A Few Post-Election Thoughts

I was raised in a Democratic household, by a Truman Democrat father and a Kennedy Democrat mother. Dad was active in the party. I collected ballot signatures as a kid. Bobby Kennedy was practically canonized in my house, and the racial and religious barriers that the Kennedys and the Democratic Party helped break through were celebrated. 
Admittedly, these strong influences remain – and many of my Republican friends point them out from time to time – usually not favorably. 
The current narrative that the 60 million votes for Donald Trump were cast largely by racists or stupid rural rubes is shallow in analysis, condescending in tone, and a bad assumption from which to build a future. 
My former home county – once quite blue – went red. As did most of Upstate NY. My mom, the Kennedy Democrat – a registered Democrat for 59 years – voted for Donald Trump. And she’s now registered Independent. Folks, my mom is college educated and certainly not racist. But she certainly felt that the political party she belonged to for nearly 60 years and the candidate that party put forward no longer represented her community or were focused on the issues impacting her neighbors. 
I watch my Facebook feed and see so many of my Democratic friends understandably in shock. But I also see them buying into that narrative. It makes me sad. These sweeping generalizations are of the same error as any sweeping generalization – ignoring the diversity of thought, experiences and personality behind each person. 
Our communities and nation are best served by vibrant, inclusive and principled political parties, activists and public servants. I hope for the sake of our country that both parties can shift messaging for 2018 and that some civility and pragmatic problem solving will prevail. That shift will encourage more participation from the 90 million that did not vote and, Democrat or Republican, we will be better for it.

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