Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Post-election Challenges - Like Just Feeling Normal Again

Regardless of the election outcome, we are stronger together!
I'm still kind of paralyzed after the election last week, but one thing we can all do to feel more normal again, and maybe even hopeful, is to grab a friend or two, go out for coffee or a nice dinner, and begin talking about what's next.
We can begin to make plans about how we're going to fight to hang on to advances made over the last few years, and tactics we can use to head off attacks on the rights and treatment of people of color, women, LGBTQ people, immigrants, students, inmates, low income families and all of the other minorities and groups that stand to lose significant ground under this combative new administration.
And don't forget about the planet. Earth issues aren't likely to be a priority for our new government if we don't keep these topics in the forefront and influence policy wherever we can. It is now more important than ever to think globally and act locally, all the while keeping pressure on federal officials to do right by the planet. Sounds like a lot of work, doesn't it? Yeah, it is!
Happily, my governmental representatives in Massachusetts vote exactly the way I would want them to, nearly all of the time. But that doesn't let me off the hook. I'm going to need to spend a little more time watching what's going on in other states and jurisdictions, and participating when I can, signing petitions, writing letters, and writing checks when I'm able, too, to support folks elsewhere who are working on issues I care about.
We'll all have to become insistent on having our priorities upheld by elected officials, even in other parts of the country, which may require more of our time, money and sheer determination to keep us stepping forward rather than backward, and to minimize potential losses in these next four years.
We vote with our dollars whenever we buy any product. I'm going to become more informed about who makes the products I buy, and what public policies their profits support. Impacting a company's bottom line is a very effective way to get their attention and to influence change, and together, we can do that.
Just by resolving to become more active and informed, to continue to fight the good fight and support others in that same effort, and to engage people of differing views wherever possible, I'm beginning to feel a tiny bit better. I only cried twice today, so that's already a little progress.
I'm fortunate to live in a place where the impact of the election probably won't feel quite so crushing as it might in other parts of the country, because in Provincetown, everyone is treated with dignity and respect, and I'm now even more grateful for that.

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