Blog Post #201
I woke up yesterday morning, still reeling from the staggering outcome of the United States election. I felt fear, and worry — I felt physically ill. All I could envision was doom and despair for the world.
But the world kept turning, and my day was just the same as it always was. You know — the everyday routine of work and home life. I don’t live in America, so my worries are tempered by circumstance — my life will be much the same as it was yesterday. But still I felt uneasy.
Last night, still feeling ripples of anxiety, I browsed through my social media channels, getting the world’s reactions to the election results. I read a few rants from both sides — and my apprehension grew. A lot of the online chatter was the same as the gloomy thoughts that had been going around in my brain. I felt panic rise up in my throat.
Then I read Hillary Clinton’s concession speech — it was classy, genuine, heartfelt and gracious. I began to feel calmer, and as I continued to scroll through my news feeds, I found some articles that had some different perceptions of the election results and what might happen next. As I read these opinions and thought pieces, I grew more hopeful, my anxiety lessened. To me, these reactions seem grounded, offering opinions that were proactive, optimistic and balanced. They are not about fear and loathing but about the lessons we can all learn and the positive actions we, and especially the American people, can take to move forward to create a better society.
My Takeaways From Four Articles I Read:
Some Heartening Facts:
“Gay marriage has overwhelming support nationwide — 55 percent to 37 percent against
Legal abortion is favored by 56 percent, with 41 percent opposed
The vast majority of the population supports background checks for gun buyers — up to 90 percent in some polls
A majority of Americans support some kind of universal health care, 58 percent to 37 percent
64 percent of Americans are worried about global warming. Only 36 percent are not.
Americans overwhelmingly agree that immigration helps the country more than it hurts, by a 59 percent to 33 percent margin“
Some Reassuring Words
…This election was about much more than the really nasty things Trump said during the campaign. First of all, Trump won in areas where Obama was strongest among white voters—i.e. people unracist enough to vote for a black president. Secondly, Trump did surprisingly well with Latino voters. This isn’t as simple as the media portrays it to be. Trump did say shameful things, and he definitely won over some very hateful people by doing so. But he also stood for a lot more than just those things. In many people’s minds, he stood for hope and change—the same exact thing Obama stood for for millions of voters in 2008.
People vote for hope and change when they’re in pain. When I watched the election last night, I didn’t see a bunch of assholes voting to be hateful, I saw a bunch of people going through a lot of suffering hoping for something better…
An Action Plan
From the complete transcript of Michael Moore’s Facebook post as published in the article, Michael Moore’s “Morning After To-Do List” Facebook Post For Democrats Is Going Viral by Adam Albright-Hanna published on Good
…Fact. If you woke up this morning thinking you live in an effed-up country, you don’t. The majority of your fellow Americans wanted Hillary, not Trump. The only reason he’s president is because of an arcane, insane 18th-century idea called the Electoral College. Until we change that, we’ll continue to have presidents we didn’t elect and didn’t want. You live in a country where a majority of its citizens have said they believe there’s climate change, they believe women should be paid the same as men, they want a debt-free college education, they don’t want us invading countries, they want a raise in the minimum wage and they want a single-payer true universal health care system. None of that has changed. We live in a country where the majority agree with the “liberal” position…
How Five Women Made History
From the article, Don’t Despair Just Yet, These 5 Powerful Women Made History Last Night by Kate Ryan, published on Good.
Kamala Harris is the second black woman elected to the U.S. Senate and California’s first female attorney general.
Nevada elected Catherine Cortez Masto. She will be the first Latina senator in the history of the United States.
Kate Brown made history when she was elected as Governor of Oregon. She is the first openly LGBTQ governor in the United States.
Tammy Duckworth, an Iraqi war veteran, unseated the Republican incumbent, effectively putting the Democrats in control of the Illinois Senate.
Ilhan Omar, a former refugee, is the first Somali-American Muslim elected as a state representative for Minnesota.
This is America’s chance to make a big change — the American populace has the power — let’s hope they can do it.
I also think that this is a wake-up call for us all everywhere — the world is in turmoil and it is time for us to stop wringing our hands and lamenting. I believe that the majority of people in the world agree with the “liberal” position, and we, the people, are strong. It is time to stop being apathetic, time to use our power to reshape our world for the betterment of all.
As Socrates said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”