The federal agency in charge of disaster assistance is setting up hundreds of emergency safe spaces around the country where residents traumatized by the presidential election outcome can find safety and psychological comfort.
“These safe spaces are shelters where afflicted individuals can get free hugs, listen to soothing indie folk music with lyrics that reaffirm progressive values, and in general make the hurt go away,” said Frank Lee, FEMA’s director of Emotional Disaster Relief. “Lots of Americans have been left despondent, confused and rather whiny, and we want them to know we’re here to help.”
Trained staff in the shelters will discourage visitors from using painful trigger words including GOP, election, democracy, America, Bernie Sanders and 2016 — words that can prompt fits of moral indignation in some people and plunge others into depression.
Jaylee Haynes, a graduate student who is volunteering at a FEMA safe space camp near the University of California in Los Angeles, says that she has helped dozens of psychically damaged students, many of whom were found wandering around campus in a fugue state following an anti-Trump protest that was promised to “Dump the Trump” — but fizzled into nothing.
“They were all first-time voters who felt entitled to the outcome they badly wanted, so when it was announced their candidate had lost, they went into shock,” Haynes said. “Some were weeping, others were rambling incoherently about dismantling the Electoral College or seeking asylum in Canada, and all of them had peed on themselves — a telltale sign of election-year trauma. Very sad.”
According to Haynes, one young woman who was found unconscious outside UCLA’s Powell Library claimed to have heard a male student utter the words “pussy” and “grab” in the same sentence.
“The victim just lost it,” Haynes said. “I hesitate to cite hysteria, because that word is laden with sexism, but that’s what she was: hysterical.”
“We put her in a dimly lit room with lots of non-gendered plush animals and let her watch a few hours of Bob Ross painting a forest, and a volunteer from the political science department explained to her how elections work, and she’s okay now,” Haynes continued. “But can you imagine how things could have ended if we hadn’t been there? She’d probably be on a bus to New York City this very moment to write for Salon.”
By the end of this week, FEMA will have set up 650 temporary safe spaces on college campuses and in urban centers in all 21 blue states and four red states, according to agency officials. Construction will soon begin on 400 permanent safe space facilities, some of which might be ready in time for Trump’s January 20 inauguration.
Lee, the director of Emotional Disaster Relief, says that many of the victims of this election cycle will require long-term care and will spend months or even years maniacally cursing uneducated whites and promising to leave the country. Despite the high costs of keeping these shelters operational, he insists that his agency will continue to carry out its mission for as long as necessary. But still, he says, Congress will need to do more.
“In some Scandinavian countries, having reality conform to your expectations is a constitutional right, not just a privilege afforded only to the winners,” he added. “We need to move ourselves in that direction, because no one deserves to be disappointed.”