Tuesday night marked the culmination of the long 2016 presidential campaign. But it stretched on even longer, as it wasn't until early Wednesday morning Eastern Time that Donald Trump was declared the victor of the hard-fought race, having reportedly received a concession call from Democratic contender Hillary Clinton minutes before speaking to his adoring crowd.
The news coverage featured nail-biting moments, most notably how the electoral map seemed to bend under Trump's will as he scored decisive wins in Florida and North Carolina, and likely victories in the traditionally blue states of Wisconsin and Michigan.
For many, his ascendancy brought on fear, especially among those who identify with groups he's targeted with his campaign trail rhetoric, including Muslims, Latinos — in particular, Mexicans — and women, among others.
Actress Laverne Cox — who proudly identifies as Black and transgender, and who previously used the red carpet at the SAG Awards to bring attention to the water crisis in Flint, Mich. — took to Twitter to offer a small sense of comfort to those dismayed by the results.
First, she sympathized and empathized with tweeters, reminding them that their concerns are being heard and are valid while noting there could be more fights ahead in the culture wars. She also made sure to remind people that even though the vote didn't go their way, she still believes in the voting process.
In the string of tweets that followed, Cox points out that the anxiety felt by Clinton supporters in many ways mirrors that experienced by voters who went Republican during Barack Obama's two victories — and again indirectly reiterated her faith in American democracy, and offered hope to her followers instead of fear.
She ended with a popular passage that appears in "Alcoholics Anonymous: The Big Book," which beautifully sums up the thoughts she had shared on social media:
Cox's tweets were bright spots in the otherwise negative-leaning messages some folks saw within their streams because they shared not only her concerns, but her compassion and willingness to listen to her followers, many of whom felt voiceless as the results materialized.
But her words also encouraged followers to put themselves in the shoes of their ideological opponents, who themselves — in actuality on in their minds — expressed feeling voiceless. While democracy may not always be perfect, simply not getting the results we want during the election process does not necessarily mean said process is flawed.
That's not to say that sometimes it isn't, that some people aren't privy to more voting power, or that Cox's followers don't have concerns worth addressing — indeed they do, and Trump voters would and should be highly encouraged to listen and learn more about them.
Instead, Cox wrote to her followers the equivalent of "taking a deep breath," something that was much needed during the frantic news cycle surrounding this campaign and encouraging that the next steps be made after rational and spiritual processing.
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