Twenty-four hours ago, I went to vote. I cried a little with joy as I voted for Hillary Clinton, then wiped away my tears and carefully voted on the many measures presented in California.
As I left my polling place, I thought back to November 4, 1984. I turned 18 that very day and got to cast a ballot for the first time. I was thrilled to vote for the first female vice-presidential candidate, Geraldine Ferraro. Of course, she and Mondale lost--hugely--to Ronald Reagan and George Bush, Sr. But in the years that followed, I hoped that a door had been opened with Ferraro's nomination.
When Barack Obama won in 2008, my faith in newly opening doors was bolstered. Even though I'd supported Hillary in the primary (I also campaigned and voted for her when she ran for the senate in NY), Obama won me over with his integrity and vision. And then, I thought, it would be Hillary's turn. Surely it was time.
Our son, Christian, has been employed by Hillary's campaign since early this summer. He's worked 18-hour days seven days a week for months. He's had amazing experiences along the way, and has felt--rightly--that he's been a part of history.
Today is his last day of work. He's broken-heartedly packing up the temporary office he's been in charge of in Pennsylvania and heading back to Virginia. In a few days, he'll be with us for Thanksgiving, and it'll probably be the biggest family group therapy session ever. I am so proud of my boy, his strong ideals, and his tireless, cheerful work on behalf of our first female presidential candidate.
Last night felt Apocalyptic with a capital A to me. As a devout Christian/Mormon, I do believe in the Last Days foretold by Jesus and all the prophets before and since. They may well be upon us.
But until then, I feel called to rise up and be better. A couple of weeks ago, I read this piece by David Wong (warning: language), and realized I'd been smug and selfish, and that I needed to reach out to those to whom our president-elect has appealed so strongly. I feel chastened and humbled; I know I can be a more involved citizen and a better practitioner of my beliefs.
I believe in tolerance and love; I believe in peace and understanding.
I believe in taking care of the poor and the disenfranchised--in every part of this country and in the world.
I believe in working to eliminate injustice and inequality of all kinds.
I believe in careful, radical stewardship of our precious, irreplaceable environment.
I believe in action and dialogue and co-operation.
I believe in asking God--and working myself--to bless not one nation, but ALL nations, with freedom and prosperity.
Because I believe we are all children of God. Now, with this unlooked-for result, I'll be called upon to live those ideals even more fully.
Patrick often says we get the government we deserve, so I will now set about deserving better than what I got last night. Here's hoping we can find our way.