On the Election of Trump and the Five Stages of Grief

While Kübler-Ross’s five stages of grief may not be linear (or even accurate), I find myself trapped in them when considering President-Elect Trump.

Denial: I find the phrase “I just can’t believe it” popping into my head frequently. But of course I can believe it- and I know just who to blame. Then, I start to feel angry.

Anger: I am angry at the party nomination process, the selfishness of Hillary Clinton, and the echo chambers created by social media. I start getting angry at the Trump voters, but then I start to moderate. I start to feel conciliatory. I’m ready to bargain.

Bargaining: I get that for every sexist who only voted for Trump because of his genitalia, there is at least another sexist who voted for Clinton because of hers. Trump won because people wanted change, and were willing to go along with things they didn’t like to get change. Globalism might make the pie larger, but it cuts smaller slices for American workers in the midwest. It is easy to be idealistic about the undocumented workers when they aren’t threatening your job. Maybe there is room for common ground. Maybe we can find a way to address the very legitimate concerns of the Trump voter, without going for the dangerous solutions that have been suggested. But, when I try to picture how this grand bargain would work, I consider the people involved.

Depression: I don’t imagine the democrats will look at this election and soul search. I see them blaming third parties and the bigoted Republicans. I don’t know which Trump we will get in the White House.

This Guy?

Or This Guy later that day?


Acceptance is the one feeling I haven’t had yet. I have described it as this.


So, I’ll probably write about this a bit more. Let me know if you’re feeling the same way or if you have genuine silver linings to consider. Blind optimists are invited to drown themselves in their half-full glasses.

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