Accepting and Respecting: The Era of Trump

As a Democrat, you might be feeling like the last few days have turned your entire political world upside-down.  All of the news articles you have read over the past year and a half were clouding your judgement, the preliminary polls you took comfort in were inaccurate, and all of your fellow citizens whom you trusted to make the right choice have let you down.

Up until 7pm on Tuesday night, I would have bet a lot of money on Hillary Clinton winning the election — I was certain of it.  Donald Trump was laying waste to the Republican party, losing endorsements left and right, drowning in scandals, and consistently putting his inferiority to Hillary Clinton on display.  I imagined a modern secular society in which logic and reason were at the forefront of every policy, where scientific consensus was the decisive factor in any debate, and where our country’s citizens actually looked up to their leaders.  I dreamed of just how much we could get done without ignorance and xenophobia halting our progress at every step of the way.

That, however, was a different time and a different world.  The Democratic Party now has four years to diagnose its missteps and to pick up the pieces, but in the meantime we have to figure out how to make the best of a bad situation.

Let’s put our efforts towards being constructive, and fighting as best we can for what we believe in.  Realize that, regardless of how much you hate Trump and long for the day that he is out of our lives forever, we want him to be successful in leading our country.  Rather than defy him for who he is, defy him for what he does and tries to do.  Rather than squandering our time and effort protesting the results of a democratic election, focus on strengthening and unifying the movement of reason and inclusiveness that has been temporarily defeated.

We need to look to the future instead of dwelling on the past.  Donald Trump will be our next leader, and until our democracy runs its course, we have to figure out how to make him the best American president the world has ever seen.