In children’s athletics, the teams greet each other after the game in a show of sportsmanship. No heckling or bashing is allowed. The losers aren’t expected to be happy about losing, but they are expected to be courteous and to concede with grace. The winners, in return, are not allowed to gloat. They congratulate the other team on a game well-played. And then both teams walk away intent on playing better next time.
Since most of us don’t go on to become professional athletes, the lesson of winners and losers is probably the most important thing we learn from playing team sports as kids. And yet, over the last week, a lot of us seem to have forgotten. Social media over the last week has been chock full of hatred. Democrats hating that they lost. Republicans hating because they’re fed up with the half of the nation that has been sitting shiva since election day. Third party voters hating because they just want to move on, and neither side is letting it happen.
Well, newsflash: Democrats, you lost. You are allowed to be disappointed, but no amount of collective weeping is going to change the outcome. You want your candidate to win? Congratulations! You have another chance four years from now. Run a stronger campaign, and you can take the White House. But for now, put on your big-kid panties and give the guy a chance. He may not be as bad as you expect.
Republicans, you want the Democrats to stop whining? Quit rubbing your opinion of their candidate in their faces. Be the gracious winner, congratulate them on their efforts, and move on. Remember, this isn’t a permanent position. Your candidate may not be all you expected. In four years, you might be in their shoes, so remember the Golden Rule.
Third party voters: We lost. We knew we were going to. I think that makes it easier for us. But we fought well and brought the potential for a third party to enter into the finals up to something approaching reality. Now, lets quit grumbling and build on our momentum, or we’ll be in the same boat four years from now.
And to all my friends from all sides of the political spectrum: I love you all. Really really. But i can’t take the arguing any more. Yes, there is the potential for scary times ahead; but there always is when we elect a new president. Yes, our President-Elect has said more daft, derogatory, and offensive things than Prince Phillip. But that doesn’t likely mean that he will put an end to Democracy as we know it. In fact, it’s unlikely he could. Our government is structured to keep that from happening. (Perhaps you noticed that there were other political positions on your ballot? Yes, those were important. Just as important as the one at the top. Perhaps more so, since they affect your community directly.) The causes that are dear to your heart, the ones you are worried will go by the wayside over the next four years… Get active with them! And if it appears that our leaders won’t take the stand you want, make your voice heard. That’s how things change…
Which brings us back to the presidential election. Obviously, enough people wanted this change to make it happen. (And before you argue about the Electoral College being unfair, that point is moot. The fact of the matter is, we all knew the Electoral College would apply in this election. It wasn’t a last minute decision.) Whether you voted for him or not, Donald Trump is our new president. Rather than bash each other for being “for” or “against”, remember that both votes are on the same team. The U.S. team. We might scrimmage against each other, but come time for the playoffs, we’d all better be working together. Otherwise, we’re all sure to lose.