"F*CK!NG MORONS!" were the first words out of my mouth this morning in Israel when a Canadian in our shared dorm asked me if the results were in yet. But politics start with people. So now we need to be people.
I am currently abroad, and have been for 19 months. I have spent a good majority of that time on my own version of a Trump apology tour. I have had robust political discussions in 40 countries with people from all over the world. Today, I am left confused.
I spent the morning diving into the results. Elated to finally see the ever-corrupt Joe Arpaio FINALLY unseated as sheriff in Maricopa County. Over the moon to see a passionate and smart friend and former classmate, Sean Bowie, elected to the Arizona State Senate. Moved to see Minnesota seat a Somali-American leader, Ihan Omar. Proud to have helped legalize physician assisted suicide in Colorado.
Some really good things happened yesterday. Some not so great things happened yesterday.
I spent the morning thanking international friends for their sweet condolence messages. I spent the morning figuring out how to buy gold and realizing that I really should have done that yesterday. I spent the morning holding back tears and curse words, or behind my sunglasses when I couldn't.
I'm not tearing up because my candidate lost. I'm tearing up because I'm mad. I'm disappointed. I'm afraid.
I have never been afraid of my passport before today.
First, we'll console ourselves sharing Tweets and memes that are funny, but cringe-worthy in their truth. The immigration websites for Canada and New Zealand have crashed, so obviously people have started their research. Markets are reacting to uncertainty in the way they always do - by plummeting.
And then we might have ourselves mini pity parties. And that's fine. Pity parties are ok. But don't let them get out of control. Walter Bond has a great pesrpective on pity parties.
My Facebook feed is filled with heartbreak and messages of "congrats" to whatever pithy term the poster has chosen to call Trump voters.
We can't hope that Trump voters get what they deserve. Because that means we get what they deserve. And the world gets what those voters deserve.
Don't be sore losers and try "I told you so" or try guilting people or anything like that. We have an election system in this country and it has its flaws, but it is what it is. If you aren't happy about it, change it.
Sarcasm and name calling and memes do not protect our rights. We do.
So now we get to work.
Now we work our asses off to make Trump's presidency mean something. For it to be great. For HIM to be great. Not because he deserves it, but because it isn't just to punish the country, the environment and the world because we're mad that we didn't win. We don't pick up our toys and go home.
We don't stop. We don't let up because we "lost." We keep working for the rights and the society that we, our parents, our grandparents and their parents have worked to create. To continue to craft communities that we can be proud of. To be seen as leaders not ecause of our GDP, but because of our humanity.
To my black friends and gay friends and Muslim friends and female friends and othered friends, I do not weep for you. I work for you. I work with you. I stand behind, beside and up for you.
"Stronger together" is not just a campaign slogan to me. It is how we move forward. If we have learned anything from DAPL, it is the power of people standing for what's right and standing their ground.
Months ago, I wrote about the importance of voting character over platform (a message that was clearly not received) as a reminder that policy has a balance system and POTUS does not control it. On inauguration day, all of our fears don't come true just because the candidate we don't want is sworn in. Of course, the power shift in Congress does nothing to ease those fears.
The progress that has been made on human rights, on climate change, on corporate accountability, cannot be undone. I have a body and will choose what will be done with it, I have a heart and will choose whom to love with it and I have a planet and will choose to protect it. There is too much at stake to get distracted because we're mad.
We are going to disagree. And that is a GOOD thing. But we need to learn how to disagree better. I wrote about that here. Or you can just listen to Kid President.
We must hold Trump accountable to being the man that he claims to have changed in to - to being a man worthy of the office he will soon hold. We must hold Congress accountable to the oaths they will take. The media to do better. Ourselves to do better.
We have a lot to work on and it's going to take all of us being able to work together, not worry about who was right and wrong and won and lost.
No blaming, just fixing. Obama said don't boo, vote. So now it's time that we don't whine, we work.
[and because we've all been through enough in the last 24 hours, here's a Ryan Gosling meme.]
About the Author: Jessica is a full-time traveler on a mission to visit every country in world, sharing her trip, pictures, video, stories and observations at /www.howdareshe.org/"}}">How Dare She. Follow her on /instagram.com/jess_ismore"}}">Instagram or /www.snapchat.com/add/jess_ismore"}}">Snapchat (jess_ismore) to see the whole world through her eyes [slash camera].