From the Reporter's Notebook, Part 4: On Regrets

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I didn't blog last Wednesday, which, as you will remember, was the day after the 2016 presidential election. I just couldn't.

I spent that morning bawling my eyes out in bed while my husband comforted me and murmured his solidarity. I seriously wondered how I was going to get up and face a day at work as a reporter after the news that Trump won the election.

As I was telling my hair stylist and friend last night, I now have so many regrets. I was overconfident, thinking that Hillary, a leader I've always admired despite the fact that so many conservatives actually and truly hate her, would be the easy winner.

No way, I thought, could a man so despicable as Donald Trump, so outright racist, sexist and xenophobic, such a liar, such an aggressively evil-hearted person, win the vote of the people.

And yet.

Now that we're on the other side of Nov. 8, I see how my journalistic tendency to remain publicly neutral kept me from taking the action I now wish I would have taken.

That is, to take a page from the book of a few people I know and admire who became activists for Hillary, hunting out all the facts on a daily basis and sharing them on social media, knocking on doors and convincing fellow Democrats and independents to get out and vote. The #ImWithHer crowd. The #PantsuitNation crowd.

I was one of them in my heart, but what I inwardly believed never bubbled up to the surface except in conversations with like-minded friends.

So what will I do with all of this regret? It's time to start speaking my convictions, even if just on this blog and not in my official capacity as a journalist.

I will speak up for the voiceless. I will take the beliefs I hold dear and translate them into action. Marriage equality? Check. Freedom of religion, not just for Christians? Check. Reproductive rights? Check. Freedom of the press? Check. Protecting our nation's historic values of welcoming the stranger and the immigrant? Check. And the list goes on.

It's no easier to say these things now than it would have been before the election, when I might have made a difference. But the sting of a loss with such terrible ramifications is yanking the truth right out of me. Come what may.


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