Having had less than 24 hours to start to sort out the lessons of yesterday’s results, I’ve settled on at least one reality: that sometimes, after multiple steps forward, it’s human nature to take a step back. After 50 years of civil and women’s rights gains, moderating attitudes toward sexual orientation and same sex marriage, and an unprecedented explosion in the racial and religious diversity in this country, we were bound to hit a bump. Not all movement is guaranteed to be forward. In fact, there’s only one thing that causes forward movement in the first place: us. We only got here because the generation before us was willing to risk much to make change happen.
As I’ve reflected today on what this change in direction means for our country and how we got here, I had to face a cold stark fact: I’ve done little in my life to take responsibility for picking up the baton from those who’ve gone before me and advancing it another lap. If I’m honest with myself, I’ve been content to coast on their efforts. I realize that I somehow assumed that their progress was enough to get the ball rolling, and that it would continue on its own momentum. I now see that I was wrong.
We knew that after this election, half of the country would be unhappy. Half of the country voted for change, and their message was heard. But I, too, want change. I want to ensure that the progress we’ve made not only is not lost, but that we start moving again at an even faster pace. Therefore, I realize that my only acceptable response to yesterday’s results is to take action myself. I have no earthly idea yet what form that action will take. But I will. I must. Join me…together we can change the world.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” –Mahatma Gandhi