Channel energy toward
In the 1968 presidential race, when Richard Nixon defeated Hubert Humphrey, I was enraged. At age 13, I was full of teen indignation. My father was a career army officer and a staunch democrat. We often talked politics. I expected him to share my outrage. I proclaimed that Nixon was not my president. Vietnam loomed large in 1972. I didn't want my dad to be deployed. I was loud in my anger at the outcome of the election.
Instead of sharing my outrage, as I had expected, my dad told me to calm down. Nixon now was our president, he said, and the commander and chief of the armed forces and therefore his boss. He said that we must respect the office regardless of whether Nixon was our choice. That was the way America worked, he explained, and one of the reasons why it was the greatest country in the world, something he believed and fought for his entire life. He urged me to get involved in politics, and channel my energy toward the elected in 1972.
In the past four years, I have thought often of that talk. President Donald Trump was not my choice. However, I remembered my dad's words and guidance. I respect the office of the president. It now seems timely to share my dad's lesson with others. The peaceful transfer of power and our two-party system are part of what makes America great. I still believe that and feel sure my dad would, too. Channel your energy into working for your party of choice to ensure your candidate's victory. Violence and hateful rhetoric have no place in America's democracy. Think of your children and grandchildren. Act to make them proud.