↑THAT just happened.
Take some time to cry, discuss, blame, justify, write, scream, sleep, and cry a little more (I highly recommend those tissues with a hint of menthol). Or rejoice, if you’re a fan of President-elect Trump.
Now let US get to work.
Let US keep #StrongerTogether alive, and remember that OUR country voted for a President-elect Trump. Threatening a move to Canada, becoming incapacitated with anger or sadness, and saying “I don’t understand” DOESN’T CUT IT NOW. Not if you want to maintain membership in my close-knit social media friend posse. (Sorry, not sorry.) Go out there and ask your neighbors, friends, siblings, parents, spouse or children “Why?” because THEY voted for a President-elect Trump. The people you love and respect and vacation with or have dinner with. The people who aren’t racist, xenophobic, sexist, narcissistic, pathologic, juvenile, homophobic, bigoted (insert additional Trump descriptors here) people. Ask them why and then listen. Digest their reasons and learn.
Let US adjust our focus – some by wiping away tears, others by removing blinders – and recognize that this election was decided in large part by a constituency who does not feel that the representatives in OUR political system value them. [For now, I am completely ignoring the sexist/racist/xenophobic/homophobic/bigoted reasons people may have not voted for HRC or voted for Trump.] How unfortunate that few actually felt excitement for this election, and that casting a reticent vote for the “lesser of two evils” was the electorate’s norm. Let US develop great candidates, from the ground up, who contribute positively to American politics for the right reasons and who are responsive to their constituents. Let US be those candidates. Let US encourage involvement in local races. Let US educate Americans about OUR political process, and provide trustworthy sources for citizens to learn about candidate platforms. Let US address feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and anger through that re-creation of trust in OUR candidates and process.
The constituency who voted for a President-elect Trump did not vote due to their excitement for OUR candidates or political process. How sad because voting is what makes OUR democracy great. I could not wait to turn eighteen, mainly so I could achieve that keystone of adulthood. (OK, also so I could get into clubs.) Voting meant that my thoughts were important enough for my community to value, and feeling valued, in and of itself, is empowering. Let US remind fellow Americans that voting is what makes America great ALWAYS, everyday, not only during election seasons.
Participation means more to me than what I just did for Hillary. I knew it during this campaign season, but apparently I was too busy to do anything about it. Participation is more than just identifying yourself with a party, letting your closest social media friends know who you are voting for, and encouraging everyone to #vote. It is more than showing up on Election Day, casting your ballot, and posting a picture of you (or your dog, in my case) sporting an “I voted” sticker for that same social media posse to see. It’s more than a bumper sticker, or a few monetary donations, or even working the polls. Participation to me, from now forward, is actively learning, educating, writing, canvassing, calling, or representing. (Obviously after this election, nobody knows what the stars hold. #Cathy2024)
Learn. Educate. Participate.
I’m so sorry, Hillary. I did not pull my weight for your candidacy, but I promise that I will pull my weight as a member of this wonderful, albeit imperfect, democracy from this day forward.
“Our constitutional democracy demands our participation… all the time… our responsibility as citizens, is to do our part.”
“I will always be grateful…”
“You will have successes and setbacks too. This loss hurts, but please, never stop believing, that fighting for what’s right is worth it.”
“To all the women… nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.”
“And to all the little girls… never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and every opportunity in the world.”
– Hillary Rodham Clinton, conceding the Presidency of the United States of America