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Democracy is Still Ours

    Friday will begin a new presidential era.  I won’t be shy here… I despise Donald Trump and feel he is unfit to be president of this country.  I don’t believe he has the country’s best interests at heart and his bombastic, aggressive attitude scares me.  

    Prior to this election, I didn’t really consider myself to be “political.”  I shied away from political conversation, feeling it was a land mine for hurt feelings and resentment.  I also did not vote at every opportunity.  I reserved my voting for every four years, at the presidential elections.  I now realize how important it will be to vote in two years for the midterm elections.  But, I’ve realized something else… we vote more often than we think.  We vote every day… with our dollars and actions.

    I have wondered since the election if my personal spending habits have been a vote against our economy.  So much of what I buy, clothes and household products, are made overseas.  I understand my own perspective (and the perspective of many other consumers) that we want to buy items that are not going to break the bank.  I buy clothes at H&M that are produced overseas in part because purchasing apparel manufactured in the US is more expensive.  There is also a convenience factor; it is easier to pop into an H&M after work and pick up a new shirt rather than ordering something from a US designer and having it shipped to me.  Clothing is just one example.  A lot of the household items are manufactured overseas as well.  There doesn’t seem to be an easy solution to this, but I can take small steps to put more money back into our economic systems.  Researching companies that manufacture items here on our soil and buying from them is one option.  Buying items second hand is another way to go.  And finally, asking myself if I really need said item before purchasing it in the first place is one way to at least prevent some of my money from going overseas.

    Donation is another big way to take a stand for democracy.  There are so many organizations that will need support as we move forward.  There is a great list of organizations here, if you need ideas of where to send financial support.  I have put a jar on my kitchen counter as a reminder to donate.  I’m putting all my loose change and extra dollars in this jar until it is full.  I’ll be handing over that money to Planned Parenthood.  

    Daily actions are a form of voting as well.  I am appalled when government officials state that climate change is not real.  Even if climate change is not real, shouldn’t we still be doing all we can to preserve our planet?  Taking reusable bags to the grocery store, biking/walking/public transportation instead of driving, recycling whenever possible- all this counts.  It is a vote to protect our planet.  

    Democracy doesn’t just happen during elections, it occurs all the time.  I am constantly reminding myself that this presidency does not have to be an era of fear and impending doom.  Can this presidency instead be a spark for a greater stand for democracy?  Can it serve as a reminder that we, the people, of this country can vote every day, with our words, our actions, and our dollars?  Despite feeling heartbroken by the election and the revelations that it was influenced by a foreign entity, I still believe in our democracy.  I believe, that now more than ever is our fight for it.  I will be voting every single day and hope you do too.  

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