The morning after: Islanders react to President-elect Donald Trump

Responses included “shocked” and “scared.”

A Tisbury homeowner displays a sign reacting to the 2016 presidential election results. — Stacey Rupolo

On Wednesday morning, The Times went to downtown Oak Bluffs to ask townspeople how they felt about Tuesday’s election results.

As could be expected for one of the bluest areas in one of the bluest states, the overall mood was somber. The Times did not encounter any Trump supporters.

“I’m speechless. I almost dressed in all black,” Dana Hughes of Oak Bluffs said. “I’m pleased about the marijuana. I’m going to be 50 soon. I never thought that would happen in my lifetime.”

Two highway department employees, Jim Tripp and Jim Moreis, were putting up Christmas wreaths on lampposts on Circuit Avenue. They weren’t exactly in the Christmas spirit.
“I’m still shocked. It’s a little scary,” Mr. Tripp said.

“The stress level is very high. It has to come down a little bit. We’ve got no choice; we’ve got to ride the pony now. I just wish those missiles were pointed at other countries and not us,” Mr. Moreis said, laughing.

“It would have been nice to have the first woman president,” Mr. Tripp said.  

“I’m sick to my stomach,” Jeffrey Heflin of Oak Bluffs said. “This is the second time in my life I’ve seen someone win the popular vote and not get elected. I thought it was bad enough with hanging chads last time, but this time it was stolen by the KGB and the FBI. There’s no democracy anymore. We won’t see the damage to the Supreme Court undone in my lifetime. They’re going to overturn Roe v. Wade. Obamacare is gone. I’ll be dead before this thing is corrected.”

“I’m disappointed about Trump, but I’m happy about the animals,” Patty Knowles of Oak Bluffs said, referring to the voter approval of ballot Question 3, to promote more humane treatment of farm animals. “I feel bad about the charter schools,” she said, referring to ballot Question 2, to promote expansion of charter schools, which was soundly rejected by state voters. “Not so much for here, because we have excellent schools, but because it’s going to affect inner-city schools.”

Several people we talked to wished to remain anonymous.

“Shocked,” Tyler from Oak Bluffs said as he helped his young son out of the backseat of his pickup. “Hopefully this little guy doesn’t end up in a messed-up world. I never heard a president swear before.”

“Shocked and dismayed,” Tyler’s friend Sam from Chilmark said, shaking his head. “Shocked and dismayed.”

“I believe the country wants a change. I hope in my heart that Trump will get good advice,” Elena from Oak Bluffs said. “We have to support him; he’s our president. I’m disappointed. I didn’t vote for him, and I don’t agree with a lot of his policies. I hope we can become unified, although I don’t know how we’re going to do that. I prayed for him this morning, as I pray for my country and for everyone, every day.”

“I’m embarrassed to be an American right now,” Ian of Oak Bluffs said.

“I think we’ll need to tighten our belts; our federal funding may be drying up, especially for environmental projects,” Oak Bluffs chairman of the selectmen Gail Barmakian told The Times by phone. “But we can’t give up, or they win. Don’t be fearful. Don’t quit. We can still get things done on a local level.”