As Tuesday slid into Wednesday, the Javits Center started hollowing out — and a day that started with electric hope ended in gripping despair.
Hillary Clinton supporter Megan Fitzgerald was standing alone and crying in an empty hall that had been packed just an hour earlier.
“It’s just so heartbreaking that this is the country we live in,” she said, wearing a Clinton t-shirt and a Clinton button. “It’s just kind of devastating to think that America could agree with someone so cruel.”
The mood at what was meant to be the site of Clinton’s victory party has shifted from disbelief to despair. Red eyes are a common sight.
Standing under a television monitor, Israeli tourist Ron Gerlitz was trying to reconcile with the abrupt shift in mood he had observed over the past few hours. “I came here because I’m interested to see the celebration,” he said. “The celebration turned into something very different.”
Gerlitz, who is co-executive director of an Israeli NGO called Sikkuy that advocates for equality for Arab citizens of Israel, said that the apparent result was bad for America, and for Isarel.
“The path to tikkun olam will be much longer than we thought,” he said.
Others were more angry than sad. “I am f—ing…disappointed with my country,” said Carolyn Cutillo.
“It’s surprising as hell,” said her friend Imril Hassan. “It just doesn’t make any sense.”
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This story "Democrats Gripped by Fear and Grief as Donald Trump Sweeps to Win" was written by Josh Nathan-Kazis.
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.