Like many of you, I’m still trying to process what happened last night. Those of us who spent months and years fighting for an inclusive America were met with a moment that most of us found implausible and unpalatable. Today, we are in mourning. There is an undeniable dint of desperation in the hearts of those who have otherwise been energized and inspired by the promise of a more just, equitable world.
Searching for a silver lining in the midst of all this insanity seems like an insufferable task. Yet, if there is one to be found, we need to look no further than our own community. Despite the onslaught of indecency we’ve endured from the state and national electorate, Monroe County remains a community committed to care. At the leadership of the Mayor, City Council, and common citizens, the City of Bloomington is welcoming refugees from a war-torn nation into our Indiana home. Elected leaders on the local level have worked diligently to create and enact laws protecting its citizens from discrimination. We have a network of non-profits, churches, and public institutions that build sanctuaries of kindness in a world that confuses bigotry for greatness.
These are some of the many reasons why Democrats won every single one of our local elections last night. Our newly elected and re-elected leaders deserve credit for their hard work and sacrifice and congratulations on their victories. We wish them well as they bear the burdens of governing in an environment that is defined by division.
So as we grieve for our state and nation, we can take some solace in what we have accomplished as a community. It is clear that too many of our fellow countrymen have become dislocated from that sense of community. The result of that dislocation is anger, disorientation, and retrenchment into the false comforts of identity.
As tough as it might be, communities like ours have to turn our anguish into action. We have to build out from our own local example so that aspiring citizens are not denied a place in Donald Trump’s America; to empower victims of sexual assault whose abusers are emboldened by a braggart in the oval office; to stand by every unquestionably qualified woman whose flaws are embellished for the benefit of a man whose defects are diminished.
For now, we can take a moment for reflection, to get a deeper understanding of the currents of resentment that have gripped our nation. But then, we need to double down on organization and mobilization. We have a country to reclaim.
Mark Fraley, Democratic Party Chair