A few months ago, I realized that the Presidential campaign had infected everyone with an epidemic of negativity changing the daily focus onto what separates us as Americans. Had we forgotten what really matters?
Nostalgia bloomed for the days following the September 11 attacks when we were not individuals, but Americans united in our grief. Neighbors, strangers, black or white we stood together. We helped each other. We cared for each other. We set aside differences ready to fight against a common (though mostly invisible) enemy.
As friends hotly debated politics during this summer’s picnics, I actually hoped something could bring us together again, and in November that something came to pass. Unfortunately, it was not the election of the first female President of the United States.
Is it fair to equate the 2016 election results with the events of September 11? Definitely not, but the fear is back, and it is as tangible as it was fifteen years ago. Also, for the first time since the closing months of 2001, I see a large percentage of Americans unified, driven, focused, motivated and taking action not for their own personal gain, but to protect and benefit their fellow Americans.
Our enemies have crawled out of the gutter to show their faces this time. They are not in some distant land, nor are they rumored, imagined, or invisible. They are here in our own streets, and there is a long battle to be fought ahead, but groups like #PantsuitNation provide a positive platform to foster enlightenment, a renaissance for unity in America. We are ready to take the hand of the monster and lead it into the light.