In the six presidential elections that I have been eligible to cast a ballot, it’s a mixed bag with respect to whether or not the candidate for which I voted won the night. Some of those for whom I did not vote campaigned with great venom and vitriol spewed towards either myself or people I love. Some for whom I did not vote engaged in incredibly condescending attitude and rhetoric towards people that dared not see the world as the candidate would choose. The same could be said for those who did wind up getting my vote.

And, yet, whether the candidate I preferred won or not, at the end of each of those six elections was the person who would be my president starting January 20 of the following year.

With the two major party candidates of the 2016 election, it is my firm belief that neither was magnanimous or presidential in their rhetoric towards those who would disagree with them. One candidate used what could be classified as hate speech in referring to those in the opposing party as her ‘enemies’ and those who supported her opponent as ‘deplorables.’ The other major party candidate used what could be classified as hate speech to denigrate wide swaths of people who didn’t see things the way he did.

Going into Tuesday night, I knew two things would be true at the end of the 2016 presidential election:

1. Whichever major party candidate won the election, their behavior and rhetoric at times on the campaign trail was the exact opposite of what we should expect of one who would occupy the Oval Office; and,

2. Whichever major party candidate won would be my president, and while I would have major issues with their conduct on the campaign trail, as a citizen of this great country I would pray for their success and support them however I could, knowing that there would be times where I would be virulently opposed to some of their policies and politics.

Since that first election in which I was eligible to cast a ballot, Mr. Clinton, Mr. Bush, and Mr. Obama each were my president because my fellow citizens and I had elected them to the office. Not one of those three men did everything as I would like. Mr. Trump will not always be one with whom I agree on his actions or policies. The beautiful thing about our country is that no matter who is in the office I have the right (and responsibility) to let them know when I’d like to see something different.

Clinton, Bush, or Obama…while I cannot speak for anyone other than myself, in my mind if I did not consider one of them my president simply because their actions or attitudes were not what I wanted, that would say more about me and my view of citizenship than anything these men have said or done.

And yet, like it or not (and there are completely justified and understandable reasons to be concerned,) Donald J. Trump is going to be the 45th President of the United States of America. Just like those who went before him, whether or not I supported their candidacies or voted for them, he will be my president and, as none other than Secretary Clinton said in her remarks on Wednesday morning, I will root hard for and wish him nothing but success. Not because of my feelings towards or about him, but my love for my country and its future.

Grace and Peace, Lamar