On Sunday I stood in the checkout line at Target and looked at my phone. A friend from England responded to something I had tweeted earlier in the day.
“I actually don’t know how you’re coping – it’s bad enough watching from across the Atlantic :-o”
Sigh. This election has taken so much space in my brain and my heart. I struggle with how to talk about it, how to process it, and how to feel enthusiastic about this great gift we have been given.
Democracy. Voting. Choice. Opportunity.
You know, this is work. It’s messy. And the choices aren’t always easy.
This time, they are challenging. Even if you’re pro-Hillary (and I am), there are issues to consider. Her flaws aren’t enough to send me to the other side, but they do give me pause and a chance to reflect.
Like, do I always believe the woman when there has been a sexual assault accusation? Usually I do, but not always. Shouldn’t I think about that? Have I given Bill a pass? Is that ok? Does it matter who she is married to? These issues matter more to me than the emails, or even Benghazi (I am not diminishing the loss of life, but I understand that I don’t understand everything here).
I have participated in discussions about Trump and evil. Is he an evil person, or does evil work through him? I will be grateful when he loses. And if he wins, I will be heartbroken.
I have friends who are capable of pulling themselves away from the news and the polls, who don’t spend their days obsessing over the election, and what it means for all of us. They care and they will vote, but they aren’t consumed.
I am consumed. I check Nate Silver’s site several times a day. I tweet, I post, I read, I worry. I watch all the news, and even the comedy shows. The comedy shows help a bit.
This matters, damn it.
And I want so much for this to be an opportunity. For us to appreciate that we can vote, and feel grateful, and not like victims of this horrible election cycle.
I want us to show that as a country, we aren’t full of hate and greed. That we do believe diversity is good, and everyone is valuable. That we reject fear and hate. We can accept flawed policies, laws, traditions, leaders…and we can work to make them better.
We can change. Grow. Learn.
And that as women, especially, we can rise up and use our power, to not only elect someone who represents us (and who is the most knowledgeable, experienced, and prepared candidate), but to shut down every man who has sexually assaulted a girl or woman.
Imagine if we could change the culture of secrecy, shame, and excuse around sexual assault, rape and discrimination, with our vote? That men who seek power through demeaning women and others, would know that their gig is over. That women would know they are seen, heard and believed?
If that could happen, the ugliness of this election would be worth it.
We have an opportunity to use our power. I hope we pay attention to those who have no voice, no power, and we vote to protect them. And we vote to honor our democracy, and the presidency.
I believe that. I hope to see you when it’s time to vote.