Tomorrow you turn 13. No, your birthday is not ruined by the events of yesterday. Hillary's defeat is saddening, it makes us angry, it makes us scared. But we are stronger than that. Stronger together in our little family, stronger in our little town, stronger in our conviction that all people need to be lifted up, that all children deserve an education, that all people need good and affordable health care, that no one should live in poverty. That women everywhere have the right and the ability and the freedom to control their – our – bodies and make our own decisions about our health care. We will love, we will accept, we will teach and reach out to those who hurt.
And as much as we glibly say "let's move to Canada", we can't and won't do that. We need to stay here, on these shores, in these United States and work to make the country an open, compassionate haven for those fleeing oppression elsewhere and those struggling here. While it seems right now as though we have woken up in an unrecognizably racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, homophobic country, it is our job to work to continue the expansion of LGBT rights, to protect the environment, to assure access to health insurance for all, to defend marriage equality, to improve our gun laws, to uphold the First Amendment and safeguard the Fourth Estate, to codify and enforce the equal rights of women, and to offer succor.
David Remnick, who’s the editor of the The New Yorker, wrote an essay this morning. It is worth reading, and ends thusly:
"Despair is no answer. To combat authoritarianism, to call out lies, to struggle honorably and fiercely in the name of American ideals—that is what is left to do. That is all there is to do."
And that’s what we’ll do. We’ll wipe our tears, and we’ll work.
Remember what you said to me last night, at the beginning? "I want to be a social studies teacher, or a politician, or Rachel Maddow." Channel that thought - those are all good goals. Our country needs a well informed citizenry - which you get by educating children and having smart engaged journalists - and we need passionate politicians who put the best interests of the entire country first.
Martha thinks you should run for President. Of course, you can't until you're 35, which means 2040, but hey, goals!
In her speech this morning, Hillary said "This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what's right is worth it." Those are words to live by.