Posted by Lori Ayre on November 10, 2016

Today I have done a lot of reading and soul searching. Here's where I've landed so far:

This election had a large racist component and it was at least partially a backlash to President Obama.

This election was a flail on the part of rural Americans who feel no one cares about them and their concerns and that America doesn't understand nor respect the institutions that underpin their communities.

This election revealed the misogyny that is is so engrained in our culture and is experienced, and prioritized, very differently between men and women.

To move productively forward, as a nation, we need to acknowledge and address these realities. Racism is alive and well. Misogyny is alive and well. And the lifestyle gap between urban and rural communities is destroying us. We must find a way to bridge this gap and reduce the impulse to blame the "others" when one's lifestyle is disrespected and/or falling apart.

Life is not a zero sum game. It is not a situation where immigrants or women are taking away someone's job. It is a situation where the available jobs are changing. It is a situation where industries that can support a community are changing. Don't blame the president. Don't blame immigrants. Don't blame women. Blame progress. Blame the evolution of new kinds of jobs and the end of traditional industrial jobs. That's on those of you who are experiencing these changes. You must look forward for opportunities, not backward. The past is past.

What is on all of us is creating new opportunities and industries that give value to all Americans. We can't all be lawyers and doctors. We need people in trades and the service industries and engineering. We need to provide support for people looking to change careers. We need to help everyone find a way to contribute and make a living.

Most importantly, we need to communicate with people outside of our usual orbit and listen to one another with an open mind and generous heart.


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