On Tuesday night, the world watched as the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama eloquently gave his farewell address.
The next morning, the world watched as the soon-to-be 45th president awkwardly and arrogantly gave his first press conference since winning the election.
If you're anything like me, it probably made you want to bang your head against a brick wall. Now am I exaggerating? Of course, but the sad part is, not that much. It was downright cringeworthy. Let me drop a few quotes our future president made.
“I don't think the American people care about my tax returns.” “My sons will run the company [The Trump Corporation] and they will not discuss it with me.” “I will be the greatest job creator God has ever made.” “You're fired!” Yes, he actually said it.
The arrogance is so stifling, I'm surprised the tectonic plates didn't shift.
I have been a lover and follower of politics for most of my life. I've enjoyed it during the administrations I liked and have enjoyed it during administrations I have not liked, but the Trump administration is a whole new ball of wax.
What do you do when you love politics; when you must follow politics to stay involved and be a well-informed citizen when the sight and voice of your president makes you cringe?
Here are some tips:
Remember What's important
CNN correspondent Van Jones put out a remarkable Facebook video shortly after the Trump victory. One of his several points was to remember what's important. Jones stated that it's great to get involved in politics but not at the expense of alienating our family and friends.
He [Jones] poignantly pointed out the majority of us do not know the presidential candidates personally. “The people who you like or vote for, when you get sick they're not going to be there, when your parents die, they're not going to show up at the funeral, this is your family.”
Personally, I do not look at 2017 to be a good year for my politics, but I look at it to be a good year for my life.
I refuse to let Donald Trump steal my joy.
I am not looking forward to January 20, but I'm looking forward to the Super Bowl, baseball season, dating and hopefully finding love and romance.
I refuse to let Donald Trump steal my joy, and you shouldn't either.
During his farewell address, Obama noted that if we don't like the way things are going, we must get involved.
We can offer our representatives solutions, we can help the less fortunate, heck we can even run for office. At one point in time, President Obama was some unknown community organizer with a funny name on the Southside of Chicago, and look at the heights he climbed.
The man became president of the United States. Now we're all not going to be president, but we all can make a difference.
Why So Serious?
There's a very big temptation to take everything that comes out of Trump's mouth in jest. If he isn't going to take his presidency seriously then, why should we?
Look at the Trump years as the mockery of modern democracy it's setting up to be. Business conflicts? Of course, Blackmail? Why not! Obstruction of justice? Bring it on!
We are going to see things in these next few years that will baffle good nature and sensibility, but you know what? It's going to be entertaining. Some say they rather be tired than bored so now those people will get a chance to put their money where their mouth is.
Think of it as watching the "Kardashians" or any programming that appears on MTV. Is it good for you? No. Is it entertaining, yes.
It may hard for the level-headed folks out there to believe, but some people actually like to be angry. It fulfills them, it drives them, it gives them sustenance.
So, if you like being angry and can't stand Trump, then do you! These next four or eight years will be your time to angrily shine. So, get to your preferred social media platform and spread your wings.
In the immortal words on Clayton Bigsby, “If you have hate in your heart, let it out!” That's a joke but seriously, stay angry my friends.
Grin and Bear, it
No matter what we do, Donald Trump will be the 45th president of the United States. That's the short and long of it.
The faster we accept that fact, the sooner we dissenters can move on with the good work of productive and engaged citizenry. The ills of life spare no one, so all of us have experience in dealing with unpleasant situations.
We must call upon this fortitude now more than ever.
As CNN correspondent Van Jones also said, “We've been through worse in this country — not our generation but our parents and grandparent's generation.”
Now is the time for us to start looking at our forefathers and mothers for strength. Remember: Donald Trump is a human being just like the rest of us.
His days in office are limited; that's the great part about democracy. No leader gets to stay in office forever — not the good ones and thankfully, not the bad ones.
We as a generation have more time to shape the landscape of our country than President-Elect Trump has. We must look to the feature. It's in our hands and as President Obama said, it's in good hands.
Always remember: Tough times don't last but tough people do. Let's get tough.