For the first time in several years, I sustained an…
America is already great. It’s a place where some of my nearest and dearest friends come from walks of life that a white male from New York could never truly understand but we still find common ground together.
There is so much to unpack right now but a few things to keep in mind.
To those who voted Trump, well, now you all are on the clock. Republicans have full control of the country’s direction now and if things go badly no one to blame anymore. Washington has been “broken”. The media has been “broken”. Instead of believing in a politics of divide and conquer, let’s see the compassion so many say is inside of them. I’m hoping for a positive outcome but time will be the judge.
To those who voted Clinton, we all have a lot of self-reflection to do. For a long time “liberals” have lived in a bit of a smug bubble that since we dominated the big cities, our views were the right ones in all policy choices and more civilized. We helped create a world that marginalized those outside of the city scape. This election is a blast of ice cold water to anyone who thought they “knew better”.
Both sides could stand to listen to the other more and realize that we all laugh, cry, hurt, bleed, love, win, lose and are flawed. Don’t gloat, don’t hate, people made choices and the most powerful message of our democracy is that it continues peacefully.
In a way, electing a man who knows how to dominate headlines with social media and just steamrolls people because he is powerful and can is a perfect metaphor for what this country WAS and is slowly pushing away from. 8 years ago we elected a young black man with a funny name and the reaction for some was an angry, visceral feeling that “America” was slipping away. This election proved that those feelings didn’t go away.
However, that doesn’t change the fact either that we ARE moving in a new direction. Weed become legal in several more states. Gay marriage has gone from a bitterly divisive issue to one where even the Catholic Pope isn’t condemning people to hell at every chance. Women slowly but surely make new strides in the work place and our demographics grow ever more diverse. No President, no person can stem that tide. It’s how we’ve always been as a people. It’s how we remain to be. It’s what makes this country America in the first place.
The word “progressive” need not be a dirty word. Same with the word “conservative”. Progressive means we grow, conservative means we do it slowly. What we are not is static.
We will not turn in to Nazi Germany because there are far too many people who will not be silent. If things do eventually get to a place of true hatred, if things begin to roll back and rights are stripped away, we will not take that sitting down either.
Artists, your job now is to create. Have opinions. Say what you believe and feel.
Teachers, your job now is to educate. For education remains our most potent weapon against hatred and animosity .The more we understand one another, the less fear takes over our lives. When people feel unsafe, they will believe in what they feel versus what they know.
In the end, we endure. All of us endure. Do not despair. No one is alone. I did not vote for this man as President and I do not believe he will make a worthy leader to this country unless literally everything he said was bluster to get attention. An attention hog I can live with. But as President, his job is to inspire and to lead. That begins by showing he actually understands and loves this country and ALL of its citizens. That is what really makes America great.