Donald Trump is our president-elect.

It’s hard for me to write that. But, you know what? I’m going to be OK. And if you’re are a white heterosexual male with a decent job, you’ll probably be OK too.

But it’s not us that I’m worried about.

It’s the 22 million Americans who will lose their health care with the repeal of Obamacare. It’s the continued demonization of Muslims, Latinos, minorities and women. It’s the crippling of our social safety net to balance out a tax cut on the richest Americans.

Reno, January 2016

Donald Trump at a January rally in Nevada. He’s everybody’s problem now.

Darron Birgenheier/

It’s every refugee who can no longer look to America for hope and the Syrian children who will continue to wash up dead on Turskish beaches. It’s the destabilization of Europe as we disregard our leadership in NATO.

And it’s my 6-week-old daughter who will have to spend her entire life under the devastating effects of climate change because our president-elect has vowed to undo every climate action taken by President Obama.

Like half of the country, I watched the returns alternating between sadness, fear and anger. I blamed the white men who elected him. I blamed the millions of millennials who refused to support Clinton and then I blamed Clinton herself.

I blamed James Comey and Jill Stein and Gary Johnson and even Bernie Sanders. I blamed both Facebook for not integrating “truth” into its newsfeed algorithm and cable news for eroding dialogue through paid punditry.

The only way to move forward is for us to fight harder for the ideals that we believe in. Inch by inch, policy by policy. With kindness, love and community.

But, at the end of the night, the only person I can really blame is myself. I didn’t take the threat of Donald Trump seriously enough, I didn’t try hard enough to bridge our nation’s polar divide, and I’ve been complacent in the fight against racism and mysogyny.

Every column that I write comes back to three simple themes — the issues that we face are complex, they require a systems-based approach, and we all need to work together to solve them. Hillary Clinton, with her 112,000 pages of policy statements, is the political embodiment of those three themes. Donald Trump, with his insistence that he alone can solve our problems, is the antithesis of them.

And so I knew that Clinton would win. Populist demagogues have always threatened the system, and we’ve always persevered. That’s the power of our democracy.

But, she lost. We lost. My entire belief system lost. Because half of America is so angry with the establishment that they’re willing to burn the whole system down. And complexity and nuance were the first to be consumed by the flames of their discontent.

Yet, as I face into the dark abyss of defeat, I finally understand their anger. I am consumed by it. I want to vilify those who didn’t vote for Clinton. I want to battle extremism with extremism. I want to stand on a street corner and shout at the world that we can do better than this.

But, that’s not the answer. It can never be the answer.

Because if anger, fear and divisiveness created our problem, then kindness, love and a renewed sense of community are the only things that can solve it.

And I don’t mean that we need to stand down, hold hands and pretend everything is going to be OK. Because it’s not. There is no bright spot here. President-elect Trump is an unmitigated disaster for the United States, for the climate and for our leadership in the world.

But the only way to move forward is for us to fight harder for the ideals that we believe in. Inch by inch, policy by policy. With kindness, love and community.

We can’t let the dream of a thriving multicultural democracy die on a vine of withering anger. We can’t let racism fester in our fear. And we can’t let divisiveness force us to turn our back on the world.

So, let’s get to work.

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