Today was going to be the day where I started in on Orlando vacation stories. I was going to simply ignore the election results (demure and magnanimous, I'd imagined), and just carry on with business as usual.
Nope. I can't do that.
But I guess I really did enjoy that vacation, because I was caught up enough in having fun that I didn't really see the signs that probably pointed to the outcome of the election. Literally, the signs.
Trump/Pence campaign signs were everywhere in Orlando. Really, there were political signs of all kinds, all over the place -- congress, sheriff, and so, so much more. I thought I was prepared for that. Yes, Florida's a battleground state, but so is Colorado. (And Colorado always has a dozen initiatives on the ballot every presidential election too. Though it seems that's now going to change.) But the thing is, Florida is worth more than three times as many electoral votes as Colorado. So it really shouldn't have been a surprise to me that it had probably three times as many political signs.
Most populated cities in the country (and most tourist destinations) tend to vote Democrat. So I was surprised to see Trump everywhere. A Trump/Pence sign on virtually every street corner. A loud mouth in a "Make America Great Again" hat shouting out that slogan during the show at Medieval Times. I figured something like, "oh, I guess Orlando is like a Colorado Springs or something -- one of those cities that bucks the trend."
Even in the most partisan enclaves, there are contrarians. Denver is staunchly blue (and Colorado last night voted for Hillary Clinton), but still, every day, on every drive to work, I'd see Trump bumper stickers. But in Orlando, I saw not one single pro-Clinton shirt, sign, or sticker in the course of an entire week. (The people I was traveling with told me they spotted a lonely few signs tucked way back up in the windows of an apartment complex we drove past almost every day, but I myself never spotted them.)
Perhaps I should have read the signs. Perhaps all those signs should have been a tip at how profoundly animated Trump voters were. Perhaps that total lack of any visible Clinton support pointed to what was about to happen.
Not that 10 days more warning would have really prepared me to deal with how I'm feeling right now. But I guess the signs were there.