Today is not a day for cynicism, apathy, or despair.
A few things happened last night which may be difficult to process for those who were surprised or feel betrayed by the results, but we need to examine them for what they are.
1. The system is not rigged.
There is a huge population of people who believe things many of you may find scary or unacceptable, but they got out to the polls and they voted yesterday, and those votes made a difference. What this means is that the power truly is in the hands of the people when it comes to our elections and we should not forget this when planning ahead for future contests. It means we are NOT powerless.
2. President-elect Trump has no voting history as an elected official and as such we can't reliably predict from which position he will govern.
He said a lot of things during his campaign. He said those things to get votes. He likely won't be able (or willing) to deliver on a good portion of them. Where we need to look to understand where this administration will go is the cabinet. These people will be advising a green politician. This will tell us much more than any of the campaign rhetoric. Trump is on record suggesting his position is thus: "I'm somewhat liberal on social issues, especially health care, et cetera, but I'd be leaving another party, and I've been close to that party ... I think that nobody is really hitting it right. The Democrats are too far left... The Republicans are too far right." You can believe he was telling the truth during his campaign, but I personally find his actions (and multiple contradictions) to suggest he was doing whatever he could to get votes.
3. There are stances on which we can work with him (and should). Campaign finance reform. Funding for NASA. Starting a conversation about term limits in Congress.
We now have an opportunity to show that we put nation above party and will work with the Republicans on issues where there is common ground. This is important for our stability in the future. It will be a demonstration of our nation's character when the world is sure we are more divided than ever.
4. You are not alone.
I've heard from a lot of people that they feel lonely, lost, et cetera. Secretary Clinton is close to winning the popular vote (even though that means nothing in 2016). There are literally millions and millions of people, half the country(!), who share some of your views. Take solace in this. You are not alone. You are not a suddenly a pariah. Millions of people are standing by your side. Many states are looking at switching to a popular vote system. This is not the end of the world. Reach out to your friends and family, particular if they are LGBT or people of color, and let them know you've got their back.
5. Get to work.
If you are unhappy with the results, it's time to get to work, but use the information we now have about the electorate. Fighting half the country tooth and nail won't do. How can you convince everyone from cities to farmlands to industry towns that your views are best for the nation in a way that can change things in 2018, 2020, and beyond? And in the meantime how are you going to make the world a better place? The responsibility lies with us, no one else. If I know one thing about America it's that we CAN make the world a better place if we choose to. And we are one tough, diverse, wonderful group of people who refuse to ever give up.
Act like an American today, and get back up, and get to work. I've got your back.