I began writing a post on Election Day, and since then, I’ve attempted to begin again, but I’m finding it to be a challenge. Should I write about my emotional response? Should I catalog the events? It’s hard to explain the shift that is happening, and this has never been a terribly political space.
I think perhaps I will save those details for conversation, and I must admit that this is partially an act of cowardice. Conversations are fluid, and when I encounter new ideas, I can modify my own. I can adjust as my perspective shifts and the facts emerge. Part of me hesitates to write down the emotional response or the series of events, because I know that they are an imperfect snapshot – maybe a glimpse of my political ignorance, my white privilege. It would be easy to find fault with my response.
So instead, I will say this: the election was a wake up call. It revealed to me my own complacency and made me question the motives and character of my fellow Americans. It was strange to wake up one morning, taking for granted a whole series of suppositions: that we lived in a country that honored everyone’s right to marry, that recognized a woman’s need to govern her own body, that struggled but ultimately chose to value diversity. I’m embarrassed to even admit that these were my suppositions, because since the election, people who have been along the front lines of these civil rights issues could have told to me about the sincere obstacles they were facing, had I only been asking and listening. I chose to believe that people were mostly good, and given the opportunity, they would make choices that benefited everyone and not just themselves.
I still believe in everyone’s capacity for goodness, but I have since been forced to acknowledge also our capacity for ignorance, selfishness, fear, and hate. I believe a man was able to mobilize a group of people – many of them ignored and hurting – by appealing to these lesser and more malevolent capacities.
So here are some of the things that have helped me make sense of this election:
- Michael Moore’s eerie prediction that Trump Will Win.
- Krista Tippet’s interview of Ruby Sales, Where Does it Hurt?
- A funny and disturbing illumination of the Electoral College.
And here are some of the places I look to for information and ways to participate:
- Southern Poverty Law Center
- Sierra Club
- Bernie Sanders
- Asking my friends to inform me about rallies, protests, or volunteer events (because I’m just not a Facebooker).
For my next post, I’ll be returning to reports on family life and the girls, but I also felt that I needed to acknowledge this event in our lives. I hope that it inspires us to love harder and speak up for the things in which we believe.