It was even harder to swallow the second time around, in 2012.
But after 8 solid years of Obama, I can attest to the reality that it is actually possible to live and work peacefully as a citizen of a country being led by a man who you cannot find a single thing in common with, apart from human DNA and an appreciation for craft beers.
And it doesn’t involve rioting in the streets.
It doesn’t involve screaming the F word and throwing up middle fingers and vandalizing private property with swastikas and profanity to show the degree of your outrage.
It doesn’t involve making assassination threats on social media, however in jest they may be.
It doesn’t involve deleting half your Facebook friends and making pledges to remain silent when you encounter your other-side-of-the-aisle relatives at the Thanksgiving table next week.
It doesn’t involve taking time out of classes to stage a “cry in” while playdoh and hardworking therapy dogs are brought in to comfort you and your classmates. This was not a natural disaster that killed your family. This was an election that didn’t turn out the way you hoped. Because half of your fellow citizens threw the lever for the other guy, and, as deplorable as you might find him – and them – that’s something you’re going to have to learn to live with for at least the next 4 years.
I know I did. And it wasn’t easy.
But maybe I can walk you through the process as I experienced it.
It looks more like signing petitions for better protections under the law for what is true and good.
It looks like consumer activism, boycotting with your pocketbook, but not with bricks.
It looks like turning off the constant news coverage when you’re sure you can’t handle another moment of his rhetoric, or even the tone of his voice. And then saying a prayer for him, and for yourself, that you could perhaps find a way to see the good in him even when he is radically opposing everything you hold dear.
It looks like calling your Senator or House Representative and telling them how to vote on a piece of legislation that he may be supporting but which you, his constituent, are surely not.
It looks like using your voice in the midterm elections, holding those who are currently in power accountable, and voting to change what isn’t right.
It looks like praying that he makes acceptable and – dare to dream – good nominations to the Supreme Court. And that they get blocked by Congress if they’re not.
It looks like doing your best to uphold what you believe is good and right and true about America, even when it “feels” like you have a President who couldn’t care less about the nation you love, or about the brave men and women who defend it.
It might even look like civil disobedience, if it comes down to it, when your conscience and your livelihood are on the line.
I know there are people who are really hurting after this election. And those people deserve comfort and respect, and for their differing viewpoints to be acknowledged and tolerated.
But there are also people who have allowed themselves to be so whipped into a frenzy of hate and derision that they’ve completely lost sight that this happened because half of the people they share a country with were frustrated, disenchanted, heartbroken, and scared, and so they voted for the other guy. The one you can’t stand. And I’ll bet you a dollar to a donut it had nothing to do with racism or hate and everything to do with rising healthcare premiums, the raging threat of terrorism and a stalled out economy choked by government regulation.
Don’t believe everything the media tells you about your neighbor. Go across the street and ask him for yourself.