Some Immediate Thoughts on the 2016 Election

So, it’s been awhile since I’ve written on the ol’ blog. I’m going to try and be better about that. I meant to write an opus in October about dating a Red Sox fan in 2004, eventually marrying him, and how that related to the Cubs making it to the World Series in 2016. But the October leaves changed their color and here we are, the second Wednesday in November, and it’s not the outcome that the majority of the country went out and voted for yesterday. Again.

Last night, I was inconsolable. This morning wasn’t much better. I don’t have any great words of wisdom, but others have left their wisdom. I am listening.

In the span of a day, I’ve had two moments of comfort I’d like to share. The first answers the Why and the How. It was posted on Facebook by a friend of a friend, Ana Rossetti-Sloan:

“The closeness of this election has me and many of my like-minded Hillary-supporting friends dismayed. Yet, is it so surprising? Demographic change will make White people the minority within a few years. There’s been a Black family in the White House for 8 years. Women have the audacity to run for President. Trump’s rhetoric and approach speak directly to the deep fear that these changes have surfaced. I think that’s what we’re seeing with the electorate tonight. Privilege is often experienced as a zero sum game of power or access to resources. More power/resources for “them” means less power/resources for “us”. So, this quote from a Huffington Post article by Chris Boeskool feels very appropriate right now: “When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.” Regardless of the outcome of this election, these are deep and real issues we will need to deal with as a nation.”

The second solace was an article on dailykos.com called “We lick our wounds, we grieve, and then we fucking fight.” The whole article is great, but the part that resonated the most with me was this section:

“We are stronger than they are, because we have the moral high ground. We don’t need to debase ourselves and support an asshole sexual predator. We don’t have to resort to hate and voter suppression to win. Our core voters aren’t dying off; they are growing. Arizona, Georgia, Texas are the future. The Rust Belt is … waning.”

I listened to Hillary and President Obama’s speeches. Seeing their resilience, their ability to carry on helped soothe me. They are brave in the face of disaster. They are elegant when the world is ugly. They are loud when the world is quiet. “Fighting for what’s right is worth it,” Hillary said. I will let them be the motivation for the next four years. Actually, two years. A lot of good can be done at the next mid-term election.

This quote from Elie Wiesel is a double-edged sword of guilt and inspiration. “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

I admit that maybe I’ve been too quiet. I hate confrontation. I go out of my way to avoid it. Maybe I should’ve had conversations with friends and family who I feared were voting the other way. I didn’t want to hear them say it. I trusted the rest of America to be better than my family. I trusted America to be like me, to want to move forward. I was blinded by my privilege. And now, here I am. Here we are. Eyes open, seeing all the light, all the darkness. I vow to be less quiet, even if it means being less comfortable. I’m learning. I will do better.

And I’m done crying. Now, I’m going to get angry.

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