With yesterday’s election results, many of us believe our world has irrevocably changed, and that going forward much will be different—but we do not know how. It is very similar to the feeling many of us had on 9/11. I remember looking at children on the street and feeing sad for the world they would grow up in, one very different from the world I had grown up in. (Fortunately today this is not due to an attack on American soil that cost us over 3,000 lives.) A conservative friend of mine reported that he had this feeling eight years ago, certain that our democracy was on the verge of collapse with Obama’s election.
But here we are. Filmmaker/Author/Influencer Michael Moore chastised us yesterday:
Everyone must stop saying they are “stunned” and “shocked.” What you mean to say is that you were in a bubble and weren’t paying attention to your fellow Americans and their despair. YEARS of being neglected by both parties, the anger and the need for revenge against the system only grew. Along came a TV star they liked whose plan was to destroy both parties and tell them all “You’re fired!” –Michael Moore: Morning-After To-Do List, AlterNet, November 9, 2016
This coming after he predicted Trump’s win back in July:
Well, folks, this isn’t an accident. It is happening. And if you believe Hillary Clinton is going to beat Trump with facts and smarts and logic, then you obviously missed the past year of 56 primaries and caucuses where 16 Republican candidates tried that and every kitchen sink they could throw at Trump and nothing could stop his juggernaut. –Michael Moore, 5 Reasons Why Trump Will Win
We are here because our citizens chose a leader many of us revile–as part of our democratic process. So now somewhere around 50% of our country is in mourning. The other 50% is celebrating. And not all of them are white supremacist, sexist, nationalistic pigs:
For every single American who voted for Hillary yesterday and who watched last night’s events unfold in horror, there’s another American out there who rejoiced. It’s a 1-to-1 ratio…Over 50 million people—people with kids and parents and jobs and dogs and calendars on their wall with piano lessons and doctors appointments and birthday parties written in the squares. Full, three-dimensional people who voted for what they hope will be a better future for themselves and their family. –Tim Urban, It’s Going to Be OK, Wait But Why
And so I hope that these full, three-dimensional people have seen something possible that I cannot see. As someone deeply invested in leadership and what makes a leader, I have trouble seeing past the messages from our president elect that are not ones we want our children to hear, absorb and model. I strongly believe no leader of any kind should spread a message or encourage others to intimidate, incite and disrespect others.
Collectively we have an opportunity–as a kind of leadership foot soldiers–to help our children and those we work with know there is a different way. We can help them draw on the lessons of how we got here and help make meaning to help us get to a better place tomorrow.