Because it doesn’t have to be contentious or ugly, all of the time.
Much has been said through the weekend about the feud between President-elect Trump and Representative John Lewis (D-Ga.).
The dust-up began When Rep. Lewis said that he did not consider Trump a “legitimate” president, and that he would not be attending Friday’s inauguration.
It is just further sour grapes from a Democrat party member, unwilling to suck it up and behave in a manner that suggests his goal is to work for the benefit of all Americans.
On the other side is Trump, who is incapable of even the smallest measures of maturity.
He immediately took to Twitter to slam Lewis over the condition of the district Lewis represents.
It was nasty, and it was expected.
Trump is not the kind of man to remain poised and sober in his reactions to criticisms. For that reason alone, he could be deemed sorely unfit for the presidency.
That being said, he is our new president, as of this Friday, and we will have to learn to deal with that.
I’m not saying he just gets a free pass to be as Trump-y as he wants to be. I’m not saying we don’t hold his feet to the fire and allow him to subvert our Constitution or our government’s checks and balances.
I’m saying we have a choice as to how we react, and it is possible to disagree – even strongly – about our politics or specific policies, and still maintain a sense of community.
We should desire, above all, to hold to our humanity and extend grace, even with those who stand in firm ideological opposition to us.
An example of such grace came earlier Monday from Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), as he spoke at an event commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., where Lewis, a civil rights icon, in his own right, was the key note speaker.
“I have tremendous admiration for Congressman Lewis, not only for what he’s done but what he stands for,” said Rubio, as reported by the Tampa Bay Times.
“I don’t agree with him that President-elect Trump is illegitimate. I also don’t agree with his decision not to attend the inaugural, though it certainly is his right. It’s not about President-elect Trump – it’s a peaceful transfer of power.”
He neither condemned nor favored one over the other. He spoke respectfully over both, and allowed that to be his word on the matter.
Grace and humility in this current climate of political discord seem like such foreign concepts, but they are still attainable. That’s on us.
Several more Democrats have announced that they will not be attending Friday’s inauguration event, in light of the tense exchange between Trump and Lewis.
That is unfortunate.
Truly, there is nothing that says attendance should be mandatory, or that they have to like what’s happening.
If they’re simply staying away as a blatant show of disrespect for the office of the presidency, however, their own fitness for the offices they hold should be questioned.
The time to hold Trump accountable will present itself soon enough, I have no doubt. Until that time, every measure should be taken by those who seek to be representatives of this nation and our citizens to at least appear to be grown ups.