On this day that celebrates the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., with an inauguration just around the corner, here are my thoughts:
To my friends who identify as liberal, Democrat, left-leaning: Congratulations. The pendulum has swung your way for at least the next two, maybe four years.
It is my sincere hope that you live up to your better promises: Reforms that will improve the justice of the justice system. Might I humbly suggest ending qualified immunity and civil asset forfeiture, while you have the chance.
Democrats, you may have noticed, our country is deeply divided. As you are currently the top party, you have it in you to heal or to worsen the wounds.
If you would be healers, as I hope you will be: Be better than the other side thinks you are. Kinder. More humble. Not because you have to be. But because you want to heal.
To my friends who identify as conservative, Republican, right-leaning: You’ve had your chance now for four years. Now you are the “opposition party.” It’s not the first time, and it may not be the last.
It’s up to you to decide whether to be a principled opposition, or simply vindictive. If you are principled, you may get enough people on your side to mitigate the worst ideas that are likely to come up in this next chapter. If you are simply vindictive, you may not get another chance.
Republicans, you may have noticed, our country is deeply divided. You also have it in you to heal or to worsen the wounds. Be better than the other side thinks you are. Not because you have to be. But because you want to heal.
Both sides, remember the Rule: Treat others according to how you *wish* they would treat you. Not according to how they have treated you, not according to how you expect them to treat you in return.
You want to be treated better than you deserve. So, treat others better than they deserve. Even if you don’t expect them to notice or care. Someone will.
To my friends who don’t identify as either Democrat or Republican, don’t worry. You’re not alone. There are more of us all the time. Again, be kind. Be strong. We have the power to be bridge-builders. We have the power to get both sides to listen. Build your bridges on a solid ground of principles.
Let’s try to make this a good year.