November 8, 2016

A Sweet Calming Wave

Tomorrow morning I will wake up at 6am and it will be 5pm on the East Coast of The United States of America, or maybe it will be 7pm, I hate timezones; either way it will be evening and there will be piles and piles of election results for me to sift through on my tiny phone screen as I sit in bed in the darkness holding my breath, hoping that America proved that is the hopeful place I know it can be, and not the ignorant cesspool of hatred that I have seen it to be.

So much has already been written about this election, that I feel inadequate to add anything useful to the conversations at this late stage of the game. We have all drawn up sides and there is no convincing anyone otherwise.

I wish it were different.

I wish that we had subtle nuanced political discourse that allowed our diverse electorate a chance to vote on candidates that resented their needs and interests, but we are beholden to a reality TV style election, that let’s be honest- we might just deserve.

We are all in safely hunkered down in our insulated bubbles casting out jabs and punches and slings and arrows. We hurl quotes and share videos from Samantha Bee and Ann Coulter. Seth Meyer and Rudy Guiliani. It’s an interactive circus run by demented clowns. We are all nervous and punchy and dangerous.

We are all hopeful that somehow tomorrow, that when our side wins, it will all be over and we can go back to caring about….what was it that we cared about again?

But the scariest part is that this is not going to end tomorrow. This wound will bleed for years to come and the scar will leave a mark. Actually what we are experiencing is the same wound, reopened from the Civil War. But having said that...

I am hopeful that Hillary will win in a landslide.

I am an optimist. I believe in humanity and decency. I believe there are more people in American who side with love than hatred. I believe in progress and healing and evolution.

I believe that while it is easy to pick on our simplicity and backwardness that there are more Americans that believe we are ready for a woman president, that immigrants are not the cause of our problems, that Muslims worldwide suffer from terrorism more than we do, that people of the LGBTQ communities are intertwined in all of our communities, that women should have the right to choose what to do with their reproductive rights, that we need to look at structural racism. I believe that beyond the smoke screens and propaganda, that deep in our hearts Americans know that #blacklivesmatter and that climate change is real.

We believe in peace, liberty and justice for all.

I believe that if you take Americans from rural Alabama and put them in a room with people from inner-city Ferguson that they will find common ground. That all we need is to look past the rhetoric and lies and politics and media and into our hearts to know what is the right thing to do. I believe that there are still enough people in America who believe in America to make the promise real. And I believe that they will come out on election day and be heard.

At it’s simplest to be an optimist means that you must to believe in love.

I have to believe these things, because I am not sure I can go to work tomorrow if the results I see on my phone in the darkness at 6am show Trump winning or anywhere near a close call.

A Hillary win will not solve our problems. And while I will freely admit that I have been swayed by her slick propaganda machine, I nearly cried showing my daughters her final video tonight, I do know that at this stage in our countries lives, progressives need to feel that at least we haven't moved further right. That we are not a nation of racists and bigots.

The woman we elect will not be the champion of the left that we deserve, but at least her lies are closer to our truths than his. Her victory we will be a weak mandate for liberals and in any election year that is better than any mandate for ultra-right lunacy.

Everyday at lunch, I talk about this election with my non-American colleagues and none of us get it. How can you explain Trumpism to anyone with a head or a heart.

Here’s to hoping that tomorrow as I am sitting through a million hours of parent-teacher conferences and checking in on the stats, that I see each state turn blue- one after the other like a sweet calming wave cleansing our nation and preparing us for the work ahead.