Friday, November 11, 2016

We Are America

This week has been hard. I am not sure I have yet processed the election results and what that will mean for our country. I am still stunned. I am confused.

But I shouldn't be.

I have lived in blue states - hello California and Oregon friends!

I have lived in countries that speak Spanish and spent a college semester in a beautiful little hamlet in Germany.

I live in a red state, and an even redder county of Wisconsin.

I have collected friends along the way. My Facebook timeline is evidence of the diversity of thought and experience which is why I love Facebook. Except during this election season. During this election season Facebook went from a place where I saw pictures of my friends' kids growing up way to fast and reading stories of faith and struggle and discovery to the place where I discovered that my friends who I love were seeing the election that looked so black and white, right and wrong, as not grey but the exact opposite of me.

Where I saw hate mongering, they saw policies that mattered to them. Where they saw duplicity, I saw a willingness to address the issues of race and gender and identity. Where I saw inadequacy, they saw willingness to buck the system and speak truth. Where they saw pandering, I saw growth and a willingness to listen and learn and change.

I have friends who voted for Secretary Clinton. They voted their conscience. They voted for issues that are important to them. They voted for pay equity and a breaking of the glass ceiling. They voted for a President who would talk about implicit bias, fight for healthcare for all, fund college education and protect women's rights to their bodies. They voted for experience. They voted for a person they trusted.

I have friends who voted for President Elect Trump. They voted their conscience. They voted for gun rights, law and order, immigration enforcement. They voted for a President who would say the hard things, fight for the little man, support the military and protect unborn children. They voted for a Washington outsider. They voted for a person they trusted.

I respect my friends on both sides.

But, and this is the big but, I expect all of us to hold our leaders to America's ideals. To protect the few from the many when they want to cause harm. To think big and wide and create a world of hope and exploration and creativity and chance taking. To protect free speech, free worship, free assembly, free press, and the right to petition our government when we have things we want changed. To remember that we are the country of equality for all.

The Constitution is bigger than this election. The American ideals are bigger than this election. They are not a platform. They are not exclusive to one party, one candidate.

We don't have to stop fighting for our issues, for our beliefs, for our dreams for America.

We continue to move forward, as Americans, always working toward making things better.