How to embrace the future?

It’s taken me a long time to write about the events of last November.  Mostly because I could not articulate my emotions about that election.  How on earth did people I know and love vote for a man who has shown such contempt for women, people of color, people of various religious backgrounds; basically anyone who wasn’t a white man?  How did my America reach a point where anything was better than the status quo?

I am registered Independent. I was raised on the right, and have certainly moved to the left in most of my ideology as I have matured.  But I will still always vote for the person I consider to be the “best” candidate.  I vividly remember when Clinton was up for his 2nd term.  In my head, I thought “There is no way he will be re-elected.”  We knew for a fact at that point that he had relations with a 22yo intern and had cheated on his wife numerous times.  I thought “America has values and morals; we care about the character of the person leading our country.”  But I was proven wrong, and here I am again, absolutely baffled.

I hate the political system, especially at the Washington level.  I believe with all of my heart that you can NOT be president of this nation without “playing the game,” being a little or maybe a lot dishonest, stroking some egos, going along with the system to get what you want even if you privately disagree with the folks you are supporting.  But how did we get this extreme?  How did we elect a man who has said so many incredibly ignorant things and shown himself repeatedly to be an arrogant rich asshole?

I do not think the next 4 years will make us great again. I am AFRAID for our nation. But  I will pray for Donald Trump. I will pray he finds decent people to surround and guide him.  I will pray we don’t end up in multiple wars in the next 4 years. I will pray that he commits not only to the police force, but to black lives, and LGBT lives, and all other lives, and that he does his best to end the corruption that seems to be so prevalent in so many of our systems.  I will pray that he rewards those who do the hardest jobs in America with better pay, while insisting on higher accountability. I will pray that our education system is not totally decimated. I will pray that those who need healthcare the most can get it. I will pray our national parks do not become oil fields. I will pray that global warming isn’t callously disregarded. And I will pray that all the wonderful folks who marched all over the country yesterday come out and VOTE next time.  Turns out, it’s really important.