From time to time, leading up to the election, I would be chatting with a friend and be stunned to realize that someone I’ve known for years was a Trump supporter. How did we get here? I think we stopped listening to each other. Now it’s too late for that election, but not too late for me to at least try listening to my friends who support Mr. Trump. I want to know why.

It’s going to take self-discipline not to reject my Trump supporter friends while I reject his legitimacy as the Electoral College’s election pick. Until I understand the people who see Donald Trump as good for the country, my own activism, however self-righteous, feels hollow and alone. There is something complicated going on here.

I am a woman, the grandchild of immigrants, an old Peace Corps Volunteer, an activist for environmental protection and Native American rights – you get the idea. Hence, I am quick to anger at the impulsive and discriminatory actions of the Electoral College’s pick for election winner. Mr. Trump is careless with and disrespectful of our democratic process.

For years I taught concepts and history of American government, among other things. I see glimmers of hope that the checks and balances I once outlined so clearly on the board are going to restrain the new administration’s deliberate chaos. The local and national rallies and protests are thrilling. Democracy is not a spectator sport.

Lynn Olcott

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