The Aftermath: Our Role Post Election 2016
Writing this is hard. Like many of us, I am still processing the results of this election. For better or for worse, Donald Trump is the next President of the United States.
Happy or not with the outcome, this election exposed and reinforced stark divides in our country. Negativity and hate have run rampant from coast to coast. Our country has some serious reflection and work to do. And we must keep moving forward.
As communicators, we have a special role to play in this. Communicators hold a unique skill set that provides us greater opportunity and greater media to express our voices - and often the voices of others. We must use this skill set to help our communities and our country heal.
I had the great opportunity to spend the evening of November 9th in a room at the Newhouse School with a group of students and, our guest of honor, Rachel Racusen, former Strategic Communications Advisor in the Whitehouse for the Obama Administration. When I asked advice on how best to use our communications skills in the aftermath of the election, the response was simple: Tell the stories that need to be told.
Tell the stories of hope and of happiness. Tell the stories of people coming together. Tell the stories of how people are coping and moving forward in their own ways. Use our access and our medium to tell the stories of people in the United States post-election 2016 that bring positivity and morality back into our day-to-day lives. Social media will play a huge role in this. Traditional media, newspapers and tv stations, will play a huge role as well. Let's be sure it's a positive one.
As communicators, we must tell stories.
But we know we must go beyond that. As citizens of these United States, we must be loud. We must advocate for what we know is right. We must hold strong to our rights and the rights of others. Inalienable rights. We must hold our local, state and federal elected officials accountable as well as ourselves.
As citizens, we must stand up.
And as individuals and members of this national and global community, we must come together. We must let others know they are not alone, in their fear, in their anger, in their sadness. We must protect each other from hate. We must comfort each other with company and support. We must learn to love those who are different from ourselves, and to listen to each other, and to understand each other. We must respect each other as important members of this nation, no matter what you look like, where you're from, what religion you follow, or who you love.
As individuals, we must open our hearts and love.
Every single day.