Be The Change. I Mean Cry First, But Then Be The Change

We're Americans, and Americans don't give up.

We're Americans, and Americans don't give up.

We will not be having our first woman president and I, for one, must grieve. A dream deferred. American women, once again on the wrong side of the glass ceiling.

I don’t have the intestinal fortitude to go into why. I can’t do the post-game analysis on who and what went wrong. I don’t have the strength to look back. Today I will shed my tears and then…

Then I have to get to the business of being American.

I’ve always loved the line from the movie The American President where (fictional) president Shepherd says “America is advanced citizenship.” It’s entirely true. Participatory democracy doesn't begin or end in a voting booth. We are all granted the right to petition our government for redress of grievances. It says so right there in the First Amendment. 

Now is the time to do that. 

If you feel like I do this morning, it may feel like your whole soul has been encased in cement, too heavy and weary to take flight for a cause. But we all voted out of an abundance of passion for the issues, and those issues have not changed. If anything, many of those issues are more pressing now that we know who has his hands on the reins in the White House, who is controlling the House and the Senate. We, the informed electorate, the advanced citizens, are the ones who need to step up and keep doing the work of looking out for each other. 

We recognize Trump as the president-elect, and like Clinton encouraged everyone so graciously yesterday, we will approach him with an open mind and give him the chance to lead. If she can do it, we can too. That's democracy. But it doesn't mean surrender.

If you do nothing else in response to the election, take a moment to find a group dedicated to furthering the cause of you heart. Put your name on their mailing list and join the movement. Teach yourself to advocate for the issues, not just vote for the candidates. Make a list of names of lawmakers who represent you and get to know them and their records. Save their contact information. Reach out to them whenever you want to be heard.

It’s your right. Listening is their responsibility. If they fail to act, try again. Then again. 

There’s no shame in letting the tears fall. There’s no shame in hurting. I’m hurting right there with you. My heart is broken. But I know that, for the sake of my children, and your children, for People of Color, for the LGBTQ community, for the impoverished, and the disabled, I can’t let my broken heart mean a surrender to a broken ideal. 

Let us be the change we want to see in the world, friends. 

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