I went to bed shocked last evening—actually, in the early morning hours of today. After the initial vote count, the United States probably has a President-Elect (below), whose words and actions throughout his campaign were—in my and in many people’s view–divisive, hate filled, racist, misogynist, class baiting, degrading, and offensive, undignified, etc.
I cannot understand how that message caused roughly 47.9% of Americans to vote for it and for him—giving him a .6% margin of victory. Somehow, for his supporters, what he was promising must have seemed better than the alternative, her, Hillary. And though one political pundit on the PBS News Hour claimed that he did not so much win as that she lost—in not gaining the support and votes of more minorities and the less educated and low income and more women—I won’t do the blame thing of her here.
To me, Hillary’s message at the Democratic convention reached out to the disenfranchised—promising to build them up. And unfortunately, the efforts of her opponent to demonize Hillary were astoundingly latched onto with a vengeance. So voters whom Hillary hoped to throw a lifeline to, rejected that lifeline and her.
However, I embraced Hillary’s message of hope. “I was with her, because she was for us”—was one tweet I saw said. That was true for me as well. Hillary would have been a great president—and not because it would have been an historic moment for the female gender—168 years after Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, or 240 years after Abigail Adams admonished her husband “to remember the ladies” in 1776 as they began to write the new U.S. Constitution that was ratified in 1789–but because Hillary’s values are to build up and to improve and to work together with stakeholders to make everyone’s lives better. She has the experience of doing just—working for the betterment of society–through her decades of public service and in elected and appointed positions.
And now that dream of her leadership as President for the next term begins to fade. Though there might yet be vote recounts called for, as we saw in 2000 with Al Gore’s candidacy against George Bush. Though the hanging chads have probably been fixed—people using paper ballots color in the ovals these days. So unless there is a box of 1.2 million votes uncounted in a dumpsters somewhere–like the Oscars awards one year–Hillary isn’t going to win the Presidency this go around.
So what now? My husband and others have joked that if this new reality we are now seemingly faced with ever came to pass, we would move to Canada. My hubby and I spent a night in Toronto on our honeymoon, maybe we could say it’s a 28th anniversary trip? Ha!
Yeah, me too. But then, I jolt myself out of that defeatist self talk. I have to. I am not a person who gives in to wallowing about the difficulties in life. That is not because my life is without sorrows, hardships, and adversity—some of them are/were very great and oppressive. But to let them overtake me is not my style.
My best defense has always been my steely resolve to meet each challenge head on—gaining internal strength as I hold my head up high. I am no push over, nor a wallflower. And woe betide anyone who makes that mistake. If someone is a bully, or a thug in a suit—to me or to anyone else—I do not let them get away with it. Period.
And yes, I usually try to think the best of people, to give them the benefit of the doubt, to lead with compassion rather than with anger. That approach is not a weakness. It is a strength. I try “to be the change that I wish to see in the world” (quote from Ghandi, maybe, maybe not). Afterall, I am the Something About Love lady.
When I think about it, nearly half of voters (47.3%) in the U.S. Presidential Election wanted and did vote for the losing candidate, Hillary Clinton– who to me represented the values of decency, experience, leadership, social justice, peace, equity, inclusiveness, humanity, etc. And that is very reaffirming to me.
So I resolve to viewing my glass as being half full, not half empty. Yes, there is much work to be done in the U.S. and the world to work toward eliminating disparities of living circumstances—with safety, nutrition/health, education, and jobs being chief among them.
And I believe that now more than ever, we need an engaged and committed citizenry to put aside our differences and to seek out the commonalities between us–in the hope of bridging the gaps, and tearing down walls–to create a greater understanding, respect, dignity, and valuing of each other.
So I will continue to do my bit in volunteering, donating, and working with our local community organizations (NGO’s—such as the YWCA, Boys & Girls Clubs, etc.–to support children and families, to assist marginalized and at risk individuals to better their situations, and to mentor and befriend individuals who just need a little help and compassion in their lives.
I hope that you also remember that your contributions of time, talent, and/or treasure in your community will also make a difference—because when our individual efforts are coupled with the efforts of others, they become an overwhelming force for good.
Hugs & Love! Grati