I’ve been distraught by the results of the election. I’ve been so distraught that I took a day off work to allow the reality to sink. I said a few things that angered people on Facebook, and then I apologized because I knew if the candidate I voted for won, others would be complaining as well. This election in itself is the most disheartening that I’ve watched and I am uncomfortable for the U.S.’s future. On the bright side, here are three things that I’ve done to calm my anxiety about the future president.
`1. Go Dark: I avoided social media and other news outlets for a couple of days. Before the election, I was on my phone, my computer, and watching the news to see if my candidate was ahead. After the election, I needed a break from the information overload.
2. Empathy and Understanding: Since my social media mainly consists of liberal news, I’ve decided to subscribe to conservative outlets such as The American Conservative, American Family, and the Tablet. Rather than gripe about conservatives, I want to understand their beliefs and why they value certain things. Also, I’ve suddenly had a newfound curiosity on understanding the different cultural landscapes in America and am excited to read books such as Ta-Nehisis Coates Between the World and Me and UC Berkeley’s sociologist Arlie Russell Hoschchild’s Strangers in their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American right. Hopefully, reading these books will help me expand my worldview.
3.Take Action- I realize that it’s easy to become nihilistic and helpless after the election. I also see that there are things that I can do to affect the outcome. I’ve decided to subscribe to my city’s local newsletter, check out my town’s public meetings, and call a senator or two about issues I’m passionate about.
The more time has passed, the more I realize that the outcome of the election has encouraged me to partake more in civic duty.
Photo By: DonkeyHotey “Republican Elephant & Democratic Donkey – 3D Icons” (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode) via Flickr.