Harry Potter – one of two pieces of media that always make me feel better (the other being Frasier, of course).

There is no shame in what you are feeling, Harry. On the contrary… the fact that you can feel pain like this is your greatest strength.

This pain is part of being human.

That comes from Dumbledore in The Order of the Phoenix, at the part where Harry confronts losing Sirius with anger and denial. Upon hearing this, he yells, “THEN I DON’T WANT TO BE HUMAN!”

It sucks being human sometimes. Being back on facebook due to this blogging thing, I see a lot of pain. My friend writes that she had patients bursting into tears today upon being asked “How are you doing?” There’s also some wavering between feeling hurt and shielding ourselves by proclaiming that we don’t care any more and we’re moving to [country with vastly better health insurance].

I’ve been trying to stay positive by promising to stay engaged and by complaining less about how everything is too heavy at the gym. But most of all, I feel uplifted by this outpouring of pain from my friends.

In Harry Potter, after the anger burns off, we learn that pain is love. We hurt only because we can’t stop caring. When I read the messages that my friends are posting, I’m struck by two things: one is the passion that shows how compulsively we care, about equality, love, and our country; the other is the eloquence and consideration that shows how capable we are. I’m confident that if we remember this pain and channel it – into succeeding in our individual lives, into supporting our communities, into reaching those people who voted against us due to the same type of pain – we will find ways to keep moving our society forward.

Yay humans!

I’m not in denial about the result tonight. Don’t all the childhood stories affirm that the right path is more difficult? Even if Clinton had won tonight, the work ahead was always going to be monumental. Consider the amount of suffering, unfairness, and ugliness in the world – this was never going to be reversed with one election.

As a liberal, I often take solace in MLK’s assurance about the arc of the moral universe, the history that’s generally proven our beliefs to lie on the correct side – the side that opens our minds and borders to those who are different, the side that sacrifices for true equality. But the arc doesn’t bend on its own; it’s up to us to pound at it.

If you’re disappointed tonight, how will you contribute to the arc of the moral universe?

My initial response was that I’m going to gleefully stand by while those who didn’t vote my way get the leadership they deserve, and expect them to die off, grow disenchanted with disenchantment, or whatever. Congress 2018!

But that’s small and mean, and not what I’ll actually do (well, maybe a bit). What I plan to do is this:

  • Write my blog post tonight, because I promised to, and keep writing this month
  • Get up early and go to the gym tomorrow
  • Work hard at my job
  • Actively consider how technology can enable goodness
  • Vote in every election going forward

I’ve been a Trump supporter since his announcement – for the nomination, not for office. So I’m grateful that we’re nearly done, with the NYTimes presenting an 84% chance of a Clinton victory, and the expectation of Democratic gains in Congress.

But of course, I’m extremely nervous. I remind myself that I’m glad to be in this situation, rather than seeing Marco Rubio or John Kasich with an 84% chance of becoming president. When an entire political party is ruinous, there’s no good hoping, “Well, could we at least have the most reasonable-sounding lunatic, to better trick the populace?”

I am not going to believe, for example, that a traditional Republican like John Kasich has more respect for women than Trump:

In 2013, Kasich signed into law a requirement for ultrasounds to be performed to look for a fetal heartbeat before a woman can have an abortion. If there is a fetal heartbeat, the doctor must offer a chance for the mother to listen to it or see an image. (Washington Post article on Kasich’s record on abortion)

So what if Trump said he would punish women for having abortions? At least he’s clear on his intent, instead of hiding anti-women policies under a “we must protect delicate women from their bad decisions” facade.

I am not going to swoon over Jeb Bush saying this either:

As the grandfather of two precious girls, I find that no apology can excuse away Donald Trump’s reprehensible comments degrading women (Bloomberg)

I dismiss any other Republican man who finally gave up this pretense of taking Trump seriously, by invoking their daughters and acting offended. Did you really need your daughters for this decision? Women are people. All women, even non-relatives, are people.

Face it – Republican policies disrespect women, and Republican politicians always pretend otherwise. I much prefer Trump’s habit of disrespecting women and saying so. (Substitute whatever other minority for ‘women’ in those last statements, and in this post.)

Words matter, and because of Trump’s, we’ve experienced months of clearer dialogue about what it means to respect women. Policies matter even more than words (they contain a lot of words!), so please vote against the bad ones, up and down the ballot.