With every day that passes, it looks more and more possible that Trump will fall.  It’s still a long ways away and is likely still a long shot, but in this moment, it does look possible. Whether through impeachment or resignation, things are trending in that direction.

We’re still a long ways away from this potential reality, but I believe we should start mentally preparing for it now. If Trump (and co) should fall, we have an opportunity to go into one of two very different directions. We have a chance to hit the reset button like something we’ve rarely ever seen.

Before stating how I feel we should respond, we should put ourselves in the shoes of Trump supporters.

They’re going to be in agony. They’re going to be stressed, panicked, ashamed, angry and potentially violent. Wouldn’t you, if someone you love so much was treated (in your eyes) so unfairly? They’re going to rail against the system, the media and the government even more. Trump will be the victim, and by extension, so will they. They will be forever connected to Trump’s failure, and that’s going to be an indescribable amount of pain. Blame will be spread around like wildfire, and “I told you so” will spread like a virus. It has the writing on the wall to get violent. It seems almost inescapable.

It doesn’t have to be this way. And all of us anti-Trump or non-Trump people have a say in the matter of how it goes.

We can open up our arms. We can understand the pain and anguish that his supporters are going to be going through. We can limit our “I told you so’s” to none. We can express empathy and humility. We can forgive past disagreements and reach out to those who are in so much pain. We can feel sorry for the pain of the individuals while still celebrating the result we desired. These do not need to be mutually exclusive things.

I have seen many people (on social media and in person) seek vengeance against those who supported Trump.  When a Trump supporter comes to the reality they’ll lose Obamacare or their coal job isn’t coming back, my peers sometimes are thrilled with vengeance and disdain. This mentality is hypocritical: If you want to make people’s lives better, that includes those who disagree with you and vote against you.

They hate supporters of his for many reasons, but namely because of their lack of compassion for their fellow man. If that’s the case, then we have one of the best opportunities in our lives and show the compassion that we demanded from Trump supporters but didn’t receive in return. The compassion that we say they lacked.

But not one single good thing will come of it should we go in the other direction – calling them names, making them feel stupid, pushing them further away and over the edge to violence. We will only further the political divide. What we’ve experienced over the past 2 years will explode further.  Less and less compromise and negotiation between parties will continue. Echo chambers will get bigger. And none of us will be happier.

We can’t have that. We must begin to heal. And the ‘victors’ are the only ones who can offer the initial olive branch.

All opinions are my own and not representative of any other organization, company or person other than me. -James

James is resident of Auburn, a member of the Auburn Democrats, the Maine Young Dems, Maine People’s Alliance, and the Communication’s Coordinator of the Androscoggin County Young Dems

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