Keep calm. Good advice.
This title is emblazoned on a tee shirt my wife gave me. It’s a green shirt with a shamrock on it. You get the idea.
It is not helpful that we’ve elevated the office of POTUS to the level of royalty. It is not helpful that people who should know better, speak of the president as the one who “runs the country”. We got that ourselves, thank you very much. But we seem to have lost that sense of individual responsibility to run our lives, this nation, on our own. The president’s job is to run the Executive Branch according to the will of our elected representatives in Congress. He doesn’t “run” the country. We do. Every time we buy a pack of gum, or a house, or decide where to place our kids in school, we are running our country. That’s how the system was designed.
But it is understandable, as far as we have drifted, to see how people tend to get their panties in a bunch over who gets the brass ring every four years.
What is not understandable is how we treat each other as a result. This has been a growing problem for as long as I can remember. And it seems to have hit a new low this year.
If you are a reader here, you know I pull no punches in my politics. I calls ‘em as I sees ‘em. But I don’t treat my friends better or worse based on my assessments of the political zoo. I don’t expect them to see life as I do. I want them to. Why would I write about this silly crap if I didn’t? But the measure of friendship is NOT whom you voted for last night or who tells me they agree with me.
To Trump fans: You have practically beatified this guy. Two years ago, admit it, you saw him as a caricature of himself. You cringed as everyone else did when he would make appearances at “professional wrestling” events. But now he is your man. I see a lot of mindless crowing out there today. Celebrating is one thing. But getting in your friends faces over election returns marks you as shallow and not very bright. Take a page from your guy. His speech last night was about as classy as I have seen him. Try a bit of that yourselves.
Hillary and Obama fans: I offer you similar advice. In the last two hours we saw both of them speak optimistically about what we need to do in the coming months and years. They threw their support behind Trump. Will they cheer his every move from the sidelines for the next eight years? Hell, no. But they are also not saying if you voted Republican you are an enemy of the state.
There are people out there losing friends right now. Take heart. If someone cuts ties with you because of your political beliefs, you have lost nothing. Their friendship was a lie. They were not your friends. Don’t worry too much about it. If they come back, let them earn your friendship, should they wish to do so. In the meantime, you can take the high road. In your circle of people, let them know you are still going to keep them with you based on the quality they bring to your life, not whether they are as freaky for your candidate as you are.
More than friends are being lost as we speak. Already people are out protesting violently. People are rioting and assaulting individuals. While many were surprised by a Trump victory, the psychotically immature reaction of many as a result of such an outcome was far from predictable. If you look at the behavior of people over the last two years pretending to be upset over thugs correctly being put down by police (there have been bad shoots and the cops involved are being dealt with) it isn’t a stretch to see the same people committing acts of vandalism, violence and theft, while complaining about how awful the Donald is. I know, the irony is so thick it makes you gag. But the behavior has become the new norm. One writer in particular, The Unablogger, nailed it as the primaries were winding down. See his call here.
For everyone: We will not be living like Mad Max by next week. Nor will we be living in a utopia. We will be living as we do now. Can the future bring opportunities to correct what is wrong? Sure! Will we screw up again, from time to time? Absolutely. What in the hell does that have to do with who we go to ballgames with or who we hang out with at social events?
A little side note:
Hanging out with people who don’t think like you makes you smarter. That’s a fact. You can look it up. Living in an echo chamber dulls the mind and gives you a myopic worldview. That’s why I am always asking my liberal friends to do some counter-point stuff here. So far, no takers. I’d offer to pay them, but this is still a free site.
A ridiculous side note:
I swear, I am not making this up. As I wrote this I was getting FB notifications. I ignored most. But I noticed a family member had popped up. I always look at her posts. She was quite upset by last night’s results for a very specific reason. I told her not to worry too much and told her that she had the only tools to deal with this new Trump world as she saw it. That was considered an attack. It didn’t fit into their interpretation of last night’s events. I am guessing their assumption was that I must be a Trump supporter and therefore a racist and a misogynist. Clearly, they don’t read my stuff. Anyway, this election, and my outright gall to speak of it in the context of offering alternative views, has cost me a chunk of family and a wedding invitation – at least for the time being.
Your host is the author of 16 20 24: A Path to Consistent Conservative Victory.
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