I'm sure most of us are still barely emerging from the fog of last night. Perhaps you still haven't!
Nevertheless, we can't stand around for too long with our mouths agape- we must snap out of it. In the wake of Tuesday's elections, we must pull together and soldier on. The day-to-day governance of this country is far more important (and complicated) than the adrenaline of the campaign. We must summon the sincere belief that we can- and will- survive a Trump presidency.
We aren't going to throw around accusations of rigged elections and corrupt media outlets. We aren't going to invoke a battle cry against fellow Americans and swing states.
We aren't going to move to Canada.
We'll do what we've done in the face of past disappointments- unite behind legislation that has some semblance of balance and sanity. Trump may have prevailed last night, but his detestable rhetoric doesn't have to. We must continue to oppose the divisive agenda he stands for. Hillary Clinton reflected this morning on the people who we, as Democrats, represent- SFVYD's membership reflects the character of our nation: all races and religions, men and women, immigrants, LGBTQIA people, and people with disabilities. We stand for everyone.
We have also learned that "our nation is more deeply divided than we thought." To that end, we must take a long, hard look at who we are as Americans and work to understand where our party diverged from and lost the support of hardworking people in the middle of the country. Clearly, we didn't see this coming. Our grasp of affairs was tenuous and unfocused. There will be much commentary on what went wrong, but know this: we will redouble our efforts at building a stronger, smarter, and more energetic Democratic coalition.
It is time to refocus and fight to preserve the progress we've made and are proud of, to pull together and double down on our principles. The past eight years have shown us what's possible, even while countering an implacable legislature- the first black President, health care reform, gay marriage, free birth control, the first Latina senator (last night, in fact!). One thing we can't do is give up on our country or give into the temptation of despair.
"To the young people in particular, I hope you will hear this. I have... 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 loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what's right is worth it."
We have to buck up. We have to lean on each other. This is not the end of anything. It is the beginning of our call to action. We are on the right side of history, but nobody said it would be easy. It's going to be hard, but it's also going to be OK. We must and we will fight stronger than ever, together, because we are stronger together.
Jessica Yas Barker