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.