Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The morning after

I have lots of thoughts this morning, and, then again, not all that many.

 “How could the polls be so wrong?’ seems like a popular question. It’s not one I am asking, though. These last few weeks, my singular political concern – balanced by otherwise overwhelming optimism about Dems’ chances – was that we kept seeing polls that read something like: 42/40/5/2 (Clinton/Trump/Johnson/Stein).

Add those numbers up. It equals 89. That stray 11 percent broke harder for Trump in the end. That’s your math, plain and simple. The polls weren’t “wrong.” They were right, at least up until that 11 percent actually had to choose. And they voted for change.

It’s not the sort of change I was looking for – taking away people’s health insurance, going backwards on women’s rights, marriage equality, etc. And it isn’t the kind of candidate I ever could have voted for.

Our side got some big positive changes these last few years on issues that we felt strongly about. Now those changes are in danger.

So we have to work - yes, again - and not just at the federal level. Sometimes we get lost in the notion that the federal government is all there is. But the Supreme Court only defines what your federal constitutional rights are. Individual states can’t drop below that level, but they sure can do a hell of a lot better for you. So while the feds aren’t in a position to do what you want, start looking at state and local races. Start caring about the bigger and the smaller picture.

When the federal (or state or local) government does things you hate these next four years, let ‘em know. Every time. When you see people getting the short end of the stick and a raw deal, speak up. Quiet people that aren’t politically involved don’t get anything done on the issues that matter.

Put differently, this is your wake-up call that politics isn’t something that happens every four years.

I know a lot of you are freaking out. I can’t tell you not to. I can only tell you that I’m not going to join you in that. Someone (Nate Silver?) said that the country is no different at its core than it was a day ago. It’s true. Sure, it’s now politically constituted at the federal level in a way that I’m not pleased with. But I’m not leaving. I’m not quitting. In fact, nothing about me changed on November 8, and I bet that’s true about you too. You love your family and friends just like you did yesterday. So keep loving ‘em and keep doing the right thing. There’s nothing more malleable than politics. But people, for good and bad, don’t change like that.

Hang in there. Keep being the great person you are. Fight the bad stuff. Embrace the good stuff. Get involved. Forward. Always forward.

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