When marriage equality passed we learned that the majority of Americans supported allowing the LGBTQ community the right to equality. Love is love and I felt hope for America. Then when all was said and done after the election, no matter how small of a margin, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote showing that for a lot of Americans… love truly does trump hate. While my heart is broken that Hillary Clinton lost the election by way of the electoral college, I am also happy to know that our country still has a majority of the populace who says that we reject bigotry.
As hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets to protest the outcome of the election in cities across the nation we can see just how divided our nation is. People are angry for many reasons. There seems to be two specific reasons at the top, but I am sure there are many as emotions are raw. People are angry that their votes aren’t counting in the electoral college system as Hillary leads in the popular vote. People are also hurt that our country elected Trump as the next President of the United States. I am hurt our country elected someone who has said the things he has said and done the things he has done. It makes me ill.
Trump was able to tap into a small part of the conservative electorate driven by hate, anger, racism and sad beliefs. He drove them to the polls with promises of discrimination against Muslims, Latinos, the LGBTQ community and many others. He has sworn to roll back women’s reproductive rights and snatch away people’s health care.
According to Mashable this election alienated 46.6% of Americans who decided they simply would not vote. For someone like me who finds the right to vote a duty, a privilege and obligation to my country, it is hard for me to understand how so many people were able to sit this election out.
I gave this election everything I had. I swore Hillary Clinton was going to win. She earned it. Not only that, she was the most qualified for the job. Our country would be on the best path for all people had she won. She fought hard and we, as a nation, are better for her campaign. Even though she lost I am thankful for the experience I’ve had fighting for her and happy I was apart of it even in the small way I was.
Her campaign moved our country forward farther than we ever have moved before. We have moved closer to breaking the largest glass ceiling in the world. We all needed a day to grieve. Admittedly, I had to take a sick day from work to cope with the stunning election results.
Yet, when you are ready it will be time to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and move forward.
Hillary Clinton said so perfectly in her concession speech:
“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.”
We must fight everyday and not give up. Our lives depend on it. We learned inaction has consequences. We learned that by the 46.6% of Americans who didn’t bother to vote. We need to set some goals. For me personally, I am going to be doing everything I can to:
- help the Democratic National Congressional Campaign Committee elect candidates with progressive liberal values to take back house seats. All 435 House of Representatives will be up for re-election in 2018 and I’ll help in any way I can to take as many seats in the house
- help fight for the 38 Governorships that will be up for grabs in 2018
- help for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to fight for the 33 Senate seats up for reelection in 2018
Aside from making sure the Democrats take back some control of Congress we still can fight for the issues important for us. Many of those issues will be under attack if Trump is to follow-up on his threats he leveled throughout the campaign such as:
- Fighting for commonsense gun reform. We will fight for things like building on the success of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, we can expand and strengthen background checks and close dangerous loopholes and keep high-capacity guns such as assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines (LCAM’s)—off our streets.
- We will stand with democrats and organizations day-after-day over the next four years fighting with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community for our rights. As the Democrats said in their 2016 platform, “Democrats believe that LGBT rights are human rights and that American foreign policy should advance the ability of all persons to live with dignity, security, and respect, regardless of who they are or who they love.” Trump and Pence have promised discrimination across the board.
- We will fight Republican efforts to appoint ultra-conservative Supreme Court Judges, rollback women’s health and reproductive rights, and fight for Planned Parenthood with everything we’ve got.
- We will standup for all those who have felt marginalized, threatened or disenfranchised throughout the 2016 election and let them know we are #StrongerTogether and we are in this together.
Immigration reform, Refugee crisis, income inequality, college affordability, and so many other issues. There is so much work to be done. Many people thought I would take a break after the campaign. Well, many people thought Hillary would win. We get surprised. Regardless of who won I think I would have continued fighting, but her losing has inspired me to definitely keep fighting!
Lastly, by 2020 The Democratic Party will need to take a long hard look within itself. We stand for what is right. Equality, against racism and xenophobia, for women’s rights, but we obviously need to connect with a lot more of America. That’s up to you Party, figure it out. I’ll be fighting here at home in California on the issues.
Join me by signing up to receive updates from my organization The Progress Hive, which I co-founded with an amazing team early in the 2016 election. Read how we plan to combat Trump’s attack on our values, our rights and our friends, family and neighbors here!