I was one of those who stayed up all night to watch the drama unfold (I am eight hours ahead). Prior to the election, I feared that Trump might win but was confident that Clinton would pull it off. On the day, she didn't. The world has not ended and our disappointments may yet be quelled with quiet appreciation of the billionaire philanderer who is able to achieve things--even if those things aren't what we like.
BUT, none of those are things I want to talk (write) about today. I have previously posted that Clinton's main failing was that she came across as a robot. I may have even made mention of 'The Madman versus the Robot' (but that may have been on twitter). Apart from Trump's (very) impressive (and uncharacteristically gracious) acceptance speech, I was struck by the lack of emotion in Clinton's speech.
In 2008, Hillary Clinton found herself almost out of the race against Obama. Then, she was caught crying on camera in a cafe. She became human for a brief moment. Her ratings soared and she was back in the race. Somewhere in her brilliant mind, she has convinced herself that showing emotion = weakness. Perhaps she has seen the exercise of power up close for far too long and realized how men denigrate women's intuitive or emotive responses. Somehow, she plated herself with so much armor that she could no longer be recognized by the electorate. Power may be a dry-eyed game, but elections are won or lost on emotion.
Fast forward to 2016 and she has found out that she has lost to someone no one believed could win only a few months ago. I am certain that she cried behind closed doors with Bill and her closest team. In public, she appeared dry-eyed and makes mention that '...this will hurt for a long time.' This is a massive understatement. She has been crawling on glass for this for years. She has wanted this from the moment her husband achieved his second term. In defeat, she didn't want Trump or the world to know that she was hurt. No tears. No regrets. She doesn't need anyone. Well, this lack of emotion provided the type of disconnect that allowed Trump to engage in a campaign of character assassination that Goebbels would have been proud of. Eighteen months of a simple message from Trump (she's a crook, etc) and the public believes it. If you asked people eighteen months ago, no one would have called her corrupt or crooked; now it seems to be accepted by a large majority of the public. I watch in wonderment at history repeating itself.
As I am now writing books, I try and glean as much as I can from life experience. The lesson I have learned from Trump vs Clinton? Emotion trumps fact. Human trumps robot. If we can't empathize or sympathize, we won't engage. If we don't engage, we don't vote. For me, that means readers who won't read my books or hear what I have to say. Both I and my characters need to allow ourselves to show our weakness as well as our strengths. We need to be vulnerable as well as real. We can all spot fakes. To that end, to engage with the public, we need to be prepared to stand on stage unpolished and unready. If we are real, we will be allowed to grow and mature into the finished product we have within us. Sometimes, even if we are real, the public is not interested in us. In that case, we need to accept it and move on. For Clinton, that means no presidency. For me, my journey has just begun; time will tell.