“You tell your kids, ‘Don’t be a bully.’ You tell your kids, ‘Don’t be a bigot.’ You tell your kids, ‘Do your homework and be prepared.’ And then you have this outcome, and you have people putting children to bed tonight, and they’re afraid of breakfast. They’re afraid of ‘How do I explain this to my children?’”
– Van Jones, political commentator, CNN
On Tuesday, female friends of mine posted pictures of themselves on Facebook dressed in pantsuits. They were either heading to the polls or had already voted. They were ready for history to be made. The polls all said Hilary Clinton would easily defeat Donald Trump on Election and become the 45th President of the United States and also becoming the first woman to be Commander in Chief.
On Wednesday morning, some of those same female friends posted on Facebook feelings or disgust, outrage, and despair. At around 3:00, the call was made that Trump and not Clinton had won the election. On top of that, the Republican Party retained control of Congress and won most of their contested governor’s races. Those female also wondered how will they explain this outcome to their daughters.
Trump defied not only political playbooks but also represented and displayed we were taught as youngsters not to do or be. Trump has never served in government in any capacity and many times during this campaign showed his lack of knowledge and understanding. There were the numerous statements made against almost every demographic in this country.
Of course, there were Twitter fights and name-calling almost on a daily basis (Lyin’ Ted, Little Marco, Crooked Hilary, etc.).
But Donald Trump woke up this morning as the President-elect of the United States.
There are silent breakfast tables this morning, parents having their hopes dashed and looking at their children and trying to figure out what to say. I’m not married and I’m not a parent so I don’t have any skin in this one. But I’m reminded of my breakfast table growing up. My father and mother made sure that no matter what was going on around me, they made sure there were expectations for me regardless. Kids and adults may have acted up, did and said things unsavory, and set bad examples for others. But my parents told me the things that I needed to do and be.
That’s all I can say on this morning. No matter what you think of Donald Trump himself, his words, or his actions, he won the election. But we, as adults, have to be strong at our breakfast tables. Our beliefs about civility, kindness, empathy, and love don’t stop because of Election Day. The examples we set in how we carry ourselves and how we treat each other can be far more effective on the young than what we witnessed at the ballot box.