Tuesday, December 27, 2016

How to Deal With What (or Who) You Don't Endorse

For the second time this century, and for the fifth time in U.S. history, the person who captured the requisite number of Electoral College votes did not also garner the majority of the popular vote. This is legal, according to the U.S. Constitution — and yet some Americans have declared the President-Elect and Vice President-Elect are "Not My President."

Not true. The President-Elect and Vice President-Elect absolutely are yours, my dissenting comrades. Unless there is irrefutable evidence that actual ballots cast or the election results were fraudulent, this person absolutely is your president. And mine.

Elections are contests with winners and losers. No voter has to be happy about the outcome of an election. Frankly, you do not have to like anything your government does on your behalf. You do, however, have to know how this 240-year-old democratic republic works, and know what you plan to do about it.

  • Fact: Your vote guides the Electoral College. 
  • Fact: You do not individually elect the U.S. President and Vice-President.
    • Decision: You accept the process established by the U.S. Constitution and accept the vote of the Electoral College.

  • Fact: You choose the people who decide how to spend your tax dollars. 
  • Fact: You do not choose which budget line items you support with your tax dollars.
    • Decision: You communicate with your representatives to make a decision that is based, in part, on your preferences.

Want to take a step further? Create change.

If you think the Electoral College did not elect "your" president, what will you do to fix the system? Will you rework the current system, or will you advocate to change the U.S. Constitution? If you choose the latter, know it won't be easy: the Equal Rights Amendment was first introduced to Congress in 1923, and took half a century to gain any momentum (and, still, ultimately lose).

If you don't like the way your government spends your money, how will you change that practice? Will you join forces with the current elected officials, or will you choose to elect yourself or others to put in their places to support programs you want funded?

May I suggest you start local? Your city, town, parish, county, village, or borough thrives when its residents participate. It is a great opportunity to make a tangible differences while learning how government entities work together, how laws are established, and how money is spent.

Long story short, he is your President-Elect. If you are glad of that fact, use your energy for that person, rather than against an idea you do not favor. If you don't like that fact, then do something — create the change you want to see, and act in favor of your change.

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