Let’s follow President Obama’s lead: Go high

Published 10:44 pm Saturday, November 12, 2016

We need to follow the lead of our President and First Lady now.

“When they go low, we go high.”

The amazing grace of our president was never more evident than on Thursday, when he received President-elect Donald Trump at the White House.

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Despite our deeply divided country, President Obama provided for us all an example of how we should respond during these difficult times.

Like it or not, Trump was duly elected to the office he will assume in January 2017.

And, according to vote counts, most of the country doesn’t like it. Hillary Clinton topped Trump and gained the majority of votes cast on Nov. 8. However, she won’t be president.

The United States uses the Electoral College to elect its presidents. It’s not a perfect system. Twice now in the last 16 years, we will have inaugurated a president who did not receive the majority of the popular votes in this country.

But the Electoral College, even in this election, did exactly what it was designed to do, and that’s to give all of us a voice.

The reality of the situation is if we elected presidents using only popular vote, candidates would campaign only in California, Florida and New York. Maybe they’d make a stop in Chicago. But that’s about it. Those urban, densely populated areas could elect our presidents, hands down.

Maybe it’s time for the Electoral College to go. But that’s a decision for another day. As of now, that’s how we elect our presidents. And we did, indeed, elect Donald Trump.

He wasn’t my choice. However, I love this country and respect the office and I will respect him in it, wish him the best, support him however possible and hope that he is the president of everyone in this country.

Our country is so angry, so hate filled. I don’t know when kindness came to equate weakness, but it has. Trust me, kindness is not a weakness. Often times it takes much more strength to be kind.

But we are a frustrated bunch, all of us. I think we need to all calm down a bit, take a moment or two to breathe. We’re worrying about things that haven’t happened yet.

Our energy right now would be better spent working toward things we know would benefit us all, like national term limits, reforming campaign financing and insuring we don’t go backward on civil rights issues.

I’m not sure how much a president can do, really. Yes, Trump will have a majority of Republicans in the House and Senate, but remember, many of them didn’t support him during his campaign. What kind of support will they give him as president?

And we don’t know which Trump will show up as president, the one that was once a Democrat, or the one who catered to tea partiers during the election. In my business classes in college, we were taught the best indicator of future performance is past performance. If that’s true, I think the tea partiers may be the ones who are surprised and disappointed during the next four years.

Regardless, we live in America and it’s incumbent upon all of us to promote a peaceful transition of power. If we don’t have that as Americans, we have nothing.

And if you don’t like it, work for change in 2020.

Jan Griffey is editor of The Vicksburg Post. You may reach her at jan.griffey@vicksburgpost.com. Readers are invited to submit their opinions for publication.