Are you avoiding Facebook these days? Have you tried to ignore folks who are gloating or complaining? Perhaps you’ve been unfriended, just for sharing your honest thoughts and opinions. If so, I feel you.  

It is the Monday after the 2016 Election. The media and experts across the country are still trying to process how Donald Trump could possibly have claimed victory. Last Tuesday morning, the media gave Trump only a 15% chance of victory. Hours later on Tuesday night, the media were in shock as Donald Trump won states like Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and others in the traditionally Democratic rust belt. The “Blue Wall” crumbled, and the blame game began. Many have asked, “How could he have won?” “Who would’ve possibly voted for him?”

Contrary to popular opinion, the answer is that lots of people did. So was this election a white lashing? No. His supporters were from every age group, race, class and gender. Besides, this accusation is narrow-minded, ignoring the fact that Donald Trump actually did better among black and Latino voters than Mitt Romney did four years ago. Clinton did worse than Obama in each of these categories.

The interesting thing is that the polls demonstrated such a different picture before the election outcome. They predicted a Clinton victory by a wide margin. So what does this say about predicting elections?

  1. The media is far more liberally biased than they admit.
  2. People were afraid to share who they were planning to vote for!

Many Trump supporters could not share what they actually believed, for fear of being shamed and shouted down by our politically correct culture as racists and bigots. Most Americans are terrified of people from the opposite party, so it’s hardly a surprise that our elections have become so fear-driven and bitter. This is what happens when we stop listening, close our minds, and believe that anyone who disagrees with us is evil.

For young Americans like you and I, it has been a rough week of defending our views and trying to respectfully respond to those who disagree with us. I know you may feel like retreating or even waving the white flag and giving up. But now is not the time to disengage!

I encourage you to choose hope, and not fear. We must respond in love and in truth. You do not need to defend the character of the man we have elected, but you must give him a chance. We have an opportunity to proclaim hope and defend the ideas that helped Trump to win the presidency. I am not talking about the homophobia, xenophobia and other labels that the left has projected on Trump. I refer to the principles of a strong national defense, strong families, a healthy economy, and a limited government.

At Windrose, we are committed to navigating the next four years with you. We will applaud our new president when he protects individual liberty, and we will challenge him if he fails to uphold and defend the Constitution.

I recognize that many people across this country have expressed a real fear of Trump’s presidency. We must ask ourselves: do we fear Trump’s personality or his policies? Regardless of your fears, take a deep breath and remember a few things:

  1. We have not elected a king. The president has specific powers, outlined in Article II of the Constitution. He cannot make laws or decide how to spend your taxpayer dollars. Our government has checks and balances and separated powers to prevent demagoguery.
  2. President-elect Trump will be held accountable by both his supporters and his opponents.
  3. President-elect Trump has not even served one day in office. As Sec. Clinton affirmed last Wednesday, Donald Trump deserves an open mind and a chance to lead.
  4. Fear is never an excuse for violent protests. Instead, it creates unrest and damages our political stability and integrity. The students protesting across the country are perpetuating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Many liberal millennials predicted that a Trump presidency would be the end of the world, and now their violence is inciting real problems and concern across the globe. Protestors are the ones preventing a peaceful transfer of power.
  5. No matter who you supported this election, the office of the presidency is bigger than one man.

While I do not support the violent protests, insulting Facebook rants, class cancellations, or optional exams at public universities nationwide, I do believe in the need to empathize with those who are hurting. This does not mean condoning their words or actions. Rather, this means putting ourselves in their shoes. We may think differently, but that’s okay. Whether or not you are “happy” with the election results, choose hope and choose unity. By listening with an open heart and sharing our perspective with an attitude of love, we can revive civil discourse and diversity of thought in our country today.

That starts with you, and with me, and it starts today. Will you be a part of the solution?