Since the presidential election there has been a firestorm of articles, social media posts, and heated comments and replies back and forth from extremely unhappy voters and those who feel compelled to try and change other people’s minds. What an exercise in futility. Yet here I sit, feeling frustrated and thinking maybe I can enter the discussion and say something in a way that would make a difference. First, let me say this: I understand people are not only unhappy but scared for the future of our nation. But I object to being lumped into a category of people presumed to be bigots, racists, sexists, elitists, hypocrites, and hate-mongers.

There is a distinction between voting FOR Donald Trump and voting Republican. I voted for the Republican candidate. Yes technically that means I voted for Trump. But what I actually voted for was fundamental Republican ideals. For example, I believe in less federal government and more local government. Anything that can be decided upon by local governmental bodies should be decided upon by those bodies. If you disagree with the policies and laws in your local area, you can move to a different city or state much more easily than moving to another country.

I also believe redistribution of wealth does not truly help our citizens. It sounds good in theory but in practice, it leads to too few people working and paying taxes and too many people looking to the federal government to take care of their individual daily needs.

I believe in personal responsibility. I do not believe, even when there are legitimate reasons, in making excuses. EVERYONE has experienced hard times, rejection and criticism and painful experiences in life. But we must find within ourselves ways to cope and to prevail. We must rise to the level of our astonishing human capability and not only survive but thrive in spite of the crap life throws in our way.

We cannot thrive when we are feeling sorry for ourselves and blaming others for our predicament. We must take responsibility for our own health and happiness. We cannot federalize fairness. The federal government cannot and should not take on the responsibility of making life fair for all its citizens. First let’s recognize it is not possible to create a world where everything is fair. Life is fundamentally and inherently unfair. Fair is not an inalienable right.

We must take the responsibility of improving the condition in which we and our fellow citizens live upon ourselves. We must strive to help others in our own homes, families, work places, and communities. And we should encourage and inspire others to do the same. But it is not the place of the federal government to make people feel better about or fix their individual unhappy circumstances.

I am a conservative and a Christian. But I am not what people on the other side of the political fence seem to think I am. I do not judge or think myself better than anyone else. I am not intolerant. Having a difference of opinion does not make me intolerant. I genuinely love people, whether they are like me or completely unlike me, whether they agree with me on politics, parenting, religion or whatever.

I want people in need to receive help. I want this enough to make sure it happens in my community by giving my personal time and financial donations on a regular basis. And while I do believe it is our obligation as human beings to help one another, I truly believe it is more of a privilege to help. I choose to help anyone and everyone along my path in life wherever I can. And I think the world would be a much better place if more people took it upon themselves to physically and financially help those in need. Let’s not rely upon the government to do that which we can and should do ourselves.

It is time to stop complaining and start working. We must work to change accusatory and angry attitudes toward people who do not agree with our political party or cause. We need to understand if someone disagrees with us, it does not mean they are judging us or thinking less of us (or that they are stupid and wrong). It means they have a different opinion. It’s that simple. It is time for us to agree to disagree.

Let’s agree to disagree … amicably and with the expectation and intention to personally make things better in our own homes, families, and communities. Ready, set, go!

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