Wow, it’s hard to believe that there are only just a few DAYS left until the election. Election stress has run high this year, with the American Psychological Association reporting that over half of American adults (52%) find the 2016 election to be a very or somewhat significant source of stress. Amongst my very informal survey of friends, I’d say that number seems much higher. I know that I find myself solidly in the very significant source of stress camp.
Allegations that surfaced during this election have been particularly triggering to many women, and I simply cannot abide shaming victims of sexual assault who come forward to confirm that someone does something they openly admitted they doing! The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) saw a 33% increase in people turning to its National Sexual Assault Hotline for support, and a 45% increase in traffic to their website, the weekend after Trump’s infamous “pussygate” tape was released. Slate reported that, “Like many abusers, Trump is shameless in his denial of reality.” Seems like many Americans are in that boat right beside him. It’s hard to fathom a world where such behavior is considered becoming of a presidential candidate; and yet, here we are.
It is important to remember that nothing will change over night. And, that it’s more productive to channel concerns towards making a positive impact on issues you care about than to fret without action. This election has definitely motivated me to spend more time reflecting on my own values and priorities. I used to volunteer quite a bit more and need to get back to that! I am also becoming far more engaged in politics on a local level than I ever have before. Voting down the ballot is every bit as critical, if not more.
Above all, we cannot take for granted how fortunate we are to live in a democracy. We have fought wars on the premise of delivering democracy to others. So, it’s rather a slap in our country’s face to not vote when we have to the opportunity to be directly engaged in determining the fate of our own future. Get out there and VOTE!!
Can you believe that there are quite a few women participating in this year’s election who were born before women had a constitutional right to vote?! The 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote wasn’t ratified until August 18, 1920. Let’s let that sink in…1920. That’s almost 150 years after the founding of our great nation! And only 96 years ago. The website I Waited 96 Years is a testament to the women who lived through that time. Juliet Bernstein, 103, recounts: I remember accompanying my mother in a horse-drawn carriage to the polls in the first election when women, at long last, had the right to vote. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to vote for Hillary Clinton and determined to see her inauguration! Horse-drawn carriage!!! I’m still working my way through all of their stories – every single one an inspiration.
Have you seen Joss Whedon’s election video starring Chris Pine? Oh, Leonard! Heh heh heh… At least we can laugh, right?! (#laughcry) Head on over to Save the Day to watch the full series of celeb-packed comedy videos encouraging people to head to the ballot box. Stanley Tucci, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Julianne Moore, Don Cheadle, Nicole Byer, Keegan-Michael Key, Minka Kelly, Jesse Williams, Robert Downey Jr, and so many more.
Election years are always extra juicy for the art world, and this one is no exception. HuffPo has a great feed of political works: If This Art Could Vote. With so many gifs and memes, I can’t say that any singular image has emerged as the iconic representation of this election in the way Shepherd Fairey’s “Hope” did in 2008. But the art world is still capturing our personalities and aspirations, fears and anxieties in the way it has since William Hogarth created the first political cartoon in the early 18th century. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Chelsea (Clinton) on Chelsea (Handler) – Netflix
The Election Mix – Spotify