America is Already Great. Let’s Keep it That Way.

I stayed up until 2am this morning watching election returns and woke up in a world that feels very unfamiliar to me. I’m not sure what to feel or what I’m meant to be doing.

This tweet from last night says it pretty well:

But the country isn’t all that different. Things haven’t actually changed that much. Yet.

Here’s Nate Silver’s take:

Something to remember: Whatever your feelings about the state of the country right now, it’s fundamentally not that different a place whether the final call is that Clinton has narrowly won or narrowly lost. Add just 1 percent to Clinton’s vote share and take 1 percent away from Trump’s, and she would have won Florida and Pennsylvania, therefore would probably have been on her way to a narrow Electoral College victory.

Apparently, the Canadian Immigration Services website crashed last night from heavy traffic. Last week I joked with my most liberal friends about packing go bags and digging bunkers. That doesn’t feel funny anymore.

I’m not going anywhere. I love this country. I am a product of what is great inside America. You are too. I’m staying because there is urgent, important work to be done.

Too many of us live in fear. We live in fear of violence in our communities. We live in fear of racial persecution. Some of us live in fear of the police and civil authorities. This is wrong. We can’t let this continue.

We urgently need leadership from the best among us. This includes women, people who aren’t white and homosexuals. We should judge people based on the quality of their actions and their ideas. We should find and follow the people with the ability to move us forward. We aren’t there yet.

Diversity makes us stronger. We are a nation that attracts and welcomes immigrants from all parts of the world. We need to keep our doors open to them. The people who move to America from other countries bring with them their best selves, their highest hopes and an eagerness to participate and contribute. When we allow them, they make America stronger and reinforce the world’s belief that America creates opportunity.

Abortion is a terrible thing. Nobody likes abortion. Nobody wants women to have abortions. But, women must remain in control of their own bodies. This is a most basic freedom. Doctors, lawyers and politicians should not be usurping the most personal, vulnerable decision a person can make. Restricting access to abortion and birth control will kill women and children. We should focus instead on increasing access to birth control and providing real support for women faced with impossible choices. We should provide meaningful help for children born into families that are not ready or able to give them a good start.

Oh, and science isn’t a belief system. Science is a systematic way of looking at the world to describe what’s happening based on observable facts. Climate change is happening and no amount of wishful thinking is going to blunt the effects for my daughter and the children in your life that you hold most dear.

Our worldview has darkened. The work ahead is daunting. I am very, very scared.

Its time to close our Facebook and Twitter feeds and actually start talking to one another while being brave enough to look each other in the eyes.

It is time to stop paying so much attention to the carnival of political personalities and start grappling with real issues.

There is a lot of difficult work ahead. We’ve got to focus on that.

If you are able to look me in the eyes and talk with me so we can figure out these things together, then we are on the same team. If you can’t, kindly step aside. We don’t have much time.

America is already great. Let’s remind each other of that in the weeks and months ahead. Let’s work together to keep it that way.