The election results this week have me heartbroken. I have had an almost 48-hour break from all news and social media, and I think I'm ready to jump back in.
A lot of my friends and I are talking with each other about what to do now - how to keep our nation progressing, healing, and talking. It's more than just posting rants into your Facebook silo - it's about changes you can enact on your own.
Here are some ideas of things we can do RIGHT NOW in our own lives:
1. Vote with your wallet
We cannot count on Congress or the White House to legislate according to our wishes, and that is especially true for the next four years. If you care about clean energy, discrimination, food safety, animal welfare, climate impact, or any number of issues - do your research and vote with your wallet.
This creates real change. If we can get McDonalds to start buying cage-free eggs, or if PETA can get companies to stop testing on animals - we can do this.
Also, support the arts. Support local businesses. Support scientific research. God knows Congress won't be allocating many resources to these things in the next few years...
2. Get healthy
Unfortunately, we don't know what this election is going to mean for health insurance coverage, although people suspect costs will rise whether or not the ACA is repealed. We need to get healthy so that we have less health care costs on ourselves, but this will also help overall premiums to go down, too.
There is also the issue of reproductive rights. One of my friends is suggesting that people get an IUD to ensure that they are covered, birth control-wise, for the next four years.
3. Use your voice
I think a lot of people wish that they had been a bit more outspoken in this election - especially outside of their Facebook friend circle. We need to not be afraid to call out bullying, in person or on social media. We need to call people out on racial or homophobic slurs. We need to contact our legislators and executive officials in email, Twitter, phone calls, and letters to get our voices heard.
I think we also need to not be afraid to be more openly liberal anymore. Bernie helped with this, but I still feel like Planned Parenthood and other social service organizations have a bad aura around them. They shouldn't. We should volunteer and donate to these organizations, and then share that on social media, too. Normalize liberalism.
Trump's style of casual racism is not the "silent majority" in America. Although he won the Electoral College, he didn't win the popular vote and I don't believe all of his voters support his controversial statements.
We - the reasonable people - are the true silent majority. Get your voice heard.
We can do this.
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