On November 9th, 2016, I published a column on Facebook regarding Donald Trump’s stunning victory over Hillary Clinton and the nature of supporting the winner of presidential elections no matter who you supported. For a variety of reasons, this has become increasingly difficult for many Americans in recent elections.
I’ll repost the column in its entirety in just a moment.
When I wrote it just over two months ago, I was following my own rule I’ve never failed to observe: No matter who wins a presidential election, I will support him. In the final analysis, he’s not your president or their president… he’s our president.
I still feel that way and will follow that rule. I will support the incoming president and hope he does exceptionally well for America. If he does, everyone benefits. For those in Congress, it’s far more productive for elected officials to follow the words of Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who said for those who opposed Mr. Trump to work with him on issues where they agree but confront him on ones they don’t. The former we don’t have enough of from both sides of the aisle, the latter is to be expected but confrontation at every turn no matter the issue has become the overwhelming norm. That said…
As we near the inauguration and with all that has transpired, been revealed or hinted at being disclosed, with seemingly daily ethical challenges hovering over some Trump Cabinet nominees, non-stop wars of words and at times outright hostility between the media and Trump communication members Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer, President-elect Trump engaging on Twitter the way rival sports fans attack each other on social media and with a myriad of other things in play that would require at least another thousand words, the question needs to be asked: When is the other shoe going to drop? Because right now it’s dangling by a shoelace.
Will it be something with Russia? Will it be a leak from Mr. Trump’s tax returns he won’t release? Will it be a conflict of interest he believed he was insulated from only to find out his legal team advised him incorrectly? Will it be an internal controversy? This is all beginning to have a foreboding quality to it.
Or maybe he’ll have the most successful presidency in recent memory. Maybe.
The clock starts ticking Friday, January 20th, 2017.
Here is the post from November 9th, 2016 (https://www.facebook.com/CGProgram/posts/10205209102306569):
President-Elect Donald Trump.
I didn’t expect to see that today and I’m continuing, slowly but steadily, to wrap my arms around it.
Win with class, lose with grace. That’s what you learn as an athlete at the youngest age. That’s what you learn in politics from your first race going forward. Play hard, play to win and when it’s over acknowledge your opponent(s) for their effort and let them know they have earned your respect.
Players in any sport at any age, politicians running for any office, understand this only too well.
Fans and voters are often another story.
I was not a supporter of Donald Trump. In the presidential elections I’ve voted in, my candidate of choice has won some and lost some. But in every one of those elections, I’ve given my full support to the winner on Inauguration Day. I will do so again this year without hesitation.
The winner, Donald Trump, is my president.
He’s not the president of only half the people who voted. We all get him, for better or for worse. We hope it’s for better.
Our country has become wholly dialed into labels and colors – boxes – as they apply to politics. Red, blue, Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal… my label is American, first. (here in California I’m an NPP – No Party Preference, meaning Independent). Should you visit a foreign country, your only label is American. They don’t care about the labels we attach to ourselves, or boxes we prefer to live in. We’re not red or blue; we’re red, white and blue.
The sooner more of us begin to embrace that again, the sooner we truly will begin to unite. We won’t all agree or think alike but we will listen to each other, we will respect each other and we will work with each other.
Donald Trump did not unite this country on Tuesday, much as many want to believe. Did he receive a mandate? No. Few candidates do. That’s not my opinion, the numbers bear it out. There are more than 200 million registered voters in the United States. The total number of votes cast (at the time of this writing) were 119,365,077. Hillary Clinton received 59,786,251 or 47.7%. Donald Trump votes were 59,578,826 or 47.5%.
But the number that matters is 270.
Mr. Trump won the presidency when Wisconsin, a state that hadn’t voted for a Republican since 1984, sent him over the top with their 10 electoral votes.
Cue hatred and bitterness.
You don’t have to look far, it’s everywhere today. Not from Donald Trump and not from Hillary Clinton, but from Americans filling up talk radio and social media expressing their views without restraint. It’s mind-boggling to hear and read what people are saying. Have we sunk this low?
Don’t blame Trump, he isn’t putting words in your mouth. Don’t blame Clinton, don’t blame Obama and don’t blame the media. Be responsible and look inward. No one else is typing on your keyboard or dialing your phone but you.
Happiness for Trump and sadness for Clinton, no different than when your team wins or loses a hard-fought game, is to be expected. Unbridled gloating, profanity and insults from both sides are disheartening.
I’ve received “colorful” emails and texts from friends and colleagues lambasting Clinton. In reality those were, almost without fail, thinly veiled shots at me for my temerity in not supporting Trump.
The vitriol points up a deeper reality: Our nation is at a sensitive and potentially dangerous point in its history. We are, with more frequency, abandoning reason and decency in how we communicate in favor of “just telling it like it is” regardless of the lasting effects it has on friends, co-workers, neighbors and even family members.
My wish is that the powerful office Mr. Trump has won will guide him to a place, more than anything else he may accomplish, that unites us as a country. That’s a tall order after a long, bitter, divisive campaign. For him to do that will require not only his supporters but those who voted against him to join together.
As with so many other things, it starts with us. Bitterness serves no one. What choice will you make?
illustration credit: pixaby.com
About the Author: Christopher serves up the news of the day, politics, sports, pop culture, films, music and the quirky side of life with distinguished guests and contributors from across the nation and around the world. He tackles the most complex issues to stories slightly off the radar delivering depth and humor with a thoughtful perspective. When he was in Fargo, North Dakota, the program was nominated for Best Radio Show in the Red River Valley in 2012, 2013 and 2014 by readers of The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. As a writer, Christopher's work has been been published by the Chicago Sun-Times, Sun-Times Network publications, Reuters, USA Volleyball and Team USA, the Official Website of the U.S. Olympic Committee.