Yesterday the American people elected the 45th President of the United States.
President Donald Trump.
Many have been shocked, dismayed and overwhelmed by the results. Many are angered by the results. They’re fearful of what this could mean for us as a country.
The campaign trail has come to an end. The glitz and glitter of election night gatherings is over. The accusations, threats, name calling and pettiness have disappeared like so much smoke. We have our next President.
What do we do now?
There will be those who will talk this to death over the next days and weeks. Explaining how Hillary lost. What the thinking was of the American people to elect Donald Trump. Protesters who will want a do over.
None of that dialogue matters.
What matters is not even how Donald Trump chooses to comport himself as our new President. He’s got a lot on his plate–plans to be made, policies to learn, White House etiquette to absorb. He has a huge learning curve ahead of him, and he needs all the encouragement and help he can get.
What matters is how we, the people of the United States, will act in light of who our newly elected President is.
We all have a bit of a chip on our shoulders. We can always find something in government to complain about. Why not the new President?
Because it’s our responsibility to respect our elected officials.
I’m not talking about the respectability of these officials. Finding a person who is worthy of respect in this day and age is a little like looking for a unicorn. Do they just exist in my imagination?
Respect is accorded the office of the President because of the responsibility given him by the citizens of this country to give direction to our nation. We are still one nation, under God. Our money reminds us that it’s in God we trust.
We may not agree with him. We may not like him. But he’s the elected President of a still uniquely blessed country, where freedom is a value that many countries in the world yearn for.
Are we perfect in this? Not even close. Do we get a lot of things wrong? All the time. Will we mess up again in the days and weeks to come? You can count on it.
What do we do now?
We remind ourselves everyday that we’re fortunate to live in a country where people have the opportunity to try to make themselves better. That people can complain about our politics and governing officials without getting jailed. That we can disagree with public officials without being exiled.
It won’t ever be perfect this side of heaven. But living here is a gift.
Why don’t we think about living as if that were true? Treating each other with respect. Being supportive of our governing officials, especially our new President, because they’ve been tasked with a job most of us wouldn’t want–restoring order to the chaos of this country. Living with gratitude and a strong work ethic instead of demands for what we think we deserve.
And remind ourselves that we’re free to leave.