The Sunday before the election the hashtag #electionfinalthoughts started trending on Twitter. It had me thinking about what I have learned these past 18 months that I didn’t in 2012, or 2008, the first election I got to vote in.
Here are five things I have learned and some final thoughts following this election.
- Always be proud to be a woman and don’t be afraid to speak up. One thing that has filled me with the most optimism was the strength of women during this election. We demanded to talk about issues regarding abortion and women’s health and equal pay for all women. Making “Nasty Woman” a rallying cry to get out the vote, speaking up about sexual assault, and every issue that has been brought forward because we are the largest demographic and we want to be heard…and we were.
- I’m really going to miss Barack Obama as our President. My first voting experience was voting back in 08’ and again in 2012. Eight years later I have never questioned my decision to support both his campaigns. But not only am I going to miss a President I am incredibly proud of, but also the strength and confidence of Michelle Obama.
- Social media can be great one day and a dumpster the next. The dumpster part of social media isn’t new, but social media has been a great motivator for those to speak out, be active and learn something about the political process. However, if I learned one thing, Twitter especially, it is that it’s not the place for discussion. It’s a great starter but at the end of the day conversations on big issues can’t happen in 140 characters, but it can help to change minds.
- Fear is a powerful motivator. I’m writing this on the eve of the election so while the projected outcome has us electing our first woman for President it’s still uncertain. But that doesn’t discount the way that fear was used in this election. While one candidate has used it to make us fear our future by vilifying groups of people, our fear of that reality for many has been a great motivator to get out and vote, to participate in this election, and to show that our country doesn’t want to be represented by hate.
- It was hard to tune out and turn off. I’m not a person who is going to go on a “Digital Detox” anytime soon, but, it was hard as this election has become as unpredictable and horribly entertainment filled. To me the thought that a news story could break and change the trajectory of this election was very real even in the last month of this election.