This post comes from a letter I sent to a friend in response to an email she sent in solidarity after the Presidential election. I was a strong, loud advocate for Hillary Clinton, and the loss served a crushing blow to my spirit and patriotism. But in my free-flow response, I found a glimmer of hope and an inkling of a plan. I hope you find the same. - KC
I am completely crushed - crushed for we working women, many of whom still deal with sexism, unequal pay, and higher standards of performance than our male peers.
I am crushed for my Latino, Asian and African American friends, whose skin serves as a permanent badge of courage and physical reason for discrimination.
I am crushed for my Muslim friends, who only seek lives of political peace and the freedom to worship – the same ideals sought by those who landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620.
I am crushed for my LGBTQ friends, who in the past year and a half have reveled in the freedom to marry and enjoy other legal protections that straight couples have taken for granted for centuries.
I am crushed for people with disabilities, people who are low income, seniors, and the children of our nation. These groups have the least influence and fewest resources, and because they do not greatly contribute to our nation’s ledger of business, their needs will be disregarded and raided to give the wealthiest even more.
But the sadness I felt last night, and the despondency I felt this morning, it is turning into a new feeling: anger. Anger because of things beyond my control like the Electoral College, and rage at a voting constituency – nearly half our nation – with whom I cannot identify.
But the Democratic Party is the group to which I have assigned the lion’s share of my ire. The party needs to wake up and really evaluate how we can achieve rousing success at the ballot box.
The Obama candidacy woke a nation – the millennials, the African Americans, the progressives, and it was because it provided the constituency with an awe inspiring alternative to the status quo. And as much as I will still say that “ImWithHer,” the HRC campaign was not nearly as emotional. It was smart and thoughtful, and Hillary Clinton did her best to include a few of Bernie Sanders’ planks in her platform, but this go around was still old guard, establishment politics at its finest.
I don’t know if someone completely outside of the establishment is what we need, but it is clear that’s what the people wanted this election. And so here we are, bracing and holding our collective breaths, waiting to see whether the end is really nigh.
This anger, though. I have a glimmer of a plan. I intend to get even more ingrained in local politics. Not as a candidate – but as a volunteer, advocate, and donor. I cannot sit back and let local politics experience a similar, fearful fate. And I hope my active neighbors will do the same. If we can revitalize our neighborhoods and street corners, perhaps we can ignite a small but mighty movement that carries on to Washington.
In two years, we will vote on every U.S. Representative seat, a third of all Senate seats, and 36 of 50 governorships. November 6, 2018 is a big day to hold Washington accountable for what transpires during the next two years. And after that race, I fully expect we’ll learn which Democratic candidate(s) want to take a run at taking back the White House.
And I will be ready to fight.
Until then I am going to try and save more of my money, keep an eye on the DJIA and add more to my 401(k) designation when the Dow drops. And I’m going to spend more time talking to my neighbors – really getting to know the people who live near me, shop at my neighborhood grocery, and work at the local businesses.
It’s time to mend fences, build relationships and discover that we have more in common with our neighbors than we have differences.
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