Trump's becoming our President Tomorrow: Try not to Freak Out

Donald Trump will become our 45th president tomorrow. This is as close as I can come to summarizing online reactions to his pending inauguration:

Some of you, (and you know who you are) are also a little like this:

So you're not happy Trump is going to be our next president. I get it. I'm not super excited either. But why all the hysterics? Why all the drama? Why rend your clothes and gnash your teeth?

And why are you -- the tolerant crowd -- so intolerant of anyone who wants to give him a chance to prove himself? I personally have extremely low expectations for Trump's presidency. However, he IS going to be our president, so I'm willing to set aside my prejudices and see what he does before I condemn it.

That's right: anyone who is already preparing to impeach Trump or criticize his presidency is prejudging the situation and is, therefore, prejudiced.

But! But! But I'm basing my bad opinion of Trump on his past behavior which has been DEPLORABLE! (Wait. Did Hillary Clinton trademark that word? Do I owe her a nickel? Someone get back to me on that.)

Yeah, his behavior has been deplorable -- and judging by his ego, which never seems to take a hit -- you might make a JUDGMENT that he's going to keep on being deplorable. Okay, fine. But that is still, by definition, prejudice.

Why am I making this point about intolerance and prejudice? Because I think it is a giant clue as how we got to this point in the first place -- yes, the point where we are about to see Donald Trump being sworn in as president.

Because all my friends on social media who are crying, screaming, protesting and signing petitions about Trump's pending presidency are using the exact same words to describe him. (The same words they used before the election, by the way). Trump is :

A misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, hate-spewing bigot.

But wait, there's more. Because at least HALF of my friends on social media who hate Trump are also attacking anyone who DOESN'T. If a musician agrees to perform at the inauguration, he is:

A misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, hate-spewing bigot...

and we're throwing out all his CDs!

If an actress says we should give Trump a chance to lead before we criticize him, she is:

A misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, hate-spewing bigot...

and we're not going to her movies!

If a sports figure says hoping Trump fails as a president is like hoping we all fail as Americans, then he is:

A misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, hate-spewing bigot...

and I'm going to burn his jersey!

And of course, you know what that means about the 62 million people who voted for Trump. They are all:

Misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, hate-spewing bigots.

and I don't have to be tolerant of them.

In fact, ANYONE who didn't vote for Hillary Clinton (even if they wrote in a different name on their ballot) is (you guessed it):

A misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, hate-spewing bigot.

If you are one of the people using these labels on your fellow Americans, I need you to understand a couple of things. First, you have a right to your opinions -- and a right to express them. Maybe it helps you to vent. Maybe it helps solidify your position to have other people like your posts. That's fine. What it doesn't do -- what it never does -- is make the targets of your derision change. Do you want proof?

We just elected Donald Trump as our president.

I did not vote for Hillary Clinton. I was never going to, so some of you probably think I AM a misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, hate-spewing bigot. But you're only convincing yourself and each other -- not me. Why? Because my top four favorite presidential candidates were two Hispanic guys, a Black guy and a business woman, that's why! And you're mad at me for not voting for a rich, white lady steeped in corruption and scandal?

Listen, I get your fears over Donald Trump, and I've asked myself why he won -- how he won -- how he even got in a position where it was remotely possible for him to win. After reading political analyses ad nauseam, my best understanding is that people across the vast majority of America felt like they were not being heard. They believe their freedoms of speech and religion are being threatened in real, tangible ways and that there are no politicians left who will fight for them.

Then along came Donald Trump: A non-politician whom no one took seriously. And he -- above all other Republican candidates -- proved impervious to the labels left-leaning politicians, reporters and citizens tried to attach to him (labels like misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, hate-spewing bigot, by the way). Donald Trump, with all his vanity, finger pointing and cringe-worth tweeting, has proven that he doesn't care if you like him, and that he will not let public opinion or the media influence his policy making.

Scary? Yeah. But to the millions of Americans who are tired of being told that their values don't matter, that their concerns are backward, that they should accept whatever progressive policies are being pushed by the Democratic party, or they will be labeled misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, hate-spewing bigots, Donald Trump offered relief. 

And that's why he won.

So are you going to boycott the inauguration, like a third of the Democratic caucus? Okay. That's your right. But first, let me tell you what I was doing eight years ago when Obama was inaugurated: I was homeschooling my children at the time, and I sat them down in front of the television and told them to watch history unfold. 

I did not vote for Obama. I have never been a fan of his policies, but he was our first black president and that alone is something to celebrate. So we watched. My kids tell me that (on that day at least) I kept my doubts to myself and focused on the historic nature of the moment. I don't regret it, even if I was, as expected, very disappointed in Obama's presidency.

But here's the thing -- if I had done what some of you are contemplating -- if I had boycotted Obama's inauguration because I don't agree with his politics, I would have been labeled a: 

misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, hate-spewing bigot.

Are you tired of me repeating that phrase over and over again yet? Do you see why people no longer care what you call them? Are you starting to see how all this online mud slinging brought us to this place? Why continuing to sling mud is NOT in anyone's best interest?

As for me, I'm going to continue to be your friend whether you wear the shirt on the left or the hat on the right. But what about you?

Because if you are throwing around those labels, and we pretend (just for a minute) that it bothers me to be called names, what can I do about it? What steps can I take to make you like me again?

That's easy. I can express the exact same opinions, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors as you. Then, you'll never call me a misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, hate-spewing bigot ever again.

So which one of us is tolerant again?

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