Why am I so devastated?
I'm a white person of privilege, not Latino, Muslim, African-American, LGBTQ or an immigrant. Not poor or struggling. Not young and trying to get a job. I am a professional woman long established. No glass ceiling I need to break through. No concern about needing an abortion or dealing with sexism or sexual harassment. I'm far beyond that point in life. No one but my husband is interested in "grabbing" my middle-aged parts.
Granted, both my children will be impacted by a more unstable world and economy, and by unchecked global warming - all predicted to happen under Trump. Certainly, my teenage son and nephews could be impacted by a war, if Trump starts one. My teen daughter and nieces would have been greatly inspired by a first woman president creating greater equality for women. But I also know these kids have the foundation and the resources to make it in this world. They have parents, relatives and an expansive social network of role models to help them on their path. I know they will be fine in the long run.
I notice, from this election, my kids are learning resilience and the need to stand up for what they believe. Speaking the truth to someone who doesn't want to hear it, saying "No, this kind of behavior or language isn't ok." Calling out people on hate and racism and bigotry. That's what they are witnessing and doing. We will use the next four years as a family to reinforce and deepen our family commitment to justice and civil rights for all. In the same way, Harry Potter and his friends were all in, after Dumbledore was killed.
I am, however, worried about some friends as well as a whole lot of people I don't even know - Americans who don't have financial security and weren't born into privilege, those who have faced discrimination throughout their lives and are now Trump's scapegoats: African-Americans, immigrants, Latinos, Muslims, LGBTQ, Jewish people. I feel for the young women who have just been told by the electorate that sexism and harassment aren't a big deal. And I'm sad for the millennials struggling to pay off their student loans and buy their first house. I am deeply saddened that these people may lose all hope from the outcome of this election.
I'm even concerned about Trump voters who felt helpless, angry and fearful - and directed that anger and blame on our democratic government and institutions. This anger and fear will no doubt grow when Trump is unable to keep his promises or make them safer in this increasingly hostile and divided world.
Most devastating is the racism and bigotry, sexism and pathological lies, the bullying, the hate speech, the profound immaturity and scary personality disorder - all that makes up Donald Trump - all which somehow won the day. This isn't the America I want. I don't think this is the America most of us want, regardless whom we voted for.
So, I ask myself... what do I do today, and every day, for the next four years?
When Jimmy Carter lost his re-election for President, he shifted his life purpose and became a great humanitarian and world peacemaker. He did it quietly, graciously, humbly, with full commitment. All in. He never stopped. In his nineties now and with cancer, he is still doing it.
Let's do whatever it takes over the next four years to shine a light on any darkness in our country. We will be ready in 2020 to fight again for a country that used to stand for equality and justice, not hate and blame. I'm all in.