Over the last couple of days many people have visited my grave. At its height it was about an hour and a half wait to pay your respects. It is a very humbling experience to be remembered in such a way. When the results came back I can only imagine the dismay my visitors experienced. The polls and all the information available said Hillary Clinton was going to win. That information was wrong.
And now everyone sits at home looking through their social media updates to see what will go wrong next. I’m sure in a couple years a very unassuming graduate student in psychology will come up with a clever phrase to call this type of malaise, but for now I’ll call it Voting Depression. It is the sadness that comes when you invest yourself in a process and get nothing back in return. Repeat viewers of American Idol will know what I’m talking about. Trump is the ultimate Sanjaya.
We flick through video of riots occurring across the country, children mocking their fellow classmates who are different. “Build a Wall” they tell to the Latinos. Go back to Africa they say to the blacks. And so it goes. Some Rainbow Pride Flags were burned in Rochester and that’s just the beginning for the city that celebrated its famed suffragette only days before. Clinton herself has returned to her home. Her political life is over despite many years of excellent service for others. It reminds me of when John Kerry was defeated and called a traitor to America despite many years in Government and service in our military and advocating for veterans.
The Trumpeters didn’t want to elect Donald Trump to the office of President. They wanted something more. They wanted revenge. They wanted revenge because like a child at a fancy restaurant they feel forgotten. So now their going to cause a scene to show everyone who really holds the power in this relationship. And the screaming child in a public place always wins. I’ve heard the chants of “Drain the Swamp” and “Burn it down” by many of the Trump supporters throughout the campaign and I can’t agree more.
The first thing we burn down is the Electoral College and its interference in American democracy. We need our government to reflect the will of the people. We need the popular vote to be the only metric by which an elected official may emerge victorious. It helps insure that all the votes and the persons who cast them are heard. Republicans in NY now have an equal chance at having their vote matter as Democrats in California. Equality at the ballot box pure and simple.
The second and more painful experience will be draining the swamp. The Democratic Party needs younger elected officials and a process by which young blood can rise up through the ranks for it to be viable in the next election. Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau is young, fresh and vibrant capable of making forward thinking decisions that stump the elderly. And only the “young, scrappy and hungry” can push a country forward into the 21st century. Even if it hurts us in the short term we need local, regional, statewide, and nationwide term limits. This is to encourage politicians to move up the ranks and achieve higher elected office while eliminating politicians from resting on their laurels. I absolutely love Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, but I also recognize that her long-term presence in Congress prevents any new blood from taking on that elected office and hampers our future possibilities. No one should see an elected position as a viable lifelong career. It’s shameful and ultimately counterproductive. When those seats are finally vacant the electorate often chooses a politician from the opposing party as their representative. They’ve tasted vanilla for so long they want to see what chocolate tastes like regardless of actual merit.
We need to come together and recognize that our system has been fundamentally rigged for a very long time and we need to fix it before the fluke aberrations of Al Gore and Hillary Clinton become the rule and the will of the population no longer matters. Start with signing this We The People petition on banning the Electoral College. It can be done in a variety of ways, but the process needs to start now with your voice. The second thing you can do is join your local Democratic Committee and make your voices heard. We have a lot of work to do and it needs to start now.