Normally, I can accept an election loss and move along with daily life. Focus on the positive, try to make some kind of impact in the little bit of world around me.
But there’s nothing normal about the presidential election of 2016. And there is nothing normal about today.
While being fairly closely connected to politics for over a decade now, I have never – ever – cried over a lost election.
Today I cry, not because I am a ‘sore loser’ (trust me, many elections have not gone my way). Today I cry because I’m so very sad for so many people. For my kids, for my dear friends and family. For complete strangers. I’m sad for all of us struggling to make sense of what’s happened. Struggling to find the good. Struggling to rise above hate. Struggling to see a way we can move forward together.
Maybe your candidate won. And if so, I am happy for you. It’s truly amazing to feel that your voice was heard. But today, so many feel they have been silenced.
So let’s for one moment, put judgement aside and truly listen to why.
Today so many of our fellow Americans, from all sides of politics and for all sorts of reasons, are scared. They’re scared their families may be broken apart. Scared their rights will be stripped away simply because of who they love. Scared their healthcare will be denied when they need it the most. Scared they won’t be able to make their own choices for their own bodies. Scared their daughters will face a world of increasingly condoned objectification and dismissed assault. Scared any progress they’ve worked so hard to make in the past few years will be null and void. Scared they will be targeted because of the color of their skin – and that it will be done legally. Scared they will be hated. Scared they will be persecuted for their political beliefs. Scared that the divide created during this election will be too deep to repair.
Some see this as melodramatic. These fears aren’t valid, we are overreacting. But please understand that whether you feel them or not, for many these fears are very real. Sparked by real promises and promenades made along the campaign trail.
This is not overreacting. This is reality. And this is why so many of us are crying today.
But tomorrow, tomorrow is a new day.
Tomorrow I promise to wake up with true resolve to focus on the good. Drop my babies off at school thankful they are safe, happy and getting an amazing education. Tomorrow I will sit down at work, grateful to be there. Tomorrow I will rekindle the optimistic spark that pushes us to try harder, to right wrongs, to be kind, to give back, to help others, to be respectful, to care.
But today, along with many of you, today I will let myself cry.