I haven’t written about the election here because frankly, I’m tired of politics. I skipped all the political and election-related posts in my Google Reader. I muted every political hashtag on Twitter. I didn’t even log on to Facebook on election day.
And more than being tired of politics, I’m tired of being told how to feel, how to think, how to make what should be my own decision. The conservatives in my life don’t understand how I can be as socially liberal as I am. The liberals in my life don’t understand how I can be as fiscally conservative as I am. And I’m stuck in the middle, trying to make sense of my feelings to other people, when I shouldn’t have to, because those feelings make sense to me.
But what any one of us thinks or feels doesn’t matter in the bigger picture. Because progress is happening. It’s slow, but it is happening.
In 2008, I correctly predicted that Barack Obama would be the Democratic nominee for president over Hillary Clinton. Why? Because he’s a black man, and black men had the right to vote before even white women did, and history repeats itself. But how long did it take to end slavery? How long after that to extend the vote to black men? And how long after that to extend the vote to women? It may take another forty years before we see a female president, but it will happen.
What people forget about this country is that we’re the United States of America. United. Every state has their own culture, and each one has their own idea about individual policies. But we all come together to create this country. We are a community in spite of ourselves.
And communities change over time. Twenty years ago, could you imagine a black man being elected president? Because he just was, for a second time. And all those guys who talked about rape like it was a picnic on a lovely Saturday afternoon? They lost their bids for political office in 2012, even though 1992 – an age long before Twitter and Facebook would allow their gaffes to be so widely advertised – might have seen them win.
Twenty years ago, would an openly gay woman have been elected to the senate? Would three states have voted to legalize gay marriage? Would a state in the Midwest – America’s Heartland - have struck down a ban on same-sex unions?
Honestly, I don’t think so. But times have changed, and minds have changed, and we are making progress.
Whatever we are as individuals, whoever we are within ourselves, we are all part of this country, this community. Our voices are as unique as we are, and even the most extreme among us help to moderate the collective voice. This is why we keep moving forward. This is why we keep demanding better.
This is why I trust us.