This Sucks. Here’s What’s Next…

Cherry Hill — Welcome to my joint election recap. It just me recapping this election with a fat joint between my lips. Can you blame me?

The unthinkable has happened last night. But I’m here to tell you, New Jersey, it’s gonna be okay as long as we “losers’  keep our wits. Trump wants to divide us. Don’t let him. And please don’t be blind to whatever lessons this nightmare may reveal!

As for me, I’m trying to resist lots of urges right now:  to defriend somebody over this (no matter how compelling), or that impulse to say a critical word to someone who grieves this shocking result differently. I must instead work to create a semblance of unity if, for no other reason, than to defend a long list of people whose liberties suddenly seems imperiled.

Look, y’all, I felt the Bern big time and I know how tempting it can be to re-litigate this result or the primary result. Resist that for the sake of your own mental health. It won’t change the result so stop it with that whole closure bullshit.

And for heaven’s sake don’t go to Canada! Because we need you here more than ever. I hope you know that.

Trump made a series of extravagant promises to the American people and especially to his base. So while he’s off fulfilling those promises (or not) here’s what we could do: we keep our political rivals, who are BTW our fellow Americans, accountable.

WE NEED TO RESIST TRUMP’S DARK VISION FOR AMERICA in a smart, practical, empathetic, loving way, because OUR VALUES ARE ON THE LINE. Frankly, I’m not sure my side has been that smart or practical this time around (looking at you DNC!)  We fail to acknowledge that apparent lack of empathy at our own peril. #RoomForImprovement

Sorry I didn’t remind you this earlier, but you are not alone. Tens of millions of Americans are horrified at this result. But we still gotta make this work.

It’s ok to feel disoriented. But I believe this is gonna be okay as long as we stick together to get through this. Together. The togetherness is important (even as we lance a few of our own boils.)

On a personal note, maybe now’s a perfect time to address That One Big Thing you’ve been procrastinating. Pick up a guitar. Maybe quitting cigarettes or getting in shape. Or getting out of a bad relationship or running a marathon. Or writing a book (points to self.)

You might also learn Spanish! How rich would that be?! So whatever you’ve been putting off for fear or of self doubt, surely now is The Perfect Time to serve yourself. You deserve it and lord knows you need it.

In 2008 we thought we were fixed. clearly we weren’t fixed.

In 2016 is feels like we’re doomed. We’re not doomed either.

We’ll manage. And if we’re smart about it, no matter how badly this sucks, we’ll emerge stronger and more united than we ever imagined possible. That prospect appeals to me greatly. I’m not saying that’s our destiny, but it could be.

Let’s also engage in a little self-reflection to pass the time while the winning side takes its victory lap. Let’s give them the opportunity to be gracious with their victory. I’ve seen little evidence of grace from many Trump voters in NJ, but I remain optimistic. Probably because I’m an American.

And even though this is a hot, skinning, shit-stained mess, I’m still proud to be an American.

The day after Barack Obama’s historic election, the Senate’s top republican Mitch McConnell said he hoped Obama would fail. He actually fucking said that. It felt like he hated Obama more than he loves America.

For God’s sake don’t be like Mitch McConnell and his ilk! Love America and each other more than you hate Trump!

Look, I’m a bereft fucking wreck and the only reason I’m able to pretend to be philosophical about this ghastly nightmare is because I spent 28 days in rehab back in the day. And if you stick it out in rehab, you acquire a whole host of coping skills for when the shit hits the fan.

Like right fucking now.

Of course this won’t be easy. But you’re not powerless and you’re not alone! And to whatever extent we have a choice in the matter, I pray we all choose wisely. Cooler heads don’t always prevail as Trump unceremoniously proved. But that’s no excuse to lose our cool. Especially now.

We have work to do fixing ourselves. We have work to do fixing our nation, our system, and our party. And should we end up with a better sense of what motivates Trump voters, that can’t possibly hurt. Hopefully most of them feel the same way about us too.

So grieve, lick your wounds, and take a day or take a few days for yourself. Then buckle up for what’s ahead. Mending ourselves will require a level of soul-searching that might burn a bit and working for unity is never gonna be easy.

But anything less than our smartest and best effort is a luxury we can not afford.

Jay Lassiter started covering New Jersey politics in 2005 as a blogger for BlueJersey.com. After a stint as America’s first State House blogger, Jay did communication for Congressman Rob Andrews and Congressman John Adler. Jay’s best known for his work legalizing medical marijuana and gay marriage and for working to end N.J.’s death penalty. He’s on Twitter @Jay_Lass.

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