I am in this strange limbo of feeling so much yet not feeling anything at all. The quote that personifies my feelings today comes from a NY Times article by Thomas L. Friedman “I feel homeless in America”. Though this idea hangs over me like a cloud of dementors when I am sans my wand, I promise you today that I will work every day from now until we have succeeded to make America a home for everyone. I am truly sorry to all of my LBGTQ+, minority, and women friends. I hope above all that you know that I value your intellect, your compassion, and your humor. We will have to work now, harder and more creatively than ever before, to inspire our local and state communities to come together to work towards a safe and prosperous tomorrow.
This election exemplifies the fact that we unthinkingly left some Americans behind in our plans for the future, and they will not go without being heard. To these left-behind Americans I am also sorry. If this blanket of homelessness that I am just dipping into now is what you have been feeling for years, there is something strategically wrong with how we have been building up our society and economy. Republicans and Democrats alike need to end this overpowering “winner takes all” mentality that we maintain when we start discussing views, ideas, and values that differ from our own.
What is even more frightening is that we have ignited this vicious mob mentality within our fractured society that can explode at any moment of dissatisfaction. If we want to have even the slightest hope for a more peaceful tomorrow, we need to build bridges not walls with those who do not have the same values and ideologies that we do. We cannot dig in our heels and refuse all that comes down from the executive branch. That is the same mentality that has built the demagogue that is our President Elect today and is the mentality that will only create more divisiveness within our country. This has to be a bottom up, all-inclusive approach to healing a society that has just had the roof blown off.
My political role models including Bill Mayer, Michelle and Barrack Obama, and Hillary Clinton who all have touted that we need to go high when they go low. Which is something I think we all need to seriously dedicate ourselves to uphold. I ask of all of you to think of how you can start making positive and loving changes in your life, with your personal relationships, within your local communities, with people outside of your communities and how you can be more active in your political environment. Please, make sure your actions and voices are seen and heard and that you make the intention to hear and see the actions and voices of others.
We are stronger together, and the sun will always rise again.
With love, Samantha Reifer