Trump voters,

I'm going to address you, then I'm going to address the 3rd party people, and finally, those who didn't want Trump to win. This is not my invitation for you to enter into my comments and defend Trump and bash Hillary again with the same cycle of bullet points we've already seen a hundred times. You've been heard.

It IS an invitation though...

I'm inviting you to realize that as unfathomable as it was for you to think someone would want/desire Hillary as the leader of our country, it was just as unfathomable to a significant portion of our population (the greater number of people according to the popular vote) that Trump would be the right leader for our time.

You claimed you weren't listened to...that your vote was an act of defiance against the liberal elites and tone-deaf Washington. Guess what? You're right. Washington has almost categorically ignored the rural red of our country, either giving lip service or pandering to you with cheap, quick promises. You've been heard, and you have your President.

With that said, I'm inviting you to listen to the folks who didn't resonate with Trump's message of "Make America Great Again" because to them it wasn't about shaking up the establishment and bringing jobs back to the red them the message was (and I'm simplifying here, ok?) "America isn't great right now because it's changing too fast because of the immigrants, the LGBTs, the feminists, and the Others. We need to take America BACK from them."

Again...I'm asking you to listen to those people and ask why they all heard that message and not Trump wants to dismantle the corrupt system (and it IS corrupt) and bring back jobs (and we DO need them back.) I'm asking you to listen. Not defend Trump. Not bash Hillary. Listen to why they weeped last night and fear for their children. It's not because their candidate lost, it's because your candidate won...and the things he's said he'd do that aren't about jobs and shaking things up targets them specifically in very concrete ways. 

Lastly, it's my invitation for you to prove all the "Hillary people" wrong. Seriously. It's up to you to prove you love these neighbors that aren't white, that aren't straight, that believe women can lead as well as men, etc. that President Trump is really about hope for all American citizens. It means many things, but a simple example is: if President Trump starts to oppress people who exercise their Constitutional right to free speech, you'll defend them even if you disagree with them. OK?

Listen first, with mouth closed. Their fear is real and justified. Love your neighbor as yourself as you yourself would want to be loved if you were in their shoes.

Dear 3rd Party Voters,

First of all, I don't blame you for the results of this election. I don't. Do I wish someone else won with the help of your votes? Sure. But democracy is about the freedom and right of 3rd party voting and I respect and defend that.

But this is an invitation to you as well...

My invitation to you isn't to listen. It's to keep going with your passion and your convictions beyond a one-time vote every four years.

I'm inviting you to do something that the vast majority of you have never done. Funnel your frustration into offering a viable 3rd party candidate next election cycle. Seriously. Google how to do it. I refuse to put a link in here to make it easy for you. Because if you're not willing to research how to participate, kindle, and persevere in a grass roots 3rd party on your own, then I don't think you're taking my invitation seriously.

And I don't think you're taking your vote or politics as seriously either. To complain all election cycle about the evil candidates and the broken system, cast a vote for a 3rd party candidate who had no chance to win at all, and then spend the next 4 years saying "don't blame me, I voted _____" and then crescendo into another presidential election where you do the exact same thing is the height of hypocrisy and the portrait of self-righteous political laziness.

I'm not upset at you. But I am asking you to put your civic action where your vote went.

Lastly, to the people upset about the Trump victory,

I'm here for you. I know why you're weeping, mourning, and maybe even gnashing your teeth. I will not give you any spiritual platitudes here because now is not Praise Chorus Psalms time for you, it's a Psalm of Lament time. And there needs to be space for that.

I am inviting you to vent to me if you want to. I can't promise I'll answer everyone, but I'll read it and pray for grace and peace for you. Because it's been such a volatile season, and we've seen the worst of attitudes, thinking, and empathy from our fellow humans, if you need to vent to me, click on the Twitter icon or FB icon at the bottom of this post and contact me privately with your frustrations or your hurt. I don't want to open you up to further public shame and violence.

We're all humans. And I believe we're all created in the Image of God which means we were designed to reflect the Love of God in the way we live with each other. The Mercy of Jesus be with us all.

Matt O.