Yes I voted this year.  But in this voting cycle I misused my right to vote.  A right that my ancestors paid a heavy price for so that today I can cast my vote without challenge.  Today I realized that in this election cycle, unlike the last one, I did not vote for the candidate which I supported; I voted against the candidate whom I feared.

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016 has been a curious day, but a warm, sunny and bright one needless to say especially here in Los Angeles.  My home strictly avoids broadcasting any network news programming within it’s walls, so I was absolutely stunned when I tuned into the election conversation late last night to find Donald Trump in a seemingly decisive lead over the democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Social media was a buzz with commentary on the matter:

  • “Hillary went down for only one reason, it wasnt sexism or racism against Obama or any of those civil war pushing agendas, it is very simple: HER ACTIONS. She burned and cheated out Bernie.” — via facebook
  • “A racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic game show host without any political experience is currently in the lead. I’m beyond mortified.” — via facebook
  • “Hillary was the wrong candidate. Bernie was the right one. The DNC screwed him over and now they gave the election to Donald FUCKIN Trump. Don’t blame 3rd parties. Blame Trump voters. Blame the news media being on the side of corporations and not journalism. Blame the DNC for shoving the Bernie voters away instead of reaching out to them.” — via facebook
  • and this from IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb: “The election for President of the United States is over. While we did not achieve the result we desired, I am extremely proud of the work of our Political Department, Local Union officers, International Officers and Representatives, and members for the significant efforts made to protect the interests of IATSE members and workers in general. Now we must move on. While I am skeptical for obvious reasons, it is my sincere hope that there can be some healing in our starkly divided nation.” — via email

As I read the commentary online and look at the expressions on half of this nation’s face via television.  I see and feel so much negativity, defeat, skepticism, and blame.  Blame, blame, blame and more blame.  Hillary Clinton is not our problem.  Nor is Donald Trump our problem nor Barack Obama.  Our problem in my opinion is the deep rooted value system that operates beneath our collective societal conscience.

I watched President Barack Obama almost lose his voice trying to settle an angry North Carolina crowd riled up by a Trump supporter doing nothing short of exercising his constitutional right to free speech.

See the full video HERE

I remember vividly the feelings that flowed through me in 2008 when our nation elected Barack Hussein Obama into the highest office in the land.  It was unprecedented.  It was emotional.  Americans of all races demographics ages and backgrounds were moved to tears; especially older African-Americans; and it felt like we all shared a sense of community, unity and oneness even if just briefly.

This morning as I listened to president elect Donald Trump’s acceptance speech I was again moved.  I again felt a feeling of community, unity and oneness which I believe to be the vibration of the 50+ million American’s motivated to vote Donald Trump into office.  This time it was a sea of Red baseball hats and pale white faces that I saw on my television and iphone screen shoulder to shoulder, alive with celebration and glee.  So, this might be a glimpse of what small town America has been feeling like for at the very least the last eight years in this my great country.  This is what it feels like to have your “team lose”.  Well my friends, I must say, our multi-party political system isn’t devised to pit us against one another.  It’s intended to create an environment for debate.  A platform for viewpoints and values to be juxtaposed, reconsidered and reimagined; so that they can evolve.  So that we as a society can also evolve.  By the looks of what’s going on in America today, our society IS evolving!

We are bearing witness to never-before-seen manifestations of our true selves via our nation’s political system.  With the outcomes of election years 2008, 2012 and now 2016 we have all learned the potency of the single vote.  We now know from high to low that every voice counts in this country.  Barack Obama mobilized the young voters, the minorities and the educated to elect him into office for two presidential terms.  Donald Trump has motivated the rural, small town, blue collar, conservatives to rise up and put someone completely unexpected into the white house.  If that’s not evidence of change then I don’t know what is. Thank you America for participating.  Thank you Donald Trump for bringing out the best in our nation.  I look forward to Mr. Trump making good on his very inspiring acceptance speech this morning when he said:

“I’ve spent my entire life in business, looking at the untapped potential in projects and in people all over the world. That is now what I want to do for our country. Tremendous potential. I’ve gotten to know our country so well. Tremendous potential. It is going to be a beautiful thing. Every single American will have the opportunity to realize his or her fullest potential. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”

But most importantly, I look forward to us realizing that our collective societal values are comprised of our individual values.  The only way we change as a nation is when we change as individuals.  With each thought and with each action.

So moving forward I will no longer refer to any American as a right-wing-gun-toting-bible-thumping-war-monger-bigot. I will refer to them simply as people.  I will celebrate our diversity, our difference of opinion, our varying beliefs, our unique shapes, sizes, likes, dislikes, accents, tastes, jobs, dreams, wants and desires.  I promised Prince when he passed that i would listen to what he said in his music and practice love, love, love.  This nation has a lot of work to do and a lot of disenfranchised communities, marginalized individuals, traumatized racial segments and under-realized potential to acknowledge, embrace and begin to heal and improve.  But the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  We have long ago taken that single step; today we must keep on stepping!