Watching your country elect a misogynistic, racist, illiterate hateful man who has said and done deplorable things is devastating. Especially when his opponent was a smart, compassionate, and hard-working public servant who would have served as a powerful role model as the first woman president and would have led America forward towards a progressive future. Today millions of people feel like I do: numb, sad, worried, afraid, and really disappointed.
But I’m a mom now and I realized today that means I don’t have the luxury of wallowing. I have to be hopeful for my son, I have to help show him what it means to work for a kind and inclusive world. I have to show him that when you get dealt a blow you let yourself feel sad and angry and then you channel that into action. When they go low, we go high. You keep working. You keep believing that there are more good people than bad. Progress is slow. History is long. Nothing is certain. Nothing is forever.
Women, people of color, LGBT people and woke straight white men can make change happen. We feel hated right now. As a woman, I feel hated. So many in the country hate women so much that they are willing to elect a completely incompetent idiot in large part because they found a woman “unlikeable.” I need to believe better of those white, blue collar Midwesterners that reportedly undid this country in the election. Because that’s where I’m from, that’s who I am and I know that we can be kind people who want to help each other. I know they voted from irrational fear.
While Donald Trump may have won the presidency, it is no small thing that a woman won the popular vote. The majority of people in America do not agree with his hateful views (even some who voted for him). It’s been said that he won in part as a “white-lash” against the first black president and the feeling of (some) white people that their privilege was being taken away. If a Trump presidency is a backlash for an Obama presidency, than what will the backlash to a Trump presidency be? Hopefully a much more progressive future.
I have to believe in a better future, I have to believe that we are better than this and that my son will know a world in which a smart, compassionate, and hard-working public servant who also happens to be a woman can be president. I’m going to show him. I’m going to work harder. Here is a great place to start: