After the Vote, the Healing Begins

I’m so shocked, sad and disappointed. Along with millions of Democrats, I hoped Hillary Clinton would win the presidency. We watched the polls at 538.com and saw overwhelming numbers that said she would win. She might even win by a landside!

But she lost. No, no, no, no, my friends cried to each other on Facebook. How can this be happening?!

Why? Because there were too many people in America who felt forgotten, whose jobs had disappeared, whose values they thought were being ignored, whose health insurance got too expensive, who were tired of the political elite who didn’t seem to have their interests at heart. And after eight years of one party in charge, with rare exceptions, it always flips to the other side.

I knew it would be close. During the week before the election, when I read the posts on Pantsuit Nation, underneath the outpouring of love and hope for a woman president, I heard them saying, “I’m the only one in my family” or “I’m the only one in my neighborhood”. And I began to worry that our numbers weren’t there…

And although she actually won the popular vote, the numbers weren’t there for the Electoral College. Donald Trump is the president-elect of the United States. Now I have to make peace with that.

I watched his victory acceptance speech, and it was good. He complimented Hillary, thanked his supporters and promised to work for all Americans to prosper and be happy. His election combined with the Republican House, Senate, and prospective Supreme Court gives him a mandate to pass the legislation he wants. I haven’t liked much of what he has proposed during the race. I worry that his economic plans won’t really help middle class families. I worry for the rights of our LBGT brothers and sisters, for people of color, for the undocumented, for other religious views, for the environment and for women’s rights.

I want to scream and cry and throw in the towel. Then I remember Scarlett O’Hara after Rhett walks out the door saying to herself, “I won’t think about that today. I’ll go crazy if I do. I’ll think about that tomorrow…after all, tomorrow is another day!”

The fight is never over. We have lost this election for this next term. This means we have to work harder preparing for the next one. We have to look at plans and policies that will protect and benefit all Americans according to our ideals. I will think positive about the future, even in the face of some dire threats, and work as best I can in my small way to promote peace and prosperity for all.

Success is never a straight line to the top. It’s a jagged line of three steps forward, one step back. Maybe we took more than one step back this time. But we aren’t vanquished forever. We will still rise, still voice our concerns, still fight for what we believe in. Get involved locally, write your Congresspeople, make your desires known. There are good people on both sides of the aisle who will work with us for the good of all.

And we will still be stronger together.