The 2016 Presidential election is by far the one that has made me think hard about what I want for the USA. For the first time I have actively gone searching to find information about the candidates. From the beginning, my heart melted for Bernie Sanders and it hasn't swayed. I feel like he is a positive force for this country and I look forward to the long term changes he makes for this country whether he is the Democrat nominee or not.
While I feel a genuine hope for this country through the movement Bernie is creating, I have to be honest and say that this election has created numerous ups and downs for me. One minute I feel this country is on the right path and then the next minute I am seriously scared. I end up spending hours on Facebook discussing the election with friends and reading story after story knowing I should stop but not quite being able to.
After Mega Tuesday, my heart was broken that Bernie didn't do better than he did and that Trump did as well as he did. I felt hopeless. Then, my 19 year old son spent a little time with me. I love this generation. They have grown up without hate and see something better for their futures. He has always been one who thrives on learning about history and explained many things to me in a way that left me feeling hopeful again. Hopefully I am not putting words into his mouth because how he explains things is much more powerful than I can do here, and his understanding is much higher than my own. But, this is what I took from our conversation. I hope it gives you hope too.
Trump has made the US aware that we have a lot more work to be done in the area of rights/tolerance for others and this awareness will motivate many of us to work harder so that eventually the future will be better for all. This is a wake up call that we are far from where many of us (me) thought we were on racism/discrimination. As an educator, I knew we still had issues, but never in my craziest thoughts did I think the US was in as much trouble as we seem to be on this issue. But, we now have the opportunity to start talking about the problem and look at where and why so many Americans still feel this way and to work towards getting to the next level.
And, even if Bernie doesn't win, he has created a desire for a better USA with opportunities for all. The US might not be ready for Bernie, but he may be the one opening the door for others with Democratic Socialist ideas. My son reminded me that history doesn't happen overnight. It is a process and Bernie is helping to lead us along this new journey in history.
I am a person who desperately needs to find the positive in the events that affect the lives of my family and myself. Sometimes I can find the answers on the internet or through friends, but sometimes I just need the fresh outlook of a young adult. Plus, when a hug sums up the conversation, I always win!