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.
Thank you for your thoughtful and encouraging post Carol. I will refer to it often to keep myself engaged with our country’s best interests.
I’m glad the post resonated. I almost called it “Letter to Self” to help my own need for encouragement. I didn’t get into specific policies but will remain watchful and mindful.
Well said Carol. I have tried to keep out of the political scene this year after it just got so out of control and downright ugly. And now I feel it is time to put all of that behind us and move forward.
Thank you, Judy. I watched the news, read online, and pretty much stayed away from FB posts. Also hoping the country moves on and the government starts to deal with the issues at hand.
You really ‘nailed it’ with this piece. You made sense of the complexity and torment of this electoral season. I hope the younger generations (younger than me–“The Silent Generation” understand that they need to show up and become a force to be reckoned with. They need to be the change they complain about. Thanks for thinking this through–for people like me! 🙂
Yes, the adage – Be the change you want to see – comes to mind. Glad the post “talked” to you and thank you for stopping by.
I also need to express in writing what’s going on with me. In the article that was published on the Opinion Page, I wrote I will support women’s rights, LBGT community and the environment. I will do this with writing, donations and conversation. Enjoyed your take on all this.
Thank you for your thoughts. We go with our values and beliefs. Putting our thoughts in writing, whether on the Opinion Page (kudos) or in a blog, helps confirm and clarify our views to others and ourselves. Glad you found something here that spoke to you.
Thanks, Carol. You’re a little more sanguine than I, so I appreciate much what you say. I also think–silly as it sounds but Norman Cousins & personal experience convince me–that in order to stay well now I have to find things to laugh at, especially big belly laughs to keep the healthy juices flowing. No tickling, of course.
So true. A sense of humor definitely helps us navigate many a situation, even though the undercurrent may be swift and/or unpredictable. Now we have to see how the big boys are going to swim. Okay, no tickling.
Wish I had read this earlier as it is a very inspiring post after such an awful campaign and outcome. I think I am politically weary of the UKs politics and the Brexit blues and the awful rise in hate crimes. You are right we have to remain alert and strong to ensure the values we hold dear are not torn apart by political blundering and far right thinking.
I recovered from my “political weariness,” albeit slowly, and am now following the actions of our President-Elect. Your final sentence gets to the heart of this new world of politics and “change.” I feel like we are ships being tossed about in a bad storm, waiting for the weather to clear.
Good way to express it and I feel for you as the Brexit division here is still quite toxic and yes the ‘change’ that really is needed seems even further away. But storms do blow out eventually.
That painting is so beautiful and helps lift my mood too.
Yes, something about the use of color in the painting and the idea of rain being able to cleanse the landscape and our ability to “weather the weather” seems to fit. Glad you liked it, too. Thank you for stopping by!
Yes, strangely with all the toxic news I took to creating an art gallery to look at before going to sleep. And if I woke in the night I would try to just visualise it. It was more restful then letting thoughts go mad. I shall add this one to the gallery. It has an impact.
I like this quote by Pablo Picasso: Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. >
Ah. Yes that is apt and well put! And helps me wash away the clutter to sleep better!