ABOUT LAST NIGHT:
Do not fall into despair. We need you.
Let this serve as a lesson, and an inspiration to remain focused and vigilant. The fact of the matter is that we did not need to elect a President in order to push forward the concepts of decency, fairness, equality and love. We have the power to make those the values that matter most, today and every day.
As bitter a pill as this may be, we should not turn our backs on each other and widen the chasm by angrily stomping on the precipice. We should open our eyes wider, look for solutions, and protect one another, because this will be a bumpy ride and we need stability to get us through.
The results of last night weren’t about the two candidates, or the important issues, or even qualifications for the job. The results were twenty years in the making, where we have grown closer together virtually but farther apart corporeally. We have been lulled into a false sense that what we feel and believe is universal, and fail to understand when those beliefs are challenged.
At the risk of defeating my own purposes by using a sports analogy, we have become a nation of armchair quarterbacks, criticizing events as they unfold while doing everything possible to avoid getting our uniforms dirty. We want things a certain way but too often we hope someone will come along and make that happen for us so we won’t have to put in the necessary work.
It’s my opinion that Barack Obama is the greatest President of my lifetime, and I know there are many people like me who wanted his successor to be just as dynamic, just as likable, just as electable. And I’ll fully admit part of that is because he seemed to put our nation on his back and carry us through a devastating time.
We can’t, and shouldn’t, expect any President to do that. We need a government of people who can make things better day by day, one small step at a time. If we want them to truly represent our best interests, we need to find and invest our time in candidates who will do just that at every level.
We need to get to work.
Right now the next President is somewhere in America. They may already be holding national or local office, or, as we found out last night, be in a completely different area of interest. The key is that we don’t know who that person is yet, but we can do a hell of a lot to influence who that person will be. Find that person. Make sure he or she upholds the values you hold most dear, and has the skill, temperament and experience to make a true difference. Support them. Bring them to people and let people know why you support them. And watch them. Make sure they’re really who they say they are and that they don’t change course along the way.
The time for complacency is over. The time to act is now. Change will not happen with one candidate and one election. Get involved. Educate yourself. Look out for others. Do what you can today and every day to make the world better.
And please, please don’t give up.
This too shall pass.