group - as to why so many people are now living in fear.
I am trying to determine how to react on a local level, what to do, how to help. One of my high school classmates posted on Facebook that she was a beneficiary of DACA, which is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals/"Dreamers" executive action that protects people whose parents immigrated without documentation and brought them over as children. I grew up with her. She doesn't know if she will be deported, leaving her three children in the US without her or a family support network.
The scale of our failure here is what I am struggling to cope with. Crying again thinking about it, although at least that is the first time today. Yesterday it was because I read an article comparing this moment in time to the aftermath of Lincoln's assassination on post-Civil War Reconstruction, which suggested Americans fifty years from now will one day look back on the eight years of the Obama era as a "tragic moment of lost promise, a failed opportunity to build a more just and equitable society." (source)
Ah, Jesus. That's still rough. I keep reminding myself that Clinton won the popular vote, which sometimes helps. It means there are more of us than there are of them.
For the first couple of hours, every time I thought to myself, "President-elect Trump," my mind slipped off the phrase like it was oil-coated. I kept thinking about her having to call him at 3 in the morning to concede the election. I was genuinely sick to my stomach most of the day. Just the thought of it. I have made myself get accustomed to the knowledge that yes, he is going to take power in January, yes, he is going to have complete control over our executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government on the federal level, yes, his cabinet is probably going to destroy the earth and possibly NATO.
Of course, I also participated in that most useless form of Internet activism, the signing of a petition requesting the Electoral College (THE MOST RIDICULUOUS, ANTIQUATED, UNDEMOCRATIC--stop it) support the popular vote and elect Clinton.
I actually have signed three Internet petitions today, although at least one I expect might have some positive outcome. It was from my college, looking for support to turn Oberlin into a Sanctuary Campus. My college has an internationally renowned conservatory attached to it, which incidentally received a Medal of the Arts from Obama a few years back, and a large part of the student body, at least when I was there, is international.
I was raised in and live still in the rural South. The first presidential election I remember is the 2000 election. One of my most visceral memories is watching the 9/11 attacks in my social studies class in eighth grade and the boy next to me excitedly saying, "We're going to wa-ar, we're going to war." And I think I am less afraid of what is going to be done to us than I am of what we are going to do to everyone else.