I’m sitting here the morning after the election stunned and full of emotion. I’m thinking through all of the labels I’ve had and currently have in my life trying to reconcile the results – political science major, leader of the 4000 member women’s group at my company, ally, mother to daughters, wife to an advocate, and small town alumni.
The town where I grew up was covered in Trump signs. And if you drive through Republic, Ohio, you probably understand why people are seeking change. It’s struggling. While I’m saddened that someone has been elected who has degraded nearly every class of humans who haven’t accompanied him into his ivory tower, the results point to a country that is seeking change. Dan Rather’s line sums it up perfectly – the silent, but vocal majority have spoken.
For me, the past 8 years of my life have been the best years of my life. We bought our first home, I’ve started and stayed with a Fortune 100 company, my husband has received tenure at our alma mater, and we have had two beautiful and intelligent little girls. None of this happened by chance. When I get the “I’m so lucky” soundtrack in my head I snap myself out of it and remind myself that I got here because I have been working hard since I was a kid, supported myself through undergraduate and graduate degrees, done great work at the companies I have worked for and been a good citizen of my communities. I live a good life.
I don’t do this to brag. I do this to say we are all in charge of our own destinies. As far as destiny and the presidential election go, I’m going to have to sit on the sidelines for a while figuring out what role I play in the next four years of what our country will go through. I need to take this time because I was utterly unprepared for the majority of Americans to vote for someone who would not even get hired for a job at my company, let alone run our country. If you are in the same camp as me, let’s brainstorm together.
For those of you who are triumphing because your agent of change was elected, I need you to be part of this change. You clearly had a motive to vote for your candidate. There are things going on in your life and community that aren’t great and need to be made great again. Please do something about it. Change is slow. Don’t get through the next four years and blame your agent of change for not delivering on his promises if you haven’t gotten into the trenches to do your part. My only ask while you are in the trenches is to fight for what you need to make your life great again. Don’t fight to take away from others what they have been fighting their whole lives to earn.