The past month has unfolded to the dismay of many Americans. It seems as though many people, particularly in the media and in Hollywood, hoped that they could undo the past or just close their eyes and pretend all of this wasn’t happening. Don’t make the same mistake.

Don’t just follow the crowd and pretend that Donald J. Trump is #notmypresident. Like it or not, he will be your president in 3 days. Now, I am not saying that you have to worship at the altar of Trump. You don’t have to love him as a person. You don’t have to wear one of those bright red MAGA hats. And you certainly don’t have to agree with everything he does as president. Nevertheless, he has not even served as president for one day yet. Let’s give him a chance.

As President Obama affirmed one week ago in his Farewell Address, “politics is a battlefield of ideas.” Politics can be a violent competition of ideas, but that’s because the stakes are high. We cannot simply say that all ideas are equally good or equally bad. We must decide the future of our nation and the best way to realize that future. When the smoke clears from the debate, we must come together as a free, self-governing people. We have to choose between the options presented before us, and then move forward.

Over the past few months, our democratic process has carried on just as it was designed to do. On November 8th, millions of Americans voted to elect Donald J. Trump as our next president. Just before Christmas on December 19th, 538 electors cast their votes in the state legislatures. The Electoral College voted to elect Donald Trump as our next president. It all played out despite many liberal protests that we switch to a system in which the popular vote prevails. The majority of the electors remained faithful, and 302 of them selected Donald Trump as their president. In fact, Donald Trump lost fewer electors than Sec. Clinton. Then Congress officially confirmed the Electoral College vote on January 6th.

Now all that remains in our election process is the swearing-in ceremony for Donald Trump as our president. Unfortunately, there is talk of protests and violent blockades all across DC on Inauguration Day. These protests claim to be about “direct action” intended to disrupt or even shut down the inaugural parade, ball and other celebrations.

Sadly these protesters are missing the point because Inauguration Day is not all about the man taking office. The inauguration of a new president is a celebration of our nation’s rich history, a day in which the American people come together to face a new era.  I can’t help but think about yesterday’s national holiday paying tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s courageous and sacrificial life, and I wonder what he would say about this blatant disrespect for our system of free elections. Dr. King dedicated his life to a world filled with love, not hate. He fought against injustice in our American institutions because his dream was deeply rooted in the principle that this country was founded on: that all men are born free and equal. Our Constitution protects that principle.

Seven days ago, President Obama challenged Americans to honor this peaceful transfer of power as a hallmark of our nation’s proud history. This week, I urge you to do the same. For the 45th time, Americans have voted and chosen a new leader. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) tweeted in November: “A peaceful transfer of power is the cornerstone of our democracy; we have a responsibility to come together.” She also committed to pray for President-elect Trump’s success. And so we all should.

Friday, January 20th, should not be a day that inspires fear in your heart. Instead, may it inspire you to be a part of this new chapter in America. May it excite you to be an informed and active citizen. Above all, remember that on Inauguration Day, President-elect Donald Trump will not become an all-powerful, limitless demagogue. He will be sworn in as the President of the United States, accountable to God and to you. Think about that. The leader of the free world is answers to you.  You get to make sure he does his job and defends the Constitution. As Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution states;

Before he [the President-elect] enters on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation: “I do solemnly swear [or affirm] that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Don’t sit this one out!