The morning after the election, I kept thinking about young girls waking up and crying as they listened to their parents explain that we won’t have a woman President after all.
Later that day, I found myself acting on several delayed plans to do nice things for people I know. And I started a fast on radio and TV news.
By the end of the campaign, I was hitting the mute button whenever the President-elect came on the screen. I still don’t want to be disturbed by his image or voice, so I’m giving up NPR and PBS for a while and just reading the New York Times.
The one exception is “Washington Week,” hosted for many years by the magnificent Gwen Ifill, who died of cancer shortly after the election. Her style and grace were so intimate that we spoke of “watching Gwen”every Friday night. Last night, eight journalists spent the full half-hour recalling how special she was.
I didn’t get as upset on Election Day as many people did. That’s partly because I agreed with the outcome of several state and local referendum questions. But it’s mainly because I’m immersed right now in local politics, and an attempt to change our town’s form of government is about to reach a turning point.
And I believe that the President-elect will face serious consequences if he tries to build his wall, or deport 12 million illegal immigrants, or tear up the Iran nuclear deal. I’m more worried about climate change (can Europe increase tariffs on American goods if he abrogates the treaty?) and the Supreme Court (Democrats should tell him they’ll cooperate on appointments ONLY IF the Senate approves Merrick Garland).
But for me personally, I’m trying to say No to Negativity. So I’m looking for a way to express my beliefs without demonizing my opponents, and to retain my composure in a sea of conflict, both local and national. It’s so easy to get caught up in the struggle, but I want to live a peaceful life and avoid making enemies.
One way is to regularly get away from it all. For me, this means engaging in the simple-living activities we’ve described on this blog. Yesterday, I put leaves into a slow compost pile, washed windows and made granola. I looked fondly on my piles of firewood, waiting to help us withstand the worst that winter can throw at us.
I’ll also be praying that the President-elect will remember that he didn’t get a majority of the votes, that I can respect those who disagree with me on local politics, and that I can maintain a sense of serenity in stressful situations.
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