Post Election Day. Not Post-Mortem.

It took me a long time to decide what to say about yesterday. It was such a jumble of emotions and thoughts that I needed time to process and untangle. I’m not sure I have completely done that, but I’m going to try to put out some thoughts.

I am afraid, deeply afraid. That’s the one feeling I can’t shake, much as I would like to. I think this storm is going to get worse before it gets better, as many storms do. The next couple years are going to be telling. But one thing I do know is that we (or most of us. Some won’t survive it as well as others, and that is part of my fear.) will come out on the other side. We’ve faced tough times before. We’ve ridden it out and got ourselves through the best we could. I can only hope and pray that things will not play out as badly as they now appear. That the horizon will eventually clear, and there will be some light left.

Am I angry? No, not really. I thought early this morning that perhaps I was, but as I let the feelings flow, I realized that anger is not part of the mix. We are so used to the “us versus them” mentality in this country, we haven’t noticed how that has changed us. We are not the global champions of freedom, justice, and tolerance we used to be. Oh, we still believe it’s “us versus them,” but “they” have become the guy across the street. We have forgotten the one thing that really makes this country great- we are Americans. We’re not Republicans or Democrats, white or black, male or female, straight or gay, Christian or not. We are Americans, every single one of us. Are we also all of those above things and more? Yes, of course. But what made us different, what made us strong, what made America truly great, was that we could be any of those things, in any combination, and still consider those who fell into other groups fellow Americans. We lost that somewhere, somehow. And that makes me sad. And more afraid.

Whatever happens after this election, we simply must reunite as a nation. You can hold different philosophies, beliefs, and convictions without requiring everyone else to fall in line behind you. You can respect those differences, embrace them even, work to understand what makes us different and why that only makes us stronger. Disagree, don’t hate. Work for your vision, don’t destroy someone else’s. Stand up for what you believe, don’t knock the other guy down. This is the only thing that will make America great again. Not a president, not a Supreme Court, not Congress, not any one church. All of it. All of us. Together. It’s the only way to survive.

So, congratulations to you, Mr. Trump and your supporters. I hope you can all step up and show us all what it means to be really great. And if not- well, we’ll see you in four years.