"Son of a bitch, give me a drink"
I think this pretty much sums up election night 2016. Regardless of candidate choice, drinks were drunk - in celebration and commiseration. The question is - are you ready to put down the bottle? Because whether your candidate won or lost - we're in it for the long haul.
"Meet the new boss...same as the old boss"
Did you know only one half of our entire nation actually VOTED in the election? And only HALF of them voted for either major party candidate? So that means just about 25% voted Trump, and 25% voted Clinton - and 50% said "None of this is for me" and opted out. Why? Alienation? Discrimination? Disenfranchisement? No matter but the fact remains that less than half of the nation felt the candidates were running "for them." And that's pretty depressing.
"Darkness has a hunger that's insatiable - and lightness has a call that's hard to hear"
So, no matter what side you were on - this election was ugly. Politicians hurling mud and we the people slinging it back at each other. Not sure about you but I was pretty tired of the whole thing long before Nov 8th actually arrived. Everywhere I turned, there is was. Truth and fiction intermingled. And social media was front and center as it all went down. The end cost? Lack of tolerance. From both sides. People were talking and they weren't saying nice things. Brother turned on brother, mother on child, all in the name of politics. For what? To say "I'm right and you're wrong?" It perpetuates half truths and serves to fan the flames and feed the hate machine. It needs to stop.
"Haters gonna hate, hate, hate"
We've had enough hate. Hate from our candidates. Hate from each other. It doesn't help. It only drives us further apart in a time when we desperately need to come together. And while I want this post to be a-political - there is no denying that misogyny, bigotry and racism had a huge role in this election. It's discouraging to hear people parrot hate speak. It's really scary that the President elect has support and endorsement from the KKK - a long standing hate group. How can we represent all the people of our country equally when our soon to be leader has given validation to backwards thoughts and beliefs that were once, and should remain, taboo? We cannot move forward as a united country when many of our citizens are fearful for their safety and way of life. THIS worries me, and it should worry you too.
"The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men."
I am no Samuel L Jackson - hell I'm not even Jules - but I can see the road in front of us and it is gnarly. There is no doubt the path is littered with all sorts of inequities. And it's our job as citizens of this country - and brothers and sisters of each other - to come together and end it.
We have to become the righteous man.
We have to stop the senseless and endless infighting. We have to step away from our phones, and our computers, and start figuring out how to communicate with each other. And I don't mean theoretically. "Liking" and "sharing" posts that fit your world view to followers that also share your world view isn't taking action. It isn't "being better" or "sharing knowledge." It's just mindless distraction. We need to go beyond that to real action. It's time.
"Well, it ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe. Even you don't know by now"
So, can we all agree that we've had enough time to play the "What the heck happened" game? We've had a week plus to ask the questions, look at the stats and wonder how the noob managed to beat the OG. And honestly - it's pointless.
It's time to look forward.
Let's start with "us" because that is where real change happens. What speaks to your heart? Take that and champion it. Donate your time, your money or your talent. Whatever works best for you. But do something beyond clicks and shares and irate posts on FB.
Do some soul searching. How can you be better? Every. Single. Day? It doesn't have to be huge - small change can make a big impact. Strive to give your best at work. When out in public hold doors, say please and thank you - smile at strangers. If you see something that isn't right - speak up! Don't let silence be mistaken for compliance.
It's on all of us now. Because we the people have the real power make a difference. Always remember that the only person you can truly control is yourself. So when frustrated and angry and feeling like it's all for not - think of that - and be the change you want to see.
Take your passion and put it to good use.
Take your love and give it freely.
Take your time and share it wisely.
We can do hard things - and we can do them together.