Last night I tried a sparkling from Stolpman Vineyards of CA made with the Trousseau grape, which also goes by the name Bastardo (interpret that however you like) in Portugal where it is used for Port blends. The wine is made bubbly by a process called Pétillant-Naturel, or Pét-Nat for short. Almost like champagne, but not.
Pét-Nat can be wild, a little unpredictable (not unlike our President-elect and his claims to “bomb the sh!t” out of ISIS) because it uses natural yeasts to kickstart its second fermentation in the bottle, giving the wine its fizziness.
Though wild and a little funky, and the bubbles overwhelming at first pour, it was surprisingly refreshing — reminiscent of apple orchards and cinnamon and autumn-ish things — yet intense, not unlike last night’s atmosphere.
Although I meant to go to bed at 10:30pm, my eyes could not peel away from the iPad and for over an hour I bounced between news outlets and social media, feverishly refreshing the screen to check the electoral count.
What were you doing when you realized where the election was headed? I poured another glass of wine.
As this news continues to sink in the morning after, and the phrase “President-elect Donald Trump” becomes less awkward, maybe the question isn’t so much, How did we get here? but Where do we go from here?
My first reaction: PANIC. I don’t want my daughter growing up in a world where women are degraded by their President. I don’t want my son growing up thinking it’s okay to degrade women.
But hang on — the burden of my children’s upbringing does not rest on the President. That responsibility is my husband’s and mine.
Since when does a singular person — even if it is the President — dictate who we are as citizens and what we can do to make our world better?
The greatest influencers of good are rarely people of political power. Some of the greatest examples of good happen organically, among the people, like you and me.
So again, I ask: Where do we go from here? Will this shift in politics change the way you treat people today compared to how you treated them yesterday?
I get that politics causes bitter arguments, division, resentment, incredulity. But we can let it NOT.
Stripped of political affiliations, we are simply human. And every one of us deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Black, white, male, female, baby, senior, and everyone in between. We can practice that, surely?
And with Twitter abuzz with “healing” and “unity”, I hope we can look to our own actions to dictate what we want to see happen around us.
I have more faith in all of us than I do in our President-elect alone.
Maybe these next four years can be simultaneously intense and refreshing, if the people of this country can look to ourselves — and not rely on our politicians — to reset and be the change.