While the rest of the nation was deeply disjoined Tuesday, a continental sea of blood red interspersed with pockets of blue, District residents were, as always, resolutely united, with 92.8 percent of voters casting ballots for Hillary Clinton—slightly more than President Barack Obama received in 2008 and more than the 90.9 percent he earned when he was re-elected in 2012. Donald Trump received a miserable 4 percent, with the other 3 points divided between Jill Stein and Gary Johnson.
As a local publication dedicated to covering the District’s arts, politics, and culture—and not the machinations and bluster of the federal government in our midst—our plan was to pretty well ignore the outcome of the presidential election (save for our report on D.C.’s Cold War fallout shelters, which we now may need) on the theory that we can’t possibly offer a take that hasn’t already been expressed by now.
That’s still mostly true. We can’t (although it can’t hurt to know about those shelters). The New Yorker’s David Remnick said it all for the defeated masses when he wrote during the wee hours of election night, “It is impossible to react to this moment with anything less than revulsion and profound anxiety.”
But let’s face it, no one’s paying any attention to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s affordable housing presser this week, and few have seemed to even notice that At-large Councilmember David Grosso earned re-election with an anemic 25 percent of the vote, less than half of newcomer and colleague Robert White’s 53 percent. State Board of Education incumbents Mary Lord and Tierra Jolly got their hats handed to them, but that’s on few people’s lips. Even statehood is a big snoozer. No one cares, least of all Congress. All anyone’s thinking about is the orange Goliath with a McDonald’s fetish and the impending doom of the White House vegetable garden, and perhaps civilization itself.
All of which is to say that, because this was a historic election—the first in American history in which a president-elect has never served in elected office, as a Cabinet official, or as a general—and because we will soon be sharing our city with Donald Trump, we decided to reverse ourselves and rip up our planned cover design to reflect the mood of Washingtonians. As they say, the bird is the word.