On Jan. 20, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. It’s really happening.
I think it’s safe to say that many Catholics my age don’t like Trump; there were plenty of candidates we liked better. So I understand how you feel when you say, “He’s not my president,” or that you’re worried about how he will treat minorities, or whether he really will do what he says he will do.
But it’s time to face reality. It’s time to be faithful to our country, even if we don’t like the man who sits in the Oval Office.
Because he is our president. Half of the country voted for him. And whether we like the person or not, we have to respect the office of the president and accept what has happened. Accept that this is what we have to work with, and then work with it.
It doesn’t help whatsoever to keep throwing fuel to the fire of division that is engulfing our country. More than what the new president could potentially do (or not do), that division is what frightens.
It’s one thing to raise our voices against something truly unjust, but it’s another to complain about a fair voting process that our country has always used. (See point 3 below).
So here’s the gut check: Let’s stop complaining about the government and who is or who is not president. If you want to see change, be of real help.
So what can you do?
1. Pray for our country.
Prayer shouldn’t be underestimated when it comes to the sufferings of our country. First and foremost, as Catholics, our job is to pray for the people, places, and systems given to us. Pray for the president, for his cabinet, for senators and house representatives and for those who sit on the Supreme Court.
2. Love and listen to everyone around you, regardless of their political stance or who they voted for.
Our country is so split down the middle, and we need healing. Let’s be that healing by loving everyone around us at home, in church, in school, and yes, on social media. Judgmental comments aren’t helping anybody.
Read about our political processes and voting systems. Educate yourself on the government. And after you’ve read, read some more.
4. Make your voice heard on a local level.
Attend town meetings, volunteer to help with campaigns, and especially, contact your local elected officials via letters, emails or phone calls. Find their information at http://USA.gov. You can also sign up for alerts at Colorado Catholic Conference to remind you when to call your legislators. Visit their website at http://cocatholicconference.org.
5. Run for political offices.
You can run for offices! Think about getting into the politics on your local level. And if you’ve done 1-4, we really need you.