What Have We Become?

I want to start this post by pointing out that I am not a Trump suppporter. My posts over the last year should have made this clear: I do not support the man, I did not vote for him, and I sincerely wish the election had gone a different way. I also note that it is sad I must make that particular point in so much of what I say.

But that said.

What have we become?

I mean, seriously, what have we become?

I was reading through Facebook this morning, and across my various groups and pages I’m seeing the following:

  • “Rosie O’Donnell tweets “F*CK U” to Paul Ryan – Internet explodes in laughter.
  • “Michelle Obama, we thank you for the inspiration you’ve been. We’re going to need it as we get through this crazy time in our world – not just our country…”
  • Office of Government Ethics – Donald Trump nominees not properly vetted
  • Keith Olbermann Finally Says What Nobody Else Will Say About Trump. Keith Olbermann is willing to go all the way to take a stand against our country’s unconscionable choice for 45th President where others haven’t.
  • The Most Extreme Party Coalition Since the Civil War
  • A Nobel Economist Just Compared Trump To Hitler
  • Let’s Impeach Him Now: The Case for Preparing for the End of Trump’s Presidency Before It Even Begins
    The president-elect has already committed criminal offenses. Democrats can’t let them slide.
  • “We have to throw everything at this. This man is slightly unhinged,” Michael Moore said of the president-elect.
  • Breitbart Just Got Caught–And Slammed–For Making Up A ‘News’ Story
  • Why we need to fight Trump, every inch of the way!

These are just some of the headlines – the one I could cut and paste. The visual memes are similar. I am sure, that if you are liberal as I am, that you have seen similar things on your news feed.

Here’s the problem: Change references to Trump to references to Obama, references to Obama to references to someone like Reagan, references to right-wing media to the New York Times, and references to Democrats to Republicans.  Now go back in time two years. Wouldn’t you think you were reading one of the pages from the right-wing, rabid anti-Obama foamers that we made so much fun of? That we looked on as part of the problem?

Much as this may be fun and laugh inducing, we do not win if we adopt the tactics of those we hated. Utilizing hyperbole at every chance, fighting and impeding the work of government at every get-go, demonizing at every opportunity. This only increases partisanship, makes it harder to move forward and have effective government, and makes us seem as idiotic as the Republican anti-Obama folk did during the Obama administration. It is the way children act, and aren’t we better than that?

But, you insist, I hate this President. I can’t stand him personally, or anything he and his party stands for.

I hear you. But hear yourself. They were saying the same thing about Obama. That’s not how we move forward and break the cycle.

Much as we may hate it and find it hard to do, we need to treat the President-elect as we wanted (and we want, for the next two weeks) the other side to treat Obama during his Presidency. Not to unquestioningly agree or roll over, but to respect the office even if you disagree with the man. Not to object to everything, but to pick the worthwhile battles. Not to blanket block and obstruct, but to follow the laws and insist that the other side does.

It is hard to do. I so want to make fun of Trump and his administration — it is such an easy target. But am I an adult, or am I a child? Am I behaving like those whom I abhorred?

Someone has to be adult enough to break out out of this cycle we’ve been in since Bill Clinton was first elected. Our current incoming President makes it so hard, but I can guarantee that the rabid Republicans said the same thing just prior to Barack Obama’s first inauguration.

I don’t know the answer, but behaving like those we thought were childish is not it.

P.S.: Over on the Facebook comments on this, a friend referenced Jim Wright’s Stonekettle Station: Resolutions. It says something similar, and my reactions was “Yes, Yes, Yes.”. Read it. Follow it. Live it.