For Election Day

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6, 2018. It's important that you vote, if you haven't already. It's going to be a long day, so be ready. I'm thrilled that so many of you are paying attention to this midterm. While I have your attention, I want to tell you that this happens every two years, and I really hope you'll keep paying attention every two years, instead of just every four. We need you for all election cycles.

It'll be a long night of watching election returns. There will be cheers and tears, and a lot of pent-up energy will be released. Please be mindful of where you are, what you're doing, and how you'll be received. Set good examples for your children, and for the people who are new to the electoral process (either because they're just 18, or because they're now paying attention).

Be gracious in defeat, be humble in success. Use these feelings as motivation for the next election cycle, or the upcoming Legislative Session. We will all have things to fight for, or fight against.

I've spent many election cycles being happy at one level while devastated in another. Keep in mind that someone can be happy that their Presidential choice won while crying over the loss of a County Commissioner. We have the capacity to grieve for a loss in the US House while celebrating a win in the State House.

Part of what keeps me involved in the electoral process is knowing that at the end of the day on Tuesday, the clock resets. November 7 will be the beginning of the next election cycle. We'll learn what we can from this round, and move on to the next.

Above all else, be kind. Thank you to everyone who stepped up to run for office. I know the kinds of sacrifices you're making, and the amount of energy it takes to make it through election night. Thank you for your bravery and persistence.

I wrote this about Primaries, but it still applies: 
To the losing team: It’s ok to be upset. It’s ok to take some time to lick your wounds, and get some rest. Please, come back to the party and find a way to funnel your energy in another direction that helps move us all forward. We need you. This is a long game, and we’ll all be on the losing team at some point along the way. Be kind.

To the winners: Resist the urge to say “I told you so.” It doesn’t help, and it will come back to haunt you. This is a long game, and we’ll all be on the losing team at some point along the way. Be kind.

I invoke Wheaton's Law, and Kurt Vonnegut's quote: 
“Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you've got a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies-"God damn it, you've got to be kind.”

Written by Susan Shelton, Texas FDW