The election results caught everyone by surprise, even the victorious Party. Those of us on the losing side felt we were in a bad nightmare, with our values ablaze, our great country on fire.
This reflexive reaction that America is coming undone is too easy.
A little more than half of us have been brought up short. We are afraid of the consequences of the irresponsible rhetoric that defined the President-elect’s campaign. We are in fact frightened by the campaign promises that were made repeatedly over fifteen months.
But in order for America to come undone we would have to sit down and do nothing. Those of us who worked very hard for a different outcome must now work very hard so that our vision prevails in one form or another.
If we love our country there is nowhere to run except toward the fire. We need to move towards the groups who were very clearly targeted, scorned, and may be in harm’s way. We need to stand up for each other.
The President-elect did not win the popular vote. There are more of us than there are of his supporters. And I suspect that if we include the far left who did not vote, we would increase our numbers more. We can effectively organize to meet the challenges that will come. We can, but only together.
I warn against becoming a caricature of the far right. If we demonize the President-elect and his supporters, then he has partly won the battle. His personna is not important. The issues are important. They need to be our focus because they directly impact our fellow citizens. His voters are angry already. Let’s not poke that hornets’ nest.
Let’s do this with dignity. That doesn’t mean we aren’t allowed to be angry, or feel difficult emotions due to any repressive changes made. Those of us fully invested in the political process need to grieve. With dignity we can let those emotions shake through us, see what is actually unfolding, and keep moving.
We absolutely have to stand together. It is my belief that those of us who did not want this result got to this place because we fought among ourselves. We had an effective circular firing squad. Enough. I will work alongside people for change that I do not agree with politically. The issues that will help people move ahead are most important. We need to put on our big kid pants and work to help the most vulnerable among us.
We can go high. We can have dignity. We can help one another. We can make a course correction.
Just don’t turn your back on that fire.