Millions of us worked out hearts out for Hillary Clinton and she won the popular vote. We did it because we love her and believe in her. We did it because we truly believed America deserved the best. Over 60 million Americans were ready to break the final glass ceiling. Unfortunately they didn’t all live in the right place to win the Electoral College. So twice in 16 years a Democrat won the popular vote and lost the Presidency. Maybe it’s time we focus on abolishing the Electoral College.
There will be many autopsies of the election. What went right what went wrong? We know emails were a self-inflicted wound for Hillary but also the outrageous actions of FBI Director Comey interfering in the election two weeks before the end of the campaign. While the autopsy goes on we must move forward.
We will win the future by staying together. We must focus on the reality of America today. We must accept our America, and it is our America, is not yet what we want it to be or even what many of us thought it was.
We found out how many angry people live in rural and small town America. Donald Trump won because he spoke to them and to the racists, sexists, misogynists and homophobes among them. There are millions of Americans frightened because the world they grew up in is gone and they don’t feel they have a place in the America of the future. What they heard from the Democratic Party clearly didn’t give them the comfort they needed. We must find a way to talk to those frightened Americans and let them know there is a place for them in this brave new world and help them be part of it.
We need to decide how we continue to fight for our principles, prevent the United States from retreating from the world and from progress, and win elections. Our next big test comes with the 2018 mid-term elections.
We need to take the time to think and plan. We are not pundits on TV who spout immediate simplistic answers trying to cover up how they screwed-up reporting this election. Much responsibility truly falls on their shoulders for the state-of-mind of the American people. Pandering for ratings, reporting nonsense and getting people excited over nothing all for ratings. In too many cases it meant the ‘truth be damned‘.
Some responsibility also falls on the women of the media. Those like Maureen Dowd, Ruth Marcus, Andrea Mitchell, and others of their ilk who found so many ways to pick at and criticize Hillary until it was too late to undo the damage. One has to wonder if their reporting was based on a form of jealousy or did they think as women they had to go overboard to prove they weren’t biased? Men don’t ever feel the need to justify what they say or do. Yet because of the sexism still rampant in our society many women do.
As we plan for the future we need to hear what Hillary said in her concession speech. “Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power and we don’t just respect that, we cherish it. It also enshrines other things; the rule of law, the principle that we are all equal in rights and dignity, freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these values too and we must defend them.” She went on to add, “Our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just every four years but all the time. So let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear; making our economy work for everyone not just those at the top, protecting our country and protecting our planet and breaking down all the barriers that hold any American back from achieving their dreams.
We’ve spent a year and a half bringing together millions of people from every corner of our country to say with one voice that we believe that the American dream is big enough for everyone — for people of all races and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people, and people with disabilities. For everyone. So now, our responsibility as citizens is to keep doing our part to build that better, stronger, fairer America we seek. And I know you will.”
If we are to win next time we must heed her vision which is we are “Stronger Together”. We need to be one band of brothers and sisters; white, Black, Asian, and Latino. We need to continue the fight for the rights of women, the LGBT community, African Americans, immigrants, and people with disabilities. Everyone has to accept if we don’t all win, we all lose. We need to join with those who understand climate change is real and economic equality is crucial to our country moving forward. Then together we need to figure out the way to make those who are scared of what the world is becoming understand we do care about them and won’t leave them behind. Finally we won’t win unless we figure out how to convince people voting is about their future and get the 45% of the nation who didn’t vote to realize their vote counts.
We won’t agree on everything but to win we need to focus on the bigger picture. In this case the bigger picture and our overriding focus must be the 2018 mid-term elections. We must join the fight and take back the Congress, State Houses and state legislatures.
It doesn’t mean we can’t fight for our own rights and causes. But we can’t let the Republican Party divide us or be distracted with internecine battles. Make no mistake; Republicans knew in 2010 and 2014 taking back the Congress was the big prize. It is what we need to focus on and it’s the first step toward a brighter future for all.