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 at the party. I collected ballot signatures as a kid. Bobby Kennedy was practically canonized in my house, and our family celebrated the racial and religious barriers that the Kennedys and the Democratic Party helped break through.
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 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 focused on her neighbors’ issues.
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, 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.

A Few Post-Election Thoughts
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