My Thoughts on the Election

As I walked home from the voting station yesterday, I turned excitedly to my friend and said, “I’m so excited that at this time tomorrow, we’re going to have our first female president!”

I saw it as a huge sign of progress that our country was going to elect a female president, and not just any female president–an extremely qualified candidate with vast experience representing the US all over the world.

Well, that didn’t happen.

I’ve been mulling over my thoughts all day, and here’s what I have:

  • This is how a democracy works. When people vote on something, some people are going to get what they want, and others won’t. I’m proud to live in a democratic country, and I accept the results of the election. I’ll still fight in my daily life and my business for the values, principles, ethics, and morals I believe in, but I can do that while also respecting our democratic system.
  • I know a lot less about Americans than I thought I did. But I want to. I may not agree with the 60 million people who voted for Trump, but they’re my fellow Americans, and I want to understand them better.
  • Just because Trump has said bigoted, sexist, and racist things doesn’t mean that he’ll enact bigoted, sexist, and racist legislature. That is my hope. In the meantime, I really hope he stops saying those things.
  • Just because Trump has said bigoted, sexist, and racist things doesn’t mean his supporters are bigoted, sexist, and racist. It’s important for me to remember this as I seek to better understand my fellow Americans.
  • My biggest concern is how Trump will represent the US to the rest of the world. Words have a huge impact on foreign relations.

I’m shocked, disappointed, and worried, especially for minorities, women, refugees, immigrants, the LGBT community, and those of non-Christian faith.

But I’m also hopeful. I’m hopeful that my worries are overblown. I’m hopeful that love will prevail over hate. I’m hopeful that Trump does more good than harm. I’m hopeful that our system of checks and balances works as designed. And I’m hopeful that Trump takes this responsibility seriously–that he realizes that being a president is about a lot more than getting a crowd riled up.

One addition: I thought Seth Myers said something really well in this video: “I felt a lot of emotions last night and into today. Some sadness, some anger, some fear. But I’m also aware that those are the same emotions that a lot of Trump supporters felt, emotions that led them to make their choice. It would be wrong for me to think that my emotions are somehow more authentic than their emotions. We’re always better as a society when we have empathy for one another.”

I’ll check back in 4 years to see how this turns out.