Choosing your President

JONATHAN CARROLL | OPINION COLUMNIST

So we had an election. And though we have yet to wait for that final, decisive vote of the electors– particularly so in this most controversial of races– we have a pretty good sense of who will be taking on the mantle of Commander in Chief this coming year. Some people are happy with the results; others are not. What fact remains is that our nation, through its tried and true methodology, has chosen a new president, and we would do well to prepare ourselves as best we can for the upcoming term.

Thankfully, we need fewer preparations for this next chapter in our nation’s history than what many news and media outlets are making there out to be. To begin with, we need not prepare for war. Rather, we should prepare for cooperation. Is the president-elect divisive? Yes. Is he controversial? Yes. Has he made some questionable remarks? Yes. But regardless of these qualities or any number of them along those lines, if the predicted outcome stays its track, he will be the president–the president of all of us–in a number of weeks.

For this reason, and particularly so because of his divisiveness, we need to be open to his presidency. Some of the president-elect’s detractors have accused his campaign of establishing an “us-versus-them” mentality and criticized him for allowing and even at times endorsing this mindset. Let us not, then, fall prey to the very same mindset which we claim to oppose. If we truly seek a unified nation, then let us strive for a unified nation no matter who its figurehead is. If we seek peace, then let us not create needless conflict.

That brings us to the aspect that we should prepare for, if we have yet to do so: conflict. As much as possible, we should strive for peace and unity both as a nation and as a world. When that unity becomes threatened, though, we must also strive to resolve those threats. Our president-elect and his current list of appointees have drawn concerns from some citizens because people believe that he poses a threat to certain liberties. If these potential threats become reality, then yes, we should act to decry the actions or policies of that person, team or administration, not because we disagree with the responsible party but because we disagree with the action.

Our current president has drawn plenty of criticism from his own support base due to his lack of action in responding to the “#NoDAPL” movement. Though these same people likely agree with the man and generally do like him, it is their right to call him out when he steps out of line. In the same way, we should support the president-elect as much as we can while still calling him out when he steps out of line. The mission cannot be about the person but rather the people who may suffer due to certain policies.

Although nothing is set in stone yet, we may assume that we already know who our next president will be. Whether we like or dislike our nation’s choice in the matter, though, we still must conduct ourselves in a proper, peace-seeking manner. Our president is no king. He is a citizen, much the same as any of us. We should offer him the same respect that we expect for any citizen and correct him just the same as we would correct any citizen. When we approve of what he does, we should show support. When we have reservations about what he does, we should be wary. When we disagree with what he does, we should correct him. These are routes to take towards unity and understanding, a benefit which neither denial nor insult, blame nor injustice can offer.

There are pressing issues facing the world today, while we are poised to make incredible new discoveries and advances. Stooping to squabble will not allow us to take the great strides necessary to move past these trials and realize the future. Thus, we need unification if we want to make progress forward. So even if he was not the desired choice or even in some objective sense the best choice, he is the choice of our nation, and for the sake of our progress as a nation, I ask: choose him for president. Disagree with him if you see fit, call him out where need be, but respect him as a person and support him as a leader, and, with responsibility, we can move forward– together.

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