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Sad, Mad, & Motivated

Two days after the election, each time I hear the words “President-elect Donald Trump” it hits me hard, and I keep hoping/wondering/waiting for someone to tell me that it is a joke, or the end of a particularly bad dream.

But it’s neither a joke, nor a dream. It is our reality that while a majority of people in the United States voted for Hillary Clinton, the electoral college math didn’t work in her favor.

So I’m sad. Sad about the opportunity missed. Sad about the story that could have been told. Sad that I didn’t get the one thing I wanted most for my birthday – a smart, educated, experienced woman to serve as our nation’s leader.

And I’m mad. I’ll admit that each time I heard an analyst say “educated white women in Florida voted for Trump,” I cringed. And yelled. And considered flying down south to find out what the hell they were thinking.

While there are those in my network of friends and family I was not surprised to find are ardent Trump supporters, there are a few that caught me off guard. But I’m not going to rail at them, or question their decision – instead, I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they see something I don’t.

And I’m not going to unfriend, or mute, or unfollow – I’m going to do my best to listen, to observe and try to understand. Because I hope they made the right choice. I hope I was wrong.

In the meantime I’m not going to protest, or set things on fire, or declare he is “not my president.” Because the peaceful transfer of power is one of the things that makes our country great.

But I’m also not going to be quiet. I’m going to continue to work with my husband to raise a strong, confident, capable woman and man. And I’m going to rejoice when they express concerns about issues that, frankly, won’t impact them directly but still fill them with fear for others.

I’m going to continue to lead my daughter’s Girl Scout troop, passing along the message that they can do whatever, and be whoever, they want. I’m going to continue to speak at, and support attendees of, Women in Banking conferences, sharing my experience as a business owner, mom, and woman trying to make my way in the world.

And I’m going to be “nastier” than before. If anything, this election season has helped me embrace my inner feminist, and made me recognize how lucky/privileged is the life we lead, and how that puts on us the responsibility and privilege of helping others.

This morning I gave a little money to the Massachusetts Chapter of Planned Parenthood. Tomorrow, the kids and I are going to get strategic – I am going to set aside a budget from which they and I will determine what organizations we want to support, both locally and nationally, and we are going to put our money to work. Then, we will figure out how to contribute to those organizations, as well as others in our community, on an ongoing basis.

Because we aren’t going to boo. We aren’t going to dismiss. We are going to help. And support. And stand up for what’s right. Because we are stronger, and better, together.

5 thoughts on “Sad, Mad, & Motivated

  1. I was angry and depressed yesterday. I couldn’t process this. How do I call Trump my president? With his stance on women, and everyone else, how can he work in Americans best interest? Since I live in a mostly white bubble, I’ve been listening to different podcasts from marginalized groups to help get a better picture of America as a whole. The podcast “See something say something” is a buzzfeed podcast hosted by a diverse group of American Muslims. They brought up a good point that as white people, we have the chance to talk to Trump supporters instead of calling them bad people, which I’ve really wanted to do, but didn’t. I really feel betrayed by women right now. While I believe race played a big role in the election, I also believe that people did not see the big picture, or care about things that don’t affect them. The rest of this week is all about taking care of myself, and deciding how I’m going to do better. I took my girls out to eat last night to talk about the election. I realized that my oldest daughter who is 14 will be able to vote in the next election. She is inspiring in that she already is calling out sexism when she sees it. We too want to look into getting involved with different organizations. I do have to say I really miss the Manic Mommies this week as that was always a bright spot in my week.

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  2. Oh Kristin, I cried and wore all back yesterday – I felt as if I was in mourning, on the verge of tears all day. I am in complete agreement with you it is the small things at the local level that will have the largest impact. We continue to have discussions with our 13 year old son about what morals and values we hold dear in our home and we model respectful peaceful behavior as we move through this challenging time. As always thank you for sharing and providing inspiration.

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  3. It’s been heartening to see how people are coming together to become more active and involved in politics in the wake of Tuesday’s heartbreak. I’m looking forward to building a coalition of strong women who will stand up and make our voices heard.

    Thank you for sharin for thoughts.

    Happy birthday, Kristin!

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  4. A most definite yes. Tuesday night was hard. Not only did our school district lose its mill and bond ballot issue on which I spent countless volunteer hours, but then the results from the East Coast and Midwest started coming in and painting a truly terrifying picture. The restaurant where we were having the mill and bond campaign watch party had a drink called “Nasty Woman” and a friend bought me one. After our party sadly disbanded around 9:30, I went home and watched the returns with ever increasing panic, disbelief and dread.

    A small bright spot was that the volunteer work I did for the HRC campaign here in Colorado paid off: Colorado went for Hillary. Thank goodness. But we were still faced with the awful task of telling our nearly 12-year-old and our 6-year-old that she lost. My older daughter cried most of the morning. My younger one preferred denial as a strategy and even tonight was asking if he’d really be president or if she’d somehow still win anyhow. The fact that she won the popular vote makes it all the more frustrating.

    I agree that we need to listen, though I’m also painfully aware it may not be nearly enough. Three years ago, my county was taken by surprise when some very conservative people ran for school board and won. I originally approached it with the feeling that it might not be as bad as I feared; they cared about our students and so did I, even if we disagreed about the best way to do that. Unfortunately, they turned out to be worse than we expected, eventually trying to censor AP U. S. history. It was two years of speaking up, writing letters, attending board meetings, being called names, being told we were ignorant and brainwashed, that we were traitors who should leave the country (because we thought censoring history was a bad idea), and more. We didn’t stop fighting, and eventually launched a recall effort. They were successfully recalled last November. But I know they’re still out there, and I have no doubt that many of those voted for Trump this time. They were not interested in conversations, and they shut down discussion. They are not everyone, of course, but I can vouch that their rage and closed-mindedness is very real. I also have a cousin (once removed) who lives in Florida and supported Trump from the beginning. She’s probably one of the “educated” white women who voted for him (she has a college degree, so I suppose that’s what they mean). However, her vote was based largely in part on the idea that he’ll build a wall, that he’ll keep out Muslims and other people of color, and she didn’t hesitate to post memes that said women with a college degree who supported Hillary were stupid. Her ex-husband was convinced that illegal immigrants go to college for free while he pays for his daughter’s in-state tuition. The man lives in a gated community and has enough money to buy both of his daughters a new car. He’s not hurting for money in any way–and yet is absolutely convinced he’s being taken advantage of. So’s she, though minus the gated community part. So what was she thinking? She was thinking about protecting the rights of white people. I’m not going to sugar-coat that or pretend that racism (and yes, sexism) was a strong factor for a number of people.

    So, the fight begins anew. I will continue to fight for justice for all people in this nation, and not just the ones who happen to have white skin or a lot of money. We will prevail.

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  5. Thank you everyone for responding – I am once again reminded that I am part of a strong, vibrant, (and totally motivated) community. I’m still feeling a bit broken, and find myself dipping in and out of social media and the news coverage, but I am also hopeful.


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