As I’m sure you are aware (if you’re not, you must have been hiding under a rock), this past Friday we got a new president – Donald Trump took the oath of office as the 45th President of the United States of America. I’m not telling you if I voted for him or for Hillary. I’m not telling you if I am excited or terrified for what’s in store for our country. That’s not what this post is about. This post is about the need for respect in our country.
My two year old daughter and I watched the inauguration together. We didn’t watch it because I voted for Trump. We didn’t refuse to watch it because I voted for Hillary. We watched it because our President was being sworn in to office. Not to rip off lyrics from the Lee Greenwood song, but I am proud to be an American and as an American, I will respect my elected official. And I want to make sure that I am teaching my children to be respectful as well.
Until Friday, Kora had only had 1 president her whole life and she only knew him by name (she called him Broccoli Mama!). Because she’s only two, I didn’t talk to her about any of the candidates during the campaign, and I’m pretty sure she had never seen Trump on television until inauguration day. On Friday, as we were watching the day’s coverage, I explained to Kora that we were getting a new president today. She doesn’t understand what a president is, but when I pointed out Donald Trump on TV and told her that he was our new president, she got very excited. She was jumping around shouting, “My president, Donald Trump! With the red tie.”
As I watched the protesters and listened to the news coverage discuss the number of politicians and entertainers who are boycotting the inauguration, I started thinking a lot about the example I want to set for my children. There’s that old quote from Bambi, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” I think its perfectly acceptable to have different beliefs and views than other people, I just think there are acceptable ways to express your views.
The protesters during the parade were causing damage to buildings and were throwing rocks and bricks at police officers. What good does that do? What did the police officers do to the protesters? Do the protesters think that Trump is going to resign as President because some people are unhappy? The damage the protesters caused doesn’t hurt the president – it hurts the people who own those businesses and those that have to clean it up. It hurts the police officers who risk their lives everyday to keep everyone else safe.
You don’t have to agree or like everything (or anything) that Donald Trump says, but I do think it is important for our country that we respect the office of the President. I see people post “He’s not my president” on social media and I laugh because I think, “Yes he is.” The people of the United States elected him and he will be our president for the next four years. Like or not, its true.
I worry about the example that adults are setting for their children. Is it okay for students to say nasty things to their teachers because they don’t like them? “Not my teacher.”
There are too many people in this country for me to expect you to get along with every one of them. I know there are people out there that I am not going to like, but I hope that I can still be respectful. I want my children to witness me being kind to others. I want them to grow up with a heart full of love instead of hate.
Growing up, anytime my brothers and I weren’t getting along my mother would say, “Can’t we all just get along?”. That’s how I feel now. Can’t we all just get along. We don’t necessarily have to like each other, but I think we need to get along. Agree to disagree; work together to find a compromise; Be respectful.
Let’s all get along. I’m afraid of what will happen if we don’t.