Wednesday, November 7, 2012


For those of you whose chosen candidate won last night, be proud, but do not gloat. Remember that this is only the beginning of the work, that we still have many years of fighting ahead of us. Remember that your candidate is, at the end of the day, only a man or a woman: only human. They will make mistakes. They will leave things unfinished. They will fail you in some small way. Furthermore, those who lost last night are still here (if they haven't moved to Canada in protest). You still need to work with them if you want to get anything done. Gloating is unattractive, and pride goes before a fall.

For those whose chosen candidate lost, accept your defeat with grace and humility. Instead of wasting your breath in complaints about how Candidate X is going to ruin this country, start working now to make sure that they won't. Learn all you can about lobbying, about protests, about how a bill becomes a law. Write letters. Make phone calls. Create a website. Start mobilizing a team to help this person make YOUR choices. Be respectful. Be gentle. Be smart. Read more than one opinion. Listen to more than one voice. And don't panic. Elected officials have way less power than you think. One bad seed can't ruin the whole country in only four years, or even in eight years, or ten. The country is resilient. The country is strong. We can come back from a lot of things, like colonial imperialistic oppression, and civil war, and disease, and economic depression, and world wars. So don't despair. There will be more than enough time to right whatever wrongs happen between now and the next election cycle.

Finally, drink a glass of wine (or a cup of hot cocoa or whatever you like to drink) in celebration that you live in a country where you are first of all allowed to vote, and secondly allowed to express displeasure at the outcome of an election. Not everyone gets to do these things. And commit to the next four years of hard work, because the battle is only just beginning.

No comments:

Post a Comment