The results of this election are a wakeup call for America. Now, I have to admit that anything is possible. Maybe, hopefully, the misogyny, bigotry, and fear that we saw from Trump during the election won’t be what we see from his presidency.
This election was about gender, class, race, personal liberty, and fear. I thought we were quickly progressing on some of those issues. I’m coming to recognize that my community significantly influences my perception.
In Colorado we recently supported civil unions for same-sex couples; we allowed medical marijuana and the legalized it all together; this year we passed the End-of-Life-Options Act (an adaptation of assisted suicide); home prices have soared (though so has rent); and the job market is very strong. I see these things as progress. Many people do not. Last night, we learned that many people may not even be considering such things–they have much bigger problems, whether real or imagined.
Around the country, there is a strong, different sentiment among a significant portion of the people. We need to recognize that equality for many groups of our population has a long way to go. Those of us who see the good things in this country need to share them with others. We must also be vigilant and ready to stand up for the freedoms that we believe in, for ALL PEOPLE. Is Donald Trump the person to lead us down this road? His campaign rhetoric is dubious.
CNN analyst Van Jones put it perfectly: “People have talked about a miracle ― I’m hearing about a nightmare,” Jones said on CNN. “It’s hard to be a parent tonight for a lot of us. You tell your kids, ‘Don’t be a bully.’ You tell your kids, ‘Don’t be a bigot.’ You tell your kids, ‘Do your homework and be prepared.’ Then you have this outcome, and you have people putting children to bed tonight and they’re afraid of breakfast.
“They’re afraid of, ‘How do I explain this to my children?’ I have Muslim friends who are texting me tonight saying, ‘Should I leave the country?’ I have families of immigrants that are terrified tonight.”
Tonight, I read Words are Not for Hurting to my daughter. That seemed apropos.
A lot has changed for me. I acted and spoke much more like Trump until my mid-20s. I had to have a deep spiritual experience, a complete psychic change, to move past those prejudices. I am not proud of some of the things I did and said, but I’ve learned from them and grown from them. I hope others can too.
Nonetheless, I am sad for my wife and daughters (our first is a 19 months old and our second is due in January). Maybe she wouldn’t have understood, but I was anxious to tell my daughter about the first female President in U.S. history and that anything is possible for my daughter’s future. Of course, anything is still possible.
I’m also concerned about the potential dismantling of programs that are trying to bring our nation and world ahead, such as expanding broadband access and improving climate change.
To lesser extent, I’m concerned about regressing human rights: freedom of speech; access to education, equal pay and rights for women; access to healthcare; LGBTQ equality; etc.
Why to a lesser extent? Those things are much bigger than one person. And some of them, life affordable education, have been imploding long before Trump came on the political scene. I also continue to have faith that we will move forward. Every time humankind has been pushed to the brink of disaster, we have adapted and improved.
Now is the time for deep faith: in the Constitution; in our family, friends, and neighbors; and in whatever version of God we trust. Change is up to each one of us. Each of us needs to be the love, truth, support, and progress that we want to see in the world.