Donald Trump’s election victory stunned the entire world, but many over-confident Democrats took the news the hardest.
None were more devastated by the reality of a President-elect Trump as top Hillary Clinton fundraiser Benjamin Ryan.
— Politics Village (#StillWithHer) (@PoliticsVillage) November 30, 2016
Ryan, who apparently raised $187,000 for Clinton and Democrats in 2016, began his night at the “hottest” event in town: the “would-be” Clinton victory party in Manhattan. Everyone thought the event would be a celebration of the first female U.S. president; the shattering of the proverbial “glass ceiling.”
However, as the results from key battleground states started to come in, Ryan realized the atmosphere was quickly starting to feel like a “wake” more than a “party.” Once it became clear that Trump would likely defeat Clinton, Ryan claims he became “suicidal” and admitted himself into emergency psychiatric care.This combination of pictures created on November 09, 2016 shows supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton reacting November 08, 2016 to early election results in various cities across the United States. Image Credit: Ryan McBride, Don Emmert, Kena Betancur, Robyn Beck, Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images
Ryan recalled the moment he found out Trump would be president in an op-ed for The Huffington Post:
I found out Donald Trump had won the Electoral College while midstream in providing a urine sample for the emergency psychiatric staff of a New York City public hospital. The unlockable bathroom door in this unescapable wing was ajar, and I could hear the victorious Mike Pence’s sinister Sunday-school baritone taunting me with the truth from the hallway television.
For the preceding witching hours of election night, I had lain in a fetal position amidst a cast of anonymous men nursing their own crises, my hands clasped tightly over my ears. It wasn’t that I minded the howls of the guy nearby who was shackled to his cot and monitored by an unimpressed brood of policemen. Instead, I wanted to spare myself any word of the far greater insanity unfolding beyond the hospital walls.
Drained of tears, too tired to sleep, I stared at the fluorescent ceiling lights —which, indifferent to our suffering, remained on throughout the night — and endured the passing time by willing my thoughts to vanish into the dull glow. For a second, I imagined someone would burst in and proclaim, “It’s all right, Hillary won!” and I would bound out of bed, awoken from this nightmare.
Terror drove me to this interrupted state. I was afraid for the nation, for the stigmatized and oppressed. I was also afraid for my own life. Because the values and principles I hold dear felt fatally incompatible with the hate and bigotry that Trumpism had come to stand for. I did not want to live in a world that would elect such a man as president.
In the following days, Ryan said he avoided reality. When political news would come on the TV, he would run out of the room to avoid being confronted with the unpleasant information. He also claims his own therapist commiserated with him about the “shock” of Trump’s election victory.Image Credit: Ty Wright/Getty Images
Fortunately, Ryan was able to recover from what he described as a “genuine mental health crisis” and was released from psychiatric care. He writes:
Poetically, I was given my walking orders at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. I was now a veteran of institutional care — shell shocked, but on my feet.
“Don’t come back, Ryan,” a nurse admonished as I crossed the red line toward an uncertain freedom. “You don’t belong here.”
He concluded that admitting himself for psychiatric care to deal with Trump’s “saved” his life.
Read Ryan’s entire account here.