Originally written on the morning of 11/9/16
How did I contribute to Trump's win? After all, I campaigned for Hillary -- I made calls on her behalf, I donated money, my hard earned money, to her campaign. And yet none of that secured a win. Trump won the presidency -- I am actually writing these words out.
So what happened? I must take some blame for his win; I feel like I should shoulder some responsibility for the majority of my country voting for a man whom I find absolutely reprehensible. What part did I play in his shocking victory?
Perhaps Trump's message of hate (as I heard it) was simply met with more hate from my own party, which allowed it to grow exponentially. I clearly underestimated just how many people wanted change -- change much different than I perceive it.
The things that matter to me are women's rights, gay rights, the right to choose, climate change, gun control, health care, and comprehensive immigration reform. Clearly, my priorities do not align with the majority of Americans with whom I exist. So what now?
The sun will still rise, but it brings with it a new day of self-reflection, and a new reality that many -- myself included -- find bleak and terrifying.
I donate $20 a month to Planned Parenthood; I have for over a year now. I will continue to stand with them while we as a nation lean from left to right. I will wait and see what happens with my health insurance plan. I will try, really try, to show more compassion and loving kindness to those around me, regardless of race, gender, religion, and even political affiliation. To say only that we are fucked, that this man is not our president, that this is not our America; to refuse this new reality that I have in some way contributed to, is going nowhere -- it takes me even further back, and I personally need to continue to move forward.
Sometimes the bad guy wins. I've been waiting for that sinking feeling of despair in my stomach, but it hasn't come yet, and I don't think it will. I don't feel as fucked because I am a white, straight, legal American male citizen. I cannot change that. But I can use that power to make a difference, no matter how small it may seem. I will show more compassion (a word that I keep coming back to) to strangers and friends. I will practice patience, knowing that nothing lasts. Most of all, I will try my hardest to have love for Trump supporters (a hard sell, I understand).
We all want what is best for ourselves and our families, though what that entails clearly differs for everyone. I long to find some kind of common ground with the "other side" that I worked so hard to defeat. I am proud of what Obama accomplished -- I campaigned for him in both '08 and 2012 -- I think he is amazing. Now it it is someone else's turn.
Am I scared? Sure. Definitely. But I'm choosing to use my fear as a catalyst for further change, a more positive, loving, compassionate change. I can feel outrage, repulsion, despondency, amazement, disbelief and despair. But how I feel and how I act do not need to be synonymous.
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