I hope this Veteran's Day weekend finds each of you safe, healthy, and in the company of loved ones or friends. I have had some days now to reflect on the culmination of a political process that began at the conclusion of our last national election in 2014. In this past week, our nation put to rest a very contentious, divisive, and protracted race for the White House.
The result of the 2016 presidential race has identified Donald J. Trump as our President-elect.
For the greatest majority of voters who participated in this election, I offer congratulations on your hard work and devotion to your platform. I recognize and affirm your passion, devotion, and drive to win. I recognize that so many things about the federal government frustrated you and mobilized you to act decisively and with focused attention.
All of these factors converged to give Donald Trump's supporters a victory in DeKalb County and across our state. As one who did not vote for Donald J. Trump, I obviously hoped that the election would have ended differently.
I am left to wonder how this election will impact our daily lives. Will it be possible now for women in this country to have access to affordable reproductive health services and safe and legal abortions? Will instances of sexual harassment and intimidation in the workplace only increase for women?
Will affordable healthcare be stripped away from the most vulnerable across our state and nation? Will our family members, friends, and coworkers who are born as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Intersex and Queer suffer greater and intensified discrimination or emotional and physical abuse?
Will the human rights and autonomy of the First Nations Tribes be respected and upheld? Will the timeless and irreplaceable natural resources of our state and national parks and protected sanctuaries be held intact and not sold off to private corporations?
Will refugees physically and emotionally battered by relentless conflict and violence, now be turned away and denied sanctuary or respite? Will immigrants who contribute to our local and national economy and standard of living be rounded up, imprisoned, and separated from their loved ones?
President-elect Donald J. Trump and his running mate, as our nation’s leaders, need to understand that these questions do not emerge from a vacuum but from the collective voice of that portion of the electorate that did not vote for him. It is my sincerest hope that President-elect Trump and his party will engage with these groups and issues in a manner that is affirming, compassionate, and justice oriented.
To each of us may our words and actions reflect More Life and More Joy!