morning afterthoughts

Last night my mom posted the following image on facebook, which she reposted via George Takei's page.
At the moment, it has been liked over 83,000 times, shared 105,000 times which says something, I think. And regardless of whether you agree (and I know some of you don't, and that's okay), I wanted to pass it along.

Because so much has been said on both sides, not only last night and this morning but for the past several months, years, forever since the beginning of time - vitriolic, terrible things. By voters and the media and even the candidates themselves.

I learned, yesterday, that one of the women I love and respect most in my life voted for Romney. She is as pro-choice, pro-woman, pro-peace as anyone I've ever known.

She didn't vote for Romney because she was against me, or against herself or against any of you - she voted because, after weighing her options, she felt Romney was the better choice economically for this country. And that was important to her in this election. So, after going back and forth, she voted Mitt.

And that was her choice.

It was her choice.

Just like Barack Obama was mine.

Just like yes on 37 (we lost) and yes on 34 (we lost) and yes on 30 (we won) were mine. 

We are fortunate enough to live in a country that is pro the right to CHOOSE who to vote for. There are people, as I write this, dying for that choice. Wishing and praying and being tortured for that choice.

And whether your choice was Barack Obama or Yes on Prop 34. Whether you "won" or "lost" you likely also "won" and "lost" and that is amazing. It's amazing that we have days like yesterday where we can show that we care and explain to our children why we do - why they will too - and how fortunate they are to have that option. How fortunate ALL OF US ARE.

I voted Gore in 2000 and Kerry in 2004 and remember how disappointing it felt to wake up the morning after in a country that didn't get me.

"I'm moving to Canada!" I said in 2000.

And then again, in 2004. "I'm SERIOUSLY moving to Canada, you guys!"

It sucked and I meant it. And my roommates meant it and we all meant it.

I realize that there are many people this morning who feel that way.

And I woke up this morning with them in mind as well as those who like me feel empowered and relieved and grateful -- grateful to have elected a leader that best represents them, grateful to have a voice and a platform to share it, to have a readership full of respectful readers from both sides and a family made up of incredible women who can vote for different candidates and at the end of the day, still love and respect each other as much as they did the day before.

THAT is America. THAT is feminism. THAT is why I voted. THAT is why my ancestors immigrated here from Germany and Poland and Hungary and and and...  THAT is why my family was able to survive and thrive. That is why I'm here. That is why many, if not most of us are here.
my great grandmother, Belle (third from left) with her parents and nine siblings, 1916
my girls; this morning

AMERICA, you guys. We are HERE. We are citizens of this place where we win and we lose and we come together to help each other and we rebuild and we stand in lines because we MATTER.
We matter and I believe with all my heart, so do our choices. As voters and parents and human beings,  we can choose to support one side without ripping into the other. We can celebrate our wins without booing those who voted against us, speak our minds without criticizing the minds of those who think differently, hold hands without rolling our eyes.

And to quote Thomas Jefferson (thanks, George Takei and thank you, Wendy Woolf) I believe that not only is it  possible to stay friends with those who share a difference of politics, opinion, religion and philosophy, it is our duty as citizens of the world and mentors to tomorrow's leaders.

Because if we can't get along as adults how can we expect our children to?

They're watching us.
They're listening and they're watching and they're learning how to be adults. So let's show them. Or at the very least, humor them with grace. 



Sheelah | 4:33 PM

I said on my fb feed this morning, "It fascinates me how close elections are. If you think less of the other side, the other HALF, because they think differently than you do, you should be ashamed of your intolerance." What I didn't have room for was the end of your post here. Whatever my kids ending up believing in and voting for, I want them to be respected for it.

Margie | 9:29 PM

Thank you. It's wonderful and I just shared this on my fb page because it's what I've been thinking all day.

Cmw | 8:56 AM

You are the same age as my daughter and if fact, you two were close friends in grade school. I remember you as cute and goofy and fun. But today you are wise beyond your years. I needed to read this post today. The negativity I was feeling prior to the election seems to be carrying on after and that is not a productive way to live. Thank you

Barnicles | 3:36 PM

Thank you. This was apparent to me and I needed to hear this. I'm from the UK, and frustrated that no one at work cared about election when so many of my friends did. I care about equally and gay union and I don't understand how other people don't, because it doesn't affect them. I wondered whether I should associate with them, however i realised they are entitled to their opinions as I am. And that is important.
Barnicles Xx