Have you ever heard Tod Rundgren’s song Love is the Answer? Don’t worry, I hadn’t either, not until doing some serious internet surfing as a post-election antidote (don’t try this at home kids, it doesn’t work). Anyway, he’s singing about a pretty common conception: life can seem pretty damn bad but don’t worry, there’s always love and that is the answer. Blah, blah, blah…you know the spiel.
After this election, I’m not so sure anymore. For those of you reading this who know me, this may come as a shocker. I am the idealist and optimist in every room I enter. I see rainbows where most see gas leaks and floating bunnies where others see rain clouds. But love being the answer…well for this particular problem, I am not so sure.
It’s interesting…Tod Rundgren’s band is called Utopia and I’m starting to think that says a lot behind the meaning of his song. A utopia is a “perfect world.” It’s the most ideal society, one that seems unattainable and yet merely exists for the purpose of having an ultimate world to measure everything else against. In fact, the dictionary defines a utopia as “an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect.” Within the confines of this definition, if the name of a band represented the world in which their song existed, then Love being the Answer could only exist within our imaginations.
And perhaps our imaginations have a lot to blame for the surprise in this year’s results. Have we allowed our Facebook feeds and news apps to only consist of the views with which we share? Have we fooled ourselves into believing that the world is one sided? Have our imaginations really run so wild?
See, the problem is that America has become so utterly divided. We know this, that is why so many (including me) were blindsided with this November’s results. After the initial shock subsides telling ourselves that we just need to better understand each other is simply not enough. Those of us who are feeling severely hurt or scared or betrayed can’t just love the country through this. This is bigger than that and blindly loving is just as bad as being a blind American-as so many of us were this election.
It’s time to take action. We live in a Democracy so yeah we sure as hell better take advantage of that. Use your voice to VOTE, call your senators, setup a meeting with your mayor, communicate with those around you, stay informed, be proactive. You know why? Because doing nothing gets nothing done. This ever narrowing global world of ours needs a lot of work and guess who’s job it is to fix it?!
*cue chorus in your head singing meeeeeeeeee*
But in all seriousness, we are the women of today. It is all of our responsibilities to do something, anything, but not nothing. The sweeping social media campaigns that ask us to unite may be a start down a long road to recovery, but they are sure as hell not the answer. Hashtagging a picture #NotMyPresident or #StillWithHer doesn’t do anything but share our viewpoints with the same small virtual world we’ve built that lead us all astray in forecasting the election in the first place.
Social media campaigns are a way to draw people together but they are not a call to action. Relying on love to mitigate human crises occurs with mass shootings and natural disasters too. In our country people all say to pray but praying is not enough. We need to regroup, understand what happened, and ask ourselves how we can better plan for the future. We need to evaluate and learn from these situations. There is too much at stake here for any one of us to sit idly by and hope that the person next to us will pull more than their weight. This is a global issue and it belongs to all of us.