- Words have consequences – the incendiary rhetoric during the campaign must be recognized as part of the cause, and bear some of the blame. Our nation had the two most disliked candidates for the Presidency in our history, and their unfavorable status has been very high. It seems, from exit polling data, that many (if not most) actually voted against the other candidate (as opposed to positively for someone.) So, despite the popular vote drama (and I am a firm believer in the Electoral College), one was more distrusted than the other, and thus that other won the election.
- A history of either perceived or actual disrespect or misuse of people by a candidate (and it is my view that both are the case) is noticed by many voters who will not just “suck it up” or “get over it.” To say that those who are upset at the election results are now feeling what you have the past eight years is not true, and fails to even attempt to understand the current pulse of many in our nation. This should not be a “we versus them” or “win verses lose” mentality. We need to go deeper than that.
- To blame the actions of rioters on parents is simply unfair, if not juvenile itself. First, you do not know their parents, and though parental guidance may be a factor, it may not be also. Second, it misses the point of the real causes of these riots, which causes (in part) I have stated in my first two points. It seems inconsistent that those who were angry voters for change are the very ones who cannot, or will not, give any compassion for others who are angry. We enjoy freedom of speech and should encourage it and do what we can to help protests become peaceful ones.
- To state, in word or meme, that there were no such riots when Obama won (twice) is to also miss the point and to evidence a lack of understanding and sensitivity. Obama did not employ the despicable rhetoric that we have had to endure during this campaign. Both Bush elections were not met with riots either, and the first of his Presidential elections was won by the very slightest of margins (just check with Hang E. Chad)
- It is a weak and unhelpful point to make that Trump won, so they should grow up. It is my contention that many avid supporters of both major Party candidates were very vitriolic during the campaign, and though they did not literally set things on fire and stop traffic, then did indeed cause much destruction and stopped short of integrity and character. It is time for us all to use a better approach than trash talking and demeaning. It is time to cease becoming what we heard and saw during the campaign.
- You do not help the situation by adding fuel to the fire. It does not promote peace by ridiculing protesters. It promotes peace to allow law enforcement to deal with it, and for us to deal with wholesome and healing words. When you pile on the protesters frustrations, anger, and sadness, then you evidence a lack of care and understanding. To belittle those who feel a deep sadness is sad and deeply troubling.
- To comfort those hurting: a) Be empathetic and allow them to grieve, voice their frustrations, and state their fears. b) Listen well and listen long. Don't give platitudes, or pep speech, of a "suck it up" line. c) Do not act superior and, when the person is ready to receive it, let him/her know that we live in the greatest nation in the world (problems? yes. injustices? yes. But, still a wonderful place.) d) Let the person know that it is normal to be uncertain as to the future, but that we have had trying times before, and we made it through them. e) Encourage him/her that we are all in this together. f) Comfort him/her with the fact that we have mechanisms within our governmental structure that provide changes (such as major elections in just two years, and another one in four years.) gee) These are some thoughts, but I think the main thing is to weep with those that weep, and be a genuine friend (especially to those with whom we may disagree with politically, etc.)
America, bless God … and bless (love) your neighbor (anyone whom you can help.) Let's have each other's back.
It is time to Make America Kind Again.