Now What?

Yesterday, November 8, 2016, was the presidential election to find our 45th President of the United States of America. The candidates were Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Donald Trump, who is best (and most kindly) described as a reality star and businessman.
Yesterday, I voted for Hillary Clinton, the first female presidential candidate. As I cast my ballot, I believed in my heart that in a few hours, the world would witness history, as the first female was elected to our highest office in the United States.
The world witnessed history, but it was not the story America wanted to write. Donald Trump is now our president elect.
Jeremy Nix, a fellow Huffington Post blogger, wrote,“Differences of political ideals are one thing, I can agree to disagree on many matters across a wide array of topics, but racism isn’t one of them, neither is hate, neither is the belittling of women or the judgment of others based on their appearance or their disability, or their sexual preference.” 
You see, Mr. Trump promises to "Make America Great Again."
But, a "great America" is not one where a man with no government or military experience who has called for nuclear proliferation is the one running the show.
A "great America" is not one where basic civll rights are denied.
Where women, LGBTQ, immigrants, Muslims, or people of color are not seen as equal, and where their freedoms, which are the same as any other American, are threatened.
Where people are mocked for their physical disability.
Where bragging about committing sexual assault is OK.
Where entire religious groups are banned from entering the country.
Where people aren't offered a better opportunity for themselves because they come from a country where they are raped, assaulted and otherwise oppressed on a regular basis.
Where children are shown that it's OK to bully, berate and belittle those who do not look or act like them.
I don't know much, but I 100% know and believe that these things are not what will "make America great again."
I do believe that not everyone who voted for Trump did so because they believe the bigoted things he says and does. I have to believe this, as close friends and even family members, voted for him.
I know people want change. I don't agree that Trump is the change America needs, and to be honest, I don't know that Hillary was the answer, either. But what I do know is that America needs a leader to bring them together, not further drive us apart.
I don't write about politics. I barely speak about them. But I can't stay silent. I have never felt so empty inside, so disappointed, heartbroken and scared. I have never felt this way in a political election, and it's difficult to wrap my head around all of this.
What's done is done and no matter what I write, or where I write it, it is not going to change what happened last night.
This morning, my son woke up and after I dried fresh tears, I went in to get him up. "HI!" he yelled. I am so thankful for his innocence, but even more scared about what his future looks like.
The only thing I can feel good about right now is that I will continue to love everyone, and teach my children to do the same.
I will continue to be a responsible member of a civic society, to educate myself, and teach my children to do the same.
I will be a stronger, better advocate for the causes that are important to me, and I will teach my children to do the same.
I will remain steadfast in my belief that America IS great, do my part to keep it that way, and teach my children to do the same.
If anything, this election showed that America is more deeply divided than we thought. It feels as though we have hit rock bottom, and that means that the only place to go now, is up. Perhaps this break in our world and our spirit will show us that now, more than ever, we have to come together. We can choose to treat each other a little kinder, with more compassion, understanding, love, acceptance and empathy. Each of us can take actions, small or large ,to ensure that all human lives are valued and are treated with respect and dignity.

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