A Message to Privileged Progressives

I wrote this last night on Facebook (where I go to be close to the people I know personally). I'm still processing but I thought it probably had a place here too.
  1. America learned a lesson tonight. I think it is fair to say that Trump found a market for his populist appeal despite his hatefulness, and we who were so deeply opposed to his presidency should not ignore that. Many Trump supporters don’t trust their leaders to attend to their needs. That is real and important.
  2. As a middle class white man not predisposed to worry, I have a strong, even optimistic, sense that where we go from here is to wake up tomorrow, wind the clock, and get back to the business of doing good, in our homes, our families, our communities, and our country.
  3. BUT — it is a terrible shame that we had to couch this lesson in the language of hate. It is a shame that we had to learn this lesson at such a cost to so many people:
  4. - It will cost women who deal with sexual harassment and assault far too often as they are taken less seriously by a nation that elects a confessed abuser.
  5. - It will cost people of color who live in a nation that has suddenly become more comfortable with hateful language and overt racism in their chosen leaders.
  6. - It will cost those who struggle financially as tax policy shifts to favor the very wealthy at the expense of tremendous run up in the debt.
  7. - It will cost families with mixed legal immigration status. And it will hurt people who look like they might have uncertain legal immigration status in a country that has elected an openly anti-latino racist.
  8. - It will cost people with disabilities who now find themselves in a nation that has elected a man who willfully bullies people like them.
  9. - It will cost LGBTQ people as the backlash against their recent advances thrusts them into an even more uncertain future.
  10. - It will cost.
  11. It is a shame that in order to say “look at me, I am suffering too” we had to point an irrational finger of blame at our own brothers and sisters when what we really need to do is recognize:
  12. - the immigrant family
  13. - the inner city family in poverty
  14. - the disenfranchised former manufacturing worker
  15. - the wage-stagnated working class employee
  16. - the young man with autism
  17. - the person weighed down by medical costs
  18. - the LGBTQ youth who is ostracized by family and community
  19. ...all of these and more have the same fundamental needs:
  20. - understanding
  21. - acceptance
  22. - opportunity
    Or perhaps put another way, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
  23. And so while we the privileged majority of “liberals” lean back and learn our lessons, roll up our sleeves, get to work, and try to make the best of the situation with deference to the constitutional mechanism of democracy under which we live, we must be mindful of those who bear the real cost of the new America.
  24. I may be frustrated. But those most likely to already be marginalized are, many of you, now afraid, hurt, uncertain. It is not my place to tell you how to feel. We absolutely must learn to:
  25. - listen even more closely to
  26. - trust even more openly
  27. - fight even harder for
  28. ...Americans of every variety.
  29. Now more than ever.
  30. To those who voted for Trump tonight, I have nothing but love for you. To Donald Trump, we have given you a great trust, one you do not seem ready to accept, and yet it is yours.
  31. "Civilization is a very delicate and rare and complex thing, and it needs looking after like a garden."
  32. Please do not break it.