09
Nov
16

Random thoughts regarding the 2016 election

1. The results of this election do not reflect the feelings and opinions of everyone in this country. The majority of the people who voted, voted not for Trump. Many of those would have voted for Bernie, and I believe some who voted for Trump would have voted for Bernie given the chance. The fact remains that the majority of eligible voters in this country did not vote, and for that they should be deeply ashamed. The government can only speak for you if you speak first.

2. Hillary let us down. She failed to tap into the anger, worry, and frustration of many, and she failed to counter adequately Donald’s messages of fear, hate, and prejudice. We can blame some of that on an unwillingness or inability of some to listen, discern, parse an argument, or investigate the basis for the things they were being told or for what they believe to be true. But the fact remains that there were things she could have, should have, said, and she didn’t. I imagine Bill, Huma, might be contemplating with great regret how their own personal circumstances and mistakes might have contributed to this. I feel great sadness for them, too.

3. Both parties let us down. Everybody underestimated Trump, and none of the people who could have done more to listen and react did enough of either; or if they tried, they tried too late. People say we get the government we deserve. While I might feel this is a government I personally don’t deserve, nor anyone who voted otherwise, the fact remains that not enough people voted, too many people voted against their own interests, and the DNC made a call that we will all live to regret. Hopefully everyone learns from their mistakes and we do better next time. If only millennials had voted, we would be facing a different result today. Let’s support them in their belief in unity, fairness, decency, human rights, and religious and gender equality.

4. It’s not over until it’s over. And by this I don’t hold to some delusion that they will finally finish counting Michigan and she will win. But that Roe v. Wade is law, gay marriage is law, millions of people have had health insurance who didn’t have it before and will hopefully demand that they don’t lose it now, and there are still things that can be done to help preserve the important steps this country has taken over the past few years. Many claim that it was time for a “change” vote, even people who are interviewed and claim that things are actually going fine for them, but they think it’s time to shake things up. While this might not make a lot of sense, the tendency for “change” votes is well documented, and again, she could have made an argument about what she WOULD change — truly addressing people’s fear of economic or political disenfranchisement, for example. People want passion, conviction, something to believe in; she relied on rational arguments, and some people just don’t work that way. We might not like it, but it’s true. But we can do community service, donate to Planned Parenthood and climate science, strive for clean energy and efficient use of our own resources, and become voices for the voiceless. Of course, all of this assumes that Trump doesn’t abandon NATO and Europe to the Russians or launch us into WW3.

5. Finally, we are still, always, stronger together. Let’s find ways to embrace those who feel left out, or afraid. Let’s make sure everyone knows that this does not necessarily represent us. And let’s find ways to make it better.

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