Abortion activist and actress Lena Dunham has been pretty quiet online since Donald Trump won the presidential election last Tuesday.
Dunham, her friends at Planned Parenthood and many others were shocked when pro-abortion Democrat Hillary Clinton lost to Trump last Tuesday. A few days ago, Dunham broke her silence by posting a column on her website describing her reaction to the election.
“After working on the Clinton campaign for eighteen months, I was ready to celebrate, and sure that by nightfall I’d be knocking back glasses of champagne and creating a story to tell my unborn children,” she wrote. “Maybe I’d even get close enough to Hillary Clinton to hug her, to whisper ‘Thank you.’”
Her excitement turned to bitter disappointment as the election results late Tuesday revealed that Americans chose Trump instead.
The three hours I spent at the Javits Center Tuesday night, surrounded by campaign staffers and fellow surrogates for Hillary Clinton, are blurred and spotty. At a certain point it became clear something had gone horribly wrong. Celebrants’ faces turned. The modeling had been incorrect. Watching the numbers in Florida, I touched my face and realized I was crying. “Can we please go home?” I said to my boyfriend. I could tell he was having trouble breathing, and I could feel my chin breaking into hives. Another woman showed me her matching hive, hidden by fresh concealer.
I hugged the women I had spent eighteen months with, laughing and plotting and spreading our love for Hillary Clinton and her message. My party dress felt tight and itchy.
By the time we’d made it over the bridge, a friend called. “It’s over,” she said. “I love you.” I was frozen. We stopped at the diner. No one was speaking as they ate, no one in the whole place.
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At home I got in the shower and began to cry even harder. My boyfriend, who had already wept, watched me as I mumbled incoherently, clutching myself. “It wasn’t supposed to go this way. It was supposed to be her job. She worked her whole life for the job. It’s her job.”
Many of Clinton supporters’ quickly exchanged their tears for protests in major cities across the U.S., some turning violent. Meanwhile, the mainstream media and liberal commentators have been scratching their heads and questioning why so many supported Trump over Clinton or a third party candidate. Sadly, few have sought answers from actual Trump voters.
Dunham’s column speaks to this disconnect. Perhaps the most disturbing part of her writing is her admitted disinterest in even attempting to understand why people voted for Trump.
A lot of people have been talking about how we need to try to understand how this happened and what’s going on in the minds of the people who voted for Donald Trump. Maybe. Maybe. But maybe let’s leave that to the strategists, to the men in offices who need to run the numbers. It should not be the job of women, of people of color, of queer and trans Americans, to understand who does not consider them human and why, just as it’s not the job of the abused to understand their abuser. It’s quite enough work to know about and bear the hatred of so many. It’s quite enough work to go on living.
It is no secret that Trump was not many people’s ideal candidate. Clinton wasn’t either. But millions of Americans, fearful of Clinton’s radical pro-abortion position and her hints about further encroaching on religious freedoms, among other things, chose to support Trump.
It’s important to try to understand why people of opposing positions make the decisions that they do. Many Americans were deeply concerned by Clinton’s promises to expand abortions through taxpayer funding and her support of late-term and partial-birth abortions on viable babies. They did not want more innocent babies’ lives to be destroyed by abortion – 1 million dead babies a year is already too many — or their tax dollars going to pay for them.
While Trump was far from ideal, he was preferred over Clinton for many reasons, her radical abortion policies being among them. Dunham and her friends should at least try to understand the motives of so many American voters, even if they do not agree.