Janiss: Welcome to Daughters of Darkness, a candid discussion between two immortals, myself being almost three decades old —
Nancy: (interrupting) Including living years.
J: Right, and yourself being almost three centuries old by way of comparison… also including living years.
N: You’re not really calling it that, are you?
J: What? “Daughters of Darkness”? We are. We’re night folk. It’s clever, damn it — roll with it.
N: We’re just Vampires, Janiss. Please continue.
J: Right… cool. So, okay, we’re talking about the 2016 election —
N: If we have to. I see they misspelled our code names on the cocoa again.
J: (smirks) I told them to do that on purpose. You know, like when we first —
N: (patronizing) Of course you did.
J: I figured it could be a thing.
N: (sarcastic) Of course you did.
J: Ahem. Getting back to it, I voted for Hillary. Nancy, who did you vote for?
N: As I texted back to you: not Hillary.
J: So why’d you vote for the other guy?
N: The president-elect’s name is Donald J. Trump, and I didn’t vote for him, either.
J: (long pause) I’m… confused. When I asked you here —
N: You asked if I voted for Ms. Clinton.
J: Right. And you said…
J: Because you voted third-party?
N: Again, no.
J: You didn’t vote at all?!
N: No, I didn’t. Not for the president. I’m allowed to do that.
J: You… well, this is more than a little frustrating. How are we supposed to discuss our votes when you didn’t?
N: It was my choice. Ask me why I didn’t vote.
J: (frustrated) Fine; why didn’t you vote?
N: Because it doesn’t affect me. The people it does affect are the ones who matter. (sips cocoa)
J: (droll) Do tell.
N: I’ve been around long before George Washington supposedly refused to become the first Colonial Monarch. Since that time — 1920, actually — I’ve never voted in a national election. I vote locally. I leave national interests to [ EDITED ].
J: We’ll strike that from the transcript as per our agreement, but don’t you want to help people? If more registered voters had just —
N: It might have made a difference, but what happened could still be a great thing.
J: Yeah — after four years. Eight if we’ve been truly forsaken…
N: You do know there’s a historical context for first-term presidents figuring out the job on the first term and coming back stronger the second term. Your outgoing president, for example.
J: He’s your president, too, you know.
N: Is he? Was he? He doesn’t know me from Sacagawea. What is your exact issue with Mr. Trump?
J: Other than mistreating his workers, mistreating women in general, fraud in business, his distaste for foreigners —
N: Isn’t he married to an immigrant?
J: Yeah, but she’s… well…
N: Younger than he is? Is that a crime now, too? I thought that was tradition.
J: Wow… this is not how I imagined this conversation going — and why are YOU asking the questions all of a sudden?
N: You say that a lot when we talk. I’m always amazed when you ask again, but I suppose that’s a part of your charm — you do keep trying. Were you armed with facts and charts?
J: How can you be so casual? Please tell me you’ve heard what he said — what others have said about him.
N: What I find troubling is that you readily volunteer who you voted for. In the past, that was a very personal thing. Out of curiosity, how many of your residents up at Cedarcrest Sanctum voted?
J: All of them. We made sure their registrations were current and bused them down to the polls.
N: And who did they vote for?
N: I’m sure you overheard a few of them.
J: Him. (long pause) Many of them voted for him.
N: Here — in the heart of West Virginia — that surprises you? My goodness.
J: He only ran to be in the spotlight…
N: But your candidate didn’t?
J: No… she wanted to help people! She’s never been convicted of anything she’s ever been accused of —
N: Yet she her name’s synonymous with controversy, good intentions aside.
J: You obviously don’t like her. All those things she’s been accused of?
N: (laughs) If I may ask, who won the 1824 presidential election?
J: (smiles) John Quincy Adams. Impressed?
N: Correct… and who won the most electoral votes that year?
N: Andrew Jackson. Unfortunately there was no clear winner with votes split four ways, so the House of Representatives picked Adams over the former general, whom had so recently attacked the Creek and Seminole under President Monroe’s orders. Interesting fact: he’s rumored to have earned the name “jackass” and kept it as a symbol for a while, one that was later used to symbolize the Democratic party, as I recall.
J: Wasn’t that about the time you…?
N: Yes. I had withdrawn from the world of the living by that time, but the decision over Jackson was considered a sure sign of corruption in that day and age. By their rematch in 1828, Jackson has convinced enough people he was right and swept the electoral in a landslide.
J: Why do I suddenly feel like I’m in one of your classes?
N: A fitting punishment, to be certain.
J: So what’s your point?
N: Perception is more important than truth. Elections are held on Tuesdays to allow travel time before and after for rural folks to reach the polls. Do you think they heard all the instantaneous back-and-forth on social media? Of course not. They read it in papers and talked over their neighbor’s fence. It used to take years to sway people to vote for someone, and you thought this election cycle started early.
J: But with all of the information —
N: No one is certain what the truth is anymore — or at least they shouldn’t blindly trust so-called sources. It isn’t just media outlets with exclusive access to a printing press; anyone can digitally declare themselves a news source and say anything they want; the crazier it is, the more attention it gets. Why do you think it’s all become so us-versus-they, black-and-white? Political rhetoric is fueled by “we’re right and they’re wrong” arguments, because you can’t vote 30% agree and 70% maybe not. No one meets in the middle. This is why so much is stalled in congress.
J: A-ha! But Hillary Clinton could have overcome those roadblocks with her insider knowledge and years of experience!
N: And Donald Trump could break through them because of his lack of it. If reports are correct, all of Washington DC is scrambling to figure out who’s in charge of what, and that kind of shake up could be a good thing.
J: (saddened) He’s dangerous, Nancy… the scary kind. He’s the kind of person who could do real harm to our country.
N: Have you considered the real truth behind Ms. Clinton’s loss?
J: Blind ignorance?
N: That much of America reluctantly tolerated having the first African-American president and just weren’t ready for a woman as president?
J: (incredulously) So you at least agree being a woman hurt Hillary more than anything?
N: Agree? Wholeheartedly. We haven’t even elected a woman as vice president yet; in what world did Ms. Clinton hope to skip over that milestone and go straight to leader of the free world? Her arrogance worked against her even in that.
J: If only we had an expert on arrogance on-hand.
N: (smiling) The ignorant often mistake experience and confidence for arrogance.
J: Are you referring to me or everyone who supported Trump?
N: It doesn’t matter why, Janiss; it only matters that they did. All this election proves is what should have always been obvious: people vote with their hearts.
J: Including the misogynists, the racists, the white nationalists…
N: (interrupting) Having already admitted that you know most of your residents voted for Mr. Trump, would you accuse them of that to their faces?
J: No… of course not.
N: And yet you just did. You’re angry your candidate lost for all the perceived reasons why the other person would be bad for the America, for all the things said in debates no matter how ludicrous.
J: But look at all the people he’s appointing already —
N: And quickly, too, but there are checks and balances. In the same way congress blocked President Obama, they can do so with the president-elect. The world hasn’t come to end, just this election.
J: And what if it isn’t? What if it’s too late and he does something idiotic that can’t be undone?
N: You really think a man with children would actually push “the mutually assured button of destruction?” Mr. Trump may have said those things because they sounded scary, and other world leaders took notice. You talk about a man who says one thing and does another, who challenges the idea that America shouldn’t reveal their plans to the assumed enemy? Isn’t it possible he plays the fool because his opponents underestimate him?
J: That’s ridiculous.
N: Yet he won.
J: Not the popular vote.
N: I won’t debate you on the merits of the electoral system, Janiss. I’ve tried to mind my pints and quarts on this, but do what you must. Please: watch Mr. Trump. You should be; everyone should be. For the next four years he’ll be scrutinized like a vulture waiting for its next meal to perish in the desert, but the United States wasn’t ready for the first woman president — I’ll even go so far as to say they haven’t earned the right and don’t yet deserve one.
J: Some of us think we were. Some of us still think we do.
N: When enough believe that, it’ll happen… and not before. Was there anything else? (sips cocoa)
J: I think we’re done here. (smiling) Okay, you made me think a little.
J: But, if I may ask, who would have made you vote for president?
N: Oh, I’d have voted Bernie Sanders in a minute. (smirking)
N: If you’re done feeling bobbed, feel free to close your bone box. Until next time?
I’d promise this will be better in the future, but, well… I can’t.
Take your power seriously. Keep each other safe.