What to Do Now

what to do when your candidate loses

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I know a lot of people are upset about the election results. (I know a lot of people, aren’t, too, and this post is for you, too.)

And I know talking politics on a blog about crafting seems like just a really bad idea, but I’m all about creating the life you want in every aspect, and I think we all might need some creative thinking around how to get over our hurt and confusion (or to use our celebratory mood for continued good) and do something constructive rather than reading all the stuff that’s being said on both sides that isn’t very productive.

It’s OK to Feel Bad

If you need to mourn, or feel angry or confused or frustrated, that’s OK. Feel whatever you feel for a little while.

But remember this is not the end of the world if your people lost, and probably not the beginning of the massive societal change you might hope for if your people won. what to do when your candidate loses

Focus on a Cause

Once the elections are over, it’s not so much about people any more. Regardless of what you think about who got elected, you probably still have certain issues that are really important to you that you want to see dealt with or taken care of.

Focus on that.

For example here in Arkansas there was a lot of talk about early childhood education and expanding pre-K programs in the state. That’s something I care about (my daughter happens to be in pre-K right now) so I will want to stay on top of that issue when the next legislative session comes around.

I’ll want to keep in touch with Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, because they are the lobbyists for kids in our state.

You can find groups in your city or state that focus on issues that are important to you. Support them with your time and money if you can, or just sign up for their e-mails and take action when issues that are important to you are in the news.

[Tweet “Did your candidate lose? Focus on an important issue and hound the new folks about it.”]

Look Ahead

Where I live, we have another election next month having to do with a civil rights ordinance. So that’s a super-important thing to focus on.

And there’s always 2016, right? And 2018 for voting out (or retaining, as you like) the people who just got voted in/re-elected this time around.

Who can you support in the next round? Or maybe you should run for something.

Remember We’re All Human

If you watch too much television or read too much on the Internet, you might forget that the people on the other side of the aisle are not monsters. They probably love their kids and families about as much as you do. They have different ideas about how to run things, and how to show care for other human beings, but most of them probably are not truly evil.

When our opinions differ we still have to let them know. We all need to fight for those issues that are important to us and to let our lawmakers know what we think. That’s the whole point of representative democracy. (Though lots of arguments could be made for the fact that the people are not represented so much as the monied special interests, this is not the place for that. Let’s live in optimism for just a minute.)

Josh Lyman: Tell me democracy doesn’t have a sense of humor. We sit here, we drink this beer out here on the stoop, in violation about 47 city ordinances. I don’t know, Toby, it’s election night. What do you say about a government that goes out of its way to protect even citizens that try to destroy it?

Toby Ziegler: God bless America.

(From The West Wing episode “The Midterms”)

So take this time to celebrate or regroup, but then remember that participation is more than an every two years event.

What issue are you going to hound your representatives about next year? I’d love to know.

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