It shows how low the bar is that common courtesy can elicit a glimmer of hope: Could this small man grow to fit the office? Does it still seem so likely that the big office will shrink to fit the man?
We’ll see. I’m a pessimist, so I’ll stay with the latter assumption for now. One day of civility doesn’t quite balance 18 months of insults, threats and lies. Trump got elected on the basis of utter vulgarity, so it’s hard to believe he’d want to change a thing.
It’s also hard to believe he will take this responsibility seriously. Once he becomes bored with his inheritance of American history, I can see him just dumping it off at the animal shelter.
But I’ve been wrong before.
My optimistic wife often asks why I tend to expect the worst. I have various reasons, and of course the events of last Tuesday are now foremost among them.
Shit happens. Frequently. You take the Cadillac in for an oil change, and find out it’s blown a head gasket. You go in for a routine checkup, and find out it’s cancer. You go to elect a president, and you find out you’ve elected Donald Trump instead.
Some things you can’t control. Most things, actually. All you can control is how you react to them. I think I saw that in a Facebook meme.
Personally, I’m taking the stoic road. I won’t hang out at protest vigils or toss bricks through windows. I won’t blame all the people I care about who somehow decided Trump was the answer, and I won’t gloat when they’re proven wrong. My own Mom is one of those folks, so that’s not an option.
I’ll try harder to do the right thing. Somebody has to. I’ll try to be more generous, more forgiving — to counterbalance the tough days ahead. And I will never again rely on social media to conduct fruitless arguments over stuff like this. I can’t help thinking that social media helped get us where we are now.