What will I tell my children?

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The following are some samples of thoughts I shared with my children during this year’s campaign for President:

  • America’s Democracy is messy, complicated and often does little to honor the principles of our Founding Fathers
  • Donald Trump has said horrible, cruel, mean and intolerable things throughout his life and this campaign
  • Bernie Sanders is never going to be President
  • Hillary Clinton thinks she is entitled to be President
  • Hillary Clinton is smart and prepared to be the President
  • I’m going to the cabin
  • Did Marco Rubio really say something about Trump’s hands?
  • I like Kasich and will vote for him at precinct caucuses
  • I wish Kasich was a better candidate
  • Kasich is done
  • I’m going to the cabin
  • OMG, OMFG, OMSG, OMDG, OMFGYCBS, OMGWTFFFFFFFFFFFFF
  • When did Martin O’Malley drop out?
  • Ryan Lochte said what?
  • Trump is done
  • Trump is done
  • Trump is done
  • Trump is done
  • Well, looks like Clinton is going to be President
  • Clinton is done
  • Clinton is done
  • Clinton is done
  • Well, looks like Trump is going to be President
  • Trump is done
  • Clinton is done
  • Trump is done
  • Trump is done
  • Clinton is done
  • Trump is done
  • Well, looks like Clinton is going to be President
  • Well, looks like Trump got elected President

The morning after the election of Donald Trump to be our next President I sat at the kitchen table with my Daughter for breakfast.

Earlier that morning, around 1:30 a.m., as my son dragged himself to bed, disgusted that CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX were playing chicken with who was going to declare the election over in favor of Trump, I gave him a hug and said,

“This is democracy in action, Owen.  I know the election didn’t turn out the way you wanted, or the way millions of those who voted for Clinton wanted it to turn out, but that’s the system of campaigns and elections we have in this country.  The sun will come up this morning.  Life will go on.  We will survive.”

He mumbled something and disappeared.

Sitting at the kitchen table I thought a lot about what words of wisdom I should share with my Daughter.

What came out was something like this,

“Maisie, the sun came out today.  The world is still spinning on its axis.  You have food on the table, a warm place to sleep and a school to go to learn.  America will go on.  Donald Trump is our President.  That’s how our system of government works. We have an obligation as Americans to respect the will of our fellow citizens who elected him to be President”

Or, some version of that.  At least in my mind that was mostly what I said.

I have been asked, and I have seen the question posed by others, “What will I tell my children about the outcome of this election?”

My children know I did not support Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for President.

So, I could tell them that the world is coming off the rails.  I could tell them that Donald Trump is a horrible, nasty person who doesn’t deserve to be the President of the United States of America.

I could tell them that because the person they supported did not get elected President they should be angry, upset, scared and unwilling to settle for the candidate that did win the race.

I could tell them he’s not my President.

Or, I could tell them that if they want to change the world the outcome of who won the election to be our President is nowhere as powerful as what they will do in their own lives to impact the world that surrounds them.

Which is the truth.

If we believe – those who voted for Trump or Clinton – or voted against Trump or Clinton – that the election of a one man or one woman to be the President of the United States is the single most important act of democracy in America – then we failed to understand our obligation to America.

Take to the streets, by all means.

But, take to the streets and help raise up the poor and the homeless.

Take to the streets to help an elderly person rake the leaves in her yard.  Take to the streets to volunteer at a food shelter – or an animal human society – or a hospital – or a million other places where your fellow Americans need your generosity, your heart and your hands.

Take to the streets and donate to a charity.  Take to the streets and paint a house for someone.  Take to the streets and buy groceries for a family in need.

Take to the streets and contribute more than just your right to express your opinion.

Election Day was our opportunity to express our opinion at the polls.

The election is over with.  America voted.

Donald Trump is America’s next President.  Donald Trump is my President.

 

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