On election day, a friend of mine posted that she was off to vote for the "real America." She is a good person. I like her. But I think her version of the "real America" is very different than mine. When I saw the distinct difference in the crowds on election night, I turned to my husband during President Obama's speech and said "See- that's MY America. That's what I see when I walk out my door." He said "You have your next blog."
In my America, we work together.
In my America, children shouldn't have to worry if there will be a next meal.
In my America, religious differences are celebrated and respected, not vilified and criminalized.
In my America, every child has an opportunity to a quality education without regard to his or her parents' financial stature.
In my America, small businesses are given the freedom to grow and prosper, not thrown under the bus to make room for large corporations.
In my America, global warming is real and ocean levels are rising; what to do about it is discussed, not if it is happening. It is.
In my America, legal immigrants are welcomed and respected. They bring with them their work ethic and desire for a better life-- the ideals we all share.
In my America, people look different from each other-- their skin color, their eyes, their hair, their clothes. They have different traditions and different ideals which makes us a richer country.
In my America, people appreciate how fortunate they are. They don't say they've done it on their own after receiving a public education and living in a safe society.
In my America, people have compassion and understanding for those who have fallen on bad times. They don't judge because they know some day it could be them.
In my America, people can distinguish between fact and opinion. Editorials are editorials. Opinions are welcomed, but simply saying something louder and more often does not make it a fact.
In my America, gay people have the same rights as straight people. They are not condemned to hell.
In my America, we respect our veterans by not just hanging a flag out or wearing a pin, but by offering them jobs after their service to our country and making sure their benefits stay intact.
In my America, women have more rights over their own bodies than the government. Always. In every situation.
In my America, we don't outsource our manufacturing to children in sweatshops in foreign countries to make a bigger profit. We know that is wrong not only for our children but for the children of the world.
In my America, people have a voice. The people who knocked on doors have more influence than 12 wealthy men running negative ad campaigns.
In my America, young people count. They are the heart and soul of our future. Their future should not be financed to keep a voting block happy.
In my America, senior citizens still contribute. They bring experience to the table. They shouldn't be made to be fearful.
In my America, a family is defined by itself, not an outdated painting. Parents need to take responsibility for their children. Or make sure they are in the care of someone who can.
In my America, a woman has every opportunity that a man has. Women are not simply categorized into one stereotype, but it is accepted that each woman has her own unique voice-- whether that is to be a mother, a business owner, a leader-- or all of the above. The same as a man gets to choose.
In my America, healthcare decisions aren't dependent on your bank account or a clerk in a health insurance office-- your healthcare decisions are made between you and your doctor. Our health care shouldn't be determined by profit motives and the bottom line.
In my America, we support each other because we know it is a global economy and we must work together if we want to continue to have all the privileges we have been given.
The face of my America is diverse. It is focused on the future, not the past. It is proactive, not reactive. It is growing. It is innovative.
It is simply the best place in the world for any man or woman to achieve his or her dreams. I live a life that my grandparents would have never imagined.
I feel sorry for those who feel this isn't the "real" America or the "traditional" America.
My America is wonderful.
And you are missing out.