Thursday, November 10, 2016

An Open Letter to My Fellow Democrats

Our First Lady Michelle Obama inspired us all when she encouraged members of the Democratic Party with the words, “When they go low, we go high.” What gave this statement such impact though was not the words themselves, but the fact that the Obama First Family has lived them out over the last eight years in the face of unrelenting and downright hateful scrutiny. We have been privileged to have what I would consider the most honorable and noble First Family that I have seen in my lifetime. They have demonstrated through their public lives the way we should all behave and interact with one another.

This incoming administration, however, has many of us wanting to forget the high road. The vitriol we have seen from Donald Trump and many of his followers is downright outrageous. We are rightfully disappointed, angry, and more than a little concerned about the future of our country. But we should not wallow around in the mud for even a second. Regardless of how much we may dislike Donald Trump, this is still our country and one that can continue to be a beacon of light for the world if we let it. A country where love never fails and equality is possible.

The best way we can honor the Obama legacy is to continue to live by their example of grace and confidence in the face of animosity. But that is not always easy. The list below is just a few of the ways we can demonstrate to our fellow man that we, like the Obamas, are better than the hate that has been fueled by the Donald Trump campaign.


  • We should not make up rude or insulting nick names to refer to the President or his family.
  • We should not body shame or slut shame anyone, especially those in the First Family.
  • We should not use logical fallacies such as name calling, circular reasoning, or hasty generalizations to further an argument or to try to prove a point.
  • We should not stop learning or working on advancing the causes that we believe in.
  • We should not blame others for our own failures, but through sincere reflection make things better.
  • We should not hate.


  • We should respect the Office of the President of the United States even if we don’t respect the person holding the position.
  • We should diligently advocate for the interests of a greater society and speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.
  • We should stand up against intolerance, bigotry, hatred, and misogyny.
  • We should support policy positions of the President and Congress that are in the best interests of the people of the United States and of the world.
  • We should vigorously work against policies that are detrimental to our people, our nation, or our planet.
  • We should volunteer, organize, and participate in meaningful activities in our communities.
  • We should listen, offer shoulders to cry on, and love our fellow human beings.
  • We should distance ourselves from those who make no attempts to abide by similar principles rather than engage them.

This is not an exhaustive list, but if we can make a conscientious effort to live by these principles and others, we can continue the Obama legacy in a very real way. Only by living out what we expect in others can we bring them into the fold. Only by expanding our base will our voice and our vote be strong enough to overcome the evil that we see now. Making the world a better place many times starts at the grassroots level. It’s going to be a hard road. We are going to face many more challenges along the way. But we can do this and in time, our nation and our world will be a better place for it.


NOTE: I have received feedback from some that perhaps the above post is suggesting that we be silent or concede to a fate that we are not able or willing to endure. That is not my intent. So I will add the following quote from Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Inaugural Address, which gets to my point a bit more eloquently:

"This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. [We need not] shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself -- nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory."  


  1. Maybe in a week or two I can act more civil concerning the Trumps, but not now. I need to mourn, allow my anger to be released even if it is the most crude and awful way(s). They are such a family of anti-democratic values that I need some more time to adjust to the fact that they are now considered to be, or will be the first family. They'll never be my first family and he will never be my president. I'm just not a big enough person to accept him as holding that position. But, I will, eventually, at least attempt to be more civil. But that is all I can promise, I have nothing else to give concerning him or his family.

  2. Dear Layne: What an eloquent way to say what so many of us are feeling, while still overwhelmed by the grief, fear, and anxiety for our families and friends. Many of us talked about "the revolution is coming." Perhaps this is the revolution that is meant for us, to teach us how important it is to love and respect one another, even those we totally disagree with, and to prove that by being involved, by stepping up to protect the targeted, to serve our communities and plan the true revolution we desire. Sometimes you have to hit the bottom, wake up and resolve that no, we will not live that way. Bless your heart for sharing this dear friend.