My candidate didn’t win. This is a democracy. We held an election. I voted. I lost. I ranted and raved and pouted. I commiserated with others. Both candidates were far from perfect. They made mistakes, had some questionable behaviors, and had policies you had to look at and balance with your own values and beliefs.
We survived over a year of an atypical political campaign. It was exhausting, but it had upticks. More citizen discussion. Heavy voter participation. More airing of issues needing to be addressed in our society. Good political technique and finesse weren’t always strong points. Careless, inflammatory rhetoric was used, which unveiled some unsettling behavior and beliefs. Old political campaign techniques from polling to internal organization got a surprise. New techniques appeared. The insider and the outsider were put to the test.
The media and its use in all forms inundated us. I switched among the news channels trying to get a reading. From CNN to MSNBC to FoxNews to C-Span. I can’t remember the pundit who said this on one of the programs but I found it timely: FDR used the radio, JFK used TV, Barak Obama used the internet, and Donald Trump used Twitter.
So now what do I do? I will hope. I will hope for wisdom within the new administration and a smooth transition of power. I also will be alert as to how that power is used. I’ll follow who becomes a staffer and a Cabinet member. Going forward, I hope the two parties can work toward beneficial solutions in policy and diplomacy.
I know some things probably won’t change. Popular versus electoral college vote raises its head. It would be nice to see objective and nonpartisan appointments to the Supreme Court. Campaigns begin lofty but always seem to end up the opposite.
So I ask again. Now what? Hopefully, there will be wise negotiations in trade and in our country’s interaction with other countries of the world. There will be a strong economy with jobs and affordable health insurance. I’m looking for fair immigration policies. (Both my husband and I are the children of immigrants.) I’m looking for tax reform and taking care of our planet, its natural resources, and its climate changes. I’m looking for ways to honor and care for our veterans. I’m looking for inclusion and for measures to improve the lives of families, women, and minorities. Who wouldn’t? The thing to watch now is how it is done, if it is done. The two parties offered different strategies and promises. The winner now has to deliver.
What will I do? I will continue to live by my values and ideals. I won’t condone bigotry. I won’t support exclusion within our society. I won’t support proposed legislations limiting or discriminating against women. I will support the right to peaceful protest to draw attention to a cause, to make sure government is aware of people’s thoughts and needs. Flag burning, violence, and vandalism I don’t support. They disturb me.
I will be watchful for separation of church and state. Uniform laws of the land supersede religious laws which vary from belief system to belief system. Constitutional law protects all of us and all of our religious beliefs. We coexist under that umbrella. I hope the character values of honesty, integrity, and empathy are at a person’s forefront, whatever the religious belief.
I will look to the arts – to our playwrights, artists, writers, songwriters, and musicians – to capture and record, to reflect and peer into the future, to reach into the heart, to explore the darkness, and to lift us up.
I will stay involved and work through my knee-jerk reactions and emotionalism to try to think and evaluate. I’ll read. I’ll watch the news channels and vote in local, state, and federal elections. I won’t be complacent or lose my sense of humor. I will remain uninterested in being mean or unkind. I’ll look for what’s best for the country I love and for its people, of which I am one.