A Case for Optimism

Full disclosure: I am a positive and optimistic person so the rest of what I'm going to say may just be my sick and misguided viewpoint. Leave this site if you want to read more about the impending apocalypse.

Let's just get it right out there - I did not want Donald Trump to become the President of the United States of America. I cast my vote for Hillary Clinton because I thought and still think that she would do a better job. Naturally, I was less than pleased to see the outcome and what's followed in the last week. But what's done is done.

Studying history is one of my great joys and in this past week I've been forced to think long and hard about what our country represents, where it's come from, and where it's going. The conclusion that I've come to is this - look at the the progress of our nation like the stock market:

The 90 year history of the S&P 500.

The 90 year history of the S&P 500.

If you look at select periods of time, some are abysmal and others look great. On the whole the trend is upward. We started this experiment with black people in bondage and women having no voice. Immigrants were looked down upon and only white, male land owners had a say in our democracy. Times have changed. While they are light years from perfect, they are way better than when we started and that means something.

My message to people feeling scared and threatened by a Trump presidency to take the long view and remember how far we've come. We must do everything in our power to push for the changes we want to see, but we have to also use great patience and understand that real change takes time. 

Do you understand what we are doing here in the United States of America? Do you really? We are in the still early stages of building an empire that is trying to give equality to all the cultures on this planet. Think about that for a minute and let it sink in. What other nation has achieved this? I'll save you the Google search - none. No one has done what we're doing. It's not natural based on the history of our species. We are tribal animals - did you think it was going to be easy to change our ways? 

I implore you to have faith, take action, and stand up for what you believe in, but don't fear. Face the future with an open mind and the resolution that you will do your best to make the future you want your children to inhabit. Donald Trump can't stop that progress. His frightened followers looking for a savior can't stop it either.

Play the long game. Be patient, work harder than you have before, and if you believe in the promise of this nation, GET INVOLVED. Go meet and talk to people who are different than you. Go learn what's going on in your town or city government. The biggest risk we face right now, as evidenced by Hillary Clinton's loss, is complacency. You don't want to end up like Batman facing Bane in the Dark Knight Rises and find out that "peace has cost you your strength, victory has defeated you." 

Do what you want to do, but realize that you are in the best position right now to create the world that you want. Take action and practice empathy. No politician can take that from you. I love what we can become and I'm going to work for it. I hope you do the same.