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You Are A Citizen

January 17, 2017

Ok, so here we are.

As I write this, we are six weeks past what was one of the most surprising elections in the history of the United States. I'm pretty sure even Donald Trump's supporters doubted he would win. I assumed lots of people would be upset the day after the election; I just never thought I'd be one of them.

Yeah, I voted for Hillary. And yeah, I was not happy that Donald Trump won.

But this article isn't about me and it isn't about the election itself, or all of the unpleasantness that led up to it. It's about what we do now as Citizens of the United States, because whether you are happy with the way things turned out or you are not, it is up to all of us to do our duty as Citizens and make our country better.

To Citizens who, like me, worry about Mr. Trump's upcoming administration, I say that your worry is well-founded. We have a President-Elect who says and does things that make many of us uneasy. We worry about the effect his words have on our country.

But here we are.I think it's good that we are paying attention to issues that we should have been concerned about all along. Like how many critics of Mr. Trump just didn't bother to vote. Or how President-Elect Obama nominated some controversial people for cabinet positions, but his supporters ignored this. Many of we critics of Mr. Trump yell about "fake news" and misinformation, but how many of us pay for and read newspapers every day, or read news magazines, and read books on topics that help us understand what is "fake" and what is "truth"?Clinton voters like me often dismissed working-class America, telling it not to worry about globalization because, in the end, we think we're all better off with immigration and free trade, even if a few workers in the rust belt lost factory jobs.

I think I just assumed there were way more people who thought like me, and that we had the numbers to beat Mr. Trump regardless of the issues with our candidate. We were mistaken.

What about those who voted for Donald Trump? I've spoken with many of you, and I can honestly say that while I think Mr. Trump played on people's fears to get elected, I do not know a single person who voted for Trump who has hate in his heart. Many voters had logical reasons they believed in Mr. Trump, and I understand that.

Nonetheless, being a good Citizen doesn't end with voting. If President Trump is your guy, then you have an even greater responsibility to hold him to certain standards. It's not enough to tell the rest of us you voted against Hillary or you voted for a Supreme Court nomination. You owe it to your country to hold Mr. Trump accountable for his actions. He doesn't really need to listen to his critics right now.

He does need to listen to his supporters. As an engaged Citizen, you should call him out on things he says or tweets that you know to be false. You should hold him to his campaign promises of being resolute on Russia and China. You should ask for disclosure regarding his tax returns and business ties to foreign countries. You should ask our President to prove his business interests won't influence how he governs our country. You should insist our President doesn't call out and make individual citizens the target of internet harassment.

All of us, Trump critics and Trump supporters, are CITIZENS. It is incumbent upon all of us to hold his administration to the high standards the office dictates.

Again, I implore all of us: pay for and read newspapers every day, buy news magazines for depth, and read books for historical perspective. If you want this country to be Great, then act like a Citizen worthy of greatness. Donald Trump will be our President for four years, and it is incumbent on not only his critics but his supporters to make sure he does the job of leading our country in an appropriate and intelligent way. If you read this far, then you know this is on you. Stop spectating and participate. Be a Citizen.