For the first time in my adult life, I live in a place where so many people share my values and ideas about democracy. And after the 2016 election, I know how lucky I am to have that.
This week is an especially difficult week for me and so many of the young, compassionate Americans I know. It’s been difficult to process everything that’s happening and I think so many of us are just so scared about the uncertainty of the next four, and possibly eight, years.
The results of the election aren’t the only thing that is disappointing me, though. Protests where young citizens are yelling “Impeach Trump”.
“Not my President”.
So many more ridiculous catchphrases are trending right now, that his page could literally go on for hours.
Look, I certainly didn’t vote for Trump. I was scared of a Trump presidency from day one, and I took it much more seriously than many others did (my husband, for example, had endless jokes and exclamations of “Don’t worry, he’ll never get elected”. I was never so sure).
I do, in fact, think Donald Trump is a blubbering idiot. And I think HRC would have made an exceptional President. Not the lesser of two evils, but a kick-ass fucking leader who has the best interest of so many at heart.
But the election is over.
And sadly, December 19th isn’t going to change anything.
That’s not how the system works. And respecting the rules of the system is part of who we are. We certainly have a lot to say about the other side when they don’t respect them. This doesn’t mean we can’t fight to change the system- but there are appropriate channels for that.
I also know something like this takes more than two days to get over. Take the holiday season and use it as a time to reflect. And to bitch. And to rail against the unfairness of such an immoral candidate being elected. I’ll be bitching too (mostly to myself, because there are enough people doing it online).
But then do something more. Get over the election results- they aren’t changing. And step away from your computer screen to put your brains and hearts and hands to work.
I’m not saying you should shut up for four years. I believe in your free speech and I want you to FIGHT harder every day for equality, fairness, and all the things you believe in.
There is so much you can do, right now, in your own community, to make this world and this country a better, more progressive place. Reach out. Volunteer. Show compassion to everyone- Trump supporters included. Give your time to charities, give a few dollars to Planned Parenthood, or give a smile to someone who is scared.
Sharing our unwavering compassion for all humans is the only way we will make it through the next four years.
Push for education, formal or otherwise. Reach out to your local youth. Do it with an open mind. Think of all the lives- all the voters- you’ll have the chance to impact if you do!
Don’t forget how much change you can effect at the state level, as well. The President does not trump all (no pun intended). Even though Trump doesn’t know how our government works- we do! Be involved by voting in every election, at every level, for every citizen’s rights. Don’t wait until 2020 to have your voice heard.
Whether you asked for it or not, you’ve been given a chance. A chance to do anything and everything in your power to make sure that what happened on Tuesday never happens again.
We may be stuck with a president we detest for the next four years. We may have to endure the undoing of hard-won progress as well. Donald Trump is our next president. But that doesn’t mean he’s our next role model. It’s your job to make sure that your community, and your youth, have a better example of leadership, morality, equality and compromise.
It’s time to turn the light on, and keep it burning!
Thanks for reading, and here’s to working our asses off over the next four years!