I’m trying to stay positive right now, but it’s hard. I’m allowing myself one day to be upset, so my Thursday Thoughts are going up a little early. Here they are:
Shortly into working at my first job as a big kid, I sat in a room with four incredible women for a phone conference. To them, it was probably just business as usual. Just a few weeks prior I was sitting in a classroom at college where one of my professors said, “We need more strong women at the top, especially in marketing and advertising.” Now here was a room of five women, on the phone with another woman, discussing the details of a new business venture. I felt excited and hopeful not just for this job, but for the future landscape of women in the workplace.
From the beginning of this election cycle, I was a Bernie supporter. I felt the “bern,” quite strongly. I excitedly caucused for Bernie in a sweaty room filled with hundreds of other enthusiastic students. Hillary was barely viable in our room. We lost Iowa, but still Bernie held on and fought hard, state after state. I am so proud to have supported, donated to and advocated for his campaign.
When Bernie lost, I looked to the future, hopeful that Hillary would step up and include those of us who felt wronged by Bernie’s loss. For me, she did. I was now excited to see the first female president in office, following our country’s first black president. With each debate, she continually proved her intelligence, perseverance and poise, even in the face of childish name calling. I voted for Hillary, proud to live in a country where I can caucus for one candidate in one state and a few months later vote for another candidate in another state. The freedom and the power to make my voice heard is something that I do not take for granted.
On election day, I was ready to watch history unfold. I posted my voting selfie, encouraged others to vote and showed my support for those who also exercised their civic duty. I sat on my couch with my boyfriend, anxious to watch as the states started filling in with blue and red. But with each chime that interrupted George Stephanopoulos, I became more nervous. At 12:30, I finally went to bed, fulling knowing what I would wake up to.
As for the results of the election, I have three things to say:
- If you are a Republican who did not support Trump but also did not vote in the primaries, I hope you do better next time and get involved sooner. You can’t yell, “FIRE!” after your whole house has burned down to the ground. Might want to grab the hose once you see the first flame.
- If you are a Democrat who felt that this was the time cast your “protest vote,” look around.
- If you did not vote at all…you do not get to complain once the next four years. However, if you are ready to get involved, now’s the time. We need you.
Wednesday morning I watched Hillary give an incredibly moving speech with two of the women I work with. We cried. Hillary talked about the constitutional rights of every citizen in the United States. She talked about the bright future for young boys and girls. She talked about the glass ceiling, not yet shattered, but well within reach. She wore purple because we are one.
As a young woman, the following part of Hillary’s speech was especially relevant:
“And to the young people in particular, I hope you will hear this. I have, as Tim said, spent my entire adult life fighting for what I believe in. I’ve had successes and I’ve had setbacks. Sometimes, really painful ones. Many of you are at the beginning of your professional public and political careers. You will have successes and setbacks too.”
This is a setback, but we cannot let it stop us from moving forward. That doesn’t mean I’m not scared, though. I am scared of the next Supreme Court Justice and what that might mean for my body. I am scared for my friends who are fearful of a president who judges them based on the color of their skin. My heart aches for my friends who are fearful of a VP who thinks their feelings can be “cured.” Our highest elected officials should represent so much more.
Hillary also said this:
“This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.”
So let’s keep fighting, friends. Fight for the women in your life, for the LGBTQ community, POC, minority groups, the disabled…the Other. Fight for love.