Post-Election Blues: Reflections and a Call for Action

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The day after the presidential elections, many of us have been left wondering what happened. For example, it is hard to comprehend that the first Black president will be handing over the White House to a president-elect who was enthusiastically endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan. Some Americans, including my 10 year old son, are talking about moving to Canada.

Many more are afraid they are about to inhabit an America that no longer has a place for them at the table, just when they were beginning to feel as though they were being or could be included. It has been a lot to take in for half of the American population, while the other half is celebrating the potential for change with a president-elect who is promising jobs and the repeal of many of President Obama’s policies.

It is hard not to feel overwhelmed by the totality of the situation. However, I would argue that this is the perfect time for change, and now more than ever is the time to fight for it. In 2008, after President Obama was elected many Americans believed we had entered a post-racial America. If there is one thing that has come out of the 2016 presidential election, it is the recognition that we are not as inclusive as many had hoped. Racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and misogyny are alive and well.

Although this is bad news, it is also good news.

This is because the first step of working towards a solution is recognizing that there is a problem.

Now that we can admit we are far from being post anything, let’s take the next step together and begin to work for the change we want to see. Get back out there and find a cause that is near and dear to you. There are many nonprofits that are going to need our help in the coming years, for example, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.

There also are opportunities to get involved in politics by supporting a candidate that shares your values or perhaps volunteering to be a poll worker for the next election. There are only a little over 700 days until the midterm election, and just over 1400 days until the 2020 presidential election. Now is the time to dig down deep and find your motivation to get back out there while the sting of this election is still fresh.

My motivation is the desire to create a more inclusive America for my two young sons, where diversity is celebrated and not feared. What is your motivation, and how will you work towards creating a more inclusive America? Please take the time to comment and share your ideas.

Danielle McDonald
Hopeful American

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