Yesterday was a truly terrible day in the world.
As a full blown human rights catastrophe continues to unfold in Aleppo, Syria, an assassin shot and killed a Russian diplomat in Turkey, 12 people were killed in Germany as a truck was rammed into a crowded market, and 3 people were shot at a mosque in Zurich, Switzerland.
And, all of that happened just hours before our Electoral College, which is one of the most ridiculous systems in any so-called democratic nation in the world, chose to cast their votes for Donald Trump as President of the United States. In spite of losing the popular vote by 2.8 million people, Trump still won the election because he won the Electoral College. In typical Donald Trump fashion, he has repeatedly lied about the margin of his victory over the past few days, calling it a “historic landslide,” but historians have shown that his victory actually ranks 46th out of 58 presidential elections in this nation. Only in Trump’s mind does losing the popular vote by 2.8 million people and winning the Electoral College by one of the slimmest margins in history equal a historic landslide.
In huge part because of his lies, a recent poll determined that 52% of Republicans actually believe that Donald Trump won the popular vote. Again, we live in a peculiar time where facts seem to matter less and less every day.
While I had little hope that the Electoral College would make a truly radical decision yesterday and somehow overturn Trump’s victory, we live in such a crazy, unpredictable time, that I must admit I was holding out that just maybe a small sliver of electors would reject Trump and save our nation from his presidency.
It didn’t happen. The odds were always long, but yesterday all but sealed the deal on a Donald Trump presidency. He won the election. He won the Electoral College and it’s time for us to make a strong, clear pivot away from somehow stopping him from becoming President to organizing to protect the people his presidency may harm.
I heard a leader say recently, “when they go low, we go local” and I like that. When they go low, we go local.
Let me give you 3 quick ways you can go local and I want to encourage you to start right now.
1. First and foremost, local elections are going to matter more than they ever have. 4 years of a Donald Trump presidency is a long time. We can’t only be political during a presidential election. More than you ever have in your life, throw yourself into local politics. Know the names and policy positions of your city council, of your school board, of your local sheriff and District attorney. Find out who your state representatives are and determine that you are going to be not only an informed voter, but someone who holds local elected officials accountable.
2. Run for office. Too many of us are looking at a system we despise, while simultaneously refusing to do anything about it ourselves. The best way to ensure that someone in office has the policy positions and views you care about the most is for you to run for office yourself. If you are a parent, consider starting small and even serving on the PTA board of your school. Serve on the neighborhood association of your community. Be an active citizen – but grow from there. Run for local office and be the change you wanna see in the world.
3. And I’ll close with this thought – be charitable. If you have not made a point to donate to a local charity this holiday season, please do. Your community has people who need your help. If you have local, meaningful ways to volunteer, consider making that a weekly, or at least a monthly part of your life. Donating your time and your resources is one of the best ways you can take your mind off of the ugly world we live in.
In the words of Kendrick Lamar, which was really just an echo of “we shall overcome,” —- “we gon be alright.”