It’s finally here, the week we’ve all been dreading. It’s been one year since the 2016 presidential election.
I knew it was coming — and I knew my TimeHop and Facebook Memoires would be painful. I wasn’t wrong… my posts from last year are heartbreaking. There was so much optimism and joy. I was yelling at people to go fucking vote, for the sake of the universe. But I wasn’t expecting the heart stabbing pains I would feel seeing the posts from five years ago.
Today marks five years since Obama won re-election. Five years ago, I was writing an English paper and studying for an anatomy exam. I had two friends over to study with me, as we needed to memorize the spelling of every human bone we were being tested on. I turned in the worst paper I had ever written up until that point in my life — I wrote it quickly in the wee hours of the morning after crying many happy tears over Obama’s second victory. I felt like the world was a better, safer place for keeping Obama in office and for keeping Mitt Romney out.
Five years ago, Todd Aikin was the worst of our problems. We were worried Romney would win, be we felt more confident that we would keep our beloved leader for another term. In 2012, we gained the first openly gay female Senator and we kept a rape apologist out of office AND RE-ELECTED OBAMA. It was a good election. I went to school the next day feeling smug about my party’s victory. His victory speech spoke of hope and unity, he talked about how America was stronger together than we were divided.
“We remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and forever will be, the United States of America.” — President Obama, 2012
Then 2016 happened.
Instead of the victory celebration of a lifetime and champagne in front of the White House, I went home and went to sleep. I called in sick to work, skipped all my classes, and stayed in bed and watched Hillary Clinton’s concession speech over and over again. Eventually, I pulled myself out of bed to watch The West Wing (because apparently exposure therapy is my drug of choice) and prepared to battle the Gary Johnson and Trump supporters in my American Presidency class the next day.
So yes, my TimeHop and Facebook Memories have been quite painful… and I’m going to share them with you because everyone deserves to remember that a.) we will have a time like 2012 again, and b.) that we have something worth fighting for. Also, because I’m here for a little exposure therapy when it comes to elections.
P.S. If you need to feel things more, watch this video (as seen in a Facebook post of mine above) because it’s golden and WOMEN SENATORS ARE THE BEST.
Today in History: A Social Media Archive of the Past Two Presidential Elections was originally published in The Nevertheless Project on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.