Yesterday I watched the Veterans’ Parade in Branson. Standing next to me was a 97 year old veteran of WWII. His daughter had driven him from Houston for the week-long celebration of heroes. As the troops and floats neared our area, the younger veterans would come over to this decorated soldier to thank him for his service. They knew one another, they understood one another, and they shared a common love – our country.
This has been a difficult week. Pre-election rhetoric is now matched by post-election condemnations and violence. I understand some of this, because I know what I felt as a child when JFK was elected. But, as an adult I realize that all this drama is possible because of those who serve and those who have served this beautiful country.
When I noticed the following post on Facebook, I was greatly heartened. The author is Professor Lewis Long of Irvine Valley College, a college at which I worked for ten years. Lewis has always held my respect; his integrity is impeccable, and his commitment to his students is unsurpassed. In his own words:
To the people protesting the presidential election results: You are an embarrassment, and your behavior is profoundly unAmerican.
I, too, would have preferred that the election came out differently; I strongly supported the losing candidate, and was disappointed at the results. But I am not the least bit sympathetic to those who have reacted to the results with violence and destruction.
Despite my disappointment, I was still proud that, even after the election of a candidate who was wildly unpopular with a significant number of our citizens, we could boast of a peaceful transition of power. The whole basis of our country is that people with different opinions and beliefs can work together for the common good.
Before the election, I had been fearful that, should the current President Elect lose, some of the extremists who had supported him would engage in acts of rebellion and sedition, trying to undermine our electoral process. I little thought that I would see that behavior from those supporting the Democratic candidate.
Now, we have shown the rest of the world that not only have we soiled ourselves with an election campaign based on the meanest of behaviors, personal attacks, vile innuendo, and overtly false charges trumped up for the sole purpose of smearing candidates for the highest office in the country, but we don't even respect the principles of a representative democracy about which our country has so long been proud.
Like it or not, Hillary Clinton lost the election, and Donald Trump is the President Elect. If you don't respect the man, at least respect the office, and the proud democratic tradition that it represents.
Respect the principles that our nation is built upon, and the process that protects those principles. There will be another election in four years. Rather than further tearing apart our country, start working now toward the next election.
Thank you Professor Long for this important reminder....